NOTE: Click on the appropriate links for letters archives from 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998 and 1997 Also, various Avocado Memories reviews are here.


Hi, I just came across your web page. I was looking for Aurora Monster models on the net now that I'm in my 40's and I wanted to see if my son, now 8, would get as big a kick out of them as I did.

I was reading your descriptions about the various models, all of which I built and had displayed on a shelf in my room (except the bride of Frankenstein---never really qualified as a true monster). The thing that made me laugh was how you described how every monster had to have blood dripping from its mouth. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I DID!!! No lie, I think the absolute best part about building these things was that finishing touch of painting that red stream of blood coming out of every monster's mouth. I put it on every one of them! The other thing I remember was trying to get Dracula's bats to stay upright, which they never did. Also, how hard it was to get those little Testor paint bottles opened ( my mom always used hot water and rubber gloves).

Anyway, reading your posting really took me back, and made me smile. It's been a very long time, and I do miss those years...I guess we had it pretty good.

Andrew Silverman


From the Farm house link, Your statement is:

"Plymouth Rock was pretty underwhelming, too. It was helpful that somebody had carved "1620" in it, but it was just a rock. And later I would learn that the first Thanksgiving in America took place in Virginia, not Massachusetts."

The truth is, the first thanksgiving in America, as we know it today, took place in Guadalupe del Paso on April 30th 1598 and not by Pilgrims on the east coast.

Thought I would help you with your history lesson since you're looking for truths.



Doing some Internet searches, I see the topic of the first Thanksgiving is debatable. An American Indian claims that it first happened some 30,000 years ago - which is reasonable. So... I shall rephrase. What I meant was the first Anglo-Saxon Thanksgiving in America. There. That ought to keep me out of trouble. - Wes


What can I say? Your Web site on Burbank suburban life in the 60s and 70s is simply enchanting. I haven't had time to read all of it yet, but I definitely plan to do so. There is too much good stuff here not to soak it all in.

I was born in 1968 so I don't remember the 60s toys much. I grew up outside of Atlanta, Ga. But I was a major fan of Batman, so much so that I actually thought I was Batgirl! I don't know why. Yvonne Craig was one of my heroes until I turned 10, as I recall. I thought she was so cool. A librarian AND a crimefighter who rides a purple motorcycle.

One of my favorite home decor items you mentioned was furniture featured the plaid of the Clan Levitz. Oh yes! We bought most of our furniture from the early 70s from Levitz, including a very ugly plaid sleeper sofa. We also purchased a classy part plaid, part leather recliner that my father adored. That thing lasted for years.

I also have to give credit to your Mom for those macrame plant holders. You have to understand that aside from needlepoint, macrame was THE hobby of choice for women in the 70s. I remember making a rather startlingly ugly brown macrame owl keychain in vacation bible school one summer that my mother used for years. Poor woman. We also had plenty of macrame plant holders hanging from our front porch. We were so mod!

Finally, your tribute to corduroy made my eyes water. I think I had a pair of cords from the time I was seven even through the 80s. That wide-wale corduroy, too, the kind that made a lovely sound when you walked. I owned enough tan cords to keep the industry going. Why? I still don't know. They were better than jeans and lasted forever.

Keep those sweet Avocado Memories coming!



Hi Wes,

I'm a couple of years older than you, but that still puts us close enough together in age for me to really appreciate your website, especially the 60's toys! I was wondering if in your travels, you ever happened to run across one of the old Mattel Sonic Blasters. In case you don't remember it, it was similar in operation to the Whamo air gun you listed, but it's much bigger, and looks like a bazooka. This thing would send a blast of air out the muzzle powerful enough to knock over a full box of cereal from 40 ft away, and was discontinued because it supposedly would destroy ear drums with the same effectiveness! I had one when I was 11 or 12 that I bought for $10.00 with some money I got for my birthday. When my dad heard about the "eardrum" thing, he made me throw it away, and gave me another $10.00 to buy something else. I don't even remember what I bought, but I sure do remember that big air cannon!

Anyway, it was big fun checking out your website and strolling down memory lane. Give me a shout if you get a chance.

Now it's off to E-bay to see if I recapture my childhood!

Brad Wonnacott
Missoula, Montana


Hey Wes...

I stumbled across your website while looking for "Hermie Squirmy." Wow we must be the same age. I grew up in a house in Encino Village that cost $15,000 and was 1200 square feet! Remember the Helms man coming everyday, pulling out his drawers filled with bread, cookies, doughnuts, and cupcakes with white cream filling in the middle? The Helmsman wore a change maker belt too and a little hat. We also had Louis the ice cream man who sold us these cool ice creams called "buried treasures" where you ate the one flavor ice cream and the treasures were on the plastic sticks. We moved to Tarzana when I was six. My parents paid about $50,000 for our 3 and a maids room in 1962. We watched all of the cool shows that you mentioned, "Family Affair" being one of my favorites along with "Mr. Ed,"" Hullaballoo," Chucko the Clown," "Hobo Ke-double L Y," and even the "Jack and Phyllis Show." We used to eat at Woody's where you made your own sundaes, Engineer Bill's resataurant where the food came to you on a train placed above the counter, Wil Wright's ice cream parlor and take out, of course, was from Chicken Delight (Don't cook tonight, call chicken delight!) Space food sticks were awesome along with Hunt's snack pack chocolate pudding. (Hunt's new snack pack, goes to work, goes toschool, goes anywhere with you) Wow there is just so much to share. I wish I could go back to those times for a day...things were so simple then. I also collect all of the toys from my childhood (bought on e-bay of course) Thanks for sharing your awesome memories...we should form a club or something for people still living in the area.

Karen (Malibu, CA)



I stumbled onto your website as I was searching for tiki huts on the internet. I enjoyed it very much.

I was born at St. Joseph's hospital in 1961 and lived in Burbank only until I was 5. My grandparents lived there until 1988 on Keystone Street off of Burbank Blvd. My Grandfather retired from Lockheed as an auditor. My dad graduated from Burroughs, in the 50s sometime. I spent most of every summer with my grandparents after my parents divorced. We had a red and white surrey "with the fringe on top" and my brothers and I would fight over who had to pedal.

I came back to work in Burbank as an adult and was there from 1982-1984. Nothing like the carefree days of youth.

Reading about your family and experiences made me very nostalgic. It made me think about things in my childhood that I hadn't thought of in a very long time.

Thank You,


Just for fun I buzzed your old house today (for the first time!). I've probably ridden my bike by it many times but didn't realize it was THE house from the website I love. It looks really nice, grey with white trim from what I could tell. Your street is so wide! Must have been great for a kid to grow up on a street like that. Was that little triangular park there when you were a kid, too? Pretty good neighborhood turned out a pretty good guy.

Rick Cortes

Thank you for the very kind words!

Since I've put up AM it's interesting that other people have done what you have done - checked out 1631 N. Lincoln St. Of course, I do it, too. We're vacationing in Southern California in a few weeks, and I'll be taking my daughters to the street to look around, and to tell stories...

That little triangular park - Vickroy Park - has been there since the Twenties. There are a couple of bronze plaques that give a date. The land was donated to the City from a fellow named Vickroy, and children have been playing there ever since. It is the smallest park in Burbank.

Lincoln Street is unusually wide, and we always wondered why. I got an e-mail from a former Burbank resident a few years back who explained that the reason why this was was because the city planners figured unusually large planes and trucks bearing large parts were expected up the street into Lockheed. The story we always gave to each other was that Lincoln was once supposed to be a major street like Buena Vista, but this didn't come about for some reason.



You may or may not have seen this new-ish website dedicated to the preservation of the Disney legacy - The man behind the site is, of course, Roy Disney, recently nearly ousted from the company his uncle built (I believe he quit instead). might find this particularly interesting. It's a photo essay on Tomorrowland comparing the old to the new (I think the old wins hands-down). Click here.

Avocado Memories continues to be a regular stop for me. Every time I drive up to the new shopping complex where Lockheed used to be and drive across Lincoln via Empire I think of your site.


Rick Cortes
Burbank CA


I trust Roy Disney more than Eisner. Eisner may be profitable, but he has made some horrible decisions in relation to the Disney "brand." Interesting photo essay about Tomorrowland. Yes, the new Tomorrowland is junky and uninspired - and, what is probably at the heart of the matter, uninspiring. It doesn't help that they removed rides (Boats, subs, PeopleMover, the sky buckets) and haven't replaced them. It gives the place the look of an abandoned neighborhood. Personally, I always liked the PeopleMover because it offered an interesting, calmly-paced overall look at the Tomorrowland section of the theme park, which was an attraction in itself. It appealed to the photographer in me. What's more, it's something that an older person could enjoy; my mother always liked those less frenetic attractions.

But I can see why they went with a coppery-colored, "retro" architecture. Trying to predict what the future will look like is a thankless task that people usually get wrong. The 1936 production of "Things to Come" looks much more like the 1930s than we future we really got. And the Jetsons... well, here we are in the 21st Century and I still don't own one of those bubble-domed air cars. Ridley Scott's vision of Los Angeles in Blade Runner is nothing you'd want to put in a theme park, and the 1939 and 1964 World's Fair visions turned out to be comical - fodder for a Simpsons parody. So what to do? Try a retro look at the future, which is what the Tomorrowland redesign tried to do. But in general, yes, I too prefer the 1967 look. White and chrome with Mary Blair colors used for accent.

Todd Rundgren recently issued a CD with a song on the subject of the future - lyrics below. Futurists, twenty or thirty years on, are disappointing people. (Also, take a look at "the Future We Were Promised" link on the links page.)

(from the CD, "Liars")

I remember the world of tomorrow
I remember the world of tomorrow

I'm supposed to drive a flying car
I'm supposed to have a house on Mars
I'm supposed to live 200 years
I'm supposed to live, I'm supposed to live in

The future is now

I remember the world of tomorrow
I remember the world of tomorrow

Where's the office buildings 2 miles high?
And the ocean liners 12 blocks wide?
Where's the supertrain that's solar powered?
Average speed 600 miles and hour?
I'm supposed to get my eyesight back
I'm supposed to gain all things I lack
I'm supposed to live devoid of fears
I'm supposed to live, I'm supposed to live in

The future is now

Where's the better world that was declared
At the 1964 World's Fair?
Where's the only orb that's got a plan?
It's at Epcot Center Disneyland
We're supposed to all drive flying cars
We're supposed to all have homes on Mars
We're supposed to live 200 years
We're supposed to live, I'm supposed to live in

The future is now


Dear Wes,

I found your delightful website while searching Yahoo for info on the Burroughs HS Class of 73 reunion that was held last year and that I didn't attend. I didn't find anything about the reunion, but instead found something much more entertaining! (No offense intended to the class of 73.) I've been laughing out loud and enjoying your witty narratives about the Warlord houses and a million other things including the Sav-On song and the very best cherry vanilla ice-cream. I haven't had time to read everything yet, but felt moved to write to tell you how much I'm enjoying it.

Since you appreciate the unusual houses of Burbank, how about the dwarf houses? You know, the ones that seem to have been built slightly asymmetrically, with steep imitation thatch style roofs and big square or diamond gridded picture window in front, and a little chimney - a house so tiny it looks like only a dwarf (or maybe a troll) could live there, and most likely with an English accent . I always wanted to live in one, maybe they were inspired by Snow White... Burbank was definitely a magical place to grow up.

My dad, Bob Bachelder worked at Lockheed from 1950-1986 in Flight Operations and Radio Communications, so maybe he visited your family's restaurant at some point for lunch. I'll have to ask him. When he and my mother first moved to Burbank, they lived in one of those single story apartments or duplexes on Hollywood Way between Victory and Burbank Blvd. I was born in Burbank in 1956 at St. Joseph's, after they had moved to Kenwood Street - a couple of block's behind (the original) Gelson's Market. My mother and I even appeared in a full page newspaper ad with a corny (but true) testimonial for Gelson's way back when. I still have a copy.

In 1960 we bought a house in a new subdivision next to the hill by the SF Mission Blvd exit off the then soon to be completed Hwy 5 in San Fernando. Shortly after we moved there, they tore out the orange groves a few blocks away to build the elementary school I attended. In 1966, after my parents divorced my father and my sister and I moved back to Burbank, this time to 1320 N. Lima Street, a typical two bedroom one bath in the flatlands between Burbank Blvd and Chandler a couple of blocks from Hollywood Way. After I moved away, my Dad remarried and lived there until he retired from Lockheed in 1986. Though he'd done some very nice remodeling over the years, he sold the place to someone that improved it even more. When I drove by last year, I saw the house looks nicer than when we lived there! Glad to see they're taking care of it.

My parents actually had and still have very conservative tastes in furnishings and house paint, very Ethan Allen. My mother hated avocado and gold, and said unconservatively they reminded her of baby ...., well, you know. I thought our house was so boring compared to the modern, flashy and interesting homes my friends lived in with the gold veined mirrors, shag rugs, colorful appliances and fixtures (avocado, aztec gold, copper and even dark brown) and tiki torches and colored flood lights by the pool. An atmosphere infinitely more fun and alive with possibility! I certainly had more fun at their houses. I remember when I choosing for my own apartment an aztec gold push button phone, one of the square blocky ones and thinking it was ever so modern.

I went to Luther for my 7th and 8th grade years. I went to live with my mother in 1969, but came back Burbank to go to Burroughs in the 10th grade. I went to the Buena Vista Library just about every day after school or with friends at Verdugo Park mostly in the summer. I'd love to find out what has happened to old friends, and hope everyone is doing well. I didn't become an archaeologist as I'd dreamed, but I have been able to do a little exploring of foreign lands. After having been a high school teacher and principal for years in Northern California, I moved. I currently live in lovely, tropical Puerto Vallarta, México and am a casting coordinator for film productions that shoot here and in other regions of Mexico. In between projects, I teach English to adults.

I was tickled to discover your Proto-Goth page, having been intrigued by the same occult reading material you mentioned, along with Ambrose Bierce, Ray Bradbury (though he's typically classified a science fiction writer, I think his work spans a broader spectrum) and anything related to the supernatural. Of course I was obsessed with Dark Shadows, and imagined myself Angelique. I rushed home from school to catch every episode possible and afterwards and if we had the $, my sister and I would order and eat an entire Pizza Man pizza (the two by three foot one, cut not like a pie but in squares) and down it with a gallon of root beer without visibly gaining a pound, definitely a supernatural feat.

Did you ever go to the ravine next to Forest Lawn? Once I went with friends around 1970 - 71, and it looked like there were old wooden caskets tossed willy nilly there, like they used it as the cemetery dump or something, and it was rumored to be haunted. I recall feeling both petrified and exhilarated, anxious to leave yet excited to be in such a forbidden place with my friends.

Maybe my inclination for the occult had something to do with my father's fondness for reading me Edgar Allan Poe stories and poetry...He really got into The Tell-Tall Heart. And he loved telling ghost stories, like "Raw head and bloody bones." Has anybody else ever heard of that one? I never thought much about it at the time, (doesn't everybody's Dad read them Poe?) but later when I read to my own kids, it occurred to me that my father had chosen rather unusual material. Anything supernatural or mystical was tremendously fascinating. I remember slumber parties at friends houses with the Ouija board and mirrors and tales of Bloody Mary or the Llorona, but then those were "girl" things, I guess.

I still love Something Wicked This Way Comes, and am glad to know somebody else out there does too. I looked for it the other day at the local Blockbuster video here in Vallarta, to no avail.

Also, when I wasn't carefully picking through the treasures in the myriad of antique stores along Magnolia, the Akron was a mystical place of fascination where I could hypnotically wander the aisles for hours gazing at all of those exotic goods, things I craved and thought I couldn't live without. It was like exploring foreign lands, something I planned to do when I grew up and became an archaeologist, inspired by Mrs. Ecker's lectures. It was supposed to be English class, but I think we talked more about ancient Egypt. Anybody else out there remember that? I remember when my older sister Stephanie bought a buddha and some incense and we bought madras bedspreads there and made caftans out of them to wear to a love-in near the carousel at Griffith Park. Actually, she probably just dressed me up to blend in and brought me along because my dad said she had to take me with her; I didn't really qualify as a real hippie like she did - I was just wearing the wardrobe so she wouldn't be embarrassed. It must have been 1967 or 1968, and I was a junior high student at Luther Burbank and she went to Burroughs High School.

When I think of the Akron, I remember The House of Pies across the street advertised the incredible sounding Grasshopper Pie, and just made you wonder what the heck was that supposed to be? Then I found out they called it that just because it was green. Up the street at the Sizzler on the corner of Chandler and Hollywood Way, my friends and I used to do mischief with the ketchup and pickles and anything that came in dispensers and with which we could fill the ashtrays. We usually didn't have enough money to order much, but maybe a basket of fries was the ticket to playing with the condiments. Later when they figured out who was responsible, we were banned from the place.

Well, anyways, thanks for bringing to mind so many poignant memories and maintaining a great site!

Note to Publishers: Buy his manuscripts! I'll buy his books.

Sara Bachelder


Dear Wes,

I don't know where to begin, but thank you for such a web site!!! I totally relate to your recollections and memories of your days in the sixties and seventies. My memories are of the town of Norwalk, CA and the towns surrounding that area. If your memories are Avocado Memories then mine must be Daffodil Dreams 'cause I'm a girl and Avocado seems too masculine. I love the pictures and the stories of your site and I am thankful that you have such a site. I frequent it often and look at the new things that you have on it and tell all my friends. I was born in 1961 so I am a little younger than you but had older boy cousins that had all your stuff, and I remember playing some of the games and all. I have old commercials and old footage of shows like American Bandstand and Hollywood a Go Go. Keep up the good work and I will continue to read you remember a show call Hobo Kelly? I wrote an excerpt for the website and they continue to use it to this day...If you are interested I will e-mail you a copy of it. Fortunately, when my family passed on I was able to keep the house I grew up in and I can tell the stories to my kids in the very same rooms I grew up in.



Wes -

I stumbled upon your page....I love it! I've only just begun to check out your site, but I wanted to let you know I have it saved on my "favorites" tool bar. I live in the San Fernando Valley now, though I grew up in Northern California. I get a real thrill looking at photos of this time period, the 60s-70s, the decades of my childhood. I also lived in the suburbs when I was young, and have great memories of those days as being so simple and happy (Kool-Aid, sprinklers, Mr. Snowcone, our Dough-Boy pool..). So it's great to be able to go back in time through your site.

The first page I went to was your Shasta page... black cherry was my all-time favorite. But since my parents became hippies, after their suburban stage, my sister and I didn't often get sugary drinks.

Before I read more of what you've written, I had to tell you - the photo of you and friends on the Shasta page was taken on the very day that I was born, April 27, 1964. I was born in San Diego, just hours away...hmmm, it was a sunny day. That's neat to know.

Well, I'm going keep reading your amazing site; it's too much fun!

A new fan,



Dear Mr. Clark:

I just stumbled across your site by accident, but it sure got the old neurons firing in my brain. Unlike you, I didn't grow up in the warm climes of California, but in the colder regions of Canada. But I think kids in the '60's and '70's, in all of North America, had one thing in common: we had cool stuff! Your photos of old toys and the memories of that era's pop culture made me jealous of the fact that you had a Polaroid camera and I didn't! I would have loved to have documented my childhood the way you did, but the money just wasn't there to develop film. Your photos, though, saved some of those childhood memories for me:the Green Hornet, Batman, neat spy toys and families who interacted. One question: do you remember a toy called The Great Galoo? I think there was also a baby Galoo. I always wanted one, but it never showed up under the Christmas tree. Thanks for taking me back to a time when things were really cool (including banana seats on bikes!).

Reiner from Canada


Hi, Wes,

Loved your page on the AMs. Brought back many memories when I was a kid back in the mid sixties growing up near Toronto, Canada. I lived for the Aurora models, every week I went down to the local variety store and bought another, had almost every one ever made.

Thanks for the memories.

Aurora Monsters Live!



Came across your web page when I did a google search on the battle of Cahuenga Pass.

I grew up in Glendale, actually two houses away from Brand Castle, on Grandview. The house was very old - about 1922 - and when my father passed away, the house was sold & the new (Armenian) owner bulldozed it, & it's now a very large Mediterranean eyesore (it's at 1735 Grandview).

I, too grew up in the 60's. I went to Bellarmine-Jefferson High for 2 years (Bellarmine is on Olive, & looks like Independence Hall). Went to Hoover in Glendale for my final 2 years. & graduated in 1964, probably a lot older than you.

Loved the Warlord photos. Glendale, as you probably know, has zillions of the old Spanish style, with lots of the crenallated walls. A good friend lived in Burbank, on Catalina St, 1400 block, I think.... I still remember Santoro's subs.... Heard they're still there as of a few years ago. Another do-die-for place was the barbecue place on Victory right off Sonora - Pecos Bill's... A good friend, Steven Haynes, lived just off Hollywood Way above Glenoaks....

I'm still going through your web site, & it brings back lots of memories. Talked to my younger brother, who graduated from Bellarmine in 1969.

Enjoying your web pages... thanks...

Bill Thielman



I don't know who you are, but I read your memoirs of a better generation (Dad's). I found your site while looking for old Hamm's Beer signs. I have the sign of beer glasses that animate to stars and finally the Hamms logo. It was my Dad's and he passed this last 02/23 at 83 years.

Strangely enough I understand your story. I was/am towards the end of the boomers myself and remember through old photos and such, growing up with the WWII guys and the patio/lawn chair culture. As I look back at these guys, I disrespect even more what our present society has to offer.

My Grand Dad came from Europe and I found his autobiography which is a treasure in itself to me. As I look at old photos of my Dad in WWII and on, I see that he had a pretty full life and was the guy that introduced me to fishing, up North scenes, Hamm's signs while fishing, etc. I guess I am going through a memorial of life with my Dad and life as a suburbanite kid.

I missed the 60's culture for the mst part, missed Vietnam draft by about 2-months, will always thank Nixon for stopping the draft, and on & on. Born in 57', one of my life long favorites is playing ball w/Dad and I continue this tradition today with my son. I had a good growing up but always wanted a closer friendship with Dad. He was like my older brother that I never had. He had to work, liked to work and when he finally retired didn't know what to do without his work! BUT I respect him, will always respect him and will have to go great distances to be like him in his talents. I try to give my kids good memories and attention to carry forward into their lives because it all goes so fast.

The 70's was the Avocado Green era, yes... BUT do you remember the introduction to Formica with the glitter in it? I am not sure when this happened but my folks were so into glitter, they even had the interior of a few rooms sprayed with a glitter gun!! GOD I WISH I HAD PICS OF THIS NOW!! I remember having the painter at the house with a small compressor and spray gun shooting these tiny squares of golden glitter onto the walls of our family room and my sister's room. As I write this I laugh into tears to think how tacky this could be today!!!! It probably was tacky then also but Mom had no clue!

Anyway, I went off onto my memory lane there...

I look at your site again and again and you have done a tribute. Your Dad's photos remind me of my Dad's friends. I think all these guys wore their hair the same way!

I had a Man From U.N.C.L.E. gun and when I saw your PIC I got goose bumps. GOD I FORGOT!! Who was that blonde guy in the turtle neck with all the cool stuff... Elliott Kuriyakin?? And Matt Mason! And the "Super Snooper"!! (Mine was green also) And Superballs! Did those things fly with a tennis raquet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Geez I could go on and on... and I will. I had the Klik-Klack bolos and what about a plastic injecting thing called a "Mold Master"? It used these pebbles of colored softer plastic and had a heating element with a plunger that you would push the melted plastic into molds.

Anyway, got to your comments on music and it all came back again and again. When you hit the name Robin Trower another set of goose bumps went up my back!! Dad was a musician. He had his own big band orchestra and I found boxes of sheet music and old albums that will never leave. Mom tossed a lot of old 78's after a flood in Chicago because 'it was just old junk he liked to save'. I guess the wisdom of memories is as individual as the characters are.

Wes, thanks! You put a lot of heart into this site. My Dad I will miss dearly. I am in the very early stages of putting together an album of my family life. I want to save it all.

Bill in Michigan



A few years ago, I spent a whole day on your web site and had a blast that day. I was thinking about it today, and was thinking "What the heck was the name of that web site that showed that crazy kid's pictures of his parent's house from the 70's?". Well, I was sitting here, and one word hit me: Avocado! That grand and glorious interior color of all the best 70's homes. A few clicks later and I was there again! Ah...the memories! I just love your web site. Just wanted to let you know that another 70's kid appreciates all your web site efforts. Keep up the good work!



I just had to write and thank you for the time trip back to childhood. My six year old is starting to get into secret agent stuff so I sat down, googled for secret agent toys and voila! - found your great site. Did we have cool toys back then or what???

I'm 48, so we're toy bretheren :) We grew up on opposite sides of the country (me in Michigan) but appear to have had very similar toy experiences. You didn't mention one major toy memory for me... Spring Shoes! Maybe you guys didn't have them... heavy coil springs welded to metal shoes. It was one of those toys that you REALLY wanted, but once gotten, paled in comparison to your grand hopes :)

Do you know if Mattel, etc. are planning to do a retro line of toys? Seems like there'd be a new market for some of these (for playing with, not collecting). My son loved the toys I showed him on your site.

I'm likely one of many who have written you... just wanted to add my voice to the chorus.

Thanks again and my best wishes to you and yours,

Ron Streeter
Syracuse, NY

The secret agent "spy gear" stuff these days is quite a bit different. Less gun-oriented, but much more electronic. My daughter recently got something that is essentially a wireless text messaging system! I would have loved that as a kid. My guess is that most old toys won't be back for marketing and legal reasons. Although - every now and then - they do bring back a game or a toy. (My son had an inferior Creepy Crawlers set.) - Wes


Hi Wes,

I've really enjoyed your site. I've actually spent a couple of weeks periodically delving into it, and have found it to be highly entertaining. I can "relate" because I'm approximately the same age as you and also grew up in Southern California (in the South Bay region of LA), and have spent the last 15 years working in Burbank at WB Studios. I congratulate you for retaining your brain cells all these years, resulting in being able to cough up all these details. Having grown up in the same era, I too have Avocado Memories. Shasta (it hasta be) was a large part of my backyard pool experience as well. Overall, I got a sense of someone who is not ashamed to admit where he came from. Sure, it's cheesy but who cares? You obviously had a great relationship with your parents, and that's all that matters in the end. Thanks for taking me back, and shining a very positive light on my own past.

Mike Enzor


I found your site by accident tonight and read almost every word. You did an amazing job of describing seemingly unimportant details that are in actuality the best way to express the bigger picture. Something as simple as your mother's shelf still clinging to the back house wall after all of these years takes on a whole new importance. I was actually pretty sad to see the house sold and inhabited by other families, I felt like I had lived there.

Anyway, it inspired me to write and let you know that I think you have done a great thing with your site, not only for your kids but for complete strangers like me.

Take care,
Kent Rayhill


I enjoyed reading your Rolaids page. My question to you is, how was Rolaids packaged back in the sixties? The picture you show of a Rolaids bottle appears to be of more recent vintage. Do you remember how Rolaids were packaged back then? I'd really like to know. - hlb

Rolaids question? Sure, I can handle that!

Rolaids "back in the day" (as my kids phrase it, for me, circa 1968) were packaged in glass - yes, glass - bottles with metal screw-on lids and also paper-wrapped packages for walk-around use. The bottles had cotton stuffed at the top and were, I think, sealed under the kid. A quality product!

You are correct, that photo I have is of more recent vintage. I was unable to find an image of a Sixties or Seventies Rolaids bottle. If I find one I'll use it!

Prilosec OTC, my current acid-fighter of choice, is more expensive but works so much better... in fact, it has dramatically improved my quality of life.



I came across your site recently and I am curious to know why you regard the Star Trek tarot as serious while pouring scorn on the Baseball Tarot and the Alcohol Tarot. Both of these seem perfectly acceptable and comparable decks to the Star Trek tarot. In my opinion it's a refreshing change to see some humor in the tarot world.I look forward to your reply. Thanks, Grant.

Ah, but I *don't* regard the Star Trek tarot (mine) as serious - not at all. Perhaps I didn't convey that well in the piece I wrote. It was a childish whim that I look back on with humor. I thought I was being very clever at the time - but looking back on it with the hindsight of an adult, it was silly and a childish - even nerdy - thing to do.

And I don't disagree that humor is important, but with the tarot it seems out of place. Every book about the tarot I have read emphasizes that the symbols and designs portray ancient wisdom and profound truth. Putting that in the context of alcohol or baseball (or Star Trek) seems to trivialize it. When the American pop culture collides with esoteric, occult wisdom, something's got to suffer!

That is, assuming that you accept the tarot as being representative of collected ancient wisdom. (I no longer do.)

Hope I haven't offended!


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