Laguna Beach in the Fabulous '50s, '60s and '70s

Raising daughters in Laguna Beach.

Why did I love raising daughters in Laguna Beach?

Very simply, for everything that Laguna had to offer a single mother with two growing girls. Coming from a small coastal town in Oregon, especially during World War II, cultural events did not make it to our town. The only plays I saw were those put on by our high school.

Laguna provided a feast of opportunities for art, music and live theatre. The Laguna Beach Playhouse offered outstanding productions. Although prominent actors and actress often appeared there, I always enjoyed the performances given by the local thespians. The acting was crisp, energetic and thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.

I attended the fundraiser for the hospital, held at Irvine Bowl. Hugh O'Brian was the master of ceremonies, and some of the performers were Buddy Ebsen and Peggy Lee. Buddy entertained with songs and dance, and the beautiful Peggy Lee sang quite a number of the songs she had made famous.

The most outstanding performance in dance was given by Edward Villela. He was a friend of Lila Zali, who trained the Laguna Beach Ballet school. Mr. Villela's permance was absolutely the greatest. He was in the prime of his dance career at that time, and every step, leap and turn that he made was breathtaking ... a night to remember.

My daughters were thrilled when I purchased tickets to the Righteous Brothers concert, and they had the pleasure of hearing them in person. I also enjoyed it very much.

Both of my girls were in the Pageant of the Masters, and I don't think there was anyone more proud of them than their grandfather, who informed everyone around him that they were his grandchildren. My parents very seldom missed a year of seeing the Pageant.

Due to this exposure to the arts, both of my daughters performed in various shows. The oldest daughter played in the band at Laguna Beach High, and also in the orcheastra at Saddleback College. Elmer Bernstein, composer and conducter (no relation to Leonard, but very well-known), conducted the orchestra at the College for an evening performance. What a thrill to play his music and to have him be a guest conductor.

My younger daughter was on the stage crew for the Irvine Bowl and ran the lights beside Carl Calloway. She had the opportunity of meeting various famous performers and watching them in rehearsals and the final show.

The arts and music are so important in our schools and in our towns. They help shape the minds of our young people. I have a tendency to react when schools threaten to cut out these our of their programs.

Their participation in the arts and music gave them a sense of well being, discipline and great pleasure.

Laguna offered so much for people of all ages. The school system had a wonderful variety of subjects. Having the opportunity to have choices in early education was a great start, and I will always be grateful for all that Laguna Beach had to offer.

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Victoria A Linkey April 10, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Actually if you get right down to it, my mother was more in love with the Righteous Brothers so that is why we went, but I still remember that concert. It was a great night.
Darci Linkey Bodin April 10, 2012 at 02:31 AM
I got to work stage crew for Ella Fitzgerald, Ben Vereen, Tower of Power, Stanley Clarke, and so many more
Kanngeorge December 19, 2012 at 06:53 PM
My name is Karen George, nee Stiger. I believe your mother, Gloria, is my 1st cousin (1x removed) and is the daughter of Ray and Lydian (Norelius) Stiger. Ray is the uncle of my father Edward William Stiger; I am trying to get in touch with Gloria; could you give her my email address: kanngeorge@gmail.com and ask her to contact me? I would very much appreciate it. Regards, Karen
Gordon L.Weider February 26, 2013 at 12:53 PM
My Boston Red Sox will appear this year with a surprize,hello crimson red
Gordon L.Weider February 26, 2013 at 12:55 PM
howse the surf bonaroo mate !!


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