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No Time For Boredom

Posted by on Mar 10th, 2011 and filed under Viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

“I’m bored!” That’s what a lot of kids say these days. It seems as though they’re not entertained unless they have a video game controller in their hands. Years ago, we were never bored. We didn’t have the time. We were busy working on hobbies, taking music lessons, or just being outside riding bikes and having fun.

One great place to ride bikes near Montrose was known as “The Wash” although it did have a more formal name. Do you remember the Sparr Debris Basin? It was a flood control basin that collected runoff and debris from the Sparr channel. For kids, though, it was the perfect place to ride dirt bikes, with the rugged terrain lending itself perfectly to jump ramps, whoop-de-dos and drop-offs. In the ‘70s, two baseball fields were built on the hilltops above the debris basin and in the late ‘80s the entire area was developed into what is now Montrose Community Park.

Another place to ride dirt bikes was located on the south side of Foothill between Briggs and Ocean View. Do you remember Spokebenders Pedal Park? Located in a vacant lot just below Foothill, Spokebenders was an “unofficial” BMX park created by local kids.

Do you remember riding your bike without a helmet? The park only lasted a few years and is now the site of a condominium complex.

If you were looking for a hobby, there were two shops in Montrose to help with that. Do you remember Hansen’s Hobby Shop or Montrose Hobby Shop? Hansen’s was located on Honolulu where the Montrose Directory offices are now. It was the place to go for balsa wood, beads, yarn, leather and all the supplies for those “Indian Guides” projects. Montrose Hobby Shop, on Honolulu just west of Rosemont, specialized in model airplanes and rockets, with dozens of them hanging from the ceiling. Do you remember Estes model rockets?

Montrose was also home to a shop that catered to amateur prestidigitators. Do you remember the Montrose Magic Shop?

Just watching the proprietors demonstrate the tricks and illusions found in this shop on Ocean View was entertainment enough.

Music has always kept kids entertained and Montrose has had its share of music stores. The last of the record stores to come and go from Montrose took over the former J.C. Penney building currently occupied by Sake restaurant and Spa Pura. Do you remember Tempo Records? In the ‘80s, Tempo carried a large selection of record albums and was one of the first area shops to offer compact discs.

In the 1970s another record store came to Montrose. Do you remember Here, There and After?

Originally located on Honolulu just west of Rosemont, the store later moved to where The Black Cow restaurant is now. Though they did not sell musical instruments, Here, There and After did sell other non-musical instruments. Do you remember the glass case filled with colored glass smoking pipes? Those were for a different kind of hobby altogether!

Grayson’s Tune Town has been in Montrose since 1953. Do you remember when they used to sell records? Do you remember 45 RPM singles? Grayson’s was a regular stop on Saturday mornings to pick up the latest weekly Top 40 listing sponsored by AM radio station 93 KHJ. Do you remember 93 KHJ?

For music lessons, you could always go to Grayson’s. In the 1970s, however, door-to-door salesmen from a new music studio in Montrose canvassed local neighborhoods selling, of all things, accordion lessons! Do you remember Triangle Music Studio? Originally located in the upstairs of a building at Verdugo and Broadway, the studio later moved to Honolulu  where Quilt ‘n’ Things now resides. Though they specialized in the accordion, Triangle also provided guitar and drum lessons as well. In its final years, the studio moved to a space on Colorado Boulevard in Glendale.

Do you remember getting out of the house, always having something to do, all without being tied to some electronic gadget?

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3 Responses for “No Time For Boredom”

  1. Jim #2 says:

    Wow, too funny. I bought cigs too at that same old gas station at Rosemont and Foothill, 35 cents a pack in 1978. Riding bikes up to to Thrifty’s for a cone. Did we all see the same Gay Bob doll at the Magic Shop? How about Mr. D’s arcade in the old Mobil station on Ocean View I think. I lived on Mayfield and remember Mr. Zuckerman well. He took the wooden wagon with the horses out on Sunday mornings. I remember before they built the 210 freeway, but after they demolished all the houses between Mayfield and Altura. The only structure left standing was Zuckerman’s barn, Guess they worked it out so he could hang onto the horses for a bit longer. What a great guy. Old Crescenta is long gone but lives in my memory. Long live Taco Siesta!

  2. Tim Passafiume says:

    Wow, memories! We spent our whole childhood, into our teens at, “The Wash,” the Sparr Heights wash basin, which is now the park, hiking, looking for lizards.
    There was the wash, under the bridge over Oakmont Woods. We would go there find frogs, take them home, and raise them in our doughboy pool.
    In Oakmont woods, there was also a dirt road, we’d ride, and race our bikes on, (No helmets), until the sun started going down.
    God I’m SO thankful I wasn’t raised anywhere else, or especially in this time, where kids don’t experience ANY of the Great times we had out doors, in those places. They’re busy playing video games, instead of playing hide and go seek, squirt gun wars, and hiking around in the Sparr Heights basin.
    These days, they’d have all of those places guarded for the kids, “Protection.” Funny thing. We really never got hurt doing any of those things. Just Great memories now!

  3. Jim says:

    Spokebenders was on Foothill, just east of Rosemont. Four foot chainlink fence with a plywood sign attached. Rode there and did the skateboard thing at the Boogie Bowl. Great dirt track with decent burms/jumps. Remember Graysons, but how about Here There and After music store on Honolulu? Smoke accessories right up front in the glass cases lol. Don’t forget the Montrose Theater. The Montrose Magic Shop was rather small as I remember. Oddly I remember a doll in the front glass case. The “Gay Bob” doll with purse. Seemed strange at the time. I also remember the old Sheriffs station just north of Honolulu on Ocean View with a tiny one or two cell jail cell. Or how about pre-210 freeway, the Zuckermans had horses and wagon trains on Mayfield, little more rural back then. Thrifty’s ice cream for a nickle a scoop, the Chinese restaraunt, Alpha Beta supermarket, and the aquarium store at Rosemont & Foothill. Used to buy cigs in junior high at the gas station on the SE corner of Rosemont and Foothill. Is that red barn house still on the SW corner??? I’m sure it isn’t. Der Weiner Schnitzel?? Thanks for as trip down memory lane!

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