22
Aug
14

Sixties memories from a momma in her sixties

High School memories

I grew up in Santa Ana. 1305 So Hesperian Street was my address. We moved there when I was four years old. It was just a few blocks from Mater Dei high school, where I graduated in 1967.

I grew up watching the jitterbug from my parents era and dancing the polka and waltz with my dad. I couldn’t get enough.

As an 8th grader the twist was one of the first new dance moves I learned. It was the craze and considered to be maybe too suggestive, like Elvis. The mashed potato and the swim and of course the Bristol stomp were the new ones as we welcomed the Beatles and British invasion.

We all loved the dance shows on TV. American Bandstand, Shebang and 9th Street West. Good ol’ Dick Clark and Casey Kasem. I never missed a dance in high school.

One of my friends managed somehow to get tickets to Shebang and 9th Street West dance shows in LA. I sill remember the dress I wore. It was bright yellow and black with polka dots and of course black patent leather shoes to match. Which I bought from my earnings as a clerk at a dress store. It was a taped show so we all got together to watch at a friend’s house. We were celebrities.

In the summer my friends and I would hop into my Dad’s parts car and head to Newport Beach just 30 minutes away. It was an oxidized blue 51 Plymouth Station with a 3 speed on the column. Did I mention I stripped the gears learning to drive it? My dad had to replace the trannie.

He was a mechanic and owned his own gas station (Phillips 66 and Flying A) and kept this car on the lot to pick up car parts. I wanted to paint it in the worst way, but he didn’t want his customers to think he would overcharge them with sprucing up the car. Oh well, I really didn’t care. We had a car to take to the beach and dances whenever we wanted.

Gas was 28 cents a gallon and my dad insisted on a full tank at all times. He didn’t want me to run out of gas. How would that look, since he owned a gas station? He also taught me to change a tire, just in case. I learned how to pop a clutch, which came in handy over the years.

So at least 2 times a week, on Tuesday and Saturdays for sure we would head to the beach. The original radio in the station wagon was shot, so my dad improvised and wired up a huge radio that sat on its side on the hump on the front floorboard.. We’d roll down all the windows and blare the radio from the hit stations KRLA, KHJ and some others and sing along. If we hit a bump the radio station would change. It was a great laugh.

We’d spend the day suntanning at 34th street in Newport where we would meet up with friends. We made sure to leave no later that 2:oo pm and drove straight to Disneyland, paid 75cents admission and left making sure we got our hands stamped for our return that evening.. You see after 3pm it went up to $1.50.

We went home to shower making sure not to wash off the stamp. We would get all dressed up in our long dresses. The popular style of the day. Most of us sewed and we made our own dresses. They didn’t have Target or bargain deals unless you went to KMART. So necessity made us inventors.

Every Tuesday and Saturday were dance nights at Disneyland and it was packed. We’d dance until the park closed pausing only briefly to use the money we saved on admission to buy an E ticket ride on the Matterhorn which was 50cents.

“Those were the days my friend, we’d thought they’d never end. We sing and dance forever and a day.”

Love my old ride

Love my old ride

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