Class of 1971

Please post your memories here for the class of 1971.

47 thoughts on “Class of 1971

  1. I attended Westchester Elementary, Airport Junior High, Westchester High School. Class of 1971.

    Fond memories of the city:

    Halloween festival @ Westchester elementary

    Playing @ the dunes just west of the airport

    The Paradise Theatre

    The Loyola Theatre

    Westchester Music

    Revell Raceway (Paul Revere & the Raiders show)

    The carnival behind Thrifty drug store.

    Mayfair Market fire.

    Tiny Naylor’s (great onion rings) Witch Stand also!

    Bologna creek (jumping off the bridge)

    Playing and building underground forts at the “bean
    field” ( just west of La Tijera, south of the 405, now
    called Howard Hughes center)

    Had a paper route w/ the Herald Examiner 1964

    Worked as a busboy at the Denny’s on Manchester
    & Belanca. 1970

    Worked at Jet Liquor 1970-71

    Worked at the La Marina restaurant parking cars
    for the likes of the LA Lakers 1971.

    Not to forget the baseball years:

    Westchester lntnl. Little League 1960-1965 (Angels & Dodgers)

    Westchester Colt League 1967

    • Oh, Mike….
      yes, those are all great memories…. my favorites were the Loyola & Paradise Theatres…. Woolworth’s, Savon, Broadway, JCPenny, the list goes on…. don’t forget all the chasing of girls you did….

      • Who can forget the Loyola. Went to see True Grit with my then first girlfriend. Was an interesting time in my life. And always fun was stopping at Thrifty for ice cream cones. Those were the days. :)

    • Ah yes… Thrill hill. The shack. The pond at the bean field. The nike missile drills. And later, party in the silos. The pump house across from the little league field. The neon signs at sav on. Smoking and making out behind the Y. Going to one of the original McDonalds. Underage drinking at Lums. The monster model contest at Karls toys. Marina Federal free shows. The cry room. Hamburger hand out. Folding newspapers early morning at the chevron. Knocking over those front yard xmas candles. Thumbing for a ride to the beach. Getting a hand made coke at Woolworths. Gillis beach. Toes. No 405. No marina. No large airport. La Tijera without curbs. That orange jet that always landed at Hughes. Walking to school. The Lariettes pancake breakfast. Up with people. Sheri Averonni in her pink Vet. The pool atop the gym at Orville Wright. The storm drains on barranca. Crazy Judy’s. The flying A gas station. The “Home of the X15” neon sign. The oil tank farm fire. The pony ride. What about the guy who came to your door to take a picture of you on a pony. The tune from the ice cream truck. The voice of Vin Scully at a summer BBQ. And last but not least campers, HELMS TRUCKS.

    • Mike where was Westchester Elementary School in Westchester? Was it the first to be built? We moved into Westchester in 1972 and i was just wondering.

      • Westchester Elementary had a Fleetwing address. It sat between Fleetwing and Glider on Interceptor.

  2. I remember sooo much grew up on fordham rd,went to Loyola village,moved Orville wright and Westchester High,lots of memories that have come back after viewing this page keep looking for pics of my brother and his friends

  3. Don’t forget the Big Doughnut!
    Long time Mike, hope you’re well….I’m still in touch with a few of the old friends from the neighborhood. Good times growing up for sure. I’m on Maui……Aloha

    • Hi, Mike! Last time I saw you was on Maui back in the 70’s! Is Bob Goodwin still there, too? Have tried to locate him. Sheri (Talley) Goodwin

      • Hi Sheri, I heard from Bob Goodwin maybe 5 years ago or so…he’s somewhere in the Florida Keys working as a sailboat captain.

  4. I am also from the class of 1971 and will be attending the class reunion on Sept. 3rd, will you be there? Gosh, so many great memories of Westchester. Climbing down into the drains on Liberator and finding the tiny frogs we found there. Walking to Westchester Park to swim in the pool there in the summers and taking the long walk to Playa Del Rey beach in the summer, too. Loyola Theater used to have free summer matinee movies that my Mom got tickets for from the Marina Bank. We would fill up with penny candy and watch double features there and remember Loyola had a balcony, too and the Paradise had a glass enclosed cry room at the rear of the theater? I always remember seeing the movie ‘Robinson Crusoe on Mars’ every summer at the free movies.

  5. I was not able to attend the Class of 1971 but would be interested in seeing some photos posted. Do you know where they can be found?

    Mike thank you for posting this page. It was a great place to grow up and it is nice to hear about some of the past memories. You should add in body surfing and just hanging out at Gillis Beach.

    • is this the same micky monkey that grew up on midfield? next to the centinela adobe? let me know, havent heard from him since graduation!

      • Hi Greg,

        It is. Excuse my long delay but I stop checking in. I live in the Seattle area since 1973. Would enjoy hearing from you.


  6. i do remember the cry room in the theater!! they also had raffles on sat…….. they raffled off bikes…it’s so nice that so many have fond memories of westchester…it was a terrific place to grow up.

  7. Wow! This is bringing back some very fond memories for me as well. I didn’t live long out there but enough to really love it. Went to Airport Jr High in 1969 til they closed it, then over to Orville Wright Jr before we ultimately moved over to Long Beach for a year. My dad was military then and we moved around a lot because he didn’t want to be far from home I guess. Thank you for this posting sir.

    • Sorry to disappoint you, there is no pool atop the gym. I taught PE at Wright from 1995 to 2013. I find these memories fascinating and a pleasure to read. It may interest the readers that Trevor Ariza (one time Laker forward) and Desean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver) attended Orville Wright during my tenure there. x

  8. I grew up in Westchester from 1972 to 1988. I was just curious about how many elementary schools were there if any that were tore down because of the LAX expansion in the early 60’s.

    • No schools were torn down because of LAX “expansion”.
      Homes were taken in response to the homeowner’s lawsuit, in which they asserted the airport was unsafe, and the commission agreed.

      Airport Junior High and 98th Street Elementary were closed under these auspices. Emerson closed for lack of attendance and was converted to an Adult Education facility.

      Even today, as homeowners anew sport “No LAX” signs, the controversy is mislabled – the airport isn’t expanding, it isn’t allowed to. It is merely updating its design and traffic circulation.

      Westchester residents should be focusing their ire on their friends in Orange County, who successfully stalled the redeployment of El Toro as a complement to LAX. Given that Irvine doesn’t have the funds to develop the “Great Park” – or clean up the toxic soup, there is still plenty of time and opportunity to renew efforts and resurrect the airfield.

  9. I was told back in the day the Westchester Witch name was Burt and lived near Liberator and 86 or 87 streets. Everyday in the mid to late 70’s she would walk her usual course which would go by our house on Truxton Ave. I just remember her walking down our street and mumbling things as she walked by us playing in the street. She was like clockwork and would go by our house at least 2 to 3 times a day.

  10. Fred, I thought there was a Westchester Elementary School east of Sepulveda which is now Parking Lot C. I faintly remember the school upon moving to Westchester in 1972.

  11. Yes. along with the 2 houses i grew up in. Sadly, all gone now. The houses were moved. I would love to know where. I would love to visit them and take some photos.

  12. Michael when you moved to Westchester in 1957 from Manhattan Beach was that part of Westchester just built? Or were the homes built in the 1940’s. Thanks. John

  13. This brings back alot of memories of Westchester–great place to grow up. Orville Wright was the best…as was WHS….We had some great baseball teams back in the day all the way from Little League through High School. Time moves on but great memories never fade away….Grew up on Bella Vista St. right down the street from WHS, and today due to the airport expansion the entire neighborhood is gone.

    Go Comets!!

    Tom Dolson
    Class of 71

  14. I remember when moving to Westchester in the early 70’s there were still homes from Airport Blvd on the east to Will Rogers Street/ Westchester Parkway on the North to almost Sepulveda on the West and I think 96th Street on the south. I do not remember homes that were where the LAX North runway is west of Sepulveda. I have been told that Westchester lost a third of its size since it was at its peak with homes, can that be true? Does anybody even remember when they first started taking homes in Westchester and having people move? Was it in the late 50’s or early 60’s? I have heard there were lots of homes on the bluffs as well.

  15. yes i remember the loss of homes in westchester, sad thing is, its still going on! remember shakeys pizza on arbor viate? all the apartments and homes south of there were taken down in the last ten years
    . everything is gone between airport and la cienega, and arbor viate to century bl. just parking lots and fenced off waste land , just waiting for lax to take over. westchester has turned into a parking lot for lax! very sad, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot! joanie mitchel ! chow. greg lambert class of 71, westchester high school, aka watts chester these days.

  16. Westchester Elementry was just east by a couple blocks of The Paradise theatre. It and the 2 homes I grew up in are now gone. They were replaced by car rental facilities for LAX. That happened in the mid 70’s.

    • Mike……………….is this really you????????? You may not remember me…………..I am Frank Stewart from Westchester High. I am happy to see that you are alive……………….me too…………….for whatever that is worth. I remember you distinctly. I fell across this thread accidentally. What a supreme rush of memories that I find difficult to comprehend. WTF????????

  17. Hi there Frank! Of course I remember you. I’m living in Pasadena now. I just retired after 40 years in the film and TV industry.
    Where are you these days?

  18. I only lived in Westchester for a few years but they were the best years of my younger life. We lived at 5524 W 78th St just half a block east of Osage. Went to 6th grade there in 66. Had Mr. Rygg. Lived right across the street from Kenny Beckman and over from Anna Raposa. Went to Airport 66 – 67 for 7th and 8th. Gail Deardorff, Laurie Bruns, Jane Schmidtdale were friends. Remember a lot of other kids still, too. We ran all over Westchester, Inglewood and PDR. So many great memories in these posts. Wonder if anyone remembers me? I was Sharon Brock then. Like so many have observed in their posts, what I loved was the small town feel in a big city. I moved to Westchester from Phoenix and that’s where we moved back to in summer of 67. I live in an older part of central Phoenix that offers that kind of village within a city feel and was great to bring my kids up in. I don’t think they’re as fortunate as I was, though, with living in Westchester during such a great time =]

  19. I just stumbled upon this message board and enjoyed reading these memories. This is Patty Harvey and I have very fond memories of Westchester. We moved into our new house on 88th street 3 houses away from Westchester High in the new tract houses in 1959. We always looked forward to the Helms truck passing by our streets so we could have those amazing donuts and goodies from their bakery. I went to Loyola Village Elementary. We enjoyed walking up to Shoppers Market on Lincoln and Manchester. Remember Toy Palace (what a great mom and pop toy store) I can still remember the smell of the new dolls in that store. When Chucko the clown came to visit in that parking lot there we were with many other kids screaming to see him. The group The Turtles would be practicing in their backyard near that store area. There was a music store called Mr. Music that I would buy all my records in. Going downtown was going to the Loyola and Paradise theatre area. Took the black and white photos at Woolworth’s and had a blast. There was also a cute restaurant named Rosie’s where we would have lunch. Can’t forget the Westchester Park dances (the Rooster’s band) and the YMCA dances and of course the sportsnights at Orville Wright. Those were FUN! How about Dunken Donuts in Playa Del Rey? That was the hangout. My friends and I had many fun years at the Westport Beach Club next to the jungle (homes on the beach near the Shack and The Fountain ( the cool hamburger joint across from the Shack). That was the surfer hangout after surfing at Toe’s and D & W (Dockweiller Beach). How about Gillis beach. Now that was the best beach back then where we spent almost everyday in the summer. Those were the days my friend we thought they’d never end….la la la… Great memories!! Good friends!!

    • Hey Darlin’,Great memories,thanks for turning me on to this site.And speaking of Gillis Bch. – There is going to be A Celebration of Life for Mark Harlan at Gillis Bch. on July 18th,don’t know the time yet,but more to come…

  20. Wasn’t there also a sort of a tragic side to Westchester and Playa del Rey? So many people I knew there just got washed away: lots of drug addiction and alcoholism, and L.A.’s race wars seemed to spill over onto everything. I was a true local at Toes Beach from about 1974 to 1979. One of my best friends from St. Bernard’s died in a drunk driving tragedy on New Year’s Eve 1978. Of course, he was drunk and out of his mind. I couldn’t even go to the funeral. It’s still hard to think about. Another one of my good friends was one of the best knee boarders at Toes Beach. He just hated L.A. and the whole area so much. In about 1975, his brother got his throat slit at the Century Bowling Alley in Inglewood while his step sister also got her throat slit after being raped. Both of them were dead when the cops showed up. My knee-boarding friend finally moved to Hawaii in 1977 to make a living as a board shaper. He told me he just despised Westchester and del Rey. Also, around that time, angel dust was all over the beach, and a good few surf beauties I knew ended up dust head junkies that soon became homeless and living under the 405 freeway. I’ll also never forget in 1978 when one of the true kings of Toes Beach told me the doctor gave him six months to live since his liver was so blown out from drinking. He was 22. He used to crash and squat at the deserted and abandoned LMU frat house on the shore. It’s now, of course, long gone. I was amazed years later to hear that he got sober but had to leave del Rey to pull it off. A good few other folks I went to school with ended up committing suicide back then. Recently, an old Westchester chum, was found dead in his car in del Rey. His body had just collapsed after years of drinking and doing coke constantly at one of the del Rey bars. Perhaps this is what became of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER and MY THREE SONS. Perhaps not. But one thing’s for sure: I could go on with a lot more tales of sunny darkness. Does anyone remember in 1977 when the city-owned restroom at Toes Beach was covered in race and gang war challenges, including swastikas that proclaimed “White Power” and “Leave Our Beach Alone”? Ah, sunny Southern California.

  21. Marc,
    You don’t remember me but we were in grammar school together I think the first grade
    Scottsdale Arizona

    • Kateri,Please forgive me,but I don’t.What name did you go by back then?Because I’ve racked my brain(or what’s left of it) and I certainly don’t recall a cute Cherokee girl in the first grade.Now there was somebody named Irene F. in fifth or sixth.So please tell me more,Darlin’ Marc,still in Westchester !

  22. My folks owned a house near Lincoln & Manchester — right behind Shoppers Market. One of our family stories is about my older brother (as a young kid) climbing our fence and going on the construction site (when they were building the market) and starting some piece of heavy equipment (backhoe, scraper??) — freaking out and running away.
    My brother still owns the house. It’s kinda changed back into the neighborhood I remember. When we grew up and moved away, and our parents got older, the neighborhood kinda lost all the kids. But now those kids are moving back as parents themselves — and the memories of football games in the street, and pick-up baseball in Westchester Park, are alive again. KINDA COOL!

    I remember the houses from our neighborhood being loaded onto big trailers and moved away late at night. I hated LAX for destroying our neighborhood — still do. I always wondered where those houses went. In 2000 I had to go to a meeting in an office building in Van Nuys. I parked in the neighborhood adjacent to the office building. When I got out of the car, something felt funny. And as I was walking, I realized that Van Nuys neighborhood was made from the houses moved from my neighborhood. It was bizarre being in the midst of the same tract houses we all grew up in.

    And you guys probably remember Zaff’s down at Toes Beach. My brother’s friend painted the mural of surfers on the beach — on the big window facing the beach. That kid went on to paint covers for psychedelic music albums — and concert posters. Then he became a comedian on Saturday Night Live — Phil Hartmann. His younger brother and I used to ride bikes (towing our surfboards on rik-shaws) from our neighborhood down to Toes.

    And I remember spending a lot of time on the bluffs and down in the wetlands north of Westchester High or across Lincoln in the Hughes property. It was a little slice of nature in an otherwise suburban life — very cool.

    I never graduated from high school — so I never got invitations to reunions. But I’d like to go to one now. Do they do that? Is there a 25-year reunion in 2016?

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