Correspondence


From: Kenneth Sarno
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Subject: Beverly Park

Peter:

I notice Liz Gill's memoir of the Beverly Park kiddieland on your JB site has resonated with quite a few people. I too went there with my family many times in the late 1950's.

Frank Glick put up Stan Cline's painting of the old Tail 'o the Pup hot dog stand near Beverly Park, and remarked:

"The Chevron Gas Station on the northwest corner was left out of the picture."

By coincidence I've had a Cline print of Beverly Park, which happens to include a piece of that very gas station, hanging in my house for the last 6 years. A photo of it is attached. (BTW I think the portrayal of the north side of Beverly Blvd receding into the distance is of dubious accuracy...that part looks more like 1940 than 1957 to me.) Cline's handwritten inscription in the lower-left corner--poorly lit and illegible in the shot--says "Beverly Park (kiddieland) West Hollywood - 1957".

This print was given to me by my sister, JB '65 alumna Cynthia Sarno, who now lives with her high-school-age daughter in Beverly Hills.

It's of course strictly up to you whether you want to post these Cline-like bits on your site. I'm no lawyer, and I don't know anything at all about copyrights :-).

Ken S.


From: Nancy Friedman
Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2005
Subject: what a treat!

A friend told me about this site, and I've spent most of a rainy Oakland afternoon immersed in it. I'm a relative youngster--J.B. S'64 (L.A. High S'67)--but several of the faces were quite familiar. I remember Andi Graham from the L.A.H.S. debate club, Quintillian; I went with Floyd Norris to an L.A.H.S. May Dance; and I have an indelible memory of Liz Gill running for J.B. office--was it Girls' League President? I even remember Liz's campaign speech, in which she decried the proliferation of social cliques, and reinforced her point by snapping her fingers. Click! Thanks, Liz, for that wonderful reminiscence about Kiddieland, Ponyland, Town & Country (oh, those Fisher's hamburgers!), and all the other Beverly/La Cienega landmarks.

I also discovered that a fellow Dolphin Club member, Gary Gach, is a J.B. grad. (The Dolphin Club is where we swim in the not-always-welcoming waters of San Francisco Bay.) Well, whaddya know.

Does anyone else remember the "J.B. Girl" song? "Oh, when a J.B. girl walks down the street/She looks a hundred per from head to feet/She's got a cheer, a smile, a winning way/And when you see her, boys, you'll look at her and then you'll say..." All together, now!

A tip of the hat to the marvelous J.B. faculty: Mr. Kuhl, who taught us New Math ("If you had only two fingers instead of ten..."); the brilliantly eccentric history teacher Mr. Amster, who was so passionate about learning that he called quizzes "funs" and exams "enjoyments"; and the two Mr. Smiths--one taught music (he blithely ignored our embarrassment and got us all to sing "It's Almost Like Being in Love") and the other drama (he taught the girls to make a formal curtsy, invaluable for all those times we'd be meeting the Queen of England). Another memory: I was nearly suspended for circulating a petition, with my friend Pamela Stovall, asking that girls be allowed to wear knee socks to school. The dress code was so strict that only ankle socks were permitted; Pam and I decided it was time to use the democratic process to our advantage. We'd gathered quite a few signatures by the time a livid Ann Ehrlich, a faculty member who was so young that her younger brother Bob was a fellow ninth-grader, caught up with us. She sputtered at Pam and me, "Do you know what knee socks lead to? SKIRTS ABOVE THE KNEE!!!" My brothers David and Michael followed me at J.B.; David went to L.A.H.S. and Michael to Fairfax. I went on to Pitzer College and U.C. Berkeley (BA comparative literature, MJ journalism), became a journalist (thanks in no small part to my early training on the Far and Near), wrote some books, became a copywriter and branding consultant. I hadn't thought about J.B. in quite some time. Thanks for a very rewarding trip back in time and place.

Nancy Friedman


From: Pamela Levy
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005
Subject: Liz Gill

Ohmigod, I was doing a Google search for information on Orbach's for a short story I'm writing and came upon yours. Fabulous! I almost started crying when I saw the name Pan Pacific. I had an instant mental snapshot of the place.

Remembering places like the pony park, where my sister and I spent countless hours, and the adjacent amusement park. I know my mother has pictures of us on those horses, most of whom we knew by name.

Places like MacArthur Park, the deco I. Magnin on Wilshire Boulevard are still powerful images connected in my life. And let's not forget Larchmont.

From: Frank Glick and Kathy Sullivan
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005
Subject: LizGill

Hello:

It was great to discover and read Elizabeth Gill’s, and everybody else’s comments about the corner of Beverly and LaCienega. I also grew up right there. I lived near the south end of Westbourne and from our windows we could see the subject corner. I lived there from 1958 through 1977. My first job was at the Tail ‘o the Pup. On Saturday’s, I used to mow the little lawn out in front, clean up, chop onions, grind nuts (yes, they had a nutty dog), etc. I even helped paint the building once. When I worked there the owner was Nick Veloz. He drove a supped-up Corvette and he frequently parked it in front of the hot dog stand. I am a proud graduate of Rosewood Avenue School, John Burroughs, and Fairfax in 1974.

At the end of this email is a photo of a painting by Stan Cline I have on my office wall. It shows the hot dog stand, and in the background you can see Beverly Park and Smokey Joes. The Chevron Gas Station on the northwest corner was left out of the picture. There is a lot more to be said about Beverly Park than I have read on your web site. Do you know if anybody has ever written a history of it? On the internet all I could find was a web site talking about old roller coasters; it had very little about Beverly Park. Some of the additional things I remember include the penny arcade. For a penny, you could turn the crank on an old machine-thing and watch a hundred photos flip in front of you and it sort-of looked like a movie. The one I remember is the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. That’s funny, since I have grown up to be a geologist and I work with earthquakes – wonder if that had anything to do with it? From our house we could hear the merry go round music and the screams of the kids on the roller coaster. Where I live now in Sacramento, the background noise we hear is freeway traffic.

There is so much to say. I could on writing for hours or even days. Please let me know if there is any interest in what I could say. Sincerely

Frank Glick



From: DAVID FIRTH
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Subject: JB website

Hi, Peter;
 
I came across your website by accident while doing a google search.  You have a great website.  I began 7th grade in September, 1962 in Fresno, CA.  Reading all of the the stories from you and your classmates was a real deja vu experience for me.  My experiences in Jr. high were similar.  One thing that was missing from your stories was the 7th grade posture check in P.E.  They never told us at the time why they were doing it, but I learned years later they were mainly checking the girls for scoliosis.  They didn't want the boys to feel left out, so we were checked after the girls were finished.  About a dozen of us boys flunked the test and were put in a special P.E. class in 8th grade.  Near the end of the 8th grade year, the coach (not the regular one) had me stand in front of a 3-sided mirror with my shirt off.  It was quite a shock to see that I had a forward curved spine.  No one had ever told me.  A few years ago I learned that is one of the characteristics of Marfan Syndrome and it starts curving at about age 10. 
 
The Cuban Missile Crisis and the JFK assassination were the main mileposts when I was in Jr. High.  I was sitting in my 4th period Algebra class when we got the news about JFK.  I have discovered that most people don't remember (or don't want to remember) their Jr. High years.  But I'm one of those who remembers Jr. High better than High School.  All of the people that I hung out with in High School were people that I knew in elementary or Junior High.
 
John Burroughs must have been built after 1933 or it would have been torn down in the 1970's because of the Field Act.  Most of the schools that I attended (including Jr. High) have been torn down.  I was able to take pictures of them before they were demolished.  The replacement schools are mostly ugly.  When I took pictures of the Jr. High school I was able to go in and take pictures of the gym and locker room.  I even took a picture of the 1915-era shower room.   I was shocked to discover the shower heads were about a foot lower than what I remembered.  Then I realized that it was me - I had grown a foot in the 3 years since I had left.
 
Well, that's all.  Again, congratulations on a great website.