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Frankie Avalon

Name: George Johnson ~~~~~~~~~~ Wed-Jan 25, 2006, 6:24 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1962
City & State: Spinnaker Cove, Ca
Message: J.B.; Excuuuuuuuuse Me!! !, as far as I'm concerned, "Bill's Service", guy's were big time racers. they were at Lion's Drag Strip almost every week end with I think a 57 Chevy. that won quite often. Also, they used to show up just down the road from their business location, at the Hyperion Plant to race periodically if I'm not mistaken?. I still remember the story being that Dick Bergen bought his car from them?, if I'm wrong, I'm wrong, just going by what I remember.
Hey George, Sorry I didn't mean to sound so nasty. Just having a bad day, I guess. I was at Lions every weekend and I wasn't a big time racer. Bill's Service had a blue 58 Chevy Biscayne driven by Jay Watkins and a root beer colored 58 Chevy Impala driven by Joe Pisciotta. Later they built a stock 57 Chevy 283 with a Powerglide and 4:56's that went in the low 14s. That could be the one you're talking about. It does sound like they were big time racers but it was pretty boring going in there as they were always tuning someone's station wagon. Jay told me one time, "John, I'm being audited by the IRS. They want to know how a guy that makes 5500 a year spent 7000 on his racecar. I told them, well....I don't eat much."

Name: George johnson ~~~~~~~~~~ Wed-Jan 25, 2006, 4:01 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1962
City & State: Spinnaker Cove, Ca
Message: J.B. I may be wrong, but, as I recall, the Chevrolet 409 was only a concept car back in 1960, that's why Dick Bergen's 1960 / 409 was considered legal at the Drag Strips. He bought that car from "Bill's Service" (big time racers) out of El Porto who had somehow obtained the car from the manufacturer.
Chevrolet did not make the 409 available 1n 1961, choosing to put the 348 ci / 350 HP into production instead (in my opinion, that was the best high performance package they ever produced, pound for pound). The true 409 package did not become available until 1962, when they put it into production?.
First of all, Jay Watkins and his partner Dean who owned Bills Service on Highland in El Porto weren't big time racers, they were both just hard working guys who had to show up and turn a wrench everyday to go drag racing on the weekend. I know that because I raced with them. I got my first 4 speed from Jay and he's the one who loaned me a 4 barrel and manifold so our 58 Chevys wouldn't both end up in the same class.
I was there 4 days a week. They had no factory ties to GM and if Dick Bergen bought a 60 Chev with a 409 in it, it wasn't a stocker and concept cars couldn't run in stock classes. 335 hp was the most horsepower Chevrolet ever gave a 59 or 60 Chevy. No 409s until 1961.

Name: Lori ~~~~~~~~~~ Wed-Jan 25, 2006, 3:07 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Padelford
Class: 1981
Message: Keith, we all loved Kirk he was just a great person. Always happy and had a good heart. We all miss him dearly. It will be 20 years April 12th. Gone but by no means forgotten

Name: Karen Fraser ~~~~~~~~~~ Wed-Jan 25, 2006, 2:20 pm - HHS Time
City & State: Hawthorne
Message: Hey John , Not one to be left out, let us not forget Bitchin'Bob Fraser's '61 Chevy 409. I live in the shadow of that memory....
Hey Karen, That shoulda' been mine. What a great 61 that was, thanks....

Name: John Baker ~~~~~~~~~~ Tue-Jan 24, 2006, 6:36 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1962
City & State: Lomita, CA
Message: For all you early drag racing fans, I just got word from Denny Unfried that Dyno Don Nicholson just passed away from Alzheimers at age 78.
Don was an early day S/S drag racer and I really remember this particular car at the Winter Nationals at Pomona, and at Lions on Sundays, in the early 60s.
Rest in peace Don, you were one of the best.

Name: Pat ~~~~~~~~~~ Tue-Jan 24, 2006, 6:10 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Kavanaugh
Class: 1964
City & State: NY
Message: Thanks for the information on Mr. Fix, certainly my most memorable teacher at HHS, though there were sure a lot of great ones. I am so appreciative of hearing about him and of finding others through your site that I had to show my thanks by catching up on all my dues to Cougartown. :) I had a reunion last year in Portland with many old friends including Lee Ann and Susie (maiden name Nixon), which was so much fun. I have reconnected with several others too, including Gary Miller and Kathy Arce, and even met up again over the past few years with others (Bill Ennis, Sherry Rout, and Bobbi Battle). What fun getting back a slice of yesteryear.
Hi Pat, and thank you very much for the dues, as it is very much appreciated. Glad too that you're reconnecting with your Hawthorne family as that's what it's all about. Thanks again...

Name: Bob Reagan ~~~~~~~~~~ Tue-Jan 24, 2006, 4:57 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1962
City & State: Redding,Ca
No E-mail
Message: Late one evening I was involved in a race in my 62 "409" on the Manchester on ramp against a Ford. We dropped off our riders at the first overcrossing which was a 1/4 mile from the start. At the starting line at the bottom of the ramp I told the driver that we would go on three, He could count, I figured he would go on two so I was going to go on one.
As soon as he said one we were both gone. I was ahead at the first overcrossing and could tell he wasn't going to quit so we raced to the second overcrossing, I was still ahead,luckily for me, when I did something really stupid and touched my brakes, immediately throwing me over into his lane which scared the crap out of me so I put my foot back in it and went onto the freeway at approximately 140 mph ( my 120mph speedometer had come around all the way to zero). Lucky for me in those days that the traffic wasn't real heavy at eleven O'clock in the evening. I'm sure I scared the hell out of the people I passed trying to get slowed down, I know I scared the hell out of myself to the point when I got off at Imperial I had to pull over and stop because I was shaking so bad I couldn't drive. After about 30 minutes I was finally able to go back and pick up my rider, Ron Wedworth, who thought I had gone to Jail. "Some of the dumb things we did and lived to tell about it" WOW!!!
Yes, I remember the shaky clutch leg and all after a street race. Very exhilarating, as I recall.Thanks for the story, Bob.....

Name: A. J. Repashy ~~~~~~~~~~ Tue-Jan 24, 2006, 4:33 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: NA
City & State: La Jolla, California
Message: Hi to my students of '58 to '64!!!!!!!!!!
John suggested that I let you know I'm still alive and kicking, so here goes.
I left HHS in '64 and entered the fulltime doctoral program at UCLA. I finished that in '66 and took a job at The Univ. of Toledo in Ohio. In '69, I moved to a Dean of Instruction slot at San Jose' City College, back in CA. This was not an easy time to be a college administrator. My Marine Corps training helped more than my UCLA training!
Next, I moved to San Diego City College, as president, in '74. I remained there until 1987, when I retired after two heart attacks and open-heart surgery.
I will always remember the great faculty and wonderful students at HHS. What a change has taken place in 50 years! They don't make them that way any more!
I still live in La Jolla, CA with my wife Louise, who I married in '62. I have two children in their forties. One, Allen, is an internationally known reptile breeder, and the other, Debbie, is a radio station (KKDV in northern CA) personality.
Best wishes and regards to all my Cougar friends!
Hello Mr. Repashy, and thank you for adding to our Feedback Page. I, and I know many other alumni, certainly enjoy hearing from our administrators and faculty. For all who don't know, Mr Repashy ran the bowling club in his days at HHS and he will forever be remembered by me, as the one who removed me from said club for adding myself to both bowling club pictures in the 61 El Molino. I'm publicly apologizing to you for that deed some 45 years ago and have to say you were right, I was wrong, and no hard feelings.
Thanks again Mr. R and come on back and add to these pages anytime.

Name: Keith D. Jones ~~~~~~~~~~ Tue-Jan 24, 2006, 1:26 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1976
City & State: Kona,HI
Message: NO! I meant hate funerals. I loved Kirk. He was a great guy and my friend. I just can't stand sad things. Heck I cry during Lassie. And Tropicana Bowl is where I spent my 13th birthday with about 20 friends. We went bowling and I rmember crying cause I only got 2 strikes. And I was really good in bowling. That was a neat bowling alley.

Name: Carl Johnson ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Jan 23, 2006, 8:20 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1969
City & State: Torrance, California
Message: My guess is that what the racers are refering to as Arlington was really Van Ness between 190th and Del Amo. Back in the 60's it was pretty deserted at night before they opened up Del Amo to allow cars to pass through La Rana. It had a reputation as a street racing spot. Van Ness hooks into Arlington a little further south.
THAT'S GOTTA BE IT!!! Great drag racing spot too and all the chainlink fits. Thanks Carl for fixing that one.

Name: Lori Garcia ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Jan 23, 2006, 8:15 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Padelford
Class: 1981
City & State: Garden Grove, CA
Message: Keith Jones... Your email on 1-21-06 has me confused... you hate who? I assume you're speaking of the Agajanian's that owned Ascot?
I was a little worried about that one, but didn't want to say anything.

Name: stevefrasers ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Jan 23, 2006, 8:03 pm - HHS Time
City & State: laguna woods , ca
Message: I can't believe that nobody remembers the "Drag Strip" on Broadway between Prairie and Crenshaw. There was a marker on a pole and a stripe on the street that measured 1/4 mile. The street is now Northrop Ave. Another good race was the on-ramp South to the 405 from Manchester. It was long, straight, and had an off ramp to get away from the authorities.
Hey Steve, those were two great places to race. I remember Bob Reagan and his 409 had a little drag race on the Manchester on ramp one night. Wanna tell it Bob?

Name: jerry atiyeh ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Jan 23, 2006, 7:51 pm - HHS Time
City & State: laguna woods, calif
Message: Just looking for information and pictures of the Tropicana bowling alley. Any info please email me.

Name: Frank Louder ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Jan 23, 2006, 5:03 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1978
City & State: Littleton, CO.
Message: At one time in the feed back people were talking about Bobs Big Boy Resturants. Well in Torrance (Hawthorne & P.C.H a Bobs Big Boy is now open! Jim Louder (HHS class of 1971 is the owner. Stop by have a burger and say hello
Hey Frank, I will do just that. I've missed the Big Boy Combo for a bunch of years. Thanks for the info....

Name: Mike Shay ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Jan 23, 2006, 4:20 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1961
City & State: Cerritos, CA
Message: Hey John; You can't talk about our favorite cars from the 50's and 60's without including Bob Maclures (sp) blown 58' Corvette. I think Denny Unfried helped Bob build that car too. There's one I never got to ride in.
How about Vic Zaccaglin's 409 Chev. He told his Pop that he really had to have an air conditioner and came home with a new Paxton installed. And I still lust for Jordan DeGraws green and white 56, even though Jimmy Clairemont's 58 blew my doors off while I was driving it. Somebody Stop Me!
Yep, I was there that 3rd period Thanks Mike

Name: George Johnson ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Jan 23, 2006, 10:09 am - HHS Time
Class: 1962
City & State: Spinnaker Cove, Ca
Message: J.B. I don't remember the exact location, I do remember, there was a chain link fence that ran down both sides of the roadway though. Everyone had there cars backed up against the fence on the roadway shoulder. That's why, when the police came and blocked off both ends, there was no way to get out. There must have been a hundred people there that night (does anyone out there remember this incident?), maybe Baxter remembers the cross streets. Actually, I think Mike Hendricks found the place, I think he worked at the refinery or somewhere in that area.

Name: Baxter Dodd ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Jan 23, 2006, 1:49 am - HHS Time
Class: 1957
City & State: Riverside, CA
Message: John, I know you like conversation type posts to be done by e-mail but I think other racers may enjoy this. I heard about the ?big bust on Arlington? a couple of days later from Bruno who was there racing. He was way ahead of the pack and had pulled over to replace his A/C and PS belts when the cops got there. Since Bruno was a little older and his Bonneville looked like a family car, he told the cop he just stopped to fix his fan belt and didn?t know anything about those other guys. He got off. Good thing the cops were not close by when he started that beast to go home. I don?t remember all the cross streets to the Arlington road. It ran north and south, about a half mile long, 4+ lane blacktop road the Torrance chemical plant put in to handle employee traffic during the day. At night, there were no lights, no houses, and no cars around. A perfect drag strip except for an occasional cop. As I recall there was a deuce coupe with a dodge hemi that dominated that road.--- Baxter
I know where Arlington is, but can't think where we raced. I remember we raced on Crenshaw between 190th and Del Amo. That stretch ran through the Mobil Refinery and was all chain link on both sides except for two driveways about half way down. We also raced at a place we called Shell. I think it was down on Wilmington Av north of Sepulveda.

Name: Norv Vorhis ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Jan 22, 2006, 10:46 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1959
Message: Hi All, I never raced on the street.
Grabbed this pic before we took it out of my Dads Garage a couple of years ago. It was done in the HHS print shop, probably by Gordon Bell C/O 62.

Noticed the reference to a "Big Block" Pontiac. 287" that came in '55 Pontiacs and GMC pickups was the same, externally, as the 326 - 455s. Regards, Norv

Yep, those Pontiacs always looked the same to me. I love that poster too. A copy of it hung in the Bell's garage too, for many years. I remember Tom Bell had a Studebaker Golden Hawk, hence the "Tomahawk", and we did do some hatchet work too.

Name: George Johnson ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Jan 22, 2006, 8:34 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1962
City & State: Spinniker Cove, Ca.
Message: Hey Baxter, That's the guy, Bruno, I knew someone would remember his name. Bax, were you there on Arlington the night when the police showed up and blocked off both ends of the road (raceway). They took a few people to jail for exhibition of speed & wreckless, I think Mike Hendricks was one of them. Those that didn't go to jail got cited for anything and everything that they could think of. I was lucky, my car was in the shop and I was riding with Jerry Rogers that night, he got a zinger for something and wanted me to pay half.
Hey George, I don't remember racing on Arlington. Between where and where?

Name: Lisa ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Jan 22, 2006, 7:51 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Graham
Class: 1967
City & State: Ramona, CA
Message: The Signal station was at Inglewood Ave and Rosecrans.
I remember that one, and remember Trefz's Signal Station on 120th and Inglewood Av. Thanks Lisa.....

Name: Baxter Dodd ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Jan 22, 2006, 6:57 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1957
City & State: Riverside, CA
Message: We used to race on 120th next to the airport after church on Sunday afternoons. Never got caught or stopped. Another favorite and little known place was on Arlington next to a Torrance chemical plant. The only guy I knew who raced a big-block (500+ ci) 10+ sec Pontiac Bonneville was Bruno Salazar from Torrance. Mike Scott, HHS ?61?, drove a late '50s Studebaker that ran pretty good. Also there was Bob Bishop?s ?62 409 who I could never beat with my ?61 348 Tri-power. When the subject of racing is mentioned one question comes to mind, knowing what I know now would I have done it the same way? i.e., buy a muscle car, dump money in it to make it faster, and get lots of expensive tickets as opposed to using the money to buy houses, investments, etc.? And the answer keeps coming back the same, ?Duh, Yeah!? Can?t explain it, you had to be there. --- Baxter
I know that scenario, Baxter Also another couple of nice cars just came to mind. Bob Reagan's 62 409 and Larry Sturkio's (IHS??) '63 409, later with an aluminum front end. And the MEMORIES just keep on comin'....