Your page was enthralling to read! I was totally absorbed in your land that time forgot.

I've never really heard this phrase applied to the San Fernando Valley, but yeah, it's kind of apt!

I too, grew up (until I was twelve - but that's another story) in the 'burbs; out in New Jersey in the shadow of New York City. I related, in many ways, to so much of your past - and in other ways not at all! - but your tale is facinating.


Two mysteries keep gnawing away at me though:

What's the tale of your step brother?

You mean why do I have one 25 years older than I am? Dad got married at age 18, when Jack was born, but he didn't play much of a part in raising him. (Jack's Mom's parents didn't approve of him.)

Anyway, when Jack was about 25 my Dad met my Mom, and they both went to Mexico and got a divorce and a marriage. I was born shortly thereafter - Dad was 43, Mom was 34.

So now I have a nephew older than I am by a few months (Jack's son), and he has kids. So I'm a 41 year old grand uncle.


What's in that back building???? (besides the U.S.S. Enterprise mock-up and player piano)

Usually a got of garbage we didn't want to store in the house. At various times that back house was used for storing:

- the laundry
- neon beer signs
- wet swimsuits
- my comic book collection
- Dad's sun tan oil and creme collection
- my model train layout
- stuff we got at yard sales but couldn't figure out how to use
- furniture (in a failed attempt to turn it into a guest bedroom)

The back house was hot in the summer and cold in the winter, so we never really used it. I don't think I have any photographs of the interior. The best use of the back house, however, was as the haunted house I describe in my write-up about Viki Gardemann.

This site should be preserved for eternity by the Smithsonian!

I'll tell them!

Thanks for all your good work

Jay Neale


Hey Wes,

I truly enjoyed your web page and a spin in the Time Tunnel. I grew-up in the 60's in what can be described as the "Burbank of Maryland" - the town of Dundalk, a working-class enclave in the Baltimore suburbs. And guess what? I wouldn't have traded it for a palace on the French Riviera.

I had a friend from Dundalk and I have done some Civil War reenacting in nearby Essex, so I know of wot you speak. You're absolutely right, Dundalk *is* the Burbank of Maryland. The only other contender could be Glen Burnie.

Frank Zappa, shortly after the release of his daughter's hit song "Valley Girl" (I dated one, once) described the San Fernando Valley as being the worst place on earth. I thought he was exaggerating, but I could understand why he would think that way. It's not a Zappaesque place. Dundalk wouldn't be, either.

Did you ever see the old local PBS show "Crabs" on MPT? Toots Duvall used to do a great Baltimorean comedy thing... my favorite was when she described the inspiration for Edgar Allen Poe as being the fumes from the McCormick factory. Great comedienne.

The parallels are amazing, our experiences hauntingly similar. But one item really stands out: the photo showing the plastic rifle set on the wall in the living room. Never thought I would see a photo of Magumba (I pretty sure the spelling is correct).

Yep, that's it! I verified this recently in a book of 50's and 60's toys called "Toy Bop."

Magumba - the big game hunter's weapon of choice - along with "Red Rider" (Western) and "The Lieutenant" (WWII army) sister products, took military-theme toys to a new artistic level that would have done the NRA proud. Their functionality and craftsmanship were exemplary, right down to the fully functional pistol ammo clip. Thanks for the chance to see her again.

Get "Toy Bop!" I bought it when it was only out in hardcover for $30+ but now it's in softcover as well. It will really take you back!

You and I were fortunate to grow-up where and when we did, and in the bosom of loving (albeit imperfect) families. My hope is that my own children with look back upon their childhoods with the same fondness and respect that I (and you obviously) have.

Best Wishes,

Larry Zelinka
Bel Air, Maryland

Thanks for this nice letter and, to all you Marylanders out there, "Please Drive Gently!" - Wes


Warmest congratulations on your web site. In my opinion, this is the most satisfying site on the web. You have captured the relish of youth in words and pictures. As with many of your fans expressions on your letters page, it seems that we grew up in different towns together. I grew up in Provo in a series of rented houses until my folks bought a home in 1969 that was, for them, a huge financial commitment. They still live in that house, and it still has (clean and well cared-for) avacado medium-length shag carpeting.

I am becoming convinced that there are little pools of the Seventies all over the U.S., and even without. A few years ago I stepped into such a place, older friends' house - my wife expressed surprise (privately) that the owners never chose to redecorate. Maybe someday the Smithsonian will be glad they didn't.

I was a geek in HS, graduating in 1974, with aspirations of becoming a musician. I tried to be a super music geek by indiscriminantly joining every music organization that would have me (girls choir excepted). My playing in a number of rock bands didn't allow the geekhood to rub off. I guess I was the only serial bassist in Provo at the time.

I was a wanna-be bass player. I thumped around on a crappy old Fender Bass copy, but my real desire was to own a Rickenbacker D2000. Instead, college happened.

Anyway, I saw that all the musicians I knew pretty much ate Kraft macaroni and cheese for dinner after they got married, so after I went on a mission, I went to BYU for a degree in electrical engineering.

Me, too. B.S.E.E. 1984. (But that's another web site.) (On second thought, no it isn't. BORING!)

I nearly bought a new 1975 Ford Econoline fully done up in So. Cal. fashion with air-brushed paint job, mags, brown/tan shag carpeting, etc. Thank goodness I didn't - I kept my VW.

I recall pulling the same sort of crap on people you describe in "The Cruise", with similar effects and outcomes. I always supposed that people wouldn't mind a water balloon flying out of an open van window and bursting in their cars on a hot July evening -- how wrong I was.

I never, ever made the mistake of doing that to other teenagers driving cars they were presumably proud of.

Well, I look forward to any additions to your page. I've got it bookmarked.

Robert A. Muir

One thing I forgot to mention. The tree in Flo's front yard that had the funny smell - it was probably a ginko tree. They come in both male and female, and although they both have the same funny smell, one sex smells much worse than the other (I don't know which - maybe the male in an anthropomorphic, taxonomically-correct sense of justice). The fragrance is more than a little reminiscent of excrement, but not everyone finds it totally repellant (I do). Amazingly enough, in some Asian food stores, they sell canned ginko fruit. I can only imagine that the canning process removes the smell.

I had no idea that trees - like the pairs of things Noah took on an extended cruise - came sexed. Let alone one sex having the monopoly of stinking up a neighborhood. How can you tell the... oh, never mind.



Dear Mr. Clark;

Like most of your respondents, I too, grew up during the sixties and seventies and your wonderful pages evoked memories I had forgotten I had.

Although I was raised in Montreal, Quebec and as an Anglophone faced some issues that were (and sadly still are) unique to that place, there is much that we share. Avocado and Harvest Gold appliances, and all that accompanied them, extended across borders and cultures.

Your pages are written with such gentle humour and obvious fondness for the people that you talk about (King Farouk excepted!) that it's impossible not to become part of it. Not only did I enjoy your subject matter, I found your style of writing terrific.

I keep trying to convince publishers of this!

I found it interesting that you include a quote from "The Wonder Years". I always said that, with minor differences, that show was about my life, just with a better soundtrack.

I can say this as well, all the more so since the show was filmed in Southern California (usually Burbank).

In an age where it is fashionable to trash one's childhood and blame those who shaped it for one's current problems, it is refreshing indeed to come across someone who values his and credits it for his current successes.


Michael Weijers


Wes, your website is just about the finest I have ever run across!

Your knack for remembering incidents is remarkable, your immense talent in portraying them in your writings is a pleasure to enjoy. I can see that your enjoyment and love of your childhood is large, and that you were always a great lover of life.

Well, I think I was always observant. Being an only child I was somewhat spoiled, and had a lot of my discretionary time in being able to please myself, which I did. I don't know if that comes across or not... but my parents were fairly indulgent people.

I forgot how wonderful my own childhood was until I read your writings. I was born in 62, but had many older cousins in my pre-birth control family that would've been about your age. I recall looking up to them with awe, not realizing till I got older that they were that hind-end of the baby-boom.

As I understand it, the "baby-boom" was between 1945 and 1960, with the peak year for births being 1957. (There are more people born in this year than any other in America.) I was born in 1956, so I was about at what one could call the rearward hump of the boom.

Before me all the classes were huge, and outdoor trailers were installed as temporary classrooms. After me everything shrank as far as demographics were concerned.

Right. My elementary school, Monterey Avenue School, was closed sometime in the Seventies. Being ignorant of demographics I couldn't understand why and was annoyed. (It was later turned into a remedial high school.)

Mike McDaniel tells me my high school is about is be completely renovated over a five year span. It obviously needs it, but I'm put out that construction crews are about to destroy a big part of my past!

I sometimes felt just on the edge of a great wave, wishing I was a little bit older so I could more fully be a part of it. I recall visiting my 4 years older cousin Chuck, who kindly let me voyeuristically rummage around his room during visits, and finding and listening to Cheech and chong, Alice Cooper, and Black Sabbath records, along with his Easyrider magazines, and copped sex-catalogs from my uncle, thinking I hit the motherlode.


Remember how cool headphones were in those days? Everyone seemed to have a set connected to their stereos.

When I got my quadraphonic stereo in 1972 I got quadraphonic headphones! (There were four speakers mounted in two earpieces. It weighed a ton and was uncomfortable, but, like, wow, man, it was, like, quadrafonic!)

I recall my first being a nifty all-in-one phonograph, receiver, and 8-track (remember when they'd cut a song in half, only to be found on the next track slowly fading back in?

Yep. When I was in the Marines I recorded LP's onto my own 8-tracks using a unit on base, but I never bothered with fade-out/fade-ins. I just blasted the song past the little metal strip that told the unit to change tracks. It was no worse than listening to a small skip on a record.

Geez, I'd love to buy some vintage 8-tracks and an old-player. Wonder if any are still around?),

Yes! I see them at yard sales fairly often, along with avocado, harvest yellow and rust-colored other items from the Seventies.

Mine was purchased from the local K-mart. That same K-mart was also the source of my first 45-collection (about 75 cents apiece) which eventually grew into 2 large stacks both in fancy plastic containers.

Mom bought me my first cassette deck at a K-Mart. I eyed it for weeks whenever we'd go there. It was a top-loading Panasonic; no Dolby or anything special. But it was stereo!

And as for 45's, I just moved my collection into the house proper from an attic, so they wouldn't warp.

I have an original "Killing Me Softly With His Song" from 1973!

I recall my first crush was on a girl named Karen Jercha at a 3-day camping trip to Culver, Indiana with my 6th grade class.(I live in Chicago). It was a military academy (you could probably find it on the web!), and we used it as a little retreat. The feelings for Karen were the first stirrings of my young masculinity. I just felt a strong desire to be close to her, as this was pre-puberty, and liked it, and was pleasantly surprised to see her like it too as I stole my first kiss. I later realized that this wonderful trip was the end of Childhood, as puberty arrived the next year.

My end of childhood was when I was 18! I describe it in the section that describes my years in the Marines.

I almost think the kids all realized this subconscously, as the comeraderie we all had was quite strong, more than usual. So anyway, enjoyed your page, and thank for writing it. I think I may do something similar one day, but my best efforts will never approach the job you did here!

Take care - Scott Kuzminski


Dear Wes: Thanks for inviting everybody into your home and your childhood. I had a truly fascinating and enjoyable time and it brought back a LOT of memories from my own earlier years, esp. in late 1973, when I'd just gotten married and moved into a wonderful duplex FULL of avocado appliances, shag carpet, matching Formica and linoleum and all the accessories!!

Sounds like a newlywed's paradise! Did you play "We've Only Just Begun" by the Carpenters on the big console stereo?

I laughed until I cried. I am sure I have some of my own pictures from that era, and now I will have to go dig them out and write my own captions for posterity. Again, thanks for proving that avocado never dies, it just composts.

Best regards --- M Lowry


I just finished going through your web page (I saw the link from rotten.com). I have not laughed that much in weeks!!!!!!!!! I though my family was the only ones who had the "Old Spice" ships used as a decoration.

You mean your family did this as well?!?

My parents were kind of opposite of yours, midwestners transplanted to New Jersey and neurotic catholics at that! Needless to say, I completely enjoyed your site, I thought my family was the only one who did not throw out old sofa cushions (save them so when we would have "company" they will have something to sleep on) they would end up in the basement (which flooded), the cushions would get wet and float like moveable islands. The cushions would do one of 2 things, either stink up the basement becuse they were too heavy to pick up or stink up the garage because there was too much junk to throw out from the flood.


Wow. Did you photograph any of this? Sounds like you could top me!




From birth in January 1962 to the Summer of 1972 (when we moved to La Crescenta), I grew up in a house almost identical to yours. Ours was at 214 N. California St. in Burbank, right across from NBC! Great memories. My mom and I were almost as tacky as your family. Smile... I went to school at Stevenson with several TV stars (Leif Garret and Clint Howard (Ron's brother).

Brian Hogan

I went to high school with Mitch Vogel, the poor kid. (You may remember he was on Bonanza for awhile.) Anyway, whenever he walked into a class we'd serenade him with the Bonanza theme.



I really enjoyed your pages.. talk about a blast from the past!

Glad you liked it!

I liked the "maytag" link. :) My mother still has her washer and stove she received as a wedding gift in 1970. She got the whole set: avocado-green washer n' dryer, avocado stove and refrigerator. The dryer and fridge finally died a few years ago, but the washer and stove are still going strong after 27 years.

The place we bought our Maytags from here in Springfield has a display of a turquiose one from the early 60's.

They now reside in a house my mom bought about 5 years ago.. I wish I had a picture of this place.. the previous owners were definately "lost in the 70's".. from green carpet, to the bright red velvet curtains in the dining room.. it's a site!

There are plenty of these, scattered all over the U.S.

I've yet to figure out why mom hasn't redecorated.. maybe it's because the stove fits so well in the mustard yellow painted kitchen.. it also matches nicely with the "fruit and vegie" curtains.

We're about to put fruit and veggie curtains up in *our* kitchen! (However, with safe almond-colored appliances.)

Growing up, my mother always chose "yellow" as my color.. and I just hated it!

"Well, it's cheery, dear."

I always wanted purple.

What were you, some kinda hippie?

My wife got to paint her room a lime green when she was a kid. She says when her Mom saw the finished job she was horrified. Mike McDaniel painted his room a livid electric blue. I think room colors are something best left to adults...

Yellow bedspreads, yellow curtains, yellow paint, with brown carpet. Needless to say, nothing I own is yellow now, with the exception of the orange, yellow and brown afghan my now-deceased grandmother hand made for me when I was about 10.. it's warm, huge, filled with good memories, and took her a year to make it. I would never get rid of THAT!

I understand. My Mom had an afghan of various colors on a black background. I don't know what happened to it, but I'm sorry I don't have it anymore. (I think she threw it out when she moved to the east.)

She made a matching yellow, green and orange one for my sister the year later, and a blue, black and white one for my brother the year after that.. he lucked out. :)

For awhile my mom was a knittin' fool. She produced 4 or 5 huge acrylic afghans and a sweater for me the reached down to my knees (quite as accomplishment since I'm quite tall).

Thanks again for the "stroll down memory lane". And congratulations on the "fame"! :)




Your page made me laugh and cry. . . . it's great! You have one heck of an imagination.

Jama Baker

I made none of this up - it's all true! - Wes


My children are forever asking about what things were like when I was a kid, what were my parents (both deceased) were like, etc. Your "Avocado Memories" in many ways could have been a tour of my childhood. My 12 year old daughter laughed till she nearly cried. She also made me take an oath to never allow anything avocado colored into our house. Anyway, thank you for giving us a trip back in time. Your pages made the entire era more real to her than all my explanations ever could.

D. Wright

Thanks! I had always wondered what life was like for my dad as a boy. He told me to watch "Dead End" one time, and I found out. Happy to see A.M. serving the same purpose for you. ("Dead End" was a Humphrey Bogart movie about life in the slums of New York City, and it was the first film for the group of boy actors then known as "the Dead End Kids" and later known as "the Bowery Boys.")

By the way, does your daughter wear any of that chartreuse-colored polyester stuff I see in the department stores? I will agree that since we've done avocado home decor back in the Seventies, we can safely leave it alone and not touch it again. But let's leave chartreuse clothing alone, too!




I enjoyed your site. When we bought our house, it came complete with a avocado green sculptured rug that went well with our gold couch (circa 1976). The exterior of the house was also avocado aluminum siding, as we live in Ohio.

?? Is there a law in that state requiring this?

My mother also went through an avocado and gold decorating phase for many years (just ending 2 years ago, whew!).

Your humor made it an enjoyable journey.

Vickie Clark


...and so there I was. It was somewhere between 3 and 4 am....and I had just logged out of Yahoo Chat. I thought I'd surf on over to Geocities to see what was on their pages. I figured it would take me oh...ten or fifteen minutes and then off to bed. Somewhere along the lines, I stumbled upon a link to your page...and here I am, at 8 am. I just finished reading it.

While I am gratified that you found my web site so engrossing, I am sincerely sorry for your lack of sleep. I think people need their sleep. I certainly do. Every since I was a kid and read somewhere that JFK used to take five or ten minute cat naps during the day to stay fresh, I have as well. What's more, I can always tell when I didn't sleep well the night before because my cat naps stretch to a half hour or more. The I wake up loggy and weary.

So take a cat nap, but not a long one, then you can surf some more.

What an ingenious idea. You had me hooked from the first photograph!

I would love to be able to relate to your experiences but, I was not born until 78 and obviously am only 19.

So you know about the Seventies by anecdote only. Too bad, it was an interesting decade. (But any decade - as long as it's the one during your coming of age - is interesting.)

I do remember one thing though that I like to call the Orange Couch Curse. I don't know how long my parents had this couch before my first memory of it...but it followed me right up to my teen years.

Bear in mind that the first few years of the Eighties were pretty much like the Seventies, just as the first year or two of the Seventies were like the Sixties. It happens that way in every decade. So that orange couch - and orange couches all across the country - benefitted from an extended life span.

My first memories of this cursed couch probably begin around the age of seven for me. It was one of those that you could pull the back rest down and sleep on. It sat in the living room, orange as can be and in direct contrast to the blue/green mixed shag carpet.

Ah, see, shag rugs were another Seventies thing, so you experienced residual Seventiesism.

Soon after, my father covered it with a creamy colored shaggy lookin thing...haha. When we moved to a different town, right before my fourth grade year...the couch followed. Again it sat in the living room, until my father and now stepmother moved in together during my 6th grade year. But did it leave me then? NO!! It was transported to the family room where it remained for another two years.

Well, they got their use out of it, anyway.

I don't remember the exact day it finally stopped following me, but for the last six years I have looked back on it in disgust and have thought of how happy I was to be rid of it. And now...for some strange reason...I miss that couch...(just a little).

...just be glad your parents didn't move it to the front porch, where many a couch resides across the fruited plain.

You have a wonderful page, Wes. I congratulate you for all the hours and effort you obviously have put into this page. I hope that building this page has brought you much joy and fullfillment. It truly is a work of art. I look forward to seeing more.

All my best to you,
Kari -- Wisconsin

Glad you enjoyed it.

Too bad you can't get shag carpeting anymore...



Hi! I LOVED your site. I was born in '67 and just adore the '70s memories. But especially since our family spent quite a bit of time in California. We were living in Santa Clara when I was in junior high and I remember the tumbleweeds. People in Oregon (where I've been ever since), just don't know what they are.

You don't see 'em here in the East, either. I also miss the eucalyptus trees.

My brother and I, and a few friends in the neighborhood actually built a hideout with them. We stacked bunches of them together and then cut tunnels thru them. It was pretty interesting. Pretty painful too.

Thank you for letting everyone share your home and memories.

Denise Peckham

Glad you enjoyed them. - Wes


What a great page.
I too grew up in southern California. I was born at St. Josephs hospital in Burbank and lived in Glendale when I turned 6. I was born in 1962. I so enjoyed this page . I loved your bedroom picture with the avacado desk.

I liked it a lot, too, but not as much as when I got my new bedroom set in 1968. The bedspread was in a floral blue/purple shade, with Star Trek stuff and my souvenir plastic bottles collection along the walls. It looked groovy.

My bedroom was a bit louder. It was a hot lime green, with avacado green carpet, a checked lime green bedspread. I still have it.

*Still?* Time to give the Salvation Army a call, isn't it?

Of course it was a canopy bed with the white Sears furniture with the gold trim.

The classic look for girls!

My house looked just like yours as they all did. Our living room had the golds and rust colors of the time. I am the oldest of 3 girls and we fought all the time. For fun we'd go raid our neighbors avacado tree and kumquat bush. We'd also walk the wall, The wall ran behind the house all the way down the block between the lots. Thank you for the memories you have stirred. I still have more of your pictures to explore so I'll be back.

...and I'll continue to add stuff, as soon as I get so time!

Now here's a scary thought. Guess what that skinny little California girl is doing now? I work for Boeing here in Everett, Wa. I build the 777 airplane. An aerospace mechanic. Who would have thought? Where do you live now and what do you do?

I'm a computer engineer for the Patent and Trademark Office, in Arlington, Virginia.

Thanks again be back soon.



Hey, AWESOME web site. Thanks a bunch for sharing your childhood. I was thumbing through the Augest issue of YAHOO Internet Life and I found the mention of your homepage (that was 2 hours ago.)

Ah, yes - with a picture of me as a kid standing next to a tiki god, right? They told me this was coming. I'll have to run out and buy the issue. (Not sure if they'll mail me one.)

I have often wondered how to get my webpages feature in Yahoo....After visiting Avocado Memories I understand that creativity must be the key.

Well, it seems to have been in my case. I haven't done any promotion at all with "Avocado Memories" other than putting it in the search engines. Whatever fame it has has apparently come from word-of-mouth advertising, for which I am grateful!



I live in Los Angeles. I have customers I visit in the Valley....I am very familar with the San Fernando Road, Empire ave, Hollywood Way area....what a hoot!

They may only be Southern California surburban locations, but they're special to me, anyway.

Well, I am gonna tell all my friends about your web site....very very cool!

Warmest regards,
Bill Butler



I've got an idea for your web site--have you ever thought about running a newsletter for your site visitors? I know that it's pretty easy to do using systems like GetReminded (http://www.getreminded.com/) - and I thought it would be a cool addition to the site --

Anyway, its kind of a neat thing -- thought you might be interested.



It's a wonderful idea - BUT - I simply don't have the time.

You see, I have three other web sites, three kids and a house that needs work. Plus a demanding job and a calling as an assistant Scoutmaster...

Thanks for the suggestion, though. It is a good one!



I've spent about three hours going over your page, and I must say it's one of the best I've seen.

What's funny though, is the fact that my parents house, which they moved into in 1965, is STILL decorated like your old Burbank house, just substitute Avacado with "coppertone" (Remember that?). Also, at this very moment we (I still live at home.) have a sofa size painting of a stagecoach being chased by Indians hanging on the livingroom wall. I won't bore you with an itemized inventory, but I will say that, honestly, I know where you're coming from. We have appliances that are older than me, and I'm 28. Of course, it is difficult to change the color scheme of a kitchen when you have "knotty pine" walls. Do you remember knotty pine? It must've been really popular in the sixties, at least in Tennessee, because all of my friends houses had it too.

We didn't have any of the stuff in my house, but yes, I remember it.

Well, I'll check your page from time to time. I think I've read it all, even your Marine Corps adventures. You really have an excellent site, thanks for sharing it. See ya,

Jay A.


Dear Wes,

Yahoo internet life magazine is interested in including your wonderful site in the CLICK section of the August issue. We refer to it as "One wonderful site...." when talking about a tour of the Geocities Heartland. We will run only one image, "Tiki God," found your section called backyard. The site evokes many childhood memories and stirs deep feelings in many people. Congratulations on creating such a special site.

Gail Henry
Director of Photography
Yahoo Internet Life Magazine

Cool! Fame and fortune here I come!


Hi Wes!

WOW, I mean really - WOW! I just had to write and tell you that I visited your website today at lunch, and I cannot tell you when I have enjoyed anything more.

I am a "regular" visitor to DTee's '70s page and I found your link there. I, too, am a child of the 70's (class of '78), and I just love going back to those old days and reliving it.

Obviously, I do as well. Sometimes I worry about living in the past too much, however.

By the way, if you're "into" the Seventies (a linguistic artifact of the era), check out DTee's page. It appears to be definitive! Personally, I got a real kick out of that Quisp TV ad in the 70's video section.

our stories and pictures are so entertaining. I laughed out loud to the point where people were looking at me. Your parents sound a lot like my parents and I just really relate to everything you said. Except for the parts about finding girls hard to understand - I found boys hard to understand (of course).

They still are a mystery to me. (Women, that is.)

Anyway, it was very, very nice to "meet" you. Keep up the good work. If you ever want to write and relate any more funny stories - I am all ears!


Mary Haas

Thanks for the comments, Mary. I'll add to Avocado Memories whenever I look through my old photographs to get ideas... just check out the "What's new?" section.

I'll refrain from closing with "Have a nice day." That saying used to gag me twenty years ago, and it still does. - Wes


Do you still live, eat and breath Burbank? Or have you moved to less smoggier pastures? Just curious...

No, I just bought a home in Springfield, Virginia - a world away from Burbank.

I moved away in '78. I know you just wanted to know that.

I definitively left in 1980.

Its really nice to discover someone from the same place I am.

I live down by the Old NBC Studios, on Whitnall Hwy. Then we moved over to just of of Lake St and Olive. I called it the "Slum" of Burbank. Its no longer there. Just buildings and more buildings, from what I understand. I still have an aunt that lives in Burbank...Whew.


The place I always called the "slums" of Burbank was the trailer court, which was removed in 1972 or 73. I remember a girl did a slide presentation about poverty in a high school class. She showed a view of the trailer park, and I yelled out, "Hey! That's my Mom's trailer!" The class laughed but she couldn't figure out whether I was being serious or not. (I must be a better actor than I think, or the complete insensitivity of my remark took her aback.)



I just spent a half hour on your pages and really enjoyed them. I could relate because my parents lived in the same house from 1960 to 1994 in a similar type neighborhood here in Memphis, Tennessee. I didn't come along until 1965, but lived in the same house until I was 28.

I've only been to Southern California twice, but have been interested in the architecture and lifestlyes of 60's L.A. since buying a book called "Googie" which is about L.A. coffee shops. I also collect 60s radio and tv memorabilia

Of course growing up watching T.V. you get to see a lot of L.A.

Hard to avoid, even when what they're showing isn't supposed to be L.A. (That barn with "Green Acres" painted on the roof, for example. It's in Los Angeles county.)

My impression of what it would have been like to grow up and go to school in the Valley in the 60s and 70s is based on The Brady Bunch. Although you would think this would be very inaccurate, the more I read about the Valley the more the Bradys seem pretty typical. I mean the styles and look not the idealized plots.

Welllll... I always considered "My Three Sons" as being more about Burbank than just about any other sitcom. Fred MacMurray worked for an aerospace firm that could have easily been Lockheed, and the streets looked pretty familiar.

The Brady House looked a little too big, decorated and well-kept for any of the neighborhoods I frequented.

When I realized that I would be on your pages for a little while, I had to dig out my 1968 tape of The Real Don Steele on KHJ. I know you said you were into classical, but KHJ seemed like the perfect soundtrack to your pages.

Brian Craig, Memphis, Tenn.

My Dad used to watch the Real Don Steele on Saturday afternoons, when he was the host of some goofy local dance show. My Dad's favorite part was when TRDS selected a dancer from the crowd and flung him or her onto the stage to the tune of "Devil with a Blue Dress On."

TRDS is right in there with other remembered L.A. media personalities from the Sixties and Seventies, some of whom are still with us: Jerry Dunphy, Ralph Story, Joe Pyne, George Puttnam, Katheryn Kohlman ("I beleeeeeve in miracles!"), Hobo Kelly, Dick Lane ("Whoa Nellie!"), The Pancake Man (Otis the town drunk from the Andy Griffiths Show) and Tom Snyder. (I used to always catch the news with Snyder to see what color his hair would be that night, brick red, white or salt and pepper.)

Can't forget the midnight horror show hosts Moona Lisa, Seeeeeyyymour or, in the Eighties, Elvira.

As for me, I got more entertainment out of "Melody Ranch," a local cornpone musical show sponsored by Farmer John all meat sausages and franks ("Easternmost in Quality, Westernmost in Flavor"). The acts were all dependably unintentionally hilarious.


Hey! Just to let you know that your page is mentioned in the WebTV club newsletter as one of several sites that members may want to check out. You may be aware of this already, but regardless....it's great to see it highlighted in the newsletter. Whether it was noted as a result of my submission or discovered in some other way....it's about time!!!! You have a style and presentation that makes your page unique. As I said previously, I enjoy "visiting" and encourage others to do the same. It is hoped that many other WebTV subscribers will find your site as fascinating as I have. If you ever decide to put all this in a book I'll be one of many in line to buy it. Keep up the great work....your time and effort have been worth it.

Take care....Jim Stonestreet (class of '76)



OK, I admit it: I just spent half an hour reading the seemingly endless, detailed accounts of your youth in Burbank. At first glance (and I hope you recognize this) most people would think it was a crazy thing to write and a crazier thing to read, particularly if you don't know the person.

I'm well aware of this. I write this stuff, thinking all the while, "This is really self-indulgent. Who cares about the Lockheed wash or what my bedroom looked like in 1970?" But then I get scads of letters from people I don't know from Adam, thanking me for bringing back memories. It's downright weird.

But I'm kind of a born nerd myself; or at least I enjoy looking in (invited) on the lives of other people, of more or less normal people like myself. The opportunity to do so is one of the many whimsical charms of this Internet thing.

It is an interesting forum, all right. When it comes to knowledge I'd still rather have access to a really good library, but the Internet has charms all its own. Where else could one find an episode guide to Magnum P.I. in no time flat?

I seriously wonder if Avocado Memories is something that only makes sense in terms of a web site, and not a book.

Besides, you have an engaging style, obviously don't care what the nay-sayers might think, and a few things in common with myself.

No nay-sayers yet, which surprises me.

Things like: the Civil War,

Have you looked at my Jonah Begone site? - it's my iconoclastic view of reenacting the War Between the States. (At least people are always telling me it's iconoclastic.)

electrical engineering, memories of being a socially inept teenager in the 70s, wife & kids, not to mention being a native of the Golden State. Like that. I remember when my brother got a copy of that Vlad Tepes book.

I coulda been a Goth, instead of a bum, which is what I am.

And Goodwill is still in business out here, they just don't bother with the big boxes anymore.

Well, this was just a hello from nowhere. Have I the time I might set up a GeoCities page myself but I already have a site and little enough time for that. Take it easy.

Don Teeter


Just finished reviewing your white washed fence. I too read the wonderful book and yearned to play the part of "Huck". I was ten and a GIRL!

Tomboy, Tomboy!

To make things more difficult I lived in jolly old England at the time!

Just a matter of deciding upon another scenario to play out. I'd have chosen Robin Hood. (You could have been Maid Marian or Will Scarlet.)

Or Arthurian stuff. Gads, there are tons of authentic stuff you could do in England!

Where was I to find the Mississippi? Not to be daunted, I set out for the nearest "hill" at day break to "camp out" by myself, loaded down with all my supplies from Mom's cabinets and my trusty Girl Scout knife.The "hill" was just a rise in the ground above the fields of world-famous heather that grew around Heachum, and unknown to me, was inhabited by gypsies. Of whom at the time, we were to be sore afraid!

Actually, being so young, and no companion to share the experience, I chickened out at the bottom of the hill and rode home on my bike. I had written a note on a piece of paper bag, telling not to worry - that I was not running away from home - I just had to be Huck Finn for awhile.

Sure. Any reasonable adult would understand this.

Now, as a grandmother of two, I still ache to think of the distress I put my mother through as I saw her standing at the end of the road when I pedaled home.

Well, just think how much worse she would have felt had you come home with a corncob pipe in your mouth!

Thank you for taking me back for a moment to such wonderful memories and letting me share yours! Mine were made in '57.

Victoria Lenne

Thank you! We didn't have Gypsies in Burbank. We had the infinitely less colorful bums who hung around by the railroad overpass over Empire Avenue, one of my favorite haunts.

The Burbank bums didn't have caravans or campfires or tell fortunes. - Wes


I like your page!

I believe that it never hurts to publish memories. Somebody may need a good one or two. Come visit my "Home Place" for rural memories. It is located here.

Thanks for sharing.

Ronnie Jeff Johnson

Ronnie, I found your web site enchanting! Those old photos of your grandparents and great-grandparents are priceless - I envy you this photographic heritage!

Funny how differently two people born in the same year can be raised, huh? I had no idea party lines persisted in the 60's and 70's - but then, I'm from L.A. Cluelessly suburban, as I learned later when I moved to the east. When I was a kid I figured the rest of America was like Oxnard, Glendale or Thousand Oaks! (I always knew Burbank was special, though.) - Wes


I thought your page was great!! It brought back many memories for me as well..hehe.. I was brought up in Ontario, Canada.. but it is obvious that things were basically the same all over back then.. avocado wasn't just a California thing.. we had an avocado fridge and stove and the carpet in the living room was also avocado!!

It's becoming apparent to me that avocado was a global 70's thing, which I had not suspected.

What country calls the shots about this kind of stuff, anyway? I mean, who decides harvest gold and avocado and rust are going to be *the* colors this year? U.S.? France?

This is entirely too much power. And people complain about the Federal Reserve Board having too much influence...

And my first desk was also an antiqued avocado.. maybe my parents and yours had the same subscription to Better Homes & Gardens..hehehe

Oh, no. My parents *never* subscribed to any magazines about tasteful living. They could care less. They bought what suited them and that was that.

Thanks.. I really enjoyed the trip down memory lane!


Thank you! - Wes


Hi, my name is M.Nelson, age, somewhere in the 40's, female. And you made me cry today. Shame on you!

Gee, lady. I had no idea!

I too grew up in a little town in Calif. called Fairfield. North of San Francisco.

We have a friend from there, so I've heard of it.

Haven't been home in 15 years. Living in Michigan now. But you took me home this morning, and I enjoyed the trip. Walking into your home was like walking into mine. Right down to the red sofa.

They sold a lot of those nationwide, I'm sure.

Thanks for the trip, will think of it all day.


Well, thank *you*! - Wes


Hi Wes!

I've never been to Burbank...but my Dad grew up in Berlin, New Hampshire. My grandparents lived there all their lives as did many aunts and uncles.

...along with les Arsenaults, Gallants, Aucoins and Demars.

I grew up about 40 or 50 miles north of Berlin in a town called Colebrook, New Hampshire. My parents still live there.

Right - the place is almost French Canadian. I've heard of it.

I bet your mom would remember the David Mountain art studio on the main street in Berlin - that was my uncle. Its actually still there under the same name, but an old aunt runs it now, and she's no artist.

Well.... Mom was born and raised in Berlin, but moved out in 1945. She didn't return until 1986, and was there until 1989, when she moved to Martinsburg, WV to be closer to her grandkids.

Anyhow, it damn near gave me goosebumps reading that bit of your totally entertaining site - and I've been on the internet since the 80's - so I'm pretty numbed to the small world thingie

Ah, Berlin.

It smells better now than it did in 1968, when I first visited there. (Apparently they did something about the paper plant.)

I still have an aunt who lives there, on Riverside Drive (on the Androscoggin).

Oh, and one more thing...why would your mom wanna leave southern california to go live in NEW HAMPSHIRE?? Brrrrrrrr.

That's what we were trying to figure out. After three winters with $300/month heating oil costs, she fled.

Take care and I really liked your site!

Thank you! - Wes


Wes, I stumbled on your site by pure luck, and really enjoyed it, in fact it really made my day. I grew up in beautiful downtown Burbank also. Lived on Santa Anita about a block below Kenneth Rd until I graduated from Burbank High in 1970. I guess I am still trying to get back that Burbank feeling as I plant banana trees all around our pool here in Fort Worth Texas each year. Great site and memories.

Larry E. Cummings


Kenneth Road used to be one of our prime cruise boulevards. It was rather poorly lit at night and took us where we wanted to go...

Good luck with those banana trees! - Wes


What fun, you can bet I'll be back to visit the rest of the house.

Great! Have a seat on the sofa (but mind you don't drop down too suddenly). Put your feet up on the bellows table. Have a Ding Dong.

(Note: They call 'em "King Dons" on here on the East coast for some bizarre reason.)

What memories, I'm 6 years older than you and remember the time well. I was born in Burbank, but grew up nearby in Eagle Rock and Highland Park.

Eagle Rock: My parents always shunned the place, declaring it full of gangs - which pretty much describes Burbank these days.

I remember many Saturdays spent at one of the horseback riding stables in Burbank and have many fond memories of the area.

Right - there was a horsey part of Burbank I was entirely not a part of. The classy homes near Toluca Lake were zoned for horses - Dad used to rationalize, "Wouldn't want to live there. Big flies all over the place."

Yours from "Beautiful Downtown...."

Thanks, Brenda. - Wes


My God, What nostalgia!

I was worried that it might be in too concentrated a form.

I'm from South Gate, circa 1955 thru 1977, when I moved to Brea and then to Portland, Oregon , in '80. Lived in the same house off Tweedy Blvd for 22 years. Your site begs closer inspection but I just wanted you to know it grabbed me right off.

A few brave souls have read all of it.

We lived on the flight path to LAX and I learned every plane and longed to be a fighter jock

A lot of people in Burbank found themselves in the flight path from the Burbank Airport. (We weren't, however. That and Lincoln Street being unusually wide were two of the amenities of our house.)

(circumstance got in the way--I became a record biz exec instead--visited Warner Bros Records a lot during 77-78).

Sure - the record company that put a 1911 scene of Burbank on its LP labels!

Were you old enough to remember the crystalized rainbow contrails of the Vandenberg rockets at night?


Heat lightning in the summer eves?

Yes. (Except there's more dramatic stuff out here in Virginny.)

Ever have any U2/SR71/F117 hints from your dad? The Lockheed Skunk Works were right on the tarmac at Burbank Airport.

Yes. Dad worked for the Skunk Works. (Now, having told you that I have to kill you!)

I'd like to say he was an engineer or something, but he wasn't. He was a maintenance painter, which meant he painted the tooling machines, walls, floors, and yes, restroom stalls. (He used to share some of the better writings with me.)

I have boxes of photos I took on our property as well. I'm so glad I grew up with a camera in my hands to document California when it was still sorta wild.

I was telling my wife the other day that I'd like to be able to time trip back to L.A. in 1956, when, if you wanted an ice cream cone, you'd drive to a building shaped like an ice cream cone, etc. (If you wanted a hot dog you'd drive to a building shaped like a giant dog house - there are many other examples where form followed function to a ridiculous degree.)

My uncle Jim inspired in me a love of "island life" and everything was decorated with tiki's, netting, Japanese floats--he even took me to see Dick Dale in Balboa in 1962 (it was so crowded at the Rendevous that afternoon, he just snuck me in). We grew up as surfers at Newport and Huntington and had a surf band as far back as '63. When I have my site up, I'll let you know.

Sounds like we're pretty much on the same wavelength here. Let me know when you're up and I'll provide an instant link!

Part of the storyboard is my early LA surf lifestyle and how it affected my music today.

Ah, well, you see, I wasn't a surfer at all - that required too much athleticism. I associated with the low riders in a clothing sense but not in a functional or social sense. Because I was acutely aware of my acne-scarred looks I was no "soch" (social - popular), either. With my love of Dark Shadows, what I really was what would be called today a "Goth."

Best Wishes,
Dan Shubin, guitarist/songwriter with CMOS, Portland.
(by the way, CMOS and seamoss are happy coincidences in a name--I'm an Electronic Design Automation specialist and former tide pool adventurer)

Were you one of those blond guys with the impossibly glossy hair? I always wondered how on earth they did that...


(4/15/97) Wes,

Congratulations on your Geocities "Site of the Day" recognition.

Thanks! I got a letter from somebody at Geocities and thought, "Well - this is nice! How do I cash in on it?" Haven't arrived at an answer yet.

I always check out the featured sites, and was overwhelmed by yours.

Yes, I was frequently overwhelmed myself. All that avocado had me feeling bilious.

Being two years younger than you, I could easily relate to your memories.

Ah, graduating class of 1976? (Tim Burton's class.) Two years used to be an immense gap when I was a kid - now it's nothing.

In fact, I had that Superman model pictured in your room. I remember painting the cape red and then having a hell of a time trying to keep it glued to the body. Like oil and vinegar, the paint and glue didn't cohabitate well.

Right. I always disregarded the advice to scrape the metal from the chromed plastic parts, and tried to get the pieces to adhere with will power and huge dabs of glue. It never worked.

I must admit I read the whole page in one sitting.

Wow! That's a long sitting!

I now feel like a Clark family biographer.

There's more coming. I've taken a mental note to put together a page on my stint with Uncle Sam's Misguided Children (the Marines).

Thanks for sharing your memories with the rest of us. I also wanted to let you know I appreciate all the work that went into your page. Good job!

--The Toast (Richard Nadolny)

Ah, you're just trying to butter me up! (Get it? "Toast" - "butter?" Ha ha ha!)

Sincerely, thanks...



I want to thank you for the time and effort that you put into your page. It's been an enjoyable visit and I' ll be back often. I tell everyone at work about your site and encourage them to take a look.

My most vivid memories of the seventies revolve mostly around the toys and 'stuff' that my parents provided by way of birthdays and Christmas. I suspected that my father enjoyed all this more than we..the kids..did. Oh man! The tie-dye kits; the candle making sets (with the ubiquitous smiley face and mushroom molds) included; the Dark Shadow's Barnabas Collins model that glowed in the dark;and the start of my very own collection of 8-tracks that included Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" & "Jesus Christ Superstar (The Soundtrack)"

I had an eight-track player in my Volkswagen, but it wasn't an ordinary eight-track, oh, no. It was Quadraphonic! I fit four speakers into the Bug and cruised around listening to my classical stuff - it was awesome. I had some rock tapes, of course. One Blue Oyster Cult quad eight-track was mixed so that in one of the back speakers nothing played in the song "Dominance and Submission" but the phrase "Radios appear."

As far as "Jesus Christ Superstar" is concerned, my Dad bought the original cast album when it first came out in '71. Why, I don't know - he didn't really care for rock music. (Although he became a big fan of the David Bowie song "Diamond Dogs!")

I was out of model building by the time the glow-in-the-dark Barnabas model came out, but my childhood friend Jimmy and I were heavily involved with the monster fad that was a by-product of the release of old horror films onto television. This was in 1963/64, when "the Munsters" and "the Addams Family" premiered. We built the Aurora plastic models of the Mummy, Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, the Werewolf, etc. etc. Mom even got into the act, assembling the plastic "Torture Chamber." It was a little disconcerting seeing one's mother gluing together tiny racks and thumbscrews (not to mention painting blood all over everything) but hey, she had fun with it. One of my friends used up a lot of red enamel on the "Phantom of the Opera" kit. There's a little guy in a jail cell at the base of the standing phantom, clutching the bars and apparently screaming. My friend had him literally drenched in blood. I wasn't sure what kind of torture caused all that bloodshed, but I was reasonably certain it wasn't in the movie.

As for me, I had a heart. When I was about seven I saw the Anthony Quinn version of "the Hunchback of Notre Dame," and was moved by the scene depicted in the model, when Quasimoto is strapped to a turntable and mercilessly whipped. After viewing this, I snapped off the plastic ropes holding the figure down to the turntable and liberated him. The conclusion of the movie, when Quasimoto visits the corpse of the Gypsy girl and lays down to die with it, affected me greatly. I remember pondering for days whether or not a person could simply lay down to die out of grief. It sounded melodramatic and impossible to me, and while I decided that one couldn't do it, sometimes I wanted to try.

About the only photographic relic I have left of the monster years is a gag picture of my dad and I at the Movieland Wax Museum, in Buena Park. As usual, he's hamming it up, trying to look frightened. I just look like an eight year-old.

We also had monster wallets - mine had Dracula on one side and Frankenstein on the other (click here to see a picture of one on E-Bay) - card games, dramatic reading LP's and all of the other merchandise. (Including monster bubble bath. Click here to see.) The stuff is worth a fortune nowadays.

Of course, there was so much more that spanned those years, but it goes on forever. Needless to say, I enjoy the seventies more now than when I was actually living through them. You know what they say about hindsight...

Well, once again, thanks again for rekindling the memories and, for what's it's worth, I've submitted your page to ClubWebTV as a site they may wish to highlight in their newsletter.

Keep on truckin'!!!!!

Hey, great, thanks! - Wes



A thoroughly enjoyable site. Antique avocado was also popular in our house in South Australia during the early seventies. Our dining suite was this colour, except for the chairs, which were probably orange.

Judging from the international mail I've gotten, it appears that avocado was a global thing in the Seventies, something I had not expected! (I was hoping people in other countries had more taste than us, I suppose...)

Many of your stories and photos triggered my memories of such things as flares by the pool, Lost in Space, getting cut by pampas grass (my Dad paid me $20 to dig out the stump after he decided to burn it---the hardest $20 I've ever earned), and lots more.

Ah, yes, "Lost in Space": While I loved the show, I must confess I truly hated Billy Mumy, the freckle-faced youngest member of the Space Family Robinson. Here I was, a dorky fifth-grader unable to do things right to please my parents or teacher, and Will Robinson, about the same age as I, was trusted by his parents to do stuff like the routine maintenance on the nuclear core of the Jupiter 7, or align the robot's servomotors. Gak!

Once, after a nasty schoolyard encounter with a bigger kid, I remember thinking "What would Billy Mumy have done?" Then I had a sudden desire to choke the life out of him. I don't know what adults are thinking when they suppose younger viewers want to have a kid in the cast to identify with. I've always resented kid sidekicks and their unreal lives and abilities, as depicted by adults, and so did my friends. We put ourselves in the place of the male adults, and simply imagined ourselves as being grown up. Being a kid was often a workaday, dreary thing, subject to the tyranny of teachers and parents. Batman, Captain Kirk and any other hero worth mentioning answered only to themselves.

I remember one episode of Lost in Space when the Robinsons stumble across a big impressive space vessel. "Why, this must be... a *starship*!" says one of the Robinsons in a tone of awe. Shortly after that premiered a *real* science-fiction series (featuring a *real* "starship"): Star Trek, and any interest I had in Lost in Space was gone forever.

Anyway, before we discovered Star Trek my friend Joey and I set up a play Jupiter 7 in the attic of his house. We took the rolling number display out of a trashed old gasoline pump and used it for the main computer display. (All of our journeys through space could be measured in tenths of a parsec, coincidentially the same way gas was sold.) The best thing about Lost in Space was the interiors of the spaceships. I really liked the lights on those computers. The robot was merely annoying, a big mechanical dork. And Dr. Smith, well. I can honestly say that my first exposure to limp-wristed gaydom was through Lost in Space.

For me, your stories conjured up similar emotions to ones I had when I read Roddy Doyle's 'Paddy Clarke, Ha! Ha! Ha!'; about a boy growing up in Ireland in the 1960s and 70s. I think you'd enjoy this book.

Then I'll look it up. My family and I watched the splendid Irish film "The War of the Buttons" last weekend. About boys, childhood and probably much the same thing Doyle writes about. Highly recommended. Also recommended is the critically well-received Swedish film "My Life as a Dog," set in a small Swedish village in the Sixties.

Later note: Just got finished reading "Paddy Clarke Ha ha ha." I much prefer Penrod and the War of the Buttons. Doyle's book is too modern and pessimistic for my taste. I also dislike the modern format. There are no chapters - the book is one big narrative separated by spaces in text between episodes - and conversation is related without the use of quotation marks, which I found annoying. It ends with a broken marriage (the title comes from a schoolyard chant: "Paddy Clarke has no da/ha ha ha") and a suggestion that Paddy will someday wind up in jail. Somehow Mark Twain managed to make the prospect of Huck Finn landing in jail a lot less disturbing.

I suppose many of us cringe at certain memories of our parents and how they lived, and now that we're grown up we realise how much they loved us and how much we owe them.

Yes! I never really appreciated what my parents did for me until I became a parent myself. I expect my own kids won't figure this out, either, until *they* have children...

Thanks for a good simple and honest web site.

Andrew Knight
South Australia

Thank you! - Wes


Wes -

I happened upon your page through your "Utah Baby Namer" page--which, by the way, is one of my all-time favorite web sites, being a transplanted (and temporary) Utahn who grew up in San Diego.

Anyway, thank you for the trip down memory lane. I was born in 1969 and although my parents never showed quite the flair that yours did in their home decor, harvest gold and avocado were unavoidable in the era I grew up in. Just as you cannot avoid mauve or country blue these days--every household item you buy seems to come in these colors--those "earthy" colors trademarked the 70's.

Right! I'm as tired of tole-painted stuff as I was of resin grapes.

Your descriptions brought back memories of our first home in San Diego, which we bought when we moved from New York in 1974. I remember green shag carpet in the den, powder-blue sculpted carpet in the bathroom and the dark brown, fake wood paneling on the walls. Come to think of it, we also had a concrete patio that had been painted a bluish-green by former owners, covered with a wooden patio roof painted in red. I do remember the time my dad made my mother angry and embarrassed with the way he painted the house the last time before we moved a block and a half away (months later she could still drive by and see his artwork). He painted over our blue house to make it a tan color with chocolate trim. It looked fairly decent until he decided to paint the vertical wood trim on the front of the house alternating shades of tan and chocolate.

I think I'm going to create a new section for readers: "Can you top this?" This one would be hard to beat...

Thanks again!

Anne Bingham


Dear Wes:

I've just spent a record two hours touring your site - what a treat!

So *that's* how long it takes to wade through Avocado Memories, huh?

I grew up in southern Arizona in the sixties and seventies and your commentary really resonated. My mother, like yours, had a craftsy bent that found its expression in strange ways. For one thing, she outfitted our living room sofa with throw cushions made from washcloths and hand towels - I think she got the idea from "Dear Heloise."


Even then I used to think that the concept was somewhat raw - a towel is a towel, after all. She also covered a large piece of foam rubber with bath towels (a theme, you see) and mounted it over my parents' bed as a sort of headboard.

Whoa! This is something my mom wouldn't have thought to execute!

I myself participated in a more evolved project - the renovation of our basement into a happening 70's pad. This was circa 1974: we painted the stairs bright red, adding white footprints (my feet) leading down. As a psychedelic touch, one large wall was painted with concentric orange and yellow squares, with more white footprints leading into the center. We also had two beanbag chairs - one a double-wide.

Wowee... The grooviest we ever got was when Mom and I were on vacation in 1968 for a month. When we returned we discovered that Dad had painted a paisley pattern onto the floor of the patio: light blue and light green paisleys on a black background! Mom fussed about it but didn't paint it out, she merely painted over the black with a different green color. The thing was, well, remarkable. Wish I had taken photos.

Cheers, and thanks for the memories!

M. Scanlon
Phoenix, Arizona

Thank you!



I happened upon your site and wow! I had no idea anybody besides George MacGillicutty, (our painter and paint suppliers for years) used avocado green!

My dad had it flowing through his veins!

Ah, yes, I can still smell his cigar, but that's another story. Our interior was this wonderful shade until Mom and Dad went on vacation one year and I painted it sand drift beige (my Mother swore it was pink and hated it).

Nowadays we call this shade "builder beige." Safe, inoffensive and easily transferrable from one home owner to another. Paugh! Gimme something with some *character!* (Like harvest gold, or rust.)

Thanks for bringing back happy memories of my youth and the house I grew up in from 1967 to 1987 on the Westside of L.A.

Glad my page had that effect!

I read through your site completely (which is rare for me)

I keep adding to it and people keep writing, telling me that they read it all the way through. I'm sure I'll wear out my welcome at some point...

and wished that myself or one of my four brothers (all about your age, they had that same avocado green desks, and also the spot light for blowing by unsuspecting tourists up on Mulholland) had taken as many pictures of the evolution of our house (built about the same time as yours) and the numerous home improvement projects my Dad immersed himself in. He has passed, as well, and your site, made me remember with a little sadness, but mostly smiles, my youth and just how wonderful it was.

Thank you,

Mary Doran

Thank you for these nice comments! Right now I'm working on a "Cast of Characters" section. One of these days I'll run out of photos...



Hi Wes,

I must say when I stumbled upon your page, I thought it would be really odd.

Growing up in Burbank, with my particular mom and dad, *was* kind of odd.

But really, it's quite interesting. Very well written, nicely laid out...what can I say...it's grrrrrreat!

Thanks! My childhood was grrrrrreat, too!

Incidentally, I found your web page through a link on another page. Just in case you weren't aware of it, syndicated columnist/author James Lileks refers to you from his site. You are on the top of his list of GOOD links.

Thank heavens. His list of bad web pages is right on the money (except in the case of Myrtle Shoup, whose page I kind of like).

Again, great job on your web page! Might I suggest that you add a poscript about yourself though...what you are up to these days, and the same for the friends in your stories and photographs.

Okay. My next addition to my house of memories is a short piece in memory of the Lincoln Cafe (a level or two removed from your ordinary greasy spoon) - since added - , then I'll do as you suggest. (Here it is.)

Keep up the excellent work!

Thanks for the nice comments! - Wes


Dear Wes,

I don't want you to think that I've gotten tired of "Avocado Memories!" Au contraire, mon frere! I still keep tabs on what you're doing (especially since I have it bookmarked!)

Well, I keep thinking of things so I keep adding. My next little section will be the Lincoln Cafe, I think. (The family business.)

Was delighted to catch up on the hijinx of "The Cruise" as well as your Junior High School and "Huckleberry Finn" phase.

Every boy should have a Huckleberry Finn phase. I wouldn't have missed mine for the world.

When I was in junior high, I read a series of books by Booth Tarkington called Penrod. There was also Penrod & Sam and I think a couple of others. Three in total I think. They take place in the Midwest around the turn of the century -- kind of an updated, urban "Huck & Tom."

I have heard of these but have never read them. Guess what I'll be checking out when I'm next at the library? (I have since read Penrod, and it's EXCELLENT. But don't believe me, read it yourself, here.)

I remember a cool little book when I was in 5th grade, "Me and Caleb." It was another one of those harmless endearing boys about boyhood.

Anyways, I remember BEGGING my mother to make me a pair of knickerbockers to wear to school (I can still see the look of horror and embarassment on her face! Poor thing. Fortunately, she said "Absolutely NOT.") It's truly amazing to think what some kids want to do.

Just as kids are influenced by TV, they can be by good books - no doubt about it!

BTW, I neglected to tell you, but my family STILL has vestiges of smoked, gold veined mirror in the house paired up with some "corkboard" tile. Ugh. Mom STILL thinks it's fancy, for some odd reason.

You're not the only one: gold-veined mirror tiles were a feature of my house as well! Look here. Still, I have to admit that the cork tile is a step past what my mom would do...

At any rate, I hope that this finds you happy and well. I see you're getting more hits than ever these days!!


All the usual best to you and yours!


Thanks, Deon! You're an author's dream! - Wes


I accidentally came upon your page and it is absolutely terrific.

Thank you!

I'm a little older than you, but can remember buying a house in Minnesota in the early 70's and decorating with gold and orange.

We've just finished the process of buying a new house and have been touring homes for sale with our realtor. One place really stood out: It was decorated in a complete throwback to the Seventies, including one room decorated with pink and orange floral wallpaper and a *pink shag carpet!*

So clearly, there are still virtual museums of the 60's and 70's extant all across the country, where people still live. Perhaps we should get them on the National Register of Historic Properties before the Eighties catch up with them...

You have a wonderful style of writing and I really enjoyed your work.

Thank you very much. (Our realtor got a kick out of it as well!)

It reminds me a lot of a story I read a couple of years ago. I think the title of it was "The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread." Your page just got added to my bookmark. I can't wait to tell my son about this one on the internet. He will really enjoy it.

Ah, it may be more relevant to him than you realize (depending on his age). My wife and I were in the mall the other night and got a look at the new fashions for girls. Lime green and salmon abound. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of Marcia Brady lookalikes all across high school campuses this year...

I would have written "I wait fearfully for the reemergence of disco," but it's already returned in the form of the "Electric Slide" (boogie-oogie-oogie).

Thanks for the very entertaining piece of work.

My pleasure. I had no idea writing about my past would feel so rewarding!


I hope you're mum is well and still enjoying her collections and home improvments.


Sad to say, Mom passed away in June '95. She went out in grand style, though: She drove down to visit us the weekend before she died and we did yard sales on Saturday morning, where she bought a lot of junky stuff. That evening we took her out to dinner and had a great time. I miss my parents a lot, now, and wish they were around to enjoy their grandkids.

p.s. Thanks for the tips on crusing; as a newcomer I needed them.

No problem. Just make sure you steer clear of the police. Don't go around stopping people with red lights, like a phony cop.

I would write, "...and don't let us catch you in the church lot!", but the church took care of that itself. They keep the lot illuminated at night - very unromantic.


What a pleasure to see your page and go back to the 60's. Man, how things change, huh?? It seems like yesterday I was growing up outside of Houston, Texas, just a kid running through the woods, looking for box turtles and hog-nosed snakes, while my older brothers waxed the '67 convertible Mustang in the driveway, with the latest, Cream, "Wheels of Fire" eight-track blaring out!!

Our parents were young then, or so it seems now. They were young enough to yell out of the window to turn down that damn music!!!

It wasn't just our parents. The older kid across the street used to listen to Cream all the time when he wasn't victimizing me. (He, too, owned a Mustang, by the way. He had a four-track in it before he installed the eight-track.) Anyway, this guy also had the grooviest room on the block, with black light posters everywhere. I always knew when he was in at night, because an unearthly purple light issued forth from his bedroom window. I thought the guy was deeply into peace, love and drugs until the evening he yelled out of the window at me when I was making a lot of noise in the street, "Knock it off or I'll come out there and beat the crap outta you! I have to get up early for work tomorrow!" The revelation that the Lincoln Street Counterculturalist had to get up early for work, like, well, my dad, came as a shock to me.


I really enjoyed your page. How did you do it? Where can I find out how to do something like it?

Search deep within yourself...

Actually, there are many places to learn HTML on the net, if that's what you mean. And Geocities still has free disk space for web sites. All you need is a scanner for the family photos and a desire to write!

I grew up in the deep south and my family photos would be a scream... plus my mom would just die. My mom antiqued also, and your dad reminded me of my dad. I loved the story about the other woman painting the tiki picture while Mom was away!!!

Yeah, that was my pal Angela. Mom never liked her. In some way she felt threatened by her.

I hope to see more photos from you soon, and hopefully I can find out to do something similar!!

I'm loading some new photos in today, in fact. Look on the new "What's new?" section.

Is your mom still alive and has she seen the page on the computer? If so, what did she say?


Thanks for the kind remarks, Rachel. Mom got a look through the book from which this web site was developed about six months before she died in 1995. (She was snooping around in my bookshelf during a visit and came across the binder.) Fortunately, she didn't seem to read it all. She called it my "Mommie Dearest" book. I'm not sure what she meant by that, but was profoundly embarrassed that she found it at all.


Dear Wes,

I hope that you'll add more to your site. I know you only have a finite amount of photographs, but maybe just more writing? I loved it!

I'm trying to do my supplemental writing in the letters page. In fact, your letter prompted me to put a link to this page on the last page of the home tour. Makes sense in a narrative sort of way.

I think I may have some more pictures at home. Of course, every one of them has a story associated with it, and if it's about decor it's usually tacky.

I guess I have a confession to make: we still have our stereo console that my parents bought in 1966.

Why didn't you come to me about this sooner? The therapy won't work unless you want it to...

It's a huge, coffin-like Mediterranean monstrosity -- very nearly black with antiqued gold "handles" for cabinets that don't open, and a sort of tapestry/weaving thing where the speakers are mounted inside. ("Now you kids don't go poking your fingers through that fabric!" I can still hear my mother hollering.) We still have it, although we never listen to it as the sound is pretty crappy with audio being what it is nowadays.

We had one of those monsters as well. Ours was in Early American ("maple walnut") style. The stylus could be turned over to play with a diamond side or a sapphire side for 78's. (Great electro-mechanical technology!) The sound it produced could only be described as "monolithic." Booming bass, no treble. I used to wear the stylus out listening to my LP of Lorne Greene singing "Ringo." (I still have the album. It also has Lorne singing the "Theme from Bonanza": "Husky and hardy and hardly ever cross/My wife named him Eric, but I called him HOSS!")

But Mom refuses to part with it. "That's good wood," she maintains. "They don't make furniture like that anymore."

Mom is right. (Aren't they always?) Whether this is a good thing or not is a moot point.

Periodically she'll corral someone to heavy-duty polish it with lemon oil and all. It weighs a ton. I tell her when she dies we're gutting the thing and burying her in it. There's usually a huge fight around Christmas time when we have to move the behemoth and find a wall big enough to back it up against. Sheesh!

Think of it as genteel, family-oriented weight-training.

Incidentally, out of curiosity, what do you do in "real life"? You really are a talented writer.

Deon Brown

Thank you! I'm a senior computer engineer working for the Patent and Trademark Office in Arlington, VA. I have always been, however, a liberal arts type. In college, however, I could see I wasn't about to make the money in the arts that I could in engineering, so that made it easy to decide on a major. (Graduating in it was another matter.)

Mom and Dad resisted my going to college. While they never came out and said this, they really wanted me to live at home and take over the family business, a cafe that sold beer and cheeseburgers to the Lockheed crowd in Burbank. Actually, it was easier for me to enlist in the Marines at age 18 than go off to college at age 23!


Dear Wes Clark,

I stumbled upon your site as a result of it being one of Yahoo's "Surfer's Pics" -- how a propos!

Boy, did I relish everything you put into it.

Thank you!

I grew up in the West in the sixties and seventies (I'm just a few years younger than you, incidentally -- not that that means anything!)

You're still a Baby Boomer, probably. (With all that entails.)

but "good taste" certainly was never of hallmark of my parents' home, either. Although Mom was adamant that we never have a lot of knick-knacks around the house. "They're dust catchers" she maintains.

Right. Dad said the same about Mom and the French in general. (Read it here.)

But we had the "Coppertone" refrigerator, the "giant glass grapes" on some hazy sort of frenchified mediterraneanesque Scales of Justice. Ugh.

Hey, I bought some resin grapes at a yard sale last summer for 50 cents. I gave 'em away at a White Elephant party. They were the hit of the occasion! (As for me, I got a Liberace LP.)

at least we never had the flower arrangements made out of feathers.

I used to see these sold in Southern California swap meets, along with the memorable velvet paintings of the Coyote holding the Roadrunner by the neck and saying "Beep, beep yer ass!" (It actually was spelled "yurass." I didn't get the joke and thought "yurass" was a Spanish word because these paintings were invariably sold by Mexicans. I spell it properly here so you'll get it, but I digress.)

But we had plenty of "pole lamps" and swag lamps with the ugly heavy gold tassles and lots of wrought iron crap littering the place.

Mom made me a couple of craft swag lamps for my bedroom. She painted the metal part flat black and inserted rectangular pieces of resin plastic of all colors into them. I used to turn 'em on and spin 'em around quickly. Talk about a groovy light show!

Unfortunately, there are still some things in the house mom can't bear to part with, usually being something woven from which to suspend plants.

Right: macrame plant holders. We had 'em in the patio by the score. Once she starting making those things she couldn't stop! Unfortunately, however, they always outlasted the plants...

Fortunately, in a backhanded way, one of the greatest blessings we had was a fire in '74 that mercifully destroyed or rendered useless the pathetic attempts we'd ever made at decorating. One of the casualties being "The Early American Divan." However, the three watercolor prints of Parisian streets now grace my dad's office at home.

We had one of these as well (except ours was in oil)! It was a part of our very brief "Let's Mediterraneanize the Living Room" thing. We didn't have it in the house long, though. I remember it stored out in the back yard, where, of course, it disintegrated.

Still, Wes, I found your site an enchanting, loving memorial to a time long gone by,

Dah daaaaaa da daaaaa (theme music from "Gone with the Wind.")

despite some of the reckless remnants that still dot the landscapes. In some ways we are grateful, but in others, our hearts yearn not necessarily for the Avocado-colored parts of the memories, nor even the shag carpeting, but to the simple pleasure and giddy mania we had at collecting and entertaining ourselves with it all, and fooling ourselves into thinking it was "taste." It was, however, just not "good."

So true. When I thought about it at the time, I never really accepted that it was good. I thought instead that it was nouveau, hip and exciting. I suspected, however, that I would want my house decorated in the traditional "maple walnut." (This was Mom's perplexing description of the Cape Coddish stuff she originally decorated our rental in. When I first told my fiancee - now my wife - that I liked "maple walnut" she laughed, the same response I got when I insisted there was such a thing as "chester drawers.") Fortunately I married a girl with some class and an eye for decor. Our home today is really decorated quite tastefully. (It's a heady experience!)

I hated finishing your site!

Best regards,

Deon Brown

Deon, thank you so much for these kind comments!


Thank you Wes for a very rivetting account of your childhood - it was one of the first home pages I found having just discovered Internet.

I say "rivetting" because you put me in touch with a part of my childhood that I almost forgot - I am an Australian/Canadian who lived in Santa Monica between 1964 and 1968 and who came to live in Australia soon after.

I remember that time of my mother's record collection of musicals such as South Pacific, My Fair Lady, Sound of Music, Oklahoma and my first taste of bossa nova which were to influence my music for the rest of my life. But my real passion was for the Monkees (luckily I put that dark period of my musical past aside when I came to Oz).

I pick up Monkees LP's whenever I can at yard sales. According to a record collectors' guide I looked at recently, they're worth money! I got one pristine Monkees debut LP for 50 cents. According to the guide it's now worth between $30-$40!

You would have been agog at our collection of Australian kitsch which we jammed into our small Santa Monica apartment. Picanninnis painted on china,

That stereotype black stuff is now very collectable as well. Mom left me a plastic Aunt Jemima and Uncle Mose salt and pepper shaker set that one guide listed for $50 each!

boomerangs, stuffed koalas and many kangaroos, and a large map of Australia (my mother was Australian). My mother's JFK memorabilia was pinned to the inside of our entrance door, which I now look back to as a sort of "altar".

Yep, Mom collected the newspapers and the countless special magazines about JFK's death as well. Problem was, she stored 'em in suitcases which were left out in the backyard, in the weather. Most of them literally dissolved!

Oh, and by the way my mother very proudly painted our lounge room walls "avocado" with matching fluffy rugs in 1967.

The 76 Union reminded me of the "tiger in your tank", did you have a tiger's tail which you attached to the petrol cap?

Nope. We did have a '66 Mustang that had some gas station's red plastic stick-on horseshoe on the back, though. It's hard to believe now, but when we bought our Mustang in the Spring of '66, it was such a popular car that other people driving Mustangs used to wave at us as they passed, and we'd wave back. (The same thing happens to me now as I drive my '73 VW Beetle.)

I also remember being envious of my friend David's mother who drove around a very sporty red Mustang. I still hum the indelible refrains from the "Fritos" corn chip, Schwinn bicycle, and "chewy chewy Tootsie roll" commercials to my baby daughters, goodness knows what they will think of that as they grow older. What about those cans of "Californian sunshine" and "LA smog" you could buy?

Touristy. We never bothered. (Too busy breathing in the real thing.)

I do remember the sensation I felt at the tail end of my drive back from a service class at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, though. As I entered the L.A. basin I took a deep breath of smog and felt, HOME.

When I first came to Australia in 1968 to a very totalitarian State School (4th grade) from a very liberal Washington Elementary School I was simultaneously the object of envy (my trips to Disneyland and experience of colour TV) and ridicule (my accent). Everything came to a head when the US landed on the moon and I was seen to be somehow responsible! Such were the parochial attitudes in Coburg West.

Those days were permanently stamped into my psyche, I have always loved the madness of growing up in California during that time. Luckily I paid a visit to LA in 1993, having previously avoided it in my forays south of the border, and it all came back to me.

L.A. is a place that was great to be from in the 60's and 70's. Times are tough there now, however, and I like living here in Northern Virginia.

Thanks for these great comments!



I was the youngest of 4 kids living in Southern California, I was on the tail end (the 70's) of what you went though.

My most vivid memories are the dozens of home-made candles we had in our home. Most of them shoved into a wine bottle, with wax dripped all over them to make it look like a real french cafe.


Yeah, candles were a "thing" back then - I remember this well. One night I was doing a tarot card reading by the light of some candles in my bedroom. My Dad stepped in unexpectedly, and in his best Brooklyn fashion demanded to know "What are you, some kinda goddamn MONK or something?!?"

Other than using candles for occult purposes, however, we really didn't have them as part of our decor.


These pictures bring all sorts of memories back to me! With the exception of the avocado color (my mother preferred bright yellow), the home repairs and interior design ideas are exactly the same.

Exactly? And here I thought my home was a product of individual vision and genius! What a disappointment... Did you take any photos of yours?

Instead of Old Spice boxes, we had greeting cards taped to the backing of the frames (a prehistoric method of matting).

Speaking of greeting cards... Every Christmas Day we used to visit friends for dinner, where the hostess had on display Christmas cards she had not only gotten that season, but received from previous years as well. Mom used to complain about this, claiming that it was a tacky way to announce one's popularity with friends. (We didn't get many greeting cards. Mom never sent 'em out.)

This lady also used to fill her home with cheap furniture, which style my dad named after her. I always got a kick out of that, my parents making fun of somebody else for buying cheap furniture...

And growing up in Newport Beach, I am fully aware of the Hawaiian influence!

I can imagine it ran riot in the beach cities of Southern California!

This is a great collection of kitsch.

But of course we didn't call it that back then. We called it "decor."

Actually, since doing this web site I've reappraised my parent's decor. Anybody can decorate with taste, really. It takes a certain type to collect and display kitsch!

Growing up during the 60's and 70's in So. Cal. was certainly an experience. Thanks for bringing back the memories and assuring me that I was not the only child of parents with peculiar decorating ideas.

Jaki Bell

Thanks, Jaki. I suspect there are quite a few of us out there...


I love your pages!

Thank you!

Love it though, hope you keep maintaining these pages. And I'd love to see pics of what albums you owned or bands you saw when you were young.


At first I inherited my parent's old-fashioned taste. I mostly listened to movie soundtracks; the theme from "Exodus" always made me cry when I was a little boy, and Mom played the Ethel Merman "Gypsy" over, and over, and over... Then there was the "Singing Nun" and Martin Denny's "Exotica" (it went with the Hawaiian patio). When I turned 16 I discovered classical music, which perplexed my parents, and when I became 18 my friends turned me on to Alice Cooper, David Bowie, the Blue Oyster Cult, Robin Trower and the Who, which confused my parents all the more. (Once, while listening to a David Bowie LP at a high volume, Mom came into the den and asked me why I was listening to all this "swing" music now. I replied by asking why this was more objectionable than Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring," which they also complained about. Being the father of a teenager now, I understand her concerns!)

Sober and 40, I'm back into classical music, although I now listen to the big band stuff my Dad enjoyed. (The old man gets smarter every year.)



That (Avocado Memories) was pretty interesting.


I figure you and I are about the same age, (42).

I'm 40.

My parents, actually my mom, were "working-class' also and it seemed we had the same "good taste?" in interior decorating too.

Nothing to be ashamed of: most of the country did. I can *still* go into houses decorated in the High 70's Style (shag rug carpets, rust/harvest gold /avocado items, swag lamps, etc.). I think I may form an organization that "outs" people who used to decorate homes in this manner.

I have to tell you a story, though, about the color avocado influencing me. If I remember correctly, avocado was the interior decorating choice of color for items such as appliances; stoves, refrigerators, etc in the late '60's and early '70's.

Oh yes, certainly. It was the inspiration for my family's artistic vision. I remember my dad driving by a Burbank house that had been painted avocado with charcoal black trim, and hearing him complementing the owner's taste. At the time it appeared daringly avant-garde.

I have an avocado appliance still in use in my office, in fact. For Christmas '94 Mom gave me an avocado plastic water heater - you know, one of those things that looks like a small percolator to heat up water for instant coffee or tea? An old lady had given it to her. It looks like a classic yard sale item. Mom took back the sleek new white Sunbeam product we had selected at Wal-Mart one day that she was going to wrap and give to me. Well, you can image my surprise when I unwrapped this artifact from the 70's. Christmas '94 was Mom's last, and the silly thing is dear to me now: the last avocado appliance. (Unless - Heaven help us! - the color comes back into style.)

Well, I wanted to surprise my mom and bring her up to snuff with the latest color in kitchen appliances. She was at work and I washed all the white appliances we had and went and bought about 20 cans of avocado spray paint. I painted everything.

Oh boy...

She came home to a very proud seventh grader. She didn't say a word !

Truly, is there any force as powerful on earth as a mother's love?

She changed her clothes, made supper and that was it. Today I realize she was in complete shock when she saw it.

Well, I reckon!

To this day I "walk lightly" around her for fear that the full realization finally hits her and she kills me!

Well, it's odd. As you may have read we had a lot of Lockheed guys who came into our cafe... one of them told this story: a Lockheed manager was the proud owner of a brand new 1971 Porsche 914, jet black in color, sleek and sexy. He had to go out of town for business for a couple of days, and gave the keys to a co-worker, asking him to garage the car while he was gone.

Well, this "friend" took the car in for a $29.95 Earl Scheib paint job - kelly green - as a joke. (Other friends were in on the joke and chipped in, which says a lot about the average intelligence of the Lockheed manager.)

The guy got back from his business trip and saw his car - and liked it!

So go figure. Maybe your Mom actually preferred the avocado...




I don't know where I'd file your page, but I really enjoyed it.

Why, it would go in the same place you have bookmarks for the Illiad, the Nibelungen Saga and the Odyssey, of course!

In fact I grew up in Woodland Hills in the 60's and 70's and bought my childhood home from my parents when they retired and moved away. Under a chipping coat of white paint on the bathroom cabinets is their original circa 1968 brown/gold antiquing!

Tim Pavell

Who says all the archeaological interest is in Egypt or Greece? If they ever mounted an expedition in my backyard they'd find tons of scorched and melted plastic fragments from World War II model planes, radio-carbon datable to c. 1968 when I was a 12 year old pyromaniac. (They'd also puzzle over the skeleton of a goldfish, encased in a c. 1965 Lego garage. It hopped out of the goldfish bowl while I was at school one day. I came home for lunch and was heartbroken to see it dead on the kitchen floor. I put it in the Lego garage and buried it with full honors, and have never forgotten him. Or her - whichever it was.)

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