A Little History about Leuzinger

For those of you who are not Facebook members, you may not have seen this short summary of our high school or the link to the YouTube video.

I don’t think any of the water polo and swimmers are from 1963, but the photos should bring back some fond memories. Fellow Olympian is the Facebook poster for this summary and YouTube link.


Leuzinger’s Olympic Swimming Pool

The 1932 Olympics, hosted in Los Angeles, coincided with the first graduating class at Leuzinger High. In exchange for volunteering the campus for staging in the Olympic Games, the school was allowed to use the Olympics logo and call itself the Olympians. When The Summer Games returned in 1984, The O.C. tried to take back the name and rings, but the school gave them a copy of the agreement written in 1932 giving the school permanent use.

The Swimming Pool was originally built and used for The 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Retired Teacher and Counselor Mike Milling says, “Good to see Don and the water polo team. One thing; Leuzinger High School’s pool was 25yds long. Olympic-sized pools are 50 meters long.”

Time has taken the swimming pool away along with other venues. All that’s left are the memories we share, the mascot name and our school logo.

Elbert Kelly Remembers


  Sugars Elbert Kelly's Restaurant Dinning at Sugars

I received the following recollections in an email from Elbert Kelly. It brought back a lot of my own memories. He said it would be fine to share with it with the rest of our class.

In the late 90s, several of us had delicious BBQ dinner at Elbert’s award-winning restaurant, Sugars, in San Pedro. He had the restaurant for ten years, and then opened a larger one on Pine Ave in Long Beach, which he sold after three years.

Elbert’s email.

Marry Christmas Don and thank you for the great and sometimes sad information on folks I went to Kindergarten First and Second grade with at FDR Elementary on Lawndale’s Compton Blvd today it’s Marine Ave.** Third fourth and fifth grade at Kit Carson Elementary on 147th and Yukon. ** Sixth grade way over at Mark Twain Elementary ** Seventh and eighth grade at Will Rodgers. ** Entering High School at LuLu Tech in 1959  my freshman year  and 1960 my sophomore year. My family up graded in 1962 ( I know that was not a 1962 word) from Hawthorne to Compton. My junior and Senior year was at Compton High School graduated in 1963. A tremendous highlight for me was grad night at Disneyland seeing many of my good friends I grew up with in Lawndale and Hawthorne. 

 Don allow me to comment there were a hand full of Colored students in Lawndale in the 1950’s early 60’s Personally at that time I preferred Colored over Negro I was told I was a African American when I returned from Vietnam in November 1967. My youth years at FDR, Kit Carson, Mark Twain, Will Rodgers and Lulu tech I only recall one incident of racism. When we were told to start our own Cub Scout Pack.  Someone changed that and Alfred Patterson and I joined I think it was Pack 853. I was never called the N word well not to my face.  We got along very well growing up in Hawthorne considering I was in the Third grade when Brown vs the Board of Education was ruled on. Fourth grade when Emmett Till was lynched in Mississippi   Fifth grade when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Seventh grade when the Little Rock Nine were denied entry to Central HS in Little Rock. Alfred, Ola May, Marcia and I did talk about the 1960 and 61 Sit -Ins and freedom rides when we were at Leuzinger.  

 I always had a crush on Ola May Brown to me she was fine but she said I was to short. Marcia Cochran had way to many big brothers. And when I thought Lorraine De Ville was showing an interest in me my family was moving from Hawthorne to Compton My great grand kids don’t believe we walked every day from Leuzinger east on Rosecrans to Chadron one block west of Crenshaw. And they laugh at the only place we went for food was Fosters Freeze on Crenshaw South of 147th Street. And for 50 cents almost every Saturday in the 1950’s we could see two movies at the Park Theatre phone number was DA 4- 4040. 25 cents admission 10 cents popcorn 10 cents beverage and a nickel candy bar.

 I will be 70 next year and I would not change anything about my experience growing up in Hawthorne Ca. I had so many good childhood friends I cant name them all. At FDR and Kit Carson Jimmy Waters, Gary Chrone, Guy Genty Carol Yoshida, Dianne Talmand was at Twain, Arlen Swanson a good friend at Will Rodgers. Last year my great grandson’s travel 9U baseball team played a game at Tri Park Little League. It was no longer located where we played now it is located at Bodger Park. I walked around both schools remembering the wonderful times I had growing up in Hawthorne.

Respectfully Elbert Kelley

Thank you Elbert.


50/60s Theme for Our 50th Reunion?

I received an email suggesting that we adopt a 50/60s theme for our upcoming 50th Reunion, including dressing in the style of clothes we wore during high school. We could come dressed as surfers, hodads etc. Ths person had recently attended a  50/60s party and everyone really liked the idea and had a lot of fun with it.

We are already planning for the music of the evening to be Oldies But Goodies, so a having a 50/60s Theme would fit right in. However, if we were to adopt the theme, dressing the part would be totally optional. The reunion committee thought that this should be decided by the class as a whole.

I have included the poll below. Please take a moment to voice your opinion, even if you are unsure right now whether or not you will be able to attend the reunion.  The poll will be active through Sunday, January 20th. The poll also allows you to add any comments you may have.

Let us know what you think!

Memories of Southern California

These photos were forwarded to me by our classmate Janet McClelland Sapp. I don’t know how many PeeChee folders I bought from our Student Store, but it was a lot.

To fit into this format some of the photos have been cropped on their right side. To see the non-cropped photos CLICK HERE. 

For those of you who may have grown up around here (or not; weird and cool at the same time)…






Behold! We’re At the Drive-In 1958


Thrifty Drug Store – Southern California 1940’s


Orange County, California – 1969


Los Angeles, 1940’s – Christmas on Broadway


Hollywood and Vine early 1950s


Figueroa Tunnels, Los Angeles 1940s – Later became the Pasadena Freeway, the 1st Freeway in the U.S.


Helms Bakery Truck


Snow in downtown Los Angeles, 1949


Clifton’s Cafeteria – Interior, West Covina, California, 1968


Market Basket – Studio City, California 1960’s


Shoppers at Eastland Shopping Center, West Covina, Ca -March 1958


Pacific Sands Development, Huntington Beach, California – 1950’s


cCucamonga, California – 1950’s




Rainy Day in L.A. – 1950s


L.A. 1950’s


c1960. Case Study House 22. Stahl residence at 1635 Wood Drive, Los Angeles. Architect Pierre Koenig. Color transparency by Julius Shulman


When Life was Pee Chee in School


L.A. City Hall Under Construction, 1928


L.A. COUNTY FAIR – Fun Zone 1962


Manhattan Beach, California 1957


Hollywood Freeway, 1940s-50s


Venice Beach, 1930


L.A. Hollywood 1962 Capitol Records Building


L.A. – Looking north on Main




L.A. – 2nd and Hill St. 1950s




Los Angeles 1898 – Third and Hill


Metro and the Mart, 1962


L.A. 1956


Going to Disneyland!


L.A. – Sunset Cafe 1930’s


L.A. – Bunker Hill / Angels Flight area 1940s


Virginia Dare Winery, Cucamonga, California 1910


Los Angeles 1960s Ralphs


1935 L.A. Area Map (Texaco Gas)


Googies Restaurant and San Carlos Hotel – downtown L.A.




Wilshire Blvd – Miracle Mile 1950s, Los Angeles, California


MODERN SHOPPING CENTER, 1961 – Ventura, California


L.A. – S. Broadway, 1957


El Monte Hospital, 1930’s


Early mid century TV moment


L.A. – Wilshire 1954


Los Angeles 1950s 101


Los Angeles 1950s Hollywood Bowl Traffic


RCA Indian Head test pattern


cLakewood Center 1950s


Tumbleweed Theater, El Monte, California – 1939


Thrifty Drug Store – Southern California, 1960’s


Los Angeles Streetcar 1949


Food Giant Grand Opening, 1951


Cucamonga, California 1955


L.A. River drag racing 1950s






Do You Know Barb and Bob?

John Baker is the creator of the www.cougartown.com, one of the best places for a nostalgic glimpse of what it was like growing up in the 60s in the South Bay, especially Hawthorne. True, it is the Hawthorne High School website, but after 50 years, I don’t let deter me from reliving that time by visiting the site occasionally. If you have not explored it, I would strongly suggest doing so.

At any rate, today I got the following email from John.

Hi Don,
Long time since we last talked.
I received an email from a guy who lives in England. He had found a photo album in Venice CA in 1990 and is trying to find out who the people are in the photos. All his detective work points to the Hawthorne area. Thought I would check with you and your group to see if you would know either of these two people. These were taken in 1968 and the people have what looks to be a 4 year old. I’m thinking they would have graduated around our era. I have posted this info on Cougartown and maybe you could add it to the 63 Leuzinger site.
The Blog where all the info is, can be found here:
Any help would be appreciated and please let me know if you, or any of your group know these people.
Thanks for the help Don,
John Baker


Does either Barb or Bob look familiar? As John states, they may not even be from the South Bay.

If you click on the link in his email, there some additional deduced details about them and a few photos of the local area taken during the 60s.

If you think that you have some information that may help to locate either Barb or Bob, please email John Baker at jb1@cougartown.com. It would be interesting to us to also post a comment here.

It is an interesting mystery.

Revisit Our 40th Reunion in Pictures


Go back in time and take a look at some photos from our 40th Reunion. If you weren’t there, don’t you wish you had been?

If you were there, wouldn’t it be great to see them again after ten years?

How about seeing old friends and fellow classmates that you haven’t seen since June of 1963?

That’s all possible by attending our 50th Reunion on September 7, 2013.

Click Here for more information on how to buy your ticket today.

Cool Video Courtesy of Paul Jorgensen

I got the link for this video from our classmate, Paul Jorgensen a week or so ago. It gets me excited about our 50th Reunion.


Our reunion is coming going to be here for you know it. Look at the big countdown icon on the left. It is now less then one year away. If you have not ordered your ticket, I urge you to do so. Remember, the early bird special does not last forever.