Thursday, December 20, 2007

Knott's Christmas, Orville Hanson, & Book Baron

Today I have two images from Knott's Berry Farm in December 1966, both from the collection of the Orange County Archives. The first is Santa's Igloo. The sign in front says, "Santa will be in his workshop 12 noon to 6:00 pm." The second photo is of Bob's Men's Shop, which (from the early 1950s until just recently) stood where the giant Snoopy store is now located on Grand Ave. Personally, I miss Bob's. They had a lot of great stuff, including a good stock of Pendelton wool products, Reyn Spooner shirts, high-end western wear, and a stock of good quality ordinary things like belts and ties. It was always easier to find good stuff there than at Macy's, Bloomingdales, or any of these other East Coast outfits.
Sadly, longtime Huntington Beach resident Orville Hanson passed away on Dec. 16th. I hear that his funeral will be at First Christian Church on Main St., tomorrow (Dec. 21) at 11am. Born in 1919, Orville was a member of the HBHS class of 1937, an oilworker, and more recently was the chairman of the City's Historic Resources Board. As Diane Ryan put it, "Huntington Beach has lost an important link to its historical past. Orville will be missed."
The Book Baron is now closed for good. I hear that Acres of Books is likely to be next. This is a seriously disturbing trend. Book-buying sites on the Web have advantages too, but they don't let you browse and discover books through serendipity.


Anonymous said...

Hadn't check your blog in a while, but thanks for the memories! Book Baron was my first book-junkie love growing up, even better than the library, it hooked me on that old-book smell that just does not translate to the burnt-Starbucks-coffee aroma at Border's. Now I make the 5 hour drive to SLO for Leon's. And every Christmas we would go to KBF, see Santa at his igloo. and then spend hours racing through the old jungle island playground until Mom dragged us off to the Sears Center, leaving us to play in the rock tunnels while she ran into a store. A whole slew of memories I cannot pass down to my kids, especially the leaving the kids in the middle of a mall thing. I so miss the OC you post here!

Chris Jepsen said...

Yes, Leon's is great too, but the five-hour drive is a pain in the ass, even if I DO get to stop at the Hitching Post (in Buellton) for steak and shrimp cocktail on the way home.

I'd love to see photos of the rock tunnels at the Buena Park Mall. That sounds great! My closest memory is climbing on big concrete animals at Westminster Mall. I specifically remember a lifesized bear and an alligator. But caves sounds much cooler.

The Sears at Buena Park Mall had a beautiful Modern exterior, which I hope they didn't screw up during the mall's recent makeover.

Sadly, I never got to see Jungle Island or Santa's Igloo. We usually went to Knott's in November, for my birthday. And I don't think we ever spent time on anything east of the highway except Independence Hall.

As for letting kids play in the mall, I don't think that's any more dangerous than it was when we were kids. The media just makes it SEEM like it's a more dangerous world than it used to be. If there's one gory child-murder in Tulsa, we'll all hear about it (in detail) for months, because it brings up ratings and sells more advertising.

I say this now,... but just watch. Someday I'll be a father myself and I'll be the most paranoid guy on the planet.

Anonymous said...

I will see if Mom can find any old photos. Since she taught me how to be disorganized it is unlikely, but I will ask. And yes, you will someday be as paranoid as me, but a far better parent. You'll buy your kids Disney passes.