Tag Archives: Flashback Friday

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank and the Railroad

ALAMEDA AVE.

We have talked about the horrible instance where the train hit a turkey wagon on the way to the Los Angeles market, that forever left the name “Turkey Crossing” etched into the minds of early Burbankers.

We have mentioned the different remodels of the train station but we have not talked about or shown some of the dangerous rail road crossings of the early 20th century.

Today we have an under-crossing at Alameda and on Hollywood Way. We also have the bridges at Olive Ave, Magnolia, Burbank Blvd and the overpass that takes the train high over Buena Vista.

BURBANK BLVD, the tower on the right was there until the early 1970’s

In the teens and early 1920’s crossing the tracks was taking your life in your own hands type of affair! No crossing guard rails, maybe a bell sounding if you were lucky, but most of the time you were only going to get a glimpse of an “X” sign indicating RR Crossing right at the tracks.

While you as a driver had a longer visual down the tracks, I am not sure many took advantage of looking before crossing. Even today on Buena Vista at Vanowen I still see people race guard rails as they come down and people try to drive around them once in place.

But take a look at the pictures below to see the intersections as they were originally and think how today we are much safer than our counterparts last century were.

Verdugo Ave

another View of Verdugo Ave

Also I throw in a couple of pictures of the early Burbank depot being used in a Silent Western as a back drop. We did not have these shots when we talked last about the depot.

1920’s western being filmed at the Burbank Station

Early Burbanker’s look on as the movie is filmed

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: “I Want to Ride My Bicycle” – Burbank Style

I remember one of the most stressful times of my young life was to go to the bicycle rider training and having my bicycle safety checked at the Fire Station Headquarters on Olive Avenue.

Questions popped into my mind like “what if I fail the training?”, “does my bike have what it takes to be safe and earn my Burbank bike registration sticker?”

My brand new Schwinn Tiger was the pride of my young life. It was candy apple red with white pin striping and the envy of my kid friends in the neighborhood.

But what if I did not pass, and did not get my sticker? I could no longer ride!! The Horror!

This gripped my young mind as we went to Olive Rec for the parking lot test track made of chalk in the parking lot. You may have well guessed that this was less of a big deal than I had built it up in my mind.

The instructor read to us about what we were going to be doing, staying between the lines, making turns in the lines, stopping inside the lines and not falling down! I passed and then we headed back up Olive to the Fire station that was just below Glenoaks.

There my bike was put through its paces and a rigorous visual inspection. The Fireman performing this inspection pronounced my bike safe and awarded it the coveted Burbank Bicycle Safety Sticker which he placed on the seat column support near the bottom about 6 inches above the pedals.

I was so proud! I passed and so did my Bike!

This is not something they do today but back then it was a service of the City of Burbank to keep our youth on their bikes safe! Not to mention creating anxiety which made us nervous wrecks before we even started.

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Shaft in Burbank

When one thinks of Burbank the first thing that comes to your mind would not be the Theme from the movie “SHAFT”, but yet they are!

The iconic theme song was written and sung by Isaac Hayes and was a big hit, rising to # 6 on the Billboard charts. The song also won an Academy Award for best original song.

The first thing that strikes you about the song is its opening guitar line accentuated by a device known as a WAH WAH PEDAL invented by guitarist Del Casher who is a personal friend of my co-author Wes Clark.

But what makes this a “Burbank Thing” is the fact that Wah Wah Pedals were made right here in Burbank by Tel-Ray Electronics on Victory Blvd. as I recall.

If you are not familiar with the song or what a Wah Wah sounds like here is a link, take a listen! The video is of Isaac conducting the recording of the song as he also wrote the score for the movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YGsKpdIork

The song is also considered by many to have been the first Disco style song recorded. SO, next time you hear this on your satellite radio 70’s on 7 think of “Beautiful Downtown Burbank”

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Portal of the Folded Wings

Burbank has a long storied History with Aviation. It began with Lockheed moving here to build its aircraft in the old Empire China Factory.

Lockheed became an Aviation Giant.

Early on a Cemetery was built with a large shrine erected called the “Portal of the Folded Wings” where aviators can be laid to rest. It is also home to the Burbank Aviation Museum which is open the first Sunday of every month from 1 to 3 pm.

They have displays of some wonderful Lockheed memorabilia and can tell you about the famous Aviators buried there. The shrine is a beautiful domed structure.

The grounds around it are wonderful and do great honor to men and women buried there. If you have not ever stopped by you should see this hidden gem of Burbank History. You will not be sorry.

The portal is open during normal Valhalla cemetery business hours but see above for the museum hours.

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Kindergarten, Burbank Style !

Back in my day I remember starting Kindergarten at Miller Elementary School in the HUGE log bungalow that most schools here had at least one.

I felt important. But that apparently was the design the school district had in mind.

A recent find given to us, details all that the district information for parents to help their children to have a successful Kindergarten learning experience with parents help. The cover shows a Burbank Teacher shaking hands with a young man before entering the door to class.

I remember being less than enthused at the proposition of Mom leaving me there! Then terror gripped my heart and that was all she wrote for my day was pure torture. Meeting other kids did not help much as they seemed to mirror my feelings exactly.

Frightened, we waited in fear for the teacher to speak, this seemed to be a long silent wait. Then she assured us little prisoners that we would have fun. Slowly we began to be more comfortable in our new environment and with our new found “friends”.

All this was due to our teacher following the “Playbook” given to our parents to assure them we were in good hands. Full of pictures this hand out brought back good memories of those days and some where I struggled, but over all this was a fun blast to the past.

Check it out below and try to picture your parents reading this and hopefully it will bring you back some good memories of “your” Kindergarten days in Burbank!   

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank Kids in Historical Photos

On Burbankia we have posted a new page that covers the many Burbank School photos that we have collected over the years.

It is always fun to see kids being kids and what it was like to be a kid in Burbank in the decades since the city began.

The first real school was located on Magnolia and San Fernando Road and had the entire square block to 3rd street and over to Palm ave. Lots of room for the Kids to play and also a stable to hold their horses or horse and buggy.

Kids will always be kids and you can see antics going on in many of these pictures. Many of these kids grew up to be local businessmen, City workers, Mayors, Councilmen, War Hero’s, Teachers, Farmers, Famous Celebrities and much more!

I see thousands of stories in their faces and have often wondered where one child or another went from here in this photo moment in time.

My favorite picture is one I bought in the past year of Miller Elementary School in 1925. No playgrounds, no houses or apartments, no smog like when I went there! Just a good looking group of kids sitting out in the street with the school in the background!

A fantastic window into history.

So check out these youngsters and remember your Burbank School Days!

For more photos click here…

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank’s Big Model Contest During World War II

In 1944 and 1945 Burbank Park and Recreation Dept. hosted a model airplane building contest for youth 6 to 16 years of age.

It was a big deal for the times as the judges and people helping the kids were from some big aeronautical Companies and Airlines in the local area. Lockheed, Pacific Airmotive, Pan American Airways, Menasco, American Airlines, Western Airlines, Bendix, Hockaday Inc., Adel Precision and the United States Army Air Forces all sent representatives as Mentors and Judges for the contests.

Prizes and trophies were awarded and it was “Big Doings” at Olive Rec here in town. Precision Model building tool sets, Books, War Bonds and Medals were also given to the winners.

Over 400 youth were participants in the annual event. From all the faces in the photos the kids were real happy to participate!

For more pictures click the link below…

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPKuQ2XDKfImCdLbiIK-Ae5siNd01cJf_ehRCgKDDWzhFGwnNpMHfaGc0vuZj_PPg?key=VWt6T09OMFBQMC1yZVR6ZnlEclF1UF91UGRNRHVn

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: The Old Trapper’s Lodge

Many may remember the Legend of the Old Trapper’s Lodge, many may not, some believe it is a myth, some will believe, if they see proof. Whatever side you are on we are here to tell you that the place was real and thanks to the good people at Pierce College for preserving much of this California Historical Landmark’s Folk art is still with us.

It was moved there and preserved for future generations at the College campus near their equestrian area. John Ehn was a real trapper who dreamed of creating a place with character that people could stay at and stroll through a wonderful folk art decorated setting that both entertains and recounts stories of a bygone era.

My favorite part is the Boot Hill cemetery with its colorfully worded headstones and designs.

While the Old Trapper may not have been the best artist, he poured his soul into these works of art and we are grateful that these homages to the past, and now homages to our local history are still with us to enjoy.

For the complete series of photos click here…

 https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPwTc2FIbm7DZzg54RALY8VsvUGCyFHaSoO4Jrs4LzRinPk0s91p8K4JYLFsJh0Zg?key=SlQ3UllZbTByeVlpVXlmRE1pNV83ajlKQkk3MUpB

 

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Burbank on Parade

I was saddened recently to hear that after over 60+ years of Burbank On Parade that there will be no more of this Grand Celebration of all things Burbank.

This feeling I have was added to by a group of photos sent to Wes and I at Burbankia by the Son of Eudell McGinnis.

Mr. McGinnis took a number of Kodachrome slides in the early 1950’s including a number of Burbank On Parade pictures in brilliant color. At this time the parade was on San Fernando Road and headed north along the very crowded street.

These photos give us a wonderful glimpse into the past with very red fire engines, the Major theater in its glory, along with brightly colored banners and clothes and balloons, store fronts and some great 50’s cars!

Also included are photos of Vicroy Park, City hall, Bell Jeff, the original Library on Olive plus many others.

Here are these wonderful Burbank On Parade pictures.

For the rest of Mr McGinnis’s photos click here… https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPAvzDndUztKenObvDyFy5t-MxbVTBTZDekR-OHwjjUEScD2JR3y5ooCBMk1Txe7Q?key=Q3Rjb1dMZ1JDRXVWbzZ4R015RjlhbXM2Zk91UmVB

 

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: San Val Drive In

Most people remember the Pickwick Drive in Theater, but lesser known on the opposite end of town was the San Val Drive in.

Located on the triangular corner where Winona & Naomi meet San Fernando Road. In the early days of the 1930’s and 40’s this theater used bullhorns instead of speakers to get the sound near your car meaning you had to leave the windows down.

During WWII the theater was painted in camouflage colors to disguise it from the air. It was also very close to Lockheed and the Airport, hence the need for the camouflage  paint scheme.

This was a very popular drive in as it had people from north Hollywood & Sun Valley attend also making it packed on most weekends.

Sadly, as with most drive in theaters, the San Val went the way of the Pickwick but we have many photos of this once great Burbank Drive in.

 

NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael McDaniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

and their new book, Growing Up in Burbank, just out!!