Thursday, April 29, 2010

Beautiful Downtown Burbank

Found this postcard pic on Wes Clark/Mike McDaniel's wonderful Burbankia website. One of my first jobs a loooong time ago was at Burcal during Christmas break in the 60's!

Remembering downtown of yore

By Richard Tafilaw
Published: Last Updated Tuesday, March 30, 2010 10:00 PM PDT

Would you believe there once was an empty lot where, only a few decades ago, a traveling circus would arrive, set up a genuine “big top” and proceed to joyfully entertain Burbank residents young and old for a couple of weeks each year? Welcome to Beautiful Downtown Burbank, 1975.

The ultra-modern Golden Mall, one of our town’s great commercial failures, began where Macy’s now meets Cypress Avenue.

Mall organizers took six blocks of San Fernando Boulevard, blocked off automobile traffic and tried to make the old shopping district a user-friendly shopping experience with trees, fountains, grassy areas, benches and, of course, a wide variety of stores. It sort of succeeded for a while, but then that 800-pound gorilla — the Glendale Galleria — opened up. A noble effort, nonetheless.

Let’s reminisce a bit. Right across from today’s California Pizza Kitchen on Cypress was the Burbank Surplus & Western Wear store, where yours truly once picked up a pair of Levi’s bell-bottom patch pocket jeans, and I mean to tell you I looked “hotter than Georgia asphalt” in them!

Where the AMC Theatre in the Town Center mall now sits was a Goodyear Tire Center, and up by Magnolia Boulevard, in place of the Pomodoro Restaurant, my entire life savings safely rested inside the trusted vaults of Gibraltar Savings & Loan, sometimes as much as $400.

Directly across Magnolia was a favorite stop for many an anxious child with a complicit parent in tow — the Thrifty Drug Store with its low-cost scoops of delicious ice cream, and right next door, the shop now occupied by Urban Outfitters was the ever-fascinating J.J. Newberry’s — sort of a hybrid mixture of a five-and-dime store and a department store.

Across the way sat the venerable J.C. Penney’s building with, I’m not making this up, folks, a genuine elevator inside. Just in front where traffic flows freely today was a children’s playground and a convenient men’s and women’s washroom. How very thoughtful — today’s urban planners, please take note!

Continuing on south, you’d pass a Hallmark Shop and Kessler Jewelers. No, wait! Time out on the field! Kessler Jewelers? Is this 1975 or 2010? Yikes, it’s both — they’re still here today! Congratulations, guys, you get a longevity award.

Meanwhile, what’s that up ahead? Two delightful water fountains adjacent to the very popular Burcal Store at Palm Avenue! Burcal? I wonder how they came up with that catchy name. Kitty corner was a Sav-On drug store, and just west of that in the space now occupied by the AMC Theatre complex was the old Elks Lodge.

Farther south we encounter a Pep Boys and a Singer Sewing Center on our right and a classic Woolworth’s at the next corner on our left, now taken up by a Mairinello School of Beauty.

In the middle of Orange Grove, set back toward the east side of the mall, was a hexagonal public pavilion of sorts that was used for special occasions such as “Come Meet the Easter Bunny,” art exhibits, karate exhibitions, and I clearly remember seeing an Irish clog-dancing show there long before Riverdance came along.

Reaching Olive Avenue, in the spot today filled by the Universal City Studios Credit Union was a Wells Fargo Bank with a small Gas Company office next door, where I would pop in once a month and pay my bill in cash. Remember cash?

Across San Fernando Boulevard where the Tnn Mobile outlet now is was a variety store, but the real draw for me was stepping into a building some sources contend to be the oldest continually operated commercial building in the city. OK, maybe it’s not the Bradbury Building, but it’s all we’ve got.

I know I’ve missed more than a couple of favorite stops with friendly names like Al’s Bootery, Mamselles Shoes, Ed’s For Men & Young Men and Doty Lee’s, but cut me some slack — it was long ago and far away.

Unlike Pasadena’s Colorado and Glendale’s Brand boulevards, Burbank never opted to widen its main business thoroughfare, and it remains today a rather sleepy area during the day, but with the popularity of the AMC Theatre it does seem to do a respectable business in the evening and on weekends.

I do wonder what it will all be like in another 35 years, but I’ll be long gone then, and you’ll have to write that one.

RICHARD J. TAFILAW is a Burbank resident, small-business owner and freelance writer. He can be reached at

Monday, April 26, 2010

Burbankers Remember

Burbankers Remember
Edited by Wes Clark

An old TV show began, "There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them." If this is the case for New York City, there must be over 90,000 stories for Burbank!

The idea of this page is to capture some of the memories, lore and interesting tales about life lived in Burbank. The criterion for inclusion is that the tales be specially about life in Burbank - there are other forums for the San Fernando Valley and elsewhere. And, after all, the web site is named "Burbankia", right? I'm looking for things like using old Lockheed linen for dresses, or Burbank's Breathing Bush, or Love From Above... stuff like that.

To submit your Burbank stories contact me!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

May 2 - Family Fun Night

Received this email from Carol Hill Olmstead (BHS '61) today:

To keep my friends is my delight
So every chance I will invite
to each event we host nearby!

The next opportunity is now!
It's for ages 3 to 103

Play with words. Play with money.
Play with puzzles. Meet other families
Play with each other. See how you measure up,
Join a 2 Headed Snake Dance.

Prizes, soda pop, cheese pizza and ice cream dessert provided
SUNDAY MAY 2, 2010
In the Landmark Center
Corner light at
Victory and Buena Vista, Burbank, California
Please ask if you have questions.
Tell me you're coming:
Carol Hill Olmstead (Burbank High class of 1961): 408 828-2403

Delta Theta Chi Sorority - California Rho Chapter
It's a non-collegiate, educational, nonprofit sorority, open to new members: ladies ages 18-108 who have similar interests.
Dues $60 annually. Membership not necessary for most events.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

BHS '62: Fredrick A Mehling's Memorial

BHS '62 Senior Photos

Please remember Rick's family in prayer...

Just received this from former Burbank Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Darryl Forbes...

Richard...Fredrick "Rick" Mehling was a former Burbank Fire Fighter and was BHS Class of 1962...


--- On Wed, 4/21/10, Darryl Forbes wrote:

From: Darryl Forbes
Subject: Fredrick A Mehling's Memorial
Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 12:01 PM

Pam: I just received this so am forwarding it to you. It went to all Burbank Fire Retirees so is public information.


---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 11:09 AM
Subject: Fredrick A Mehling's Memorial

Last Friday, April 16, 2010, Rick Mehling passed away at his home due to complications of cancer. In the following weeks, after cremation, his ashes will then be distributed by family members. Betty has requested this event to be a family affair only.

On Sunday, 23 May 2010, there will be a memorial service for Rick at the Burbank Fire Department Training Center, to start at 10:30 am. This service will be non-religious, a casual celebration of Ricks life.

A buffet lunch will be severed after the service.

RSVP's are requested by 10 May 2010, and should be sent to:
Robert Lanning, or
BC Tom Lenahan,

After short eulogies by Betty, family members, Chief Krakowski, Davis and Walbert, the floor will be open for remembrances.

Pictures of Rick are requested for a video montage and should be sent Bob Lanning,

In lieu of flowers, the family agrees that Rick's preference would be contributions to:

Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors
1146 N. Central Ave. #398
Glendale CA 91202-2506

an organization that Rick proudly held a position on the Executive Board and happily volunteered for them until his diagnosis made him unable.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Burdette Houser (BHS '66) Died Last Night

Received the following email just now...

Hi All,
Just got this from Jennifer Dale Schatz '66...

Burdette was one of the "Good Guys"...God Bless Him...

Herb, will you please add his name to the Senior Bulldog News Memorial List? (Also, please remove him from the mailing list)

Richard Crescitelli, will you please add Burdette Houser BHS '66 to our BHS Memorial List? Thanks so much...


Afternoon Ladies,

Sorry to have to report this but, Dennis Roy just called to say that Burdette passed away last night. As of now there are no plans for a service or memorial.

After seeing him for the past few weeks it really was a blessing. He still gave me that smile and asked about our girls. He was quite a guy. I had the pleasure of knowing him since elementary school and Howard worked with him on the BHS “Chain Gang” while our girls were in school.

God bless you our friend.

Jennifer (Dale) Schatz


Nancy Jennings Webb (BHS '64) Died Yesterday

April 15, 2010
Nancy Jennings Webb BHS '64 passed away yesterday, in Frisco, Texas, after a long battle of many years with breast cancer. Below is the letter we received from her husband and also fellow class member, Rev. John Webb...Pam

Dear Loved Ones,

Nancy went home to be with Jesus at 2:40pm this afternoon. I had the great privilege of holding her close as she made the transition from the pain of this life to God's marvelous place prepared for those that love the Lord. She is now with the Lord, without pain and suffering. I cherish the 43 1/2 years I had the privilege of sharing with the most wonderful woman in all the world. She cherished all of you, and prayed without ceasing for the needs of each of you when she became aware of those needs. I pray that her legacy of loving her Savior and others will live on in each of you.

On behalf of my family, we thank you for your thoughts and prayers over the months and years. Those prayers meant so much to Nancy, my family, and me. We will have a memorial service some time next week, and we will keep you posted as to the day and time. Please spread the word to any you might think of that loved my precious wife. I love you all very much.

Much Love,

The Webb Family

John, Carrie and Tim, Jonathan, David and Kellis, and our 9 grandchildren


As a former Toluca Lake Bob's Big Boy Carhop, I had to post this fun video I stumbled across today. Nancy Bridgestock Steichmann's (BHS '67) aunt Kay was the manager, so we both got jobs there in the late 60's - wild times indeed!

Next Burbank on Parade, why not have Carhops rollerskating holding trays of food?


BHS Display for Centennial


Alumni Football Game May 8, 2010

Received this message via Facebook today:

I coach at Burbank High and we are having an Alumni Football game on Saturday May 8th 2010 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM!

People can e-mail me at!!!

Thank you Andre for continuing to support Burbank High School!!!

Coach Gino B.
Go Bulldogs!!!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

2010 Burbank on Parade Updates

We had a great day and here are a few photos and video from Scott and Dona Foy Bruckner, Flora Angel Ferrens and yours truly!

Cathy Nicholls Coyle (BHS '67)

Cathy Palmer (BHS '67)

Don Balderseroni (BHS '67), driver, was one of the directors of the parade

Don Ripley Ray (BHS '67) with wife, Xiao Mei

Shelly Perez Lucero (BHS '67) with son, Michael Lucero

Deanna Lloyd Jennings, Dona Foy Bruckner, Cathy Nicholls Coyle, Pam Hawkins Swan, Joanne Yoffee Furer, Sara Marino Becaria, Cathy Palmer, Alan Singer - all BHS '67

Sitting: Donnine Storey Moeller, Cathy Nicholls Coyle, Madelaine Zeleany Whiteman
Standing: Sandy Ballard Spero, Vicki Peters Stigile, Cathy Palmer, Shari Deuel Nicholls, Don Ripley Ray, Carol Brown Baker, Shelly Perez Lucero, Alan Singer, Deanne Lloyd Jennings, Joanne Yoffee Furer, Flora Angel Ferrens - all BHS '67

Cathy Palmer, Shelly Perez Lucero, Pam Hawkins Swan and Sara Marino Becaria - all BHS '67

Xiao Mei Ray and Dale Ferrens

Flora Angel Ferrens and Don Ripley Ray - BHS '67

Alan Singer, Deanna Lloyd Jennings and Sandy Ballard Spero - BHS '67

Joanne Yoffee Furer (BHS '67)

Cathy Nicholls Coyle and Shari Deule Nicholls - BHS '67

John Coyle (BHS '65), Bob Fossler (BHS '64), Mark Littleton (Muir '64/Costa Mesa '67), Bruce Fossler (BHS '66) and Craig Beedle (BHS '66)

Bruce Fossler (BHS '66), Bob Fossler (BHS '64) and Mark Littleton (Muir '64/Costa Mesa '67)

Bruce Fossler and Craig Beedle - BHS '66




4/11/10 Parade Update by Joyce Ruldolph

4/11/10 Parade Article in Burbank Leader

4/14/10 More Parade Pics from Trudie

Monday, April 12, 2010

Update on Burdette Houser (BHS '66)

Received the following emails on Friday while traveling, so I am sorry for the late post. Please keep Burdette in your thoughts and prayers and if possible, give him a visit.

I just sent this to my '66 classmates:


I was out of town last week when Pam Zipfel Kirkwood '64 sent me this:

Hi All,
I just thought I would send this note out to some of you who are friends of Burdette Houser's '66...
I was just over to see Burdette Houser today, I had made him some chocolate chip cookies that he loves so much. Unfortunately, I waited a little too long to get them to him...He's not good. He is down to 107 lbs. He can no longer swallow. They are nourishing him with IV fluids. They have stopped all of the chemo treatments and a hospice doctor was supposed to come by today to assess him today...
He is such a "Brave Little Bulldog". God Bless Him...

Although Burdette has defied all odds so far, if you have been thinking about calling or visiting Burdette, I think maybe you better do it fairly soon. He looks pretty frail. He has a large tumor in his stomach now...I guess, that is what has affected the swallowing reflex... Pam

I never knew Burdette in high school. Spoke to him for the first time at the 40th at the Castaway. The last time I saw him was the our 42nd Reunion 1 1/2 years ago during the BHS Centennial, when he was wheelchaired in by an LVN friend to join us under the tent.

So I was nervous about going to see him. And I was totally unprepared for what 107 lbs looks like when I visited him Friday afternoon: like an Auschwitz survivor. He has good hearing, still enjoyed listening to the Dodgers game, but difficulty talking, and his eyes were closed most of the time. He's being kept "comfortable".

As Pam says, if you have been thinking about visiting him (calling him probably wouldn't be a good idea any more), don't procrastinate. He wants visitors. He was very appreciative.

I've definitely revised my thinking about visiting people who are "terminal": stop being reluctant and give the gift of a little time to just sit and BE with them. Small talk unnecessary.

You know you're getting old when something like this makes you wonder who's going to come visit YOU.

Sorry for my down tone. I didn't expect this visit to affect me the way it did.

In case you need it, Burdette's info is:
Chandler Convalescent 818-240-1610
525 S. Central, Rm 26-A
Glendale, CA 91204
Burdette's telephone 818-312-7053


Linda (Schuster) Mazur
Pasadena, CA

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Burbank on Parade 2010

Just received the following email from Linda Lee, Alumni Drill Team organizer, and Joyce Rudolph, Alumni Drill Team Leader (and Burbank Leader News Reporter as well!) followed by more great Parade pics from John and Cathy Nicholls Coyle.

Many thanks to all!!

2010 Alumni Drill Team with New Banner made by Shari Deuel Nicholls (BHS '67)

Hi Linda,
I wrote this story and am sending it to people on my email list. Maybe you would like to send it to the drill team members. Thanks for organizing the girls – we have a great group!



I just got back from a fabulous day in the community.

This morning I was marching with the Burbank Burroughs Alumni Band and Drill Team in Burbank on Parade. Joanne Miller did a terrific job putting the line up together. The band sounded great led by director Bill Kuzma. And former Burbank High School drum major Bob Gaston came all the way from Arizona to help Sharon Kuzma carry the banner. Seems like old times.

It was great to see people along the route as we marched, my neighbors Andy and Lisa Hazelwood, school board members Roberta Reynolds and Debbie Kukta. I was in drill team with Roberta and she was my support system when I tried out for captain.

I saluted former city manager Mary Alvord who was providing commentary aside my favorite vertical blinds consultant Richard Raad. Good job guys, I can't wait to see the finished product on BTV6!

Thanks to everyone along the route who cheered the drill team on. We had several new members and they had trouble sleeping last night, worried they would be laughed at, but they all agreed they are definitely coming back to march next year.

Next Linda Johnson and I went up to the new DeBell Golf Club to meet and greet the parade committee's party. We munched on chips and salsa and garlic toast made famous at Smoke House restaurant. Ummm good.

Then it was back in the car and off to Community Chevrolet to see the George Barris 2010 styled Camaro Spirit. There were two parked in the lot, a beautiful red one that George drove down Olive in Burbank on Parade and the yellow one with purple accents, especially a favorite of Don Baldaseroni, public relations rep for the Road Kings. What could be better than a car painted in Road Kings purple.

We didn't get a chat with him because he was only there for 5 minutes, but Jay Leno drove into the dealership parking lot in an open air truck. I don't know the year or model, but I will get that in time for my story in Wednesday's Leader.

George Barris was having a blast posing for pictures with all the pinup girls who showed off their smiles and figures in skin tight and very revealing outfits. I never saw so many men smile like I did today. George was very sweet and saw me standing forlornly a few feet away and pulled me in to have our picture taken, sans pinup girls. I felt very honored. He's a very charming man. And he gave me a nice interview, please check it out in Wednesday's paper.

All in all it was a fabulous day and I can't wait until next year.


Yes Joyce...... we do have a great group!...was the time and effort worth it?......ABSOLUTELY!!.....
.......I thank you all for making my day, so to speak......and a special thank you to Shari for the great banner!..... Hugs, Linda Lee



Thursday, April 8, 2010

Help Wanted!

Position: Scanner of Ceralbi (plural for Ceralbus??)

Pay: Nuttin'

Job Description: Work with Burbank High School library staff to access and scan Ceralbus senior photos, put them on a disc and mail to yours truly so we can post for all to enjoy!