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Name: Armand Vaquer ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Dec 10, 2007, 7:15 am - HHS Time
City & State: Tarzana, CA
Message: I don't remember Christmas lights at LAX either, but I do remember L.A. City Hall had office lights on to form a cross on each side of the building. Can't do that anymore, can we.
Name: Sherry Ward ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Dec 10, 2007, 2:47 am - HHS Time
City & State: Maryville, Tn.
Message: I don't know that I have one favorite Christmas, however, My favorite childhood memories of the season are of the Christmas decorations that all the dads in our neighborhood would put up every year. There were six homes and six families that would join together to decorate the neighborhood. Our family, the Mullins', the Acevedos, the Acords, the Bells, and I can't remember the name of the sixth family. Our house was on the end, and Santa and his sleigh would sit on top of the roof. The reindeer then ascended into the sky over the next two houses and reached up to a huge star that sat on top of the fourth house. The star was 100 feet in the air and the streamers of lights came down over all six houses. Each house was trimmed with the same colored lights and between each driveway were the words, "Merry, Xmas (Chrismas was too long to fit between the houses),Happy, New, Year This actually joined the six houses together. On each lawn were lighted Christmas scenes including a life size nativity. The street would be lined with cars all through the season as friends and neighbors would drive by to see the decorations. One year we even rented a coin operated horse for the children to ride. All the designing and building was done by the dads. It was amazing. However, as a kid growing up in the neighborhood, my favorite part was how bright the lights were. It was as bright as daylight and we could play outside after dark! Great memories! Merry Christmas to all you Cougars and Cougarettes!
Name: Thone Ritch ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Dec 10, 2007, 2:12 am - HHS Time
City & State: Placentia, CA
Message: John, your comment about there being no storm drains in Hawthorne until the late 40's and early 50's triggered two stories in my memory told in 1965 by Mrs. Ton, my wonderful speech teacher. When Hawthorne High was still fairly new, it had poured. The rains had stopped, but the pond were left behind; she came to the edge of a dry patch and stopped to wonder how she'd get across all the water in front of her to the next dry patch. With her next class starting soon, she began to step into the water when two of her big football player students each put an arm under her arms, and with her legs still moving as if there were still ground under them, transported her to dry ground on the other side. Without a word, they both preceded on their way to class leaving her speechless and gapping after them. She got such a kick out of that act of kindness, laughing as she retold the tale. One other story she told was about some unexpected results of her lecturing to one class about how eye witnesses were unreliable, that if someone came into that classroom and shot someone with all of them sitting there, there?d be as many different stories as there were students. The next day she was out ill. Unfortunately, some enterprising students, not knowing of her absence, set the scene for such a ?crime? to take place, probably counting on her good natured understanding. One student ran into the classroom shouting, ?He?s going to kill me.? The next student ran in and fired a cap gun. While the first student clutched his "bloody" chest and stumbled out the door, the shooter followed him out, presumably to finish him off. Both got in ?a getaway car? and sped off. The poor old sub nearly had a heart attack, and the principal threatened to expel all the students involved once apprehended. Mrs. Ton stepped into the breech in some way that prevented that from happening while getting the promises of those involved that they?d never do a repeat performance. By the way, another way Mrs. Ton showed her love for her students was by sending us graduation cards when we graduated. Thanks, John for reminding me to share two stories that the very memorable and lovable Mrs. Ton loved to tell.
Name: Keith Jones ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Dec 9, 2007, 10:13 pm - HHS Time
City & State: Las Vegas
Message: Well my daughter ran the Honolulu Marathon for the 5th time. Her husbands dad runs it every year and has done over a 100 marathons total. So he flys in from Japan to do the Honolulu Marathon. She has finished 4 of the 5 she entered. She ran in just over 7 hours which is way to long for me. But considering she started training for it last Monday I guess it's okay. She said she would have done better but her husbands knee started swelling at the 7 mile marker and she walked with him till mile 19. Then she ran the rest of the way and he dropped out. He didn't train at unless surfing everyday counts as training. It sure is nice to be young. Congrats to my baby. At least she beat over 3,000 others so she did pretty good and could have done better.
Name: Ricki Farrell ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Dec 9, 2007, 10:09 pm - HHS Time
City & State: Tucson AZ
Message: I too remember Regent Street and downtown L.A. It was all so beautiful and really swept all of us into the spirit of Christmas. My most memorable Christmas was the year we got a go-cart. We always got many toys and gifts for Christmas but that one was totally unexpected. My mom and dad would take us all to a big parking lot on Crenshaw and we'd all get a few turns at driving it. There were other kids there driving their go-carts. I recall once when Carlos (V4) was driving, he was about nine years old. One of the wheels came off on a turn and he just kept going. He told my dad later that he wasn't worried because it was guaranteed not to turn over. John, you are a gem and a true patriot. Thanks for everything that you do and Merry Christmas to all of Cougartown. God bless us all.
Name: Art LaMere ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Dec 9, 2007, 7:01 pm - HHS Time
City & State: Bettendorf Ia
Message: the best Christmas are all of them. I can remember my Dad putting all the lights up and the yard decorations. He put so many ligtroops hts up each year. I then started doing the same thing with all the lights. You could say that Christmas is the best time of the year. Happy Holidays to all and be safe if you are traveling this month. we have snow and it is cold as you know what. Til next time, all be safe and remember the the troops as they are keeping us safe. God bless all and all good night, Art
Name: judy ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Dec 9, 2007, 2:40 pm - HHS Time
City & State: Powers,Michigan
Message: The PACKERS won. So we get to play another game in Green Bay. And is snowing How's that for a good Christmas!!!
Name: Howard "Paco" Duran ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Dec 9, 2007, 1:50 pm - HHS Time
City & State: Lake Forest
Message: My best memories of Christmas was taking the streetcar to downtown LA and looking at all the window displays, May Co, Broadway and Bullocks.. Sears was very cool, with the electric train going through the village. My grandparents would take us to Goulds(sp)to see Santa. Best Christmas was in Hawthorne, both grandparents spending the night. Grandma Duran would start the Christmas tamales on my mom b'day Dec. 22 and end a week later on dads b'day Jan. 1. That Christmas Kathy and I got matching Roy Rogers and Dale Evans outfits, and Gold cap pistols..Very Coool.
Name: George Johnson ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Dec 9, 2007, 10:45 am - HHS Time
City & State: Spinnaker Cove, Ca
Message: J.C.; Great subject, gosh I had a lot of great Christmas's it's hard to pick. I remember Santa leaving a RED RYDER BB gun for me one year. On another Christmas, he left me a LIONEL TRAIN and a bicycle a year or so after that. My best adult memory is my first Christmas as a father to my little daughter, Kellie. She's not little any more, she now is 40 years old, teaches school in Boston, is married to a fireman and has two kids of her own. Merry Christmas everyone from the Johnson's
Name: Betty Rodriguez ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Dec 9, 2007, 10:00 am - HHS Time
City & State: Kingman, AZ
Message: John-I don't remember the year, maybe 1959 or 1960, we went over to the Arias house. Zeke & Lou took us all to see Christmas lights in Westchester. Then back to their house for tamales, rice & beans. I clearly remember the news that evening - an airplane had crashed into a neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. This home was always wonderful at the holidays. Five kids, a good television, and oh, the food!!! Merry Christmas to all! Betty
Name: Betty Rodriguez ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Dec 9, 2007, 9:52 am - HHS Time
City & State: Kingman, AZ
Message: John-I love this 'topic' thing. It makes for wonderful feedback, and carries the Hawthorne theme.
Name: Karen Kuehl ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Dec 9, 2007, 9:49 am - HHS Time
City & State: CA
Message: JB, I hope you have a wonderful, memorable Christmas celebration with your family today! My most memorable Christmases were when my grandmother, Nana, would take me on the Red Car from Huntington Park to downtown LA and walk my little legs off going from store window to store window looking at all the moving Christmas scenes. I couldn't wait to get to the next window to see what surprises that one had in store. I can't remember how young I was, but I remember being very tired and sleeping on the trip back to her house. Another memorable Christmas, I was 15, was the first time I was allowed to bring my first boyfriend with me to our Christmas party. We had some great parties and I was so proud to have him with me so all my family could meet him. I've had lots of special Christmases since then, but those are the ones I'll never forget.
Name: Pauline Matthew ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Dec 9, 2007, 9:21 am - HHS Time
City & State: Oak HIlls, CA.
Message: I have a few Christmas memories. The first one was when I was 15 my parents gave me a 1953 Ford for Christmas. It was a beautiful car. The other memories were each of my sons first Christmas. Even though they had no idea what was going on, just the look on their faces to see all the presents and the lights on the tree made your heart melt. I wish everyone a Happy Holiday and a safe 2008.
Name: Keith D. Jones ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Dec 9, 2007, 8:46 am - HHS Time
City & State: Las Vegas
Message: I remember one Christmas waking up early and running to Mike Kristich's house to wake him up. We got a new Schwinn bike almost every year. I remember begging my parents to let me and my brother open one present on Christmas Eve. My parents would always hide the presents under their bed. My dad would hide bigger presents at our neighbors house. I always bought my mom Channel No. 5 and my dad socks. My mom made the absolute best chocolate chip cookies even to this day. I wish I had her recipe. Later after 8th grade we usually spent Christmas up at our cabin in Running Springs. We bought a live Christmas tree each year and after Christmas planted it on the property. Even back then those live trees were $100 each. And they were so short. Only 3' or so. Our trees before that were usually fake. We even had a silver one. That light machine that spun around and made your tree light up in different colors is something I remember too.
Name: Jerry Miles ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Dec 9, 2007, 8:37 am - HHS Time
City & State: Fair Oaks, CA
Message: Growing up in Fifties and Sixties Hawthorne left me filled with wonderful Christmas memories. Santa Claus actually made an appearance at our house on Christmas Eve and we always caught him. Between my brother and I, and later my sisters, that tradition went on for well over twenty years. I remember well toward the end trying to find someone to help with Santa?s manifestation as my sisters became skeptical that brother Jerry always went to the store just before Santa would come into view. But just as exciting was the season that led up to that final night. Going to Inglewood or sometimes Downtown LA for Christmas shopping and seeing the beautiful lights and displays. And always at least one visit to Sears to see Santa and let him know what you wanted and hoping you were on the good boy list. Do you remember the man on the Sear?s roof directing traffic for the parking lot? I remember yearning our own Hawthorne would get the gorgeous ?across the street? Christmas lights that Inglewood erected every year. As a child I didn?t realize how difficult that would be with our wide Boulevard compared to Market Street. Who else remembers the family all jumping in the car, probably without seatbelts, airbags, or child seats, and heading out to look at the lights of Regent Street in Inglewood. I sure do. And didn?t the control tower at LAX turn their lights on so that it made a cross during Christmas time. Boy, you know I would guess that doesn?t happen anymore. Speaking of the airport, one of my favorite displays to visit was near there at McCullough Chain Saws. For years they would put up a fantastic display in their front window. These are just a few of my favorite growing up in Hawthorne Christmas memories. I have many more as I am sure you do too. But just as important is that you and your loved ones are forming fresh and magnificent reminiscences every year. May the upcoming holiday season find each and every one of you healthy, happy, and taking pleasure in the true meaning of the season. Merry Christmas all.
Name: Jean MacErnie ~~~~~~~~~~ Sat-Dec 8, 2007, 11:21 pm - HHS Time
City & State: Albq NM
Message: My favorite Christmas....We spent Christmas (1956) at my grandmothers house in La Mesa, NM (In Southern NM, near Las Cruces). We had our Christmas eve dinner. Everything seemed so old fashioned and perfect...Then came the Christmas carolers....and snow....I never had these experiences in Southern California. It gave me wonderful memories that I will hold onto for the rest of my life.I have had other very nice Christmases but this one was very special.
Name: Karen ~~~~~~~~~~ Sat-Dec 8, 2007, 10:57 pm - HHS Time
City & State: Manhattan Beach,CA
Message: My earliest memory of Christmas is when I was 4. We lived in Alaska. My mom gave birth to the youngest of us and my Grandma came to visit for a few weeks. She left to return home to LA and brought me with her. I remember landing at LAX at night and seeing all the lights in the city and being convinced that the entire city had been decorated for ME!! My grandparents graciously allowed me to have that fantasy and believe that I was that special...in their eyes, I was (of course). As I recently landed at LAX at night and saw the lights it was a happy memory. Of course that Christmas I was with my grandparents and miraculously Santa knew where I was and remembered to stop by with many goodies.