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Voices--Brian Stromsoe

August 27, 2008 |  4:42 pm

Brian Stromsoe writes:

I think the Mirror was 5 cents back then. I delivered the Huntington Park Signal, which produced $20 per month for my comic book purchases, and a stop off at Rancher Bill's for a burger, fries, and coke -- all for $0.25 or $0.30.

I was a Boy Scout at the old Goodyear plant (Central and Florence -- neighbor worked there after WWII). And one g'pa used to take me out to Wrigley Field (Angels) and Gilmore Field (Stars). Got to watch Max West, Steve Bilko, Luke Easter, and (of course) Chuck Connors do their thing with a baseball. And I used to sneak into the Coliseum after Saturday morning classes at the Museum to watch some football games (UCLA 72 over Stanford; Frank Gifford as a USC halfback, etc.).

One of our family highlights was the Sunday drive to the airport to park on Aviation Boulevard to watch the prop jobs come in for landings. And who could forget the old aluminum hot dog stand near Central and Florence where Mr. Karcher began his chili dog career, maybe feeding those Goodyear employees for lunch. We later made him rich by eating at his #2 on Alameda south of Florence, and then his #3 in Huntington Park on Pacific south of Florence.

I was employed as a box boy at "Best Buy" or "Bi-Rite" on Florence / Avalon for $1.00 per hour (and $5.00 for any shopping cart we "found"). My sister was an usherette at the Fox Theater on Florence so I stopped by every night after work to watch movies (even the Spanish-language ones). My first haircuts were at Mac's on San Pedro, probably because he cut my dad's hair in the 1930s and 1940s. I think the family used another barber on Central for placing bets on the ponies. Seems betting on the horses was a pretty common neighborhood thing.

Well, enough for now, else I will be ruminating for the day.