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Just click on the heading “Westchester Memories” to go to the main page

What other pages would you like to see here? Just let us know and you’ll have ‘em!

Thinking about the Baldwin Hills dam got me to thinking about another disaster that we all lived through. The February 9, 1971 Sylmar earthquake. Most, if not all of us, were at Orville Wright when it happened. It happened at 6:01 in the morning. What is it with earthquakes occurring in the morning? Mother Nature’s wakeup call! I remember laying in bed and hearing this unGodly roaring sound, and suddenly the whole house started shaking.  I remember the house shaking and next think I knew I was on the floor looking up and my dog was laying on the bed looking down at me. I don’t think I’ve ever been that scared! I don’t think any of us had been through an earthquake until then. I remember asking my grandmother what that was and she said it was an earthquake and a bad one. Is there such a thing as a good one????? I think we all ended up getting a couple of days off from school so they could check for damage. Our house didn’t have any damage and nothing broke. I heard something about most of Westchester being built on granite or some such thing and that’s why we didn’t have any damage. I remember seeing the damage on tv, such as the overpasses coming down, which they did again during the Northridge quake. Plus they were really worried about the Van Norman dam might let go. And let’s not forget about the “earthquake resistant” buildings at Olive View Hospital. What happened? They all collapsed! I think that one was a 6 and something on the Richter scale.  At that time it was the worst earthquake since the Long Beach earthquake of 1933. And we won’t even go into the Northridge quake!

Funny story. About 4 months after the kids and I got out here to New England, the apartment building we were in shook. Our roommates said it was the neighbor downstairs slamming her door. I said “Like hell, that was an earthquake”. Well, we turned on the news and guess what? I was right!!  It was like a 3 or less, so no biggie. Told our roommates I know my earthquakes! I jokingly say that Mother Nature wanted to remind me what we were leaving behind! Either that, or earthquakes followed us!

musings

**Why do people say the grass is always greener on the other side??**

Just means someone is using a lot more manure  (the word I originally had here was bulls**t) than you, that’s all

OK, got that off my chest. I honestly was sitting here thinking about that.

Wonder what happened to the crazy lady who walked all over Westchester? You all remember her. Really skinny, funky makeup. Never really spoke. Everyone called her a witch. Anyone know who she really was? What was her story?

I used to love sitting on our back porch in Westchester and watching the planes come in. I loved it. I remember the first 747  I ever saw.  Thing was massive.  Remember when you could go down to the airport, park and actually watch the planes come in from overhead???  Or sitting on the beach and watching them take off? After they tore out all the homes for the airport, all that land where you could park (wink wink!) and watch the planes. I still love watching planes. However, in this little piece of New England the nearest airport (and I mean a  real airport!), is 80 miles away. Yeah, we have a little municipal airport, but they don’t count.  A Cessna just isn’t the same as a 747!

Speaking of New England, I need to run something by my fellow Californians. The name Whatley. How would YOU pronounce it???? Looks like it should be pronounced what-lee, right ???  No, no, no! Out here it’s pronounced wait-lee.  Leominster. Looks like it should be leo-minster, right?  Wrong!  It’s pronounced lee-minster. Worster. Looks like it should be wor-ster.  Again, you’re thinking like a Californian. It’s pronounced woo-ster. Where the hell do you get a “woo” out of that????  I’m sorry, but as a proud and native Californian, we pronounce our a’s and r’s.  Out here, they stick them in words where they shouldn’t be.  Someone explain to me what the hell is an “ideer”????  See, they took the “r” that should be pronounced in Worster, and stuck it on the end of “idea”.  

Anyone other than me remember sitting at Thrifty and having a chocolate soda at the counter? I remember going there every Saturday with my grandfather. You know, I’ve never had a chocolate soda since he died? I don’t think it would taste the same.  How about buying fish and birds at JJ Newbury, across  the street from the Broadway? How about eating at the restaurant at the top of the Broadway? What a view from there. OK….here’s one for all of you. Remember the car hops at Tiny Naylors?? They’d put the tray on the car?? Yeah, I’m going way, way back for that one.  It was where the medical building is at Manchester & Sepulveda. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jet Pet Stables. Don’t remember exactly where they were, but I want to say Playa del Rey. Westchester was kind of “country-ish” back then. 

Hello Fellow Westchesterites,

Welcome to this site.  It is easy to comment on a blog, so we invite you to do so.  Who are we? Well, we are you, but more specifically, we are Debbie Chandler, Lisa Diamantopoulos and Lisa Smith or now known as Debra J. (or DJ) Chandler, Lisa Diamond and Lisa Smith Wilson. The three of us grew up together and attended Kentwood Elementary, Orville Wright Jr. High and then for Lisa Smith Wilson, to graduate from Westchester High in 1975.

We want all of you from the Westchester, Playa del Rey, Windsor Hills area to post here. Feel free to become a part of this online community. There are many possibilities for the future, such as get togethers, online forums, publications and networking.

Our past shared experiences can come alive here together. We can heal together as well. Our hearts are open and ready to embrace the best of our past, to preserve it here and now.

Please comment, post or ask to be an author here. You are all welcome.

This blog is open to anyone who lived in or near Westchester, California during the period of 1960-1975. Westchester is a part of Los Angeles and not a separate city or town. It is nestled in between the Los Angeles International Aiport or LAX and the Hollywood sign. Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey, Inglewood, Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights, Culver City, and Baldwin Hills are in close proximity.

Anyone who has memories to share about this time and place is welcome to post here. We can have as many authors as we want.

Some of us have recently connected via Facebook. Find us on Facebook at Westchester California Memories.

http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/group.php?gid=51184571522&ref=ts

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