Auditorium & Rainbow Pier
AT THE PIKE
lifeguard at the Plunge
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.
If you can help with more information, please e-mail the PikeWebmaster at:
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
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THE STONE MAN
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I 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.
If you have a
picture of Kathy's father, please email the PikeWebmaster at: email@example.com
and I will forward your email to Kathy.
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The Hi-Ride above and below
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...
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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
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
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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.
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.
Note: If you have any information, please email the webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward it to Paula.
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I worked at a place called Clock O Line on the corner of Pine and the beginning of the pike
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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.
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I grew up in Long Beach and my Mother, Ella Striegel, worked at the Pike from the late 1930s until about 1961.
It 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!
My 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.
During 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!
I 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 and fries!
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???
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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.
I 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.
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."
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
Robert Bohjanen email:
Entire contents of