Fan Mail

Here are some of the nice letters we've received from our visitors.

BACK•••••••••••Drop us a line

I just wanted to say I enjoyed your site very much. I
am not from Anaheim but went there each year in the
70's for the family vacation to Disneyland. We stayed
at the Disneyland Hotel but I was always fascinated by
the gaudy signage to be seen in the surrounding area.
I too have been trying to piece together the history
of the hotels and other facilities around the park;
I've found some good resource material among the ads
and articles in Vacationland magazines from the
period; in fact I found your site while doing a search
on the Chalet Steak & Pancake House that was
advertized therein.
I was particularly fascinated by the "Rise and Fall of
the Golden Forest" section. Today, the refurbished
hotel is called the Anabella and I stayed there last
Spring. In one of the pictures (taken while facing
California Adventure), I can actually see the room I
stayed in.
I could run on for hours about this stuff but wouldn't
want to bore you...
Anyway, great job on the site and I plan to check back
Chris Walter
Modesto, CA


I was delighted to find your web page while killing time tonight on the Internet. I grew up not far from the Cockatoo Inn,
I now live in the Midwest and had no idea that the Cockatoo has shut down and was in such a state of disrepair.  When did you take the pictures of the Cockatoo?  Are there any plans to reopen it or are they going to bulldoze it?  By the way I remember that the Cockatoo used to have an all you can eat prime rib dinner on Friday and Saturday nights back in the 70's.
Thanks for bringing back such memories of the time, I also explored the various web sites on you "Links" and spent way too much time exploring the various motels and restaurants around Anaheim.
Hope to hear from you soon,

Victor - Thanks again for the donation (I mentioned it at the guestbook) - I
checked out your site and LOVED your Photos of the Forgotten page. I didn't
think anyone else out there appreciated the old "MasterCharge" signs! I live
in San Francisco and regularly take photos of retro signage up is
unfortunately a dying subject.
Thanks again,

Thanks for the link! Keep up the great work!!!!!
I looked at everything. I think Wonder Bowl was built in 1959.
Cockatoo Inn shots were amazing too!!! Didn't know it closed.
Hope to see you at a slide show!!! And make sure to say hello!!!

Excellent site! I dig nostalgia from the late 60's / early 70's.
I loved the photos of motels. Some I completely forgot about. I'm not
Orange County but we went to Disneyland every summer. Now I drive down
Katella every day on my way to work. I don't like the new entrance to
and I don't like what they've done to "improve" the Anaheim Resort
James Northcutt

Your pictures of long-ago Southern California are great and bring back
fine memories. I originally happened upon the site while looking for
pictures of Hody's restaurants that I frequented as a child that were
the corner or La Brea and Rodeo in the Baldwin Hills section of Los
Angeles. Any photos of places in that area?
Thanks for your time.
Elliott Singer

I just stumbled upon your site -- I love the pictures! Very, very
cool. Do the Tiki Apartments still exist? Where are they? Would love to
see them in person. Thanks for posting all of your wonderful pics and

Just spent hours perusing your site. I'm always glad to see someone preserving the wackiness that was once Orange County. I grew up in OC in the sixties, and was raised on Googie architecture. You remember the "Buttery," and "Ranchhouse" restaurant signs off of the 5? How about the "Circle Seal" building that became a church?
You mentioned the big Thriftimart "Ts" that were everywhere. I miss those, and the speckled "Norge" ball signs over the laundromats. I have a picture of one of those signs that I took a couple of years ago, I'll try and find it.
It's sad that alot of the landmark signs and architecture that were unique to OC have disappeared.
Still it's surprising how many bits of ancient signage still exist in and around Anaheim. I don't live there anymore, I live in No. Cal, but every now and then we go down to visit. I take pictures of the old signs now and then, and if you want, I can share a few with you.
Take care, and thanks for sharing your pics.
Dan Slavin

I grew up in Anaheim in the 70’s Went to Paul Revere elementary, in the shadow of the Matterhorn. Moved to NC shortly after graduating from Katella High School class of ‘82 I am always on the lookout for nostalgic photos from my childhood. I really enjoyed viewing all of the Anaheim images. Thank you for posting that stuff.

Keith Borshak, Creative Director

Thank you for sharing your photos and your delightful collection of postcards from the past...
I' m from France , I spent one evening visiting these archives... listening to a tune called "the way it is waltz" by Vincent Gallo... and it suits perfectly, to me..
I am glad that such sites exist on the internet.

--- François Froment

Really loved clicking through your Photos Of The Forgotten
site. Man! What cool stuff. Cool is really the only word for it.
I've been working up a site of similar theme here at It's really a work in progress and I have
a lot more to add to it if I would just get off my rear-end and do
it. Glad to know there are others out there who appreciate
mid century modern coolness and will go to the effort to try
to share it with others.

Great pics of the Fire Station Motel in Garden Grove. I must have just missed you as I
was in there filming the place about the same time. I lived there when I was a kid.

Demi Barbito

What a wonderful site,,, and sad at the same time. It's
wonderful to see the old views from the past. I lived in
Anaheim in 1969 and 1970, and would visit Disneyland often
after that. It's sad to realize that many of the wonderful
places are gone now. Were the Cosmic Age and Inn of
Tomorrow different places? They look similiar in the post
cards. Or did one become the other? Do you know when the
Cosmic Age Motel closed??? I remember staying there with my
Grandma in 1973... Thanks for your help. --Anthony

Holy Cow!
That photo section of your site is amazing. I thought I was the only one obsessed with the golden forest inn. In 1990 I suffered a short lapse in judgement and thought that I might stay there for a week while working during my spring break as a seasonal employee at Dland. When the woman at the counter (who obviously sized me up as not having the make of the standard type of clientele) asked if I wanted to see the room first, I said "sure." You might imagine my shock upon entering my prospective chambers to find cockroaches scurrying about in the daylight and the strong smell of body odor (or was it death?) permeating everything.
Trying to conceal my horror I returned to the lobby and told the woman (who was manning the desk in her bathrobe at approx. 3pm) that I was going to the bank to get cash for the room and that I would return. I hightailed it outta there and never came back except to drive by it occaisionaly and pause briefly for the purposes of imagining when the property must have operated during happier times. Trips to the Anaheim library history room always turned up nothing on the subject but 14 years (and 3 states) later your website has finally enabled me to bear witness to the happy heyday that I always imagined in my head. Thanks man,
Matt L.  Ps: got anything on the Caravan down the road?   

I love your web site! I remember so many of those places growing up in
California. I especially have found memories of going to dinner at The
Penguin in Santa Monica with my parents. It was such a cool restaurant
both on the outside and the inside. I sure miss Googie architecture.
I hate today's architecture and I wish that Googie was back in style.
There's a little motel on Tustin Avenue near Chapman Avenue in Orange
called the Sky Palm and it's got that 50's architecture. I remember my
mother saying that she new the owners of it back in the 1950's and that
someone got murdered that was either the adult child of the owners or
the adult child of the owners murdered someone, involving a love

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for helping me relive my childhood
through your wonderful web site.

Just visited your website.
I really enjoy seeing pictures of old Southern California business from
50's and 60's. I live in San Diego and I got a late start on taking
of old coffee shops, bowling alleys., etc. Its sad because I remember
many things from my childhood that aren't around anymore and its often
to even find any trace of their existance. Businesses today look so
as compaired to how they looked 50 years ago. These days you can't tell
shopping center from the next and each city has the same cookie cutter
malls with the same Starbucks, Kohl's, Wal Mart, Walgreens, Offfice
and McDonalds.
It seems like in the old days, there were coffee shops everywhere and
all seemed to be open 24 hours. What, did people just like dining at 2
the morning back then???
Thanks for the show.

James Ward
San Diego,CA

I just discovered your site, and what a hoot! I especially enjoyed your postcard collection, and I wanted to add a personal observation.
I've lived in Harbor City for about 10 years now -- I moved here when I got married as my wife has lived here most of her life -- and I JUST ate at Arturo's for the first time last month.
I had a great laugh when I saw the Arturo's post card because it looks almost the same today. There are newer buildings close to this structure, but the colors are the same, and I think the tables inside are all originals.
Eating there felt like a step into the past, and now I know why.
--Andrew Walsh 


Thanks for the eyeball ride back to the future!

Gee the future was swell back then!

All the best,

-Kit Galloway, Santa Monica

ps: I used to eat in The Penquin, now I get my teeth fixed there. It's
just not the same.

Thanks for taking the time to assemble such loving memories -- and
incredible images! -- of your SoCal youth.

I realize you were situated in Orange County, but I'm wondering if you
ever made it up to the California Museum of Science and
Industry (near USC). I have such fond memories of the place that I
devoted an entire site to it:
Be sure to check out my postcard collection!

Back to explore more on your site. Love the old Anaheim motels!


I recnetly was loking at your picturs , of the forgotten rides. I was pleased to see some photos of the ferris wheel from the pike. Last week I acquired one of the seats from the ferris wheel. It is dated on the side, aug. 5, 1905. It has a little rust in the floor board, and the pads are mostly gone. You can see where the pads were originally stuffed with hoarse hair padding. I plan on restoring this peice and building a small A frame to hang it on and use it as a swinging chair. If you have anymore pics, or know of someone that might, please email me at
P.S. I think you web sight is great, keep up the good work.....Mike Kerr

Boy, did those photos of the Pike bring back memories - we use to go there in the
60's and 70's. I remember a weird fun house there that was in a few TV
shows, and one merry go round that I thought was the most terrifying
ride -
not only did it go up and down, but the floor was wavy, so the force
verticle and outward forces were tremendous - you had to cling on for

Thanks for the memories.


Hey, thanks for creating such a great site, and recording so many
great places! Special thanks for the documenting of old play
structures! I thought I was the only one who loved those old things!
Have you ever seen the giant robot? about the same size as the
rocket-ship but with giant arm tubes in front for slides! I'll see if
I can find any pix. The last one I knew of was in Glendale. I used to
take my kids there in the early 1990's.
Also, there's another great park that I affectionately call "Monster
Park". Actually, it's Vincent Lugo Park in San Gabriel. I had my
birthday there last year and my little niece and nephews loved it! I
will send some pix if you want. The structures are all custom concrete
sculptures of sea creatures. I think they were done by one man in the
WPA days. not too sure of the exact history, though. I know they
were there recently, and I think the city takes pride in them, so
even thought they need some work, I don't think they will disappear!

Keep up the good work!
Escott O. Norton


Just stumbled across your site. I LOVE IT and have instantly added it
to my bookmarks.
I am a UK retro artist, who is bonkers for all things Mid Century
Californian. It's real inspirational for me, so as you can imagine I
went totally gaga over your site.
At the moment I'm into the dingbat apartments of Southern Cal and when
I can I take lots photos to paint from back home in England. Last time
I was over I made connections with M Modern Gallery in Palm Springs
(another Mouth watering town) and I have exhibited my work there now
on many occasions.
Great to know Americans are appreciating their own heritage too.
Please keep checking out my website as I regularly update it.

Thank you!

Jacqueline Davies. UK


I was doing a search on the Huddle and saw your website ( - very cool!). Anyway, I was searching for the Huddle because I was watching an old, cult film called "Gun Girls" on OnDemand tv and there was a scene where a gangster type is pulling out of a driveway of a Huddle restaurant. I wondered if the restaurant was still around so I did a search to see where it was in Los Angeles. Anyway, just letting you know because I saw your post requesting any additional information re: the Huddle chain. Just thought it would be fun to share.

Also, I see that you have quite a few Sambo's pix up. I used to eat there all the time as a kid with my family and really enjoyed the artwork/drawings that were inside the menus. You probably already know this but there is still a Sambos in Santa Barbara (on the beach) and as it turns out, it was the very first Sambos (guess that's why it is still there - registered landmark?) *and* they have the original drawings of the scenes in the menu from years ago framed on the walls.

I'm originally from Florida and grew up around motels with names like "The Whispering Sands", "Shore Crest", "Atlantic View" and "The Beachcomber". Naturally they all had the green, red, blue and/or yellow flood lights projecting upwards on the palm trees. A "look" that I actually have grown to love as you don't see much of that anymore... at least in L.A. so your website of 'California Dingbat Apartments' and 'Cool Coffee Shops' made me smile as it reminded me of that earlier time. The skateboard pix were cool too. It seems that back then the attire was no different on the west coast than the east coast (tube socks, knee pad and helmet style, etc). Keep up the good work! I'm a fan of your site!


Thanks for the cool website. On my 4th hour of enjoying it! A lot of work went into it obviously, and it is well-appreciated!

Elisabeth Johnson

Good Day. Thanks to you I have just recieved the biggest "Blast From The Past" and wanted to thank you from the bottom of my childhood heart. I was browsing the internet doing the nostalgia thing and ran across your pictures of The Pike, an old amusement park area located in Long Beach, California. I was born in Long Beach in 1966 and grew up there until I left in 1983, during which I had many times walked (usually rollerskated) my way down to the Pike and did the rides and the walking around thing. But coming across the photos of this area, the pike and such has brought back many chilhood memories that again I consider an enjoyable "Blast from My Past" and wanted to drop you a line and say thanks.
Feel free to respond if you are ever looking for stories of kids who had fun during this era.

Hi there

I just wanted you to know what a fantastic site you have. I especially want to say thank you for all the pictures of the Inn of Tomorrow, including the picture from 1980. I am especially fond of that picture because that was the year I went to Disneyland and stayed at the Inn of Tomorrow! I was only 6 years old, but I remember the motel, the rooms and the topiary trees very well. I am going back this year - but I am not staying at the Inn of Tomorrow this time. I would however, like to take a walk and see it again.. even though everything has changed. I wish I could eat at Sambo's (which I remember was horrible) just one more time.

Thanks... June

Very cool site! I stumbled across it one day while searching for information about the Golden Forest Inn, where I was briefly employed during my sophomore year of high school in 1983 or so. It was quite an experience, and your photos of its pre-renovation state in 2000 look pretty much how I remember it - bleak and depressing.

But what really caught my attention was your photos and film clip of the old White Front building on Harbor Boulevard. I can barely remember shopping in there with my family when I was a kid, then watching for years as it sat empty and became a deteriorating but intriguing eyesore. I was able to get inside once with a few of my friends through an open shipping door at the rear of the building, and I remember it being exhilarating but extremely creepy; someone had dragged a pair of coin-op newspaper vending machines (probably from the Hollywood Press, which seemed to be on every corner on Harbor in those days) inside so they could break open the coin boxes in peace. Those things were heavy and not easy to move, and it gave us the distinct feeling that there could be a gang of filthy, weightlifting drug addicts watching us from the shadows. We raised hell inside there for an hour or so, until a pair of Anaheim's Finest showed up and escorted us off the property. A week later it caught fire and was gutted, which foiled any further plans we had of exploring the rest of the building.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to make such an amazing site. If you have any more photos or film from White Front or any other abandoned area, please post it! It definitely reminded me of how much fun it was growing up in Anaheim in the 1980s.


I remember that old White Front, both as a dept store and as an abandoned shell. Until recently, my clock radio was from that very store, purchased in the late 70s. It finally conked out a few years ago. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to have fun poking around your site

My parents used to take me to The Huddle in West Covina as a kid.
Man, whoever tore the place down should have been put in stocks in
the town square.

Thanks for a great site!

Don Williams
Malibu, CA

Thanks for making your website. I'm also facinated with the disappearing landmarks of my birthplace. I grew up in Garden Grove and Huntington Beach, 1960-78. Now I live in NY. Just read a book that led me to your website: Creepers by David Morrell. It's about urban explorers, etc. You would probably really like it if you haven't read it already! He mentions a website called

Warmly, Julie

In random use of google today I found your website. I am wondering if you are still interested in stories or knowledge of the Huddle chain.

My name is Patricia Aadland Crook. My father Chet Aadland was a Manager and Supervisor for the Huddle chain. I practically grew up in the Huddle Bundy and my father was the Manager of the Huddle you wrote about in Covina. When my husband and I were married in 1962 the Roaring 20's was used for our reception.

We have fond memories of the Huddle Covina or Eastland. Teddy Buckner was there for a long time and years after when we spoke to him in Disneyland he remembered my father fondly.

You don't mention the Huddle Palm Springs. The day after I got my drivers license in 1957 my father let me drive to Palm Springs. He was a supervisor then and had several to oversee. One of those was the Huddle in Palm Springs.

I would have to go through my father's things to see if he has anything with the Huddle on paper. I know we still have a waffle iron (one side still works beautifully) that was used in the Covina restaurant.

My father was also a bar manager at the Beverly Hills Hotel before the 2nd World War. I still have a stack of plates that were used there in 1938.

Patricia Crook

My Sunday afternoon watching Jackie Brown while I wait until 5pm to go off to my job of 19 years. During the movie the Cockatoo Lounge shows up and the memories pour back into my brain of my home town LA. Born and raised in LA. lived in Inglewood, Lawndale, Hawthorne and many other towns. I look on the web for the Cockatoo Lounge to confirm my memory and stumble on your site "Photos of the Forgotten" and what a site it is OMG The Pike, you have done a great job gathering all the pictures.

I notice you are Synthetrix. I am a huge fan of Tiësto's club life I get a updated podcast weekly. I am an older electronic fan I sometimes think I am one of a kind most fans are normally young e-tard's lol

This email is just to tell you, you are appreciated.
Thank you

Mike Henry
Buffalo, NY

Hi--I was looking at your pictures of the pike to see if I could find any pics of the bumper car ride. I just purchased a bumper car that I am going to restore that came from the pike. I came across the pic of you and your brother in the abandoned bumper car ride. I swear that the car that you are sitting in is the exact car that I have. Front end missing and looks to be the one. I can send you a pic of the car if you wish. Take care, Bill in Garden Grove

Just wanted to say thanks for the site. I was born in 1953 in Bixby Knolls. Lived for a short time in Victory Park in Compton. Yep, compton was a good place to live in at one time. We moved to 1306 Chalet, in Anaheim in August of 1955. Lived there until August of 1968. Went to Palm Lane Elementry School (read it burned back in May), and Ball Jr. High.

Spent time a the Pike. Always wanted to ride the Cyclone Racer, but in 1961 was too small. Only redeeming grace was that my paternal grand parents let us ride the PE a few times. We rode the Long Beach line in 1961. That was the last year for the PE.

We moved to Porterville in 1968. Hillbilly Hell for city boys, and I need a dose of home every once in awhile. Thanks once again.

I am glad I stumbled onto your website. I am an Orlando, FL resident who grew up in Santa Ana and remember that old White Front store vividly, my dad grounded me once for venturing in there. I used to have to go up to that section of Anaheim because that Toys r Us was the only Toys r Us in Orange County and I used to see that store all boarded up. Wow I feel nostalgic, thanks. - David Delano

Hi there,

I just stumbled across your site after looking for anything on Paul Cummins. I lived in L.A. in the Sixties and used to hang out at his Roaring Twenties place on La Cienega Blvd. What a grand club it was! I got to know him (we were both from Iowa). He had some of the best Dixie Jazz players in the entire country.

I have always loved the "Googie" architecture of that time (I have the book), and had been in all of those great restaurants at one time or another. Norm's and Ships were two of my favorites. The Penguin in Santa Monica was another one.

Thanks for your great site. It is nice to remember how great L.A. used to be.

G.L. Powell

I am not one for taking the time out to write a note to the owner of ANY site but I just had to take exception... I am a little Aussie who loves history. I am so taken aback with this site and I spent more than an hour looking over every picture admiring your passion and notation of such an eclectic history - that I thought it was important to let you know how much I enjoyed myself on this trip to the past. How marvelous it must have been and how sad it is now that the history is not preserved or the renovations have not given the respect to the buildings/history it deserves. It's truly an injustice to those in the past who had such original thought in design and imagination to create architecture that is lost on all of us today... we are so focused on the future... knocking down "old" buildings to make way for "new" "modern" buidlings. Erasing the past was a pastime for us Aussies back in the early 80s and the result was the destruction of vital parts of our history destroyed literally overnight. But thanks to a small and loud group of people brought the importance of preservation to the forefront of politicians and the public alike ensuring the any further destruction would be halted and today we have the Historic Houses Trust and other organisations who are untrusted with the continued preservation of Australia's historic buildings... so thankyou for sharing as I REALLY enjoyed my time here!

I was browsing Grow-a-Brain and found a link to your website...what a wonderful place! I also grew up in Anaheim and went to Fremont Jr. High (and Anaheim High). My mom used to take us to the Japanese Village a lot!
Oh, the great memories! Thank you!


I'm sure you get many emails about this, but those kitschy motels were
some of the most vivid pleasure I had as a kid. and your photos had
maybe the most vivid image that I had in my memory -- those lucite blue
bubbles in the divider between the main bedroom and the bathroom area. I
remember looking at those amazed.

you know what is the perfect complement INSIDE disneyland to those
motels (which as I'm sure you know are often referred to as "googie"
architecture --

the "adventure through inner space" ride at disneyland, which I hear is
no longer there. that was so intensely futuristically goofy, with the
"microscope" that seemed to be shrinking down the ride participants into
tiny people...

I salute your site dedicated to bringing back old memories. I try to do
the same thing with my own past, and it's rewarding... thinking of
writing a memoir, seeing if I can put it all together into one coherent

anyway, thanks for the great materials!!


I grew up on Sage Street in Garbage Grove right across from White Front, skate boarded the Convention Center and snuck into just about every motel pool there was.
Thanks for the throwback.


Wow! I am so enjoying viewing this site. I grew up in La Mirada and Biola Avenue has a lot of these Southern California Modern homes. Can’t believe that back in the 50s, 60s, this type of architecture was offered in a “tract home”. Love the Neutra look in homes also. The “playground equipment” reminded me of the rocket in Gardenhill Park in La Mirada. It was so fun to grow up back then. Such treasures we grew up with. Thanks for the work you have put into this site. I have passed this on to my brother.


Hey there, I saw the photo of the old "lighthouse" slide tower on your website, and it immediately took me back.  I grew up in San Pedro, CA, and there was an identical slide at Friendship (Bogdanovich) Park for many years.  The slide came out in the late 80's, but I've never forgotten the hours I spent playing in it.  If I can find a photo of it, I'll send it along.
In the meantime, I'm wondering what is the location of the lighthouse on your web site, and is it still standing?  If it still exists and it's anywhere in the Los Angeles area, I'd like to take a drive to see it, and show it to my kids.  Please let me know, thanks.
--Scott Brust
P.S.  I also enjoyed your photos of the old sailing ship slide at Ryan Park in Palos Verdes.  Such a shame that it's gone now!