Cyclone Racer 1
People on car 2
End of ride 3
of the Pike
Videos of the
Municipal Auditorium & Rainbow Pier
AT THE PIKE
Pike Personnel Stories
People who worked or owned a business
at The Pike
lifeguard at the Plunge
Plunge at the Pike had a large indoor swimming pool.
father. Karl Bailey, was a lifeguard at the plunge in the winters and
on the beach in the summer. (He later went to work for the Harbor
Dept.) That's where he and my mother met. Anyone know him?
This would have been in the early 1940's. He worked with a lady who
later became a guard at LB Jordan. She was there in the
60's. I volunteered as a Jr. guard.
Thanks for doing this. Lots of memories. Nice to see the
post about the Guadignoes. I have hired them in the past.
And met them at WCA conventions.
If you can help with more information, please e-mail the PikeWebmaster at: email@example.com
I will forward your e-mail to Linda.
Pike Shooting Gallery
My name is
Debra smith. My brother Donald and I never met our father, or at least
not at an age where we would have remembered him. His name was Cecil
Smith, and our mother’s name was Wanda Hurst at that time. She had left
home in Arizona and moved to Long Beach in the early fifties, and,
according to my birth certificate, he worked at The Pike, managing the
shooting gallery and was born in 1929 in Kernville, CA. I was conceived
in 1953, probably at the Pike, and born in April 1954. My brother was
born in 1955. The story we were told was that our dad was already
married, with 2 children. Sometime after Don was born he died in an
auto accident. At least that’s what we were told. I’ve found no
evidence of that. I remember mom taking me to the Pike when I was about
4 or 5. Someone she knew commented on how closely I resembled my dad.
Having no idea at the time that my current dad was actually my step
dad, I thought the comment odd, even at that age, because I looked
nothing like pop. Don and I know we have half siblings out there
somewhere and would like to meet some people who look like us. Plus,
we’ve never even seen a picture of our dad. If any of this rings a bell
with anyone reading this, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
* * *
THE STONE MAN
uncle, John Shouse was the "Stone man" in 1968. Spectators would
come see him at The Pike. Do you have any information on
him? I would like to pass this information to my daughter.
Uncle John passes away over 40 years ago. I have a few articles
from newspapers in 1968 with information that he was there during this
If you can help with more information, please e-mail the PikeWebmaster at: email@example.com
I will forward your email to Cathy.
* * *
1st Reply to "
THE STONE MAN"
went to the Pike only once, August 4th, 1959 (or 1958?). It was my 9th
or 10th birthday. My cousin (12 y.o.) and I went into a building or
tent and saw photos of the person before going into a place where he
was lying on a table. We were encouraged to touch his skin, but I
don't recall if it was the man on the table or the person who enticed
us into the venue who was telling us to do this. I remember his skin
as being pale with brown discolorations and I think I did touch his
arm which was very hard and cool to the touch. The reason I have
remembered this is because I felt sadness about a person being on
display because of a disease or disability. Years later I recollected
this when viewing The Elephant Man for the first time.
Maybe this encounter influenced my life as I became a nurse and adopted four children with disabilities.
I hope this helps you in some way.
May God bless him in eternal rest and peace.
Kathy Edwards, my brother Tim Edwards has written asking if anyone
have a picture of our Father, Ted Edwards. He passed away when I was 4
years old so don't remember a lot about him and do know because a
family friend named Bill Fanny (hope I have his last name spelled
passed away in the late 80's. I called him Uncle Bill - they both
worked the Pike - my Dad worked on the Bumper cars. Our Mother's name
is Jane Edwards
and she hung out there a lot with Bill and other people who worked
around. I was only 10 when the Pike started closing down. It was a sad
down there because I can remember running around down there and the
Elephant I climbed up inside one time trying to hide from my Mom. There
are so many great memories of the Pike. I hope someone might be able to
help with just one picture of our Father. Again, he worked the Bumper
cars until he passed away in the 70’s.
And to the best memories of the Pike.
If you have a picture of Kathy's father, please email the PikeWebmaster at: firstname.lastname@example.org
and I will forward your email to Kathy.
* * *
The Hi-Ride above and below
Photo by Luijt Postma, from Holland,
"In 1967 I visited Long Beach, California, by cargo boat (Dutch vessel)".
More Luijt Postma photos from 1967 click here
Charles Haefeli, created and built the Hi Ride in Europe..he was a
crane operator on a bridge project and the contractors would ask to go
up in his crane and view the operation..Bingo and a light came on and
my father designed and assisted in the building of the giant ride...
He was at several world fairs in Europe...came to San Francisco in 1939
for the Worlds Fair and then ended up in Long Beach. He also
owned the airplane ride..
I have lots of memories of being there as a child...My mother's family
owned a hamburger place on the midway where my parents met and later
My mother always told the tale of my father taking me to "work" with
him. He put me in one of the "baskets" along with my stuffed animals (I
was two) and sent me up in the air. I think he was using me like
a draw...up and down I went...Unfortunately, my mother's sisters worked
at the family's hamburger restaurant and called her to tell her what my
dad was doing...you can guess the rest.
Thank you again for a great site. I have been trying for a long
time to find out what happened to the ride as my father sold out long
before the "nu pike" was finally closed.
* * *
family has quite a bit of history with the Pike. My Grandfather, John
Guadagno owned several rides at the pike. The Dodge em (bumper cars)
that are in front of the Cyclone Racer in several of your photo's is
one of them. While the pike might have officially closed in 79. We
operated several rides there until the late 80's. The Dodge em Cars was
the last ride in operation at the pike, we operated it until 1987. We
dismantled them in the early 90's. We still have the steel structure
and the original loop o plane from the Pike. When my grandfather passed
away in 1969 the company was taken over by my father and uncle Tony and
John Guadagno. We closed our office and left the pike for good in the
early 90's. We are still in the amusement business today thanks to my
Grandfather. We are now a traveling Carnival company, Guadagno and Sons
Amusements (G&S Shows). You can see our website at
We also owned the original Rotor at the Pike (built by the Volar
Brothers, don't think I spelled their name right) not the chance Rotor
that was there in the 70's. If you look closely at the picture of the
Cyclone Racer being torn down you can see our Rotor in the top left
I grew up at the Pike in the 70's and 80's. I watched a lot of TV shows
and commercials being filmed there, Chips, Charlies Angels, Incredible
Hulk, Cool aide commercial filmed on our Calypso and many more. We all
have a lot of great memories of the Pike.
Hi! Loved your
website. My Great grandfather is Charles I.D. Looff and his son Charles
was my Grandfather. My nine year old son and I are working on a report
about him for school. It is great to know others enjoyed the carousel
so much. Someday you should visit the Cresent Park Carousel. I was
there ion 1995 for the centennial. Thanks, Lisa McCright
+* * *
remember Frenchy along with Fog, Big Red, Roger and Les. These
men ( all Long Beach Police Officers ) took it upon themselves to
keep safe a young 18 yr. old girl. When I married in 61 they told my
husband they had been keeping me safe for him. I have always wondered
what happened to them.
Have you any info on Dick Waters--he
had a lot of arcade games...Harriet whose parents owned the café
? near the ferris wheel, Frankie Gould who had the band / orchestra at
the Lido Ballroom. I met my husband ( a Marine aboard the USS
Hornet. .Admirals body guard ) there and 3 weeks later we married and
on this March 16, 2011 we will be married 50 yrs.
I have so many memories and my greatest claim to fame back then ? I never got the name ' Pike Queen '
Thank you for the trip down memory lane
Does anyone remember the jungle ?
Yes Paula, I remember the
Jungle. I lived there with three sisters in 1961. I also
shined shoes in front of the fleet locker club on ocean. There
was coast liq. store there too, as we always wondered in there for
candy. There was a little store in the jungle too, I got lots of
gum balls and other candy. How about those knee highs?
There was a kid that ran the kiddy rides on the pike name Bruce.
He felt sorry for me a number of times and gave me free rides.
Does anyone remenber the jungle?, I grew up in the jungle on Neptune
St. Does anyone remenber Tony Martone, The Valare Brothers or Ed
Hathaway, thats my dad, Big Chuck & Little Chuck who owned
resturants on the pike, the Murguders salt water taffy I worked in
kiddie land from the time I was 13 untill I went in the Air Force in
1962, my mother sold tickets, Ella Mae Htahway as did my aunt Bea
Cohen, great memories. Thanks Danny Hathaway
again... There was a man named Tony who ran the side show, you know
knife throwing, eating fire, swallowing swords and all that good stuff.
Always a good place to go to make a couple of dollars. Tony was always
looking for victims--not really. I let that man throw knives at me,
held them giant boas and other dumb things. Anyway Tony played on a
Bonanza episode in the early 60s.
Anybody remember the girl with no body, just a head being kept alive by mechanical means. Train wreck..It was brilliant.
Note: If you have any information, please email the webmaster at email@example.com and I will forward it to Paula.
* * * *
I worked at a place called Clock O Line on the corner of Pine and the beginning of the pike
I had so much fun there I didnt care if I got paid or not.
On my breaks I would run up and down the Pike and eat the Taffy and all the good food.
I would go on the Cyclone and other rides.
I worked there from 1969 to 1973
My name is Gail Roberts.
Anyway I sure have fond memories of the Pike.
I had a boss names Fred. He was awesome.
* * *
My parents both worked at the pike in the 50's. Harold and
Patricia Riesen. My father worked on various rides, he was a
mechanic and ran some of the rides. My mother worked at the
plunge. I remember as a kid taking the bus to the pike with my
sisters, 12 tokens for a dollar. Those were the days.
Somewhere we have video of some of the rides being put together with
alot of the workers from the pike. I am in the process of trying
to locate them. Attached is a photo of my Dad sitting on the Davy
Jones Locker ride and one of my Mom as a lifeguard at the plunge.
Jan M Riesen
* * *
I grew up in Long Beach and my Mother, Ella Striegel, worked at
the Pike from the late 1930s until about 1961.
was so interesting to read Charles Cohen's write up mentioning people I
knew - then I realized that I KNEW Charles! He was a year ahead of me
at Poly and Washington Junior High!
Mother worked for Como Norris as a bookkeeper for his Penny Arcades for
years. She left there and worked for George Magruder Sr., doing the
bookkeeping for George's Popcorn and Magruder's Salt Water Taffy. The
main popcorn store was in front of the plunge across from the taffy
store and the second one was at the bottom of Pine Avenue. After many
years she left there and went back to work for Norris and his partner
Al at their arcades.
the summer of 1959 after graduating from Poly, I worked at the Penny
Arcade in the underpass at the foot of Pine Avenue. It was the only
place that had Skee Ball and was very popular. I was always embarrassed
to have my friends know that my Mother worked on the Pike and there I
was, too. But it was hard to get a summer job not being 18 yet, and $1
an hour was $1 an hour!
have great memories of the Pike - the Diving Bell and the Tilt-a-Whirl
were my favorite rides. I loved going to the plunge. When I was 5 or 6
my Grandma would take care of me during the summer. My Dad would drop
me at her apartment near Magnolia and Broadway in the morning on his
way to work. After breakfast we would walk to the Pike so my Grandma
could play cards at the card club by the Bandshell and I would play in
the Rainbow Pier Lagoon. That is where I learned to swim! It was a
special treat to go to the movie at The Strand. I loved the shrimp
plate at the stand by the theatre - 25 cents for 2 large fried shrimp
What a great time and place to grow up! By the way, my Mother just turned 100 in July 2012!
Carol Striegel Sheerin
* * *
I hate to bother you... but I keep checking for new pictures of the
Pike in the 40's in hopes of finding a pic of my Grandfather and his
brother... they rode motorcycles inside a big drum like building and
they had a woman that also rode and they had a lion that they would put
inside after they were riding on the walls... I remember being very
small and scared to death that it would eat grandpa!! LOL!!
My grandfather was Charlie Albrecht and I remember my mom used to have
a great picture that had been taken for publicity around that time with
the guys on their motorcycles and the lion in it's cage... and I don't
know what the name of the show was... but it seemed as if I always
heard it called "The Motordrome"... but I can't find any reference to
it at all... do any of the references you have make any reference to
such a show... I remember going with grandpa and they put me on the
double Ferris wheel and such... the picture my mom had burned up with
all our pictures long ago... soo I was pretty small last time I saw
that picture and would love to see it again!! My uncles name was
Burton Albrecht and went on to race motorcycles all over...
Thanks for your help... or if you can direct me somewhere???
* * *
A number of years ago an article
appeared in Westways magazine about Al Brown. I did not save the
issue, so I am not sure of the date. I had been a seven-year old boy
from Germany in 1929 when I first met Al. My wife and I called and
visited him at the Lite-a-Line site soon after the article appeared.
He was very gracious and showed us a small room literally packed with
post cards and other paraphernalia about the Pike. We spent about an
hour looking at the material and could have spent all day - time
permitting. I have often wondered where all that historically valuable
material ended up. Do you know? Does Richard Olson, who wrote on your
site about Al's son, Leonard, know? It certainly deserved to be
preserved by a responsible keeper of Long Beach Pike history.
parents and I were new arrivals from Germany sailing through the Panama
Canal and landing in San Pedro Harbor in June 1929. My mother's
Fred Winkmann, who sponsored us, owned a souvenir shop directly across
from the original merry-go-round site (see above photo
showing my mother, her uncle and me in front of the shop.) We all
lived in the back of the store. Al Brown and other Looff
allowed me to ride free as long as I wanted during lulls in
My biggest joy came when I snagged the gold ring. Photo top right
shows my father (Jean J. Vogel,) my mother (Elsie F. Vogel)
and me (Hans W. Vogel) at age 7 in front of the original site of the
merry-go-round in 1929.
have many more fond memories of Long Beach and the Pike in particular.
Another Al who more or less adopted this little German boy was a life
guard - Al Chin. Al was a Walt Disney artist who worked as a life
guard in the Bath House Plunge and on the beach in front of the Plunge
during the summer months. He allowed me to enter the Bath House free
when he was on duty. The first time he let me in I went to the deep
end where the 10 ft. diving platform was located (see attachment
PlungePhoto.jpg and jumped in without knowing how to swim. Nobody saw
me struggling to get out. Finally, I grabbed the water overflow rim
and pulled myself up. I never made that mistake again nor did I tell
my parents or Al about it.
I graduated from Long Beach
Polytechnic High School in February 1940. After serving in the U.S.
Army for 37 months (in Europe under General George S. Patton for one
and one-half years,) I graduated from USC under the GI Bill of rights
in 1947. My wife, Barbara (Bobbie) nee Bogart, graduated from Poly in
June 1940. We were married in the Normandy Wedding Manor at the corner
of Linden Avenue and Ocean Blvd ( it
has since been torn down) in September 1942.
* * *
Hans W. Vogel
North Tustin, CA
start with the picture you printed in the Press Telegram on Monday
Sept. 20, 2003 and then we will take a short trip down my history of
the Pike, also known as "Walk of a Thousand Lights."
Arcade was owned by Norris, the Sea Food Restaurant was owned my father
Murray Cohen, called the MC cafe and the next restaurant where the
shrimp sign is located was called The Corral, also owned by
father. My family came to California in the spring of 1942 from
New York and the first business my father had on the Pike was a Photo
Gallery where they took pictures of everyone and everything behind
stand up billboards to send back home to their families. I
remember my mother taking pictures with the sailors and giving them two
copies, one for their own and the other one to send back home.
After this business my father leased a restaurant directly across from
the Cyclone racer. This restaurant was called Joe-Joes. I
helped my father in the restaurant peel potatoes so he could make
French fries. When I was finished he let me watch the Punch and
Judy show that was on the East side of the Cyclone racer. If I
found any money under the Cyclone racer which was directly one the
beach, I would go on the rides. My favorite ride was the Merry
Go-Around. I would ride it and if I could reach out far enough
for a ring and be lucky enough to grab a GOLD ring I could ride the
Merry Go-Around another turn by just turning in the Gold Ring. There
was a pier next to the Cyclone racer on the West side called the Silver
Spray pier. This was torn down and then the Nu- Pike was
built. Next to the Double Ferris Wheel was a candy store called
Mcgruders salt water taffy which was made on the spot. I ate so
much of that salt water taffy that some times I couldn't even eat
dinner. Do you remember the end of the war. Well, I
do. I was helping my father in his new restaurant, called the MC
cafe in the City block of Pike Street when the WW2 ended and all the
Sailors reached into their top pocket of their uniform and threw all
their change in the air. I ran out side my dads restaurant, and
being only 6 years I grabbed all the money I could find on the
ground. I got kicked, stomped, pushed, but I did get a lot of
money for the RIDES. In 1948 my father opened another restaurant
at the other end of the Pike next to a Bar called The Hollywood on the
Pike. He called this Restaurant The Barbecue house. On Saturday
or Sunday all of us kids rode the Red car down to the Pike and went
swimming in the Plunge and if we had any money to see a movie we went
to The Strand Theater. After I graduated from High School, Polytechnic
and Long Beach City College I worked in this restaurant for ten years,
1960-1970. I had a lot of friends on the pike and got friendly
with all the police that worked the Pike Beat. This was their
breaking in area. I left the pike in 1970 and went to work in San
Pedro at the Dicarlo baking company. My father sold the first two
restaurants and he continued to work the Barbecue house restaurant
until he retired in 1976. There are so many wonderful memories in
my life that I have for the pike, I wouldn't trade them for
anything. I time gone by, but era not forgotten. Thank you
for my youth, Charles Cohen, Seal Beach, Cal.
name is Tim Edwards, and my brother is Ted Edwards Jr. We also
have two sisters. Our dad, Ted Edwards, was one of the head
mechanics at The Pike from the mid-1960's until he died in 1974.
We were able to run around The Pike like we owned the place and
had a large extended family with the other workers. We are
looking for anyone who knew our dad and if there are any photos they
might have of him. I was 6 years old when he died and have no
photos of him. Our mom was Jane Edwards so someone might know him
from her. Any help that you can give us would be appreciated.
The Pike and the people we grew up with there are a big part of
LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON A MAN NAMED: NATE MILLER
OWNER OF THE CARNIVAL RIDES AT THE LONG BEACH PIKE.
HE ALSO PROVIDED THE RIDES AT THE 1939-1940 GGIE ON
TREASURE ISLAND, SAN FRANCISCO, CA.
Robert Bohjanen email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Lee's Barbeque, one of the best fast food outlets at the Pike. My
Grandfather worked there as Number 2 cook and then became Number 1.
Mr. Lee and Mr. Marfleet (who I believe was part owner) were
extremely nice people. When they split company, my Grandfather went
with Mr. Marfleet to start a restaurant at the foot of Signal Hill
called Marfleets, of which my Grandfather was head chef.
In the background of the photo is the Cyclone Racer. My Grandfather
is about 7th or 8th from the right of the photo.
I also have a few tokens from the Pike and a ring from the carousel.
As a sidelight, my Grandfather knew George Macgruder very well; they
used to go fishing at Redondo Beach Pier and even go out on the old
Sacramento River Ferry anchored offshore.
Hope this helps you, if you need any other info, let me know".
JOHNNIE WOLDRIDGE, Class of 1957, Bellflower High School
Worked the Arcade on the 'Boardwalk' 1953, Pike
RUSSELL HALL, Class of 1939, Paramount High School
In my high school days I worked at the Pike as an usher at the
I am trying to locate information on a man named Rodney D Poole,
aka Chico. This man is my father whom I have never had the chance
to know. I have been researching info about the Pike in the late
70's, but I really can't find anything useful. My mother gave me a
timeline from when my father and her were together, hanging out at
the pike. The period I am looking for in March 1977 to October
1977. I am in search of people who may possibly have known my
father or my mother during that time. My mother's name is Elsie
Johnson and she was only 17 at the time.
My father was a Philipino man, short in stature with tattoos on
his arms and possibly also on his chest. In a photo I have of him,
he appeared to be approximately 20-30 years old,maybe younger but
doubtful. Any information, that you could offer me or a direction
in which to search would be greatly appreciated.
Please email the webmaster and I will forward your email to Tina.
GILLIAM, Class of 1956,
Jordan High School, Long Beach, California
I met my second husband at the Pike in 1956. He was a life guard
at the Plunge. His name was Jerry Weyant. He used to swim with
the seals at the Seal Pond back in '57. We took care of the seals
then. His step father ran the Tilt A World ( Red Anderson), and
his mom sold tickets (Mickey Anderson). His brother (James Weyant)
worked the Barrell ride. I worked the fourth of July at one of
the eateries, and my daughter was born on the 9th of July. We
lived on Seaside in a one room apartment. The Stone Man was one
of our closest friends.
I have been searching for
my ex-husband and my son for many years now. If you run across
any information on any of these people, I would appreciate it
if you would share it with me. Haven't seen my son since 1962;
e-mail me with the information.
I have news about your son, please
email the webmaster email@example.com
Today I received a message from Janice Gilliam saying that she
has talked to her son and his father and they all plan to meet
in the very near future.
What a great New Year for them!
Thank you for your help and good wishes.
Happy New Year to all.
Webmaster of "The Pike"
JOHN FAULKNER, Class of 1965, South High School, Torrance,
In 1961 to '63 I used to run the pony ride under the roller coaster
ride at the Pike... It was a really neat way of spending several
summers.. Parks like these are badly needed and should not have
died such slow deaths!!!!
JAMES HARMONSON, Class of 1954, Compton High School.
I worked on the west end of the Pike in the middle 50's. I ran
a balloon/dart game next door to the Photograph shop. The owner
of my location ran the horse race game. Next to him was the shooting
gallery with the animated targets. Hit the target and it would
start operating - action and music, etc. Across the way was an
Arcade with a Pronto Pup stand. On the east side of my stand
was the entrance to the Rainbow Ballroom, and next to that, the
Rainbow bar. I used to work a split shift, so I spent 4 hours
swimming, riding my bike, or just walking the Pike. It probably
was not the best atmosphere for a teen-ager, but I did learn
a lot about getting along with people. It really was a great
time to be growing up.
My dad, Tex Puryear, first came to Long Beach, when he was in
the Navy - shortly after the Korean War, where he served on an
aircraft carrier. He worked at the "Hollywood on the Pike"
Showbar from the mid fifties, to the mid seventies. He was very
well known in his day, as a band leader and performer of country
music, which was big in those days. His picture adorned the front
display case in the window for over a dozen years. He played
with Jeanie and Haskell May, Cindy Carson, and others who aren't
know today. He didn't make it big elsewhere, but he was a star
in his own right in the hey day of the Pike. He now lives in
Manhattan Beach, and he just turned 70 in Sept. 03.
From: Kim Hays 10/14/03
Magruder - Magruders Salt Water Taffy
passed away April 2nd, 2003.
George decided after 90 years it was time to join family and
friends on the other side.
Born in 1912, George spent most of his life in Long Beach, where
he touched countless lives. During his young adult life he was
a firefighter at Station 10, but left the Department to manage
and later own, the candy store his father started before the
turn of the century. Magruders Salt Water Taffy was a fixture
at the Pike in downtown for many years, serving delicious confections
to many thousands of people. George was also a talented artist,
as well as an avid outdoorsman. He was a member of The Long Beach
Sportsman's Club for more than 25 years and spent his entire
life teaching many generations of people not only how to hunt
and fish, but to respect and enjoy all the beauties nature has
George is survived by 2 daughters, Katie Von Eps, of Homeland,
and Georgene Magruder of Idaho.9 Grandchildren, 7 Great-grandchildren
(plus one on the way), and several surrogate sons, daughters,
grandchildren, and great grandchildren, all of whom were proud
to call him Dad or Grandpa.
Our family takes great comfort in knowing he is now with God,
and with the friends and family that passed on before him, especially
his son, Scott, and two great grandchildren who left all of us
way to soon. He was and still is the bond that holds our family
We miss him deeply, but wish him well on his journey.
Jones Pony Ride
From: Paul McKinzie
My father Winston "Mac"
Mckinzie and brother Ronnie worked at Jones Pony Ride at the
Pike in the 1960's. My father has since passed away but I remember
going to the Pike every weekend and spending virtually all day
riding on the kiddie "Fish" ride that was located next
to the ponies so my dad could keep an eye on me.
I wish I knew where that old blue fish was today :)
The pike was such a wonderful place in its hey day. The last
time I saw it was back in 1981 and it was a shell of its former
self. I have friends in Long Beach who tell me its now a mall
of some kind. Too bad.
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