"From the Desert to the Sea, to All of Southern California." - Jerry Dunphy

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Van Nuys Blvd.

It is impossible to speak of Van Nuys of the 60's and 70's without discussing Wednesday night cruising on Van Nuys Blvd. If you didn't spend time cruising you were at least aware of it, if not inconvenienced by it in your travels through the center of the San Fernando Valley.

Van Nuys Demolay met on Wednesday nights, about a quarter mile from the action on the boulevard. Those members who were old enough to drive, and trusted enough to drive alone were always anxious to get the meeting over with and hit the streets. If you had school the next day your evening probably ended after the meeting. Sometimes you were lucky and you hitched a ride to Bob's restaurant at the corner of Van Nuys Blvd. and Roscoe Blvd. What happened from there depended on your age group and mode of transportation. If you had a converted van like the drummer in our band, Desert Radio Rat, your options increased. Though I must confess he and I usually ended up parked somewhere watching TV in the back of the van,drinking what ever beverage was in his frig as we watched the cars and girls pass by.

Some of the local hangouts in the area were Mike's Pizza on Van Nuys Blvd., Lido Pizza on Victory Blvd. and the back of Butler Brothers department store where we worked. A few of our members worked at the Von's Market in that block and we would sometimes drop in and annoy them. We were like thousands of other kids. We cruised the boulevard and then left and found adventure other places. There is plenty of that for future stories.


Anonymous said...

what do you mean Bob's Big Boy at Roscoe? The start and end of classic cruising was at Bob's somewhere near Magnolia Blvd, down close to Galpin Motors and all the other car dealers....

Guitar Rat said...

Speaking for my crowd we pretty much kept ourselves between Sherman Way and Burbank. We went to Bob's when we were done. Isn't Galpin at Roscoe and the 405? I haven't been to the corner of Van Nuys and Magnolia in about two years so I forget what car dealer might be there now. I only went down there to go to my bank and have breakfast at the Lamplighter.

Anonymous said...

I miss my youthful life in the San Fernando Valley near Burbank & Van Nuys Blvd soooooooooooooooo much.

Today's world is horrible.

Back then, teenagers were all smiles and out for fun.

I still think about Bob's Big Boy food and going to the one at Sherman Way / Balboa (now a gas station ) and the one on Van Nuys Blvd near Galpin Ford.

I think about the infamous ice cream parlor, Farrells, on Van Nuys (last I knew, the building was a Sizzler Resturant).

I think about my senior year girlfriend who went on to UCLA & ended up living in Marina del Rey and then Santa Barbara. I know she has a happy life even today, but she had such a great laugh and sense of humor in her middle teens.

I think about one of my best friends who died in 1999 in Encino from complications of a severe spinal injury at his employment. His sense of laughter brightened my day whenever we were together.

I think of innocent times when even a fistfight between kids was alarming.

Today's world is just so off track..... thanks to the "entertainment industry" and their never ending profit mongering while glorifying weapons and gore.

I'm glad that I don't have kids in today's world. They'd not know how much they missed in a better era.

Anonymous said...

A group of fellow Valley kids are trying to start something back up on Wednesday June 10th...

Anonymous said...

I never lived in those days, I was born on the 1994. I wished I did live in those times. They must have been great & you're right now in days it's really horrible. It'll be great if we had the old times come back up. Those cars crusine the Van Nuys Bld, Those back then resturants, everything must have been pretty awesome to live in, & it's amazing!! (;

Anonymous said...

Bob's wasn't @ Roscoe and Van Nuys. It was down towards Burbank Blvd. across from the Pontiac Dealer. I remember getting on VN Blvd @ Roscoe, and cruising down past Bob's and turning back north. Sometimes we went to San Fernando Bobs which was at Sepulveda and Mission. On the rare occasion we would go to the number one in Burbank.

Rick said...

The most iconic Big Boy was on Van Nuys Blvd. at the corner of Clark Street. I used to live across the street. It had drive-in service and was the classic architecture like the one that still exists in Toluca Lake. But there was a Bob's at Roscoe in Panorama City across from the Broadway Valley, which (this kills me) is now a Walmart. Car Club started there at Roscoe either behind Bob's or the Food Giant (now Ralph's), and ended in the parking lot at June Ellen's donuts in Sherman Oaks. I feel sorry for kids today. We had Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and Big Boy and June Ellen's. Kids today have rap and Burger King.

14Adam27 said...

In the early 60's we cruised Little Bob's on Sherman Way AFTER we cruised Big Bob's on Van Nuys Blvd. Any way you look at it, it was a great time to be a teenager.

Anonymous said...

I miss it so much, loved growing up in Van Nuys, cruising and all the awesome cars, from race cars, to beautiful metal flake low riders. June Ellen's donuts there was a guy named Art, had a gorgeous 63 orange metal Flake Impala he had a pompador hair do and wore a long coat, I remember a car club called Vintage 57 car club, and the Nomadic Car Club, Wow those were the days, I am talking about 1966 to the 70's I think we grew up in the BEST EVER times, and would love to go back, if even for a day.

Larry from the Class of '65 said...

Cruising Van Nuys was a way of life on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday nights from the late early 50s until the
police shut it down in the mid 70s. If you wern't at the movies, the Sepulveda, Victory or Van Nuys drive-ins, the
Van Nuys Teen Center on Victory near Birmingham High, you were on Van Nuys Blvd or sick at home.

From what I've read there's a resurgence on the old boulevard. But alas, without the icons like the following, it doesn't
measure up as the best place to show off your car, meet up with pals or members of the opposite sex, grab a bite to eat
or whatever. From the North end to the South, they included, but weren't limited to:
1. GM/Chevy Plant and Mike's Pizza (near Lanark St)
2. The A&W Root Beer drive-in (at Saticoy)
3. Wallach's Music City (the best place to buy 45 and 331/3 RPM records at Victory Blvd.),
4. Bob's Big Boy (Drive through or eat-in at Clark St.)
5. The Chevron Station with 101 octane ethyl gas (at Magnolia)
You could stop to talk with anyone and everyone anywhere along the boulevard, bu, the main places turn-arounds
were the A&W Root Beer drive-in at Saticoy St. and the big Gelson's parking lot just south of the 101 Freeway.