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So Sad

Name: Steve Eide ~~~~~~~~~~ Fri-May 2, 2008, 8:04 am - HHS Time
Class: 1966
City & State: Alexandria, VA
Message: I have enjoyed reading about our swampy past. We on the east end of town had a "vast" area bordered by Crenshaw Blvd which was riddled with hills that offered the closest thing to off-road riding on our bikes we had locally. When it rained heavily an area would fill up and give us kids an instant lake with an island (Devil's Island to us)in the middle. We also caught crawdads in the creek that ran along Crenshaw and in the creek that ran along Broadway nearby.
That was our eastside Okefenokee all right.

Name: Tammy Nichols ~~~~~~~~~~ Fri-May 2, 2008, 7:08 am - HHS Time
Class: 1981
City & State: Omaha, NE
Message: John you got me thinking about vacant lots too. My sisters and I, along with neigborhood kids, would ride bikes, build jumps, dig out bunkers, have dirt clod fights, whatever we could imagine. We imagined a lot too. No neighbors ever complained or called the police. When my dad was teaching me to drive we even did a doughnut in a vacant lot. ps don't let my mom read this.
Vacant lots were great fun when I was a kid. There was a vacant lot next to the phone company on Birch Av. that we made into our war zone. We dug foxholes all over that thing. Hard to find a vacant lot today.

Name: Keith D. Jones ~~~~~~~~~~ Thu-May 1, 2008, 11:09 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1976
City & State: Las Vegas
Message: Well I think we have a winner for the longest single paragraph on Cougartown. Does someone have the cliff notes. I may try to make that chili cookoff. If I do, I want to say I'm sorry in advance to all the fellow competitors, you tried your hardest
Thanks Keith, Yep, 1 word short of 1250. You have been dethroned. Can't wait for the picnic..... never had Hawaiian chili before

Name: Dan Johnson ~~~~~~~~~~ Thu-May 1, 2008, 10:45 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1977
City & State: El Tarasco's Dude
Message: Margie, I was hoping you'd forget that salsa incident! As I recall it, I was back in Haytown on Thanksgiving or Christmas vacation circa 1978. I went to the Casa de Galindo where they had some innocent looking salsa just hanging out on the dining room table along with some chips. I expressed interest in the salsa and received grave warnings about how "hot" the stuff was gonna be. I scoffed, "hey man, I've eaten at El Tarasco" (in my best surf dude accent) to which they all laughed saying "OK, have it your way." I started to wolf down the chips all lathered with salsa and then it hit me -- five alarm FIRE in my mouth. I had never had anything so hot (and I haven't since either). Luckily, I had brought over a six pack of Corona just for grins -- I downed all the beers in the space of about 45 minutes as the Galindo's all howled, mocking my "I eat at El Tarasco" line. I'll never forget how stupid I was -- but now my hopes that the Galindos would forget have been dashed!
Good one Dan, and Margie, please mark your salsa at the Picnic so I'll stay away from it

Name: Wayne Gratiot ~~~~~~~~~~ Thu-May 1, 2008, 10:18 pm - HHS Time
City & State: Summerland, CA
Message: I'll fall right in line with everybody else on my first post here by thanking John for such a great trip down memory lane. My family moved to Hawthorne in 1955 when my parents bought a brand new house at 1014(later 5314) W. 137th St. and I started the 4th grade at Peter Burnett right around the corner. At that time, the whole block across the street was vacant and you could see Cabrillo School with nothing but tumbleweeds between us and Cabrillo. Besides riding our bikes on that empty lot, there were many tumbleweed forts built and we also spent a lot of time throwing dirt clods at the "head" of the oilwell pump on the SE corner of the lot. Little did we know then that it would be great training for Little League which started the next year in 1956 on that very lot. I started on the minor league Cardinals sponsored by Eddings Bros. Auto Parts as a 10year old and then played on the Major League Red Sox sponsored by the Hawthorne Kiwanis the next two years. By this time, the Hollyglen Park and lighted baseball field were built and I played on the Middle League Minor Cubs as a 13 year old. Then, a "terrible" thing happened. My dad, who worked for American Airlines at LAX, was selected for a nice job as the Manager of the military base airline traffic offices on the three bases in the Oxnard/Pt. Hueneme/Camarillo area and we had to move to Oxnard. We moved on Jan. 1st, 1960 right in the middle of the 8th grade at R.H. Dana and my hope of going to Hawthorne HS and being a Cougar like all my friends was gone. I ended up going to Hueneme HS in Oxnard and graduated in June 1964. Since my grandmother moved into our house in Hawthorne when we moved to Oxnard, I was able to spend the summer of '60 there with her and play for the Middle League Major team RedMen. On game days when we were still in school, my dad would get off work early and drive me all the way from Oxnard so I could play and we would get home very late that night. Although I did get to spend the next summer with her again, the summer of '60 was the time I had to realize my life in Hawthorne was pretty much over. My best friend in Hawthorne was Harry Philipp who lived just three houses to the west from us. Although Harry was two years older than me, we hit it off from the day his family moved in and I am responsible for giving him the nickname of Joey because I had heard his mom call him Georgie and thought she was saying Joey. All our other friends on the street called him Joey also and he didn't really mind so it stuck. After moving to Oxnard, I went to Hawthorne on some weekends with my family to visit with my grandmother, but once I got my driver's license, I was driving down to Hawthorne on Friday or Saturday so I could cruise Hawthorne Blvd. with "Joey" after he got off work at the Food Giant. By this time, "Joey" had bought a nice black 57 Chevy Bel Air in which he had put a brand new 365hp 327, close ratio 4-speed and 4:11 posi rear end. I can still see the engine sitting in a crate in his garage before it went in the car. I have been an extreme car guy ever since. One night, I went into Food Giant to let "Joey" know I was there and he gave me the keys to his car and told me to have fun, but don't be late in picking him up after he got off work later that night. With the Vibrasonic radio blasting and cruising the Blvd., I was in heaven. One problem came up though. Heading north on Hawthorne Blvd. toward the Wich Stand, I stopped at a red light right next to a very nice and loud black 58 Chevy Impala 348 and you all know what happened next. The 58 was almost as fast as "Joey's" 57 and I didn't start to pull ahead of him until just before we had to shut down for the next red light. Thrilled at the outcome, I noticed that the other guy was turning right at that light and then a car pulled up next to me and said there was a cop back behind me a few cars. Sure enough, on came the cop's red light as we left on the green light. He had me follow him to the police station and then called "Joey" at work to verify that he knew I had his car. They let me talk to "Joey" and he wasn't mad and all he asked me was "Did you beat him?" I told him yes and by that time it was already time to go pick him up anyway. Just another Hawthorne cruising experience at that time, but a lifelong memory for me. Now after he got drafted and served with the 82nd Airborne and I got drafted myself in Dec.'65 and went to Germany, we lost touch and I knew he had gotten married, but I had no idea where he was or how to find him. Not until computers came into common use did I think I would ever find him again. All these years and still no "Joey" until I found this great site and after spending the last week looking at every part of John's "Time Machine", I found a Missing Person list for the class of '62 that had Harry Philipp on it with the notation "Found" next to his name. I also found a post by Diana Price on page 506 just after the 40 year reunion for the 62ers asking if anyone had found Harry Philipp. Today, I decided to send John an e-mail and explain my situation and no more than a half-hour later, he had replied with Harry's address and phone number and said he never throws anything away. That sure worked out for me. I called the phone number from 2002 and hoped for the best. A man answered and I asked if this was Harry. He said yes and I said "You're Joey too. This is Wayne." He immediately recalled my brother and sister and parents names and we talked for quite a while after that. I was actually shaking while talking to him I was so excited. I really didn't think I would ever see him again and now this. He lives in Yorba Linda and I'm up here in Summerland just 7 miles down the coast from Santa Barbara and according to Google Maps we are about 124 miles apart. We are planning to get together soon and I offered to drive down there since I have a classic 67 Mini Cooper and get great mileage. We also talked about the upcoming Cruise Night in August and I am bringing my Mini down for it and hope he will be able to make it also. Don't know how many people will know me, but it is my chance to finally, in a small way, to become a Cougar for a night. Can't wait. So, in closing as so many on this site do, I want to thank John for creating this great site and being the guy who reunited me with my best friend in Hawthorne after about 40 years. Quite a day. See you guys and gals in August. Wayne
Hey Wayne, you are so lucky I had Harry's stuff as it was in an email directory I have not looked in, in YEARS. When the Missing Cougars form was working about 5 years ago, it would send a formmail to me and automatically go in the Missing Cougars directory in my email client. I really never looked in that directory except to mark the person "Found"....Very rudimentary system at best, but I was just trying to find you all. Harry just happened to be there.
Harry was in my class and I haven't seen him since high school. He's never added his email or address info to the Info System; just one of those Cougs that drop off the face of the earth. Well Harry and Wayne, I am truly looking forward to meeting up with both of you at the next Cruise Night in August. It's been too long since you two have connected, and Harry, please add your information to the website so you don't miss our next reunion. You've missed too many already.

Name: Harry Plotkin ~~~~~~~~~~ Thu-May 1, 2008, 7:18 pm - HHS Time
City & State: Harbor City, CA
Message: Thanks to all who sent birthday wishes. An extra thanks to Dennis Campbell for the kind words. Sorry Dennis, I can't make the BBQ...DARN. Dave Roelen: An excellent article. I started teaching 7th grade at Dana when you were an 8th grader. Love to all, HCH

Name: Melanie Ranyard ~~~~~~~~~~ Thu-May 1, 2008, 3:26 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Minear
Class: 1982
City & State: haytown, ca.
Message: Hey Cougars-It's with a heavy heart that I report the passing of a fellow Cougar. Frank Sperling -aka Franko- Class of 1985 left us today, May 1st 2008. He was at home with his family. Arrangements are being made. Services will be announced shortly. Anyone who attended any EPIC parties on 120th in the late 80's / early 90's- you've been to Frank's. He holds a place in the hearts of many & he will truely be missed.
Very sorry for your loss, Melanie, but thanks for the information on Frank.

Name: Sharon Leach ~~~~~~~~~~ Thu-May 1, 2008, 3:15 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Moore
Class: 1966
City & State: Long Beach, CA
Message: Penny, if you place your cursor in the middle of the box for the article then right click you can copy and paste it into a word document. That is what I did. Make sure you left click in the middle before you right click or it won't work.
I sent it to her already...

Name: Sherry Wingo ~~~~~~~~~~ Thu-May 1, 2008, 1:13 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Peppers
Class: 1964
City & State: Haw. Ca.
Message: We had a pond near Ramona grade school. Jimmy, Sandy and I went alot. It was fun catching those tadpoles. I also remember falling in!
Hey Sherry, Don't remember that pond, but I do remember a couple of vacant lots on 136th street that when it rained hard, you could float a boat. Lots of fun in the 50s for the "Huck Finners" of Hawthorne.

Name: Penny Prouty ~~~~~~~~~~ Thu-May 1, 2008, 12:44 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Prouty
Class: 1962
City & State: Torrance, CA
Message: John, thanks for the article by Dave Roelen.......I loved it! It brought back so many memories from the 50's growing up in our neighborhood. We would see Mr. Leuzinger in his jalopy driving by our house, often (we lived on 124th & Isis)...and those carefree days out in the fields of Leuzinger's property were sooooo good! Is there a way I can get a printed copy of that article? I tried printing it from Cougartown, but was not able to. But thanks, again, for taking me back to a good place in time.
Hi Penny, Paco sent a printed copy to me, so I'll send it along.

Name: Sharon Leach ~~~~~~~~~~ Thu-May 1, 2008, 9:23 am - HHS Time
Maiden: Moore
Class: 1966
City & State: Long Beach, CA
Message: Sharon MacDonald, talking about the glasses reminded me how gas stations used to give free glasses. When married my husband 22 years ago, he had a glass with a Road Runner on it from the cartoons. He had it for years and drank everything from it just like a little kid. You guessed it, I dropped it in the sink one day an it was history. Till this day he swears I did it on purpose. I'm sure on his or my death bed those will be the last words uttered.
No Jim, I don't think that was me. I drove my dad's white Covair until I graduated. Sometimes with permission and sometimes without. When he went to bed me and my friends would push it out of the garage and down the alley for two blocks then start it with the key I had made when I had permission to drive it. I think the only blond friends I hung out with were Lenora Mills, Lyn Biggers, Cathy Moore, Carol Rutive, and Carol Whiting. Oh! I think Candy Conley was a blond off and on during high school. Sorry Candy. For my graduation present my parents gave me a fully loaded Olds 88. It was a great car. When my dad handed me the keys, he said I had to get a job or go to college to keep it. Pacific Bell was never the same after that.

Name: Jack Dicus ~~~~~~~~~~ Thu-May 1, 2008, 6:55 am - HHS Time
Class: 1968
City & State: Miramar Beach, Florida
Message: Okefenokee. The "swamp" I remember by that name is now the corner of Douglas and Utah streets, just west-northwest of R.H. Dana Jr. High. I learned to ride motorcycles there. I haven't stopped riding, just slowed down. :)

Name: Sharon MacDonald ~~~~~~~~~~ Thu-May 1, 2008, 6:45 am - HHS Time
Maiden: Badger
Class: 1963
City & State: Bruceville, TX
Message: This morning while driving to work I had a memory cross my mind. It revolves around a set of glasses that I am getting ready to send to my son. As I recall, late in 1967 or early in 1968, I spent a weekend babysitting for Gil Layral's baby when a neighbor of the Layral's gave me a set of 8 glasses that each had a decal with a different aircraft pictured. My two sons used to argue over who would get what airplane on their glass. These glasses were used in my home for 35 years until 2003 when my older son asked if he could have the glasses someday as they hold memories for him. I then packed away the remaining 7 glasses to insure their survival and am getting ready to pass them on to him. So, if the neighbor who gave those glasses to me ever reads these pages - thanks for the glasses that created memories for my son.

Name: Susan King ~~~~~~~~~~ Wed-Apr 30, 2008, 11:35 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Bierman
Class: 1974
City & State: Thousand Oaks, CA
Message: Well, it will be a hot time if Jeff Mann shows up for the party!!! Are you coming?

Name: jeff mann ~~~~~~~~~~ Wed-Apr 30, 2008, 9:38 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1975
City & State: newhall, ca
Message: In spite of the inconvienent truth of global warming, it might get very Chili in Cougartown!
OR very HOT and spicy

Name: jean maughan ~~~~~~~~~~ Wed-Apr 30, 2008, 8:52 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: robertson
Class: 1971
City & State: westchester,ca
Message: looking for elizabeth perez

Name: Armand Vaquer ~~~~~~~~~~ Wed-Apr 30, 2008, 8:40 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1972
City & State: Tarzana, CA
Message: John, regarding your "Okefenokee," would that be Devil's Dips? They were located south of Imperial Highway and near Western Ave.
No, Devils Dip is Western and Imperial. I will tell you that it was part of a slough that at one time stretched for dozens of miles in lots of directions. Not in my childhood but in the 20s and 30s it was called Nigger Slough. Honestly, check it out on early century maps.