A link to all of my pages is at wesclark.com.


A Washington Post article about the intriguing book Pieces of Light which seems to be relevant to Avocado Memories. Do I have these memories accurate and factual, really? Well... I don't know. I didn't make anything up, but these are my recollections. Somebody else could have remembered things differently!


My favorite images from the Plan59.com site. (Formerly known as "ephemeranow.com")


Nothing says 1970's like a Pacifica belt buckle. (But I didn't own any.) Rock on, dude.


The only Pacific Ocean Park (POP) website you will ever need. Honest. Lots of photos. Movies, too.


Welcome to the Sixties


SMS Noveltiques - All sorts of Fifties and Sixties (and earlier) kitsch here. A fun browse.


Movieland Wax Museum, Buena Park, California - My parents used to take me here frequently and I recall most of these wax scenes. The one that I recall the best was for "Two Women," where Sophia Loren shrieked about her daughter getting raped. That was pretty intense. Naturally, I also recall the Brigitte Bardot wax figure... In general, however, I thought the place was pretty lame.


Santa's Village - My parents took me here a few times when I was a little boy. We last visited in 1968; it was really tatty by then.


Automaticwasher.org - The home of aqua, pink and harvest gold porcelain on metal. Yes, there are people who collect these.


Mark Stevens' TVlamps.net - The story was, if you put one on your TV set your eyesight would be preserved.


There's a site called SecretFunSpot.com that specializes in retro stuff from the 70's and 80's - which is a bit too late for my childhood era. But it does have a couple of animations that resonate with me. The first is the Dark House Ride, and the other describes the whole 1960's Comic Book Ad Page Rip-Off Phenomena I invoke in my To the Final Frontier - In a Cardboard Box article.


You couldn't have grown up in Los Angeles in the 1960's and 1970's without seeing Cal Worthington's TV ads. (For those of you not in the know, he sold cars.)

Old jalopy's on the blink?
Go see Cal!
May be later than you think!
Go see Cal!
etc. (At this point I would often insert obscene lyrics.)


Pop Topping. We Baby Boomers are ashamed to mention it nowadays, but back when aluminum soda cans had pop tops which were removed (and hopefully thrown out), people used to make things out of the pop tops. Horrible things. All of us owe a debt of gratitude to the can manufacturers who later produced a superior design that stuck with the can, thereby halting the psychotically creative pop top imaginations of the crafts-minded.


The Circle X Ranch - Home of Johnny West!


The Retro Slide Show Tour of Southern California - This looks like a hoot!


The Seventies' Great Album Covers. I like the steel pattern on Talking Heads' "Fear of Music" best, I think.


The Tiki Room - If my father were still alive, and could surf the net, here's where he'd be.


Postwar "Googie" architecture and style


Hometown Favorites - Hard to find candies and items from the 50's, 60's and 70's.


Cal State Northridge has a great collection of San Fernando Valley Digital Library images. These are of Burbank.


Click here for a website full of Sixties toys ads: toyadz.com


Remember Revell's "Win this Full Size Gemini Spacecraft" contest? Click here to find out who won!


Grape Nuts TV ad - Remember this one? It probably annoyed women from coast to coast.


Tick Tock Toys Archive - A pretty incredible collection of 60's/70's food packaging art. The Funny Face drinks gang, the Frito Bandito, the original Cap'n Crunch (and tons of old cereal boxes)... they're all here.


Thinking of an obscure cartoon from the 50's or 60's? Try looking it up at Toon Tracker


Space Age Pop Music - If you're interested in 50's/60's exotica and lounge (the stuff my Dad liked), this is a great resource.


Bruce Petty's Los Angeles River Railroads

Bruce Petty is a former Burbank resident and a railroad fan. Note the Burbank Junction Tower and the Branch page. I used to walk through the Burbank Junction (without knowing that was what it was called) every day on my way home from Burbank High School. I'd walk down the line of the tracks alongside of Lockheed until I got to Empire Ave, then I'd walk down that to get to the Alibi, where I'd meet Mom and pick up the car (our 1972 Ford LTD). It was nice to have the use of the family car on weeknights... Not only does Bruce have old photos of the area, he also has an HO track set up replicating the place!


It's the Burbank Police Boys' Band!


See's Candy - Forget Godiva, this is my favorite. I loved the black and white art deco style, which tied in with the Little Rascals I used to watch on TV. Dad used to ponder, "How does that little old lady make all that candy?"


Radebaugh: The Future We Were Promised. The Eames Era was great, wasn't it? Cars buzzing around in the air like BladeRunner. Radebaugh's stuff looks like Fritz Lang's "Metropolis." I distinctly recall Bell Telephone assuring everyone in the 1964 World's Fair that we would all have "picturephones." Obviously, that didn't happen. They were silent on the subject of cell phones, FAX machines, personal computing and the Internet. Every now and then, however, a futurist gets something right. In the October 1965 issue of Boy's Life, a feature about "cars of the future" appeared. One of them was a dead ringer for the white 1993 Dodge Caravan we bought new. That's right, Boy's Life predicted the minivan long before Chrysler was given credit for it.

I will go out on a limb, be a futurist, and make a major prediction. Here it is: Old forms and many old technologies will survive.

- People will still listen to 200 year old symphonic music.
- People will prefer a 300 year old Stradivarius violin to a digital emulation of same.
- Travel by rail will always have a mystique that travel by plane will never have.
- People will consider a hand-written note on fine paper classier than an e-mail.
- Film directors will continue to make films noir.
- Luxury watches will continue to be mechanical, not quartz.
- High quality, luxury pens will continue to be old style Mont Blanc fountain pens.
- Vinyl LPs will never entirely die. (At Tower Records a few years ago I saw vinyl Beatles LPs for sale at $25 each. I got mine in the Seventies for $3.99 each. And I keep seeing ads for turntables of various kinds.)
- Home builders will continue to respond to market demands for center hall Colonial and Victorian style houses. Very few people will live in geodesic domes.
- People will eschew oddly-shaped steel, glass and plastic furniture for something that looks like it came from an 18th century house in Williamsburg.
- High quality guitar amps will have tubes in them.
- High quality audio systems frequently will have tube power amps.
- People will want cars that have design nuances of earlier cars (P.T. Cruiser, 2002 Thunderbird, the Prowler, the VW Beetle).
- Restoration Hardware will continue to make its business selling mid-century goods like composition-body phones, stainless steel flashlights of 50+ year old design, etc.
- The fact that we still don't have videophones suggests to me that people don't want them. So I predict that thirty years from now telephones will still be voice-only.

...and so on.

Todd Rundgren wrote some interesting song lyrics about this sort of thing. It pretty much describes my sense of disappointment with the future that was promised by the visionaries (that we didn't get).

Future
(from the CD, "Liars")

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

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

The future is now

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

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

The future is now

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

The future is now


The Los Angeles Thunderbirds home page (roller derby) - Angela and I used to eat popcorn and watch these all the time. Shirley Hardman, the feisty little number pictured at left, had the charming habit of brandishing (and using) a baseball bat in "discussions" with the New York Bombers, the Texas Outlaws, or whomever.

She died tragically in 1973 of drowning - commemorative gold (or so they claimed; I can't see anyone melting down kugerrands for this purpose!) Shirley Hardman coins were then issued by a bereaved T-Birds organization. During one of those televised interviews the scapegrace New York Bomber Danny "Carrot Top" Reilly once memorably suggested hocking his in for quick cash, which, of course, made the outraged T-Birds play all the harder. But wait! A few games later during a dispute with his manager Danny becomes a T-Bird! How can this be? What drama! Go! Go! Go!

Announcer Dick "Whoa, Nellie!" Lane was a memorable part of the Rollermania of the era, too. I once saw him at the L.A. International airport, and he looked even older in person than he did on the air, if such a thing was possible. My dad told me he also used to do the narration in the Freddie Blassy era (1940's and 1950's) televised wrestling, so he was an L.A. TV icon for over four decades! The most memorable character of this bunch for me, however, was Ronnie "Psycho" Rains. In demeanor he was sort of a predecessor for wrestling's "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

1973 Commemorative Shirley Hardman booklet


Why, it's a TV Party!


The Helms Bakery of Los Angeles. The bakery is long gone, but do I ever remember it from my youth; the trucks used to roam the neighborhood and we kids would run up and buy doughnuts, which were kept in wooden drawers inside. The smell of the baked goods in those trucks was nothing less than intoxicating, and is an especially vivid memory - bread, dough and sugar! Ahhhh... heaven must be like this. Click here to see an old photo of the Helms Bakery fleet. This picture is c. 1935 and probably doesn't represent the trucks that I remember (c. 1962) - or maybe it does! Click here to see a photo of a restored Helms truck.


Monster Kid Online Magazine - Which takes the Monster magazines of the 1960's as inspiration.


The Yesterland Home Page - This describes the Disneyland I practically grew up in: Disneyland's discontinued rides and attractions. Mom took me and various other kids here a lot. Most of the rest of Southern California congregated here as well, usually on swelteringly hot days.

One of my favorite rides was the Monsanto "Journey Into Inner Space," but, being a nerdy kid, I never availed myself of its make-out possibilities. My favorite ride is and has always been the Haunted Mansion. I was only 13 when my Mom and I visited Disneyland during its opening week in August 1969. We stood in line for nearly two hours. I prepared a 1/4" tape label which read "Wes Clark was Here" to commemorate the visit. I found a good place for it at the end of the ride: There was a metal railing atop a brick wall as one exited the ride, and I could stick it to the underside of the railing. In other words, it was easy to see if one knew where to look but not seen at all otherwise.

That label remained there from August 1969 to at least September 1982, when I last saw it, covered in several layers of enamel paint. The railing was removed when Splash Mountain was constructed so now it's gone. (I'd love to see it reappear somewhere else in the park!)


Couldn't forget about the Burbank California web site! More relevant to the past, however, is my Burbankia web site.


The Seventies were an odd time for popular music. Here's a web page of bad songs from the Seventies. I agree with some of this fellow's assessments. (Hey! I like Bread's "If!")


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