July 1, 1969: Mom’s SoCal

This is probably from the 1930s, which was just before Mom moved to SoCal with Gran and Uncle Harold, They lived there for only two years, but it made an impact. Photo shared from here.

Mom moved with Gran and Uncle Harold to Los Angeles in the early 1940s, soon after my grandfather’s very untimely passing. She was about 12. All my life, she’s shared her fascination with southern California, recounting tales of the trolleys and buses that ferried her all over. There were still plenty of orange groves and a feeble infrastructure back then, but it sounded pretty glamorous to me! She recently mentioned her discovery and love of artichokes; something else she missed when they all returned to artichoke-deprived Michigan after two years.

Mom and I visited again in 1980 (a whole other story, including bunking at Howard’s Weekly Apartments on the way-sketchy Hollywood Boulevard, a day of Family Feud and an evening with Lynda Carter and Tom Jones!).

It was always my destiny to live here. Accomplished, if only for a half dozen years.

No smog in Lomita but lots of refineries. Spent 2 hours at Marineland. Mike & Doug swam in swim club pool. Washed and restocked. They all had a romp in the ocean, then a shower.

Marge Binder, July 1, 1969


Here’s a screen grab from the Lomita website. I love the illustration of a proud and bustling Lomita surrounded by the fields that would soon rise high and shut out the bright lights of mighty Los Angeles.

The Tick Tock

While this location doesn’t appear to be ideal, Mom says it was convenient to everything, especially the beach. One of the highlights I remember is a place called the Tick Tock (or TikTok) that neighbored the campground. Most mornings, Mom and Dad would entrust Mike and me with several dollars to retrieve coffee, donuts and whatever else caught our fancy.

Like so many monuments of our 1969 trek, the little market is gone and forgotten, at least by the internet and chamber of commerce.

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