David Hartzheim, ‘67
We all remember.
‘60s Lancer families came to Fullerton in waves. Maybe 10% of us had already lived here or near by in the early 20th Century. Some came during the Great Depression or World War Two. In 1954 alone, hundreds came. By 1960, almost all of us were here.

 

  1. When Laguna Canyon was RURAL AS ALL GET OUT with no houses or businesses except close to the beach (west) end.

 

2. When Yorba Linda was beautiful and very very very small.

 

3. When North Nicholas Avenue in Fullerton ended at Valencia Mesa. It became Euclid around 1960 and went through in 1962.

 

4. When there was no Bastanchury at all until about 1961. 

 

5. When all the towns had large open areas between them. 

 

6. When Laguna was very small and WAY down there. 

 

7. When Dana Point was very very small, and WAY WAY down there.  

 

8. When San Juan Capistrano was very small and so far down there we hardly even considered it Orange County. 

 

9. When San Clemente was VERY VERY SMALL AND WAY, WAY, WAY DOWN THERE. 

 

10. When you could RIDE YOUR BIKE from Fullerton to Huntington Beach in about 30 minutes. 

 

11. When Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Aliso Viejo, Coto De Caza, Foothill Ranch,  Rancho Santa Margarita and others JUST WEREN’T THERE,

 

12. When Fashion Island was a BIG PILE OF SAND AND SHELLS WHERE SEA GULLS WOULD LAND AND HANG AROUND. 

 

13. When the first homes were built north of Valencia Mesa in Sunny Hills.

 

14. When St. Jude Hospital was BEING PLANNED AND THEN BUILT. 

 

15. When there was a shooting range on North Spadra (later Harbor) about where the municipal golf course is now, on the east side of the street.   

 

16. When the area around Malvern & Gilbert DIDN’T EVEN HAVE HUGHES AIRCRAFT YET, LET ALONE AMERIGE HEIGHTS.

 

17. When Rosecrans between Nicholas or Euclid and Beach Boulevard was  BARELY EVEN A DIRT ROAD. 

 

18. When the land where Sunny Hills High School is was just a  hill with sage, tumbleweeds, cacti, big rocks and breezes. 

 

19. When you could stroll through Downtown Fullerton in the evening and it was quiet and uncrowded, mostly closed at 7 or so.

 

20. When there were Mexican weddings known as CHIVAREES at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Saturday and the wedding people and attendees would drive around town afterwards honking their horns. 

 

21. When the Boy’s Club was ONLY BOYS. 

 

22. When Cal State Fullerton was just Cypress Avenue where Sam L. Collins lived and here was a huge orange grove, and NOTHING ELSE. 

 

23. When there were railroad crossings at Nicholas between Valencia and Commonwealth and at Spadra between Valencia and Commonwealth, AND WHEN WE HAD TO WAIT MORE THAN 3 MINUTES FOR THE TRAIN TO GO BY, IT COULD SEEM ANNOYING. 

 

24. When you could have dinner and see a live Lowland Gorilla outside at The Palm on the Fullerton-Anaheim border. 

 

25. When hundreds of Fullerton men got up early in the morning and DROVE TO WORK IN LOS ANGELES, OR DOWNTOWN,OR PLACES AROUND THERE. 

 

26. When Olive was VERY VERY SMALL (WELL, IT’S STILL VERY VERY SMALL!)

 

27. When the man who worked at Union 76, Texaco, Richfield, Chevron or the other SERVICE STATIONS (or FILLING STATIONS) wore a WHITE UNIFORM, SOMETIMES A BOW TIE, SOMETIMES A HAT, AND CAME OUTSIDE OF THE OFFICE OR GARAGE TO PUMP OUR GAS, CHECK THE OIL, CHECK THE TIRE PRESSURE, and CLEAN THE DOGGONE WINDOWS FOR US, all when a gallon of gas was 25 or 30 cents a gallon. Many many ‘60s Lancer guys and some were attendants!

 

28. When no one called SANTA ANA CANYON by the name of ANAHEIM HILLS, or actually believed that ANAHEIM HILLS WAS IN ANAHEIM. 

 

29. When our families would drive up to LA to see Olivera Street or Farmer’s Market for fun. 

 

30. When 99% of us had aunts, uncles, cousins or grandparents in at least one of the following: Los Angeles, Pasadena, Long Beach, Glendale, Santa Monica, Inglewood, Culver City, Montebello, Huntington Park, Compton, Downey, Pico, Rivera (yes, they were separate places once), Whittier, San Diego, Huntington Beach, Riverside, San Bernardino, Redlands or Orange. 

 

31. When Bolsa Chica was known as TIN CAN BEACH, and for good reason. 

 

32. During the early days before 1955 when only about 1 in 10 of us here was a Native Californian. 

 

33. When there was nothing much on TV except Wrestling From the Olympic Auditorium ., AUCTION CITY .. Spade Cooley’s Orchestra at Ocean Park .. reruns of old movies. 

 

34. When we heard about new movies we wanted to see 6 months before they were released and we’d wait and wait until finally they came to the Fox Fullerton. 

 

35. When we could eat at Lindel’s Deli on La Palma in Anaheim, or the Chicken Pie Place, or Clifton’s Cafeteria at the Broadway Shopping Center in Anaheim. 

 

36. When we could stand on the playground and blacktop at Nicolas Junior High School and many other Fullerton public schools and see the bank by the Broadway with the temperature reading at the top. 

 

37. When beautiful Hillcrest Park was beautifully maintained by the City of Fullerton, with lovely green grass slopes, well paved roads with no potholes, and clean picnic tables in good condition. 

 

38. When the intersection of Commonwealth & Spadra (or later Harbor) was indisputably THE CENTER OF FULLERTON, THE VERY HEART OF OUR WONDERFUL OLD TOWN!

 

39. When you could do at least half of your routine shopping downtown, meaning prescriptions, bakery goods, watch repair, Sears Roebuck, stationery needs, a cup of coffee with local friends, and business with your attorney or accountant or insurance office in the Chapman Building. 

 

40. When you would live in Fullerton before 1960, and after a while, most people in town at least looked a little familiar. You’d seen them before.

 

41. When Little League baseball was a NEW SENSATION IN EVERY FULLERTON NEIGHBORHOOD! 

 

42. When violent crimes in Fullerton were very unusual. 

 

43. When an average citizen with a job could afford to buy a home in Fullerton.

 

44. When Roman Catholic women wore veils or hats to Mass. 

 

45. When everyone DRESSED UP to go to church.  

 

46. Where HARDLY ANYBODY WE KNEW OR HEARD OF WENT SURFING, before about 1961. 

 

47. When we danced holding each other!

 

48. When until 1960s or so, the Fullerton Daily News Tribune would probably publish a little article if a family went to Waikiki or the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone of Washington DC for vacation! 

 

49. When almost every dad was a World War Two veteran, and many grandfathers were World War One veterans. 

 

50. When the first housing tracts in West Fullerton were built around 1954, and previously some ranches were there, and a few small older houses.

 

WHAT ELSE? 

 

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Paul Shepard, ‘64 on September 29, 2019 at 8:18 PM said:

When Knott’s Berry Farm was actually a berry farm off State Hwy 39, with a small amusement area to entice families to eat at Mrs. Knott’s chicken dinner restaurant
Bill Stull, SHHS '65 on September 29, 2019 at 6:39 PM said:

When you couldn't close your eyes and hurl a guava without hitting a fellow Baby Boomer kid.
Wayne Redfearn. ‘65 on September 29, 2019 at 4:55 PM said:

When we could double date at either the La Mirada or La Habra drive-in with our special gal.

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