The Legend of Whittles, Knott’s Berry Farm’s Forgotten Icon

As part of being a Knott’s Berry Farm Ambassador, I am tasked with writing posts for the Knott’s Berry Blog. Last week my first blog post for them was published, which was an overall history of the Farm. While you can read the whole post here, today I wanted to take a moment to expand…

Tracing the Journey of Mummified Outlaw Elmer McCurdy to the Long Beach Pike

Last week I talked about the history of Long Beach’s infamous Pike, including the location being used in an episode of Charlie’s Angels and The Six Million Dollar Man. What I didn’t mention was that in the Charlie’s Angels episode, “To Kill an Angel,” a man’s body is found within the Pike’s Laff in the…

The Rise and Fall of the Long Beach Pike

Towering above shops like H&M, Forever 21, and The Gap is what appears to be a rollercoaster, yet no cars race by, and no screams of riders can be heard. Upon closer inspection, it is no rollercoaster, just bridge built to look like one. But, why? Let’s take a trip back in time, all the…

The Forgotten History of Gower Gulch, Hollywood’s Western Strip Mall

Gower Gulch. Sounds like a small town in the deserts of Arizona, right? But you’d be wrong. It’s in fact a western themed small strip mall that sits at the corner of Gower and Sunset in the middle of Hollywood. But why a western theme? And just how did this corner get its name? The…

The Violent History of LA’s Iconic Crossroads of the World

Sunset Boulevard is synonymous with Hollywood. It’s home to a plethora of iconic buildings and linked to many legendary people. One such building is Crossroads of the World, a bizarre little 1930s shopping center turned office complex that looks like something out of a Disney theme park, with a steamship style building “sailing” past storefronts…

The Mysterious Horror Hostess that Reportedly Cursed James Dean

The inside of a “dingy frame house” on Larrabee Street in West Hollywood looked more akin to a “witch-doctor’s shack in the wilds of Haiti.” Scattered were “objects of the kind associated with Black Magic” and stuck to the wall by a small golden dagger were cut-outs of  James Dean’s eyes and ears. On the…

The Pink Pussycat College of Strip Tease Where Yesteryear’s Strippers Learned Their Craft

Imagine you are a woman living the high life in early 1960s Hollywood, you have a great husband, who after working hard as a door-to-door salesman, elevates himself to running a haberdashery in Beverly Hills and then enters the nightclub business. It’s a classy life. Then, one day, your loving husband comes home and tells…

History of Sambo’s Restaurant

Sometimes I do crazy things. Like drive two hours to go to a restaurant. In Charles Phoenix’s book, Addicted to Americana, he talks about the chain of coffee shops known as Sambo’s. Now, Sambo’s wasn’t totally unknown to me prior to reading the book, as there was one in my home town of Eugene, but…