2021, 2020 and 2019 E-mails
NOTE: Click on the appropriate links for archives from 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998 and 1997.
Hi Wes. I have mailed you several years ago and have just gone back to your Burbank memories pages.
Everything you have written is like reading my mind. I recall almost all of your adventures, having lived through them myself.
My family moved to Burbank in 1947 at 10 months old. My maternal grandmother worked at Lockheed during and after WWII, and my mom wanted to show off her new son - me. We drove to Burbank in a 1939 Ford sedan. My dad owned it for quite a few years after that trip. We had just survived a very bad winter in Iowa and once in Burbank, my mom and dad decided to move there permanently.
Housing was short in 1947 so we rented a trailer in a trailer park just off Hollywood way, right across from Lockheed. There were vineyards around the trailer park at that time. That place folded as Lockheed expanded, building the A1 plant on the east side of the road. The parking lot took out the trailer park.
We relocated to another trailer park between San Fernando Rd. and Scott, just east of the Coca Cola bottling plant. That lasted a few years and I-5 came through in 1955. I remember standing in the front seat of my dad's Ford and shifting the gears when he said to make the change. He drew the shift pattern on the dash in a red pencil. He would work the gas and clutch, I would move the floor shift lever.
Fortunately, my folks were able to buy a house then and we moved to 1220 N. Lamer Street. I went to Monterey Avenue School and then to Luther Burbank Jr. Hi. In 1962 I started at Burbank High School, graduating in 1964. I am on the next to last page of the class photos.
Many of my friends and classmates worked at Lockheed. I worked at Weber Aircraft. While I was there we were building B-52, F-106, and T-37 ejection seats. Also the Apollo capsule seating, tons of lavatories, seating, and galleys for every major airline. We made the front airstair for Boeing 737s and the United Airlines B-727 QC floor for their combo freight/passenger planes.
All of your adventures in the big dirt lot by the SP tracks north of Pacific were exactly like mine. I too explored the wash from the end of the tunnel at Lincoln street toward Lockheed and downstream to the big wash all the way down to Olive Street. I too hiked above Stough Park to the building at the road at the top. It was just a frame when I was there - must have been 1962 or so.
I live in Bardstown Kentucky now and have not been back to Burbank since my mom passed away in 1994.
I could go on forever, but you brought back my childhood. Thanks.
You're welcome! - Wes
Hi Wes, just wondering what you have been doing during this year of Covid?† I wish you had filled all of us in since I am sure you are stuck at home like the rest of us.† I sure miss your Avocado Memories.
Please consider writing again, I so looked forward each checking into your blog and your wonderful memories.† I too am from the Valley and once lived in Burbank for a few years, mostly North Hollywood since 1942 and I was six months old upon arriving to N.H.
Bye for now, please think about it.
How kind of you to write!
ďI sure miss your Avocado Memories.Ē Avocado Memories is always up here on this website at wesclark.com. But if you mean you miss the 1960s and 1970s, yeah, I do, too.
As for Covid, I maintain a nearly daily blog that describes whatís going on. But itís mostly sitting at a computer, teleworking. We havenít gone on any vacations. I havenít been in a pool for a swim for the first summer since 1997. Kind of BLAH, really.
As for writing, this year Iíve been managing a newsletter for my Harley (Davidson) Owners Group Chapter that is way beyond the baseline for a simple newsletter. Itís more like a magazine. But I havenít entirely given up the idea of converting AM into a book.
(I have a book that somewhat like that. Itís Growing Up in Burbank: Boomer Memories from The Akron to Zodys. Thatís as close to Avocado Memories as my publisher would let me get!)
Thanks for writingÖ
Hi Wes, just wanted you to know that I have sooooo enjoyed reading your life's adventures.† Loved meeting your friends and laughed out loud all by myself so many times.† I, too, grew up in North Hollywood and ran around in Burbank and worked at Lockheed from 1961 to 1992, (best place I ever worked and loved every minute of it.)†You had such a wonderful imagination, I had just one child and she too was an only child but was like you and enjoyed her life so much.†
The Valley was a great place to be raised in.† Hope you continue with your life stories, they bring great memories to all especially those of us who grew up in the Valley.††
I have been writing my life story for my grandkids and I love every minute of the memories it brings back to me while writing†it.††
Again, thank you so much.
Bye for now, Sharon
still misses my North Hollywood even though I know it is not the same anymore.
† † † I'm John from Mississippi, the guy that has written you a few times over the years about your website. I keep all of my emails and I forwarded this just to prove that I was telling the truth and that I'm not some crackpot just trying to take up your time haha.†
† † †I still read Avocado Memories from time to time and like a book being reread I seem to find things that I missed out on the previous time I read it.
† † †I noticed on your page about local TV you mention Lucy Lawless of Xena but you have it spelled Loveless. Also, the link to your Picasa USMC pictures no longer works.
† † † †I hope this doesn't seem like I scan your blog only looking for errors because it's not that at all, I simply have OCD and possibly catch things that others might miss.†
† † †I truly love your blog and I have for years and I hope I haven't offended you. I am a Christian and a all-around nice guy and I would never want to offend anyone.
† † †I still hope that you turn your blog into a book one day and I still have plan to buy your book about Burbank, I just keep forgetting - one of the things that happens when we reach our upper 50s.
† †I'm making my first trip to Los Angeles and Burbank in October for The Hollywood Studios; are you familiar with it?
† † †Thanks again for keeping your blog up and running and take care.
Well, I'm not at all offended and I am grateful that you told me about some errors; I have fixed those. Thanks! The Hollywood Studios? I'm not familiar with those but I am familiar with The Burbank Studios. I'm sure it'll be fun... - Wes
Hope all is well and good.†
You may or may not remember our short correspondence about Avocado Memories, where I was able to discover more about Burbank and So Cal in your website. I wondered if your father was a Yiddish speaker, thanks to his use of the word "zetz," and because he was a native New Yorker. Then, I discovered that he was not the only non-Jewish Yiddish speaker in NYC from that era. Here's something you may or may not have seen.
You may think me weird, but I still go back to the Avocado Memories site when I need a gentle reminder that there were, are, some good people and places left in this world.†
I remember reading about the Dip, and your acquaintance with the Rosens (wonder if they spoke Yiddish?) and their influence on you. I have often wondered about them, in a way that you wonder about acquaintances who disappear, never to be seen again. In a weird way, they, and all the cast of Avocado Memories, have become acquaintances as I have read your pages.
And, lest you think I have wasted my time, I will let you know that I have learned a lot of history, not just about Burbank, but about much of America.† What got me back to your site again was when I was going through my late grandfather's old military stuff and war records, etc.
I reminisce a lot when I read your site. I reminisce a lot, and that's not a bad thing.†
Anyway, I get a lot out of your site. It has led me to an interest in public and architectural history (two subjects I never thought I would embrace, but am so doing.
Your site has reignited a latent interest in history so much that I recently decided, after 20 years of being out of school, to get back in and get the graduate degree in the subject. Don't ask me what I think I may do with it. I'm still thinking outside the box on that one. I'm told it's a worthless degree, or pretty close, but I'm still an optimist in the worst way. It will all work out.
Alright, I didn't mean to write a whole novel for you, but I almost did. I hope all is well with you and yours. Thanks for the site, which remains refreshing after all this time. Hope to hear from you---
Have a good one!
Wow! Someone mentioned you on Facebook re a post about the defunct Burbank open shopping mall, and I just Googled you and found your website. I absolutely cannot wait to sit at my computer and immerse myself in family pics and history. I applaud your foresight and wish I had had as much. I anticipate having a blast looking at your history.
I write to you every so-many years, usually after reminiscing about my 1960s-1970s childhood, especially the toys. Its cool too see that your site is still here after all this time. Personally, I stumbled upon it accidentally at least 10 or 15 years ago. I revisit it from time to time, and I always enjoy it. I was born in '61 and I had a Zippy The Chimp.
The Reverend Matty F
Zippy the Chimp was an odd sort of thing to give kids. It's face was mildly frightening. It seems to have been my very first toy. - Wes
My name is Sue. I just (March 7, 2019) sold my Burbank home that my family owned since 1957. Very hard and feeling so sad for saying goodbye to Burbank I perused all things Burbank this morning. I have read things from your site before but this morning I really spent time with it. I was born in 1959 and I am sure went to all the same schools as you. I know I was at Vickroy park around the same time as you making the gymp thingy's.
Anyway I am wondering, while you were in Sav-On, if you remember a colorful lady named Tibby? Orange hair, wild cat eye glasses and too much blush? Probably in her late 50's early 60's then. This was my aunt Tib.
Great stories in your ode to Burbank and I loved it all.