Pike Personnel

People who worked or owned a business at The Pike

lifeguard at the Plunge


My 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.

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.


My great 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 time.

1st Reply to THE STONE MAN

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.

Bumper Cars


I’m Kathy Edwards, my brother Tim Edwards has written asking if anyone might 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 right) 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 pink 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.

Thank you.
And to the best memories of the Pike.

The Hi-Ride above and below 

My father, 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 married. 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.


My 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 thefuncarnival.com.

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 hand corner.

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.


Joe Guadagno

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.

I 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

Paula Wakefield

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

Just me 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.

Paula Wakefield

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.

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???

Virginia Dunn

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.


My 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 uncle, 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 employees allowed me to ride free as long as I wanted during lulls in ridership.  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. 
Hans W. Vogel
North Tustin, CA

Let’s 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.”

The Penny 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.

My 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 our lives.

Tim Edwards

“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”.

Paul Fleming

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.

Tex Puryear

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


George 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 to offer.

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 together.
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.