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Author Topic: PRE DKP HISTORY  (Read 8598 times)
johnl
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« on: October 28, 2009, 19:20:03 pm »

PRE DKP HISTORY

I’m offering another one of those long stories, so if your not in the mood or interested in my writings please stop reading now.  I do these as events come up that bring back a memory or two and it seems that some of you appreciate that early history.

This one is based on a recent event that I was not present at.  The Edmiston’s, Jim (Sarge) and Sharon had a gathering at their home this past weekend that Christie and I couldn’t attend as we were flying home from a vacation in the San Antonio area.  I try to always be there to see old friends and meet some new ones and always find it rewarding leaving a warm spot in my heart.

Even though we weren’t there a major event occurred as far as I’m concerned.  This was the fact that my long time friend Brian Rennie (known him since 1956) showed up.  The following is the history of Brian and me.

We attended the 4th grade together and our parents we friends as both families were members of the Presbyterian Church in Anaheim on Broadway not far from the DKP club house.  Brian and I were not all that close, but we did see each other and do things on a somewhat regular basis.  One event that Brian arranged had a profound impact on my life, but more about that later.

In 1965 Brian purchased a new black VW sedan and we began to do more together because of the mutual interest.  Brian was very detailed and his car was always perfectly clean.  Deano has written about my Butternut car being so, but there were others.  I learned the art of a clean car from Rich Kugel and his ’58 gold sedan.  Weather or not Brian picked up this trait from either Rich or me only he can answer.  I certainly remember Brian using “Classic Car Wax” in the black can and stacking the empty cans along his garage wall between the studs.  He waxed so much that in later times he rubbed the paint off in places.

I can remember us both purchasing Earl “Mad Man” Muntz (Blue Light) four track tape players which were mounted under the dash.  I think I still have mine along with some later examples stored in my garage with a couple of hundred tapes.  We use to drive to a local bank covered parking lot on Lincoln Ave., then Center St. in Anaheim in the evenings and wax followed by cruzing around to all of the local hot spots.

Brian, Rich, myself and a few others loosely formed Volkswagen’s Limited which would evolve into Der Kleiner Panzers.  As Brian and myself moved from High School to Fullerton Jr. College we seemed to do less together, but that is where he met Jim Edmiston and brought him into our fold.

In the summer of 1966 Rich Kugel and I had joined the Navy Reserve program so we wouldn’t be drafted into the Army.  Shortly after returning from Boot Camp with a shaved head and a mouth full of braces another friend Gale Ringwald came to me with an offer.  He owned a 1965 Grey Plymouth with a 383 and an Art Carr Torqueflite.  He wanted to know if I’d keep the car form him while he was at Boot Camp.  Didn’t take long for me to say “sure”.  This car ran good and fellow VW friend Ron Reeves had moved on from his ’63 VW to a similar Plymouth.  Ron’s was a dark green with a 426 and he was a total mad man behind the wheel, but that is another story.

Brian spotted the car and wanted to go places in it.  Being a creative guy he offered to set me up with a “Blind Date” and we could double.  I was unattached at the time and with no hair (same today) and braces what did I have to loose.

He was dating a girl named Linda Johnson who lived in Fullerton and she had a younger sister.  Not long after the offer he confirmed that we were on for Sunday night.  A typical date back then was to drive from Orange County to Hollywood and cruise Sunset and Hollywood Blvds.  After picking the girls up we did just that.  Can’t remember where we ate, but I do remember my date not being very friendly.

Here is a bit of history on the car that we took that date in.  The ’65 Plymouth, purchased new by fellow Anaheim High classmate Ted Longworth, who hung around with a “Ron Fleming”.  Ted painted the car grey and did the trans update along with American Mags and raised the car up.  It was a cool ride.  Gail returned from Boot Camp and the car went back to him.

Brian and I didn’t see much of each other after that as he and  Linda Johnson broke up and he continued with his education.  A few years later I think he sold his ’65 and purchased a 356 Porsche that F & A (Fleming and Aronson) prior to FAT performed a  work on.

At our 20th High School Reunion in 1985 there was Brian.  We chatted and I invited him to our home that weekend as were having a gathering of our class mates.  Those would include Gary Huggins, Pete Dayton, Dwight Magill, Don MacKay and a few others.  Brian said he would try and make it, but never showed.

Years passed and I heard that he had a business in the area, but just never looked very hard.  Recently Gregg Bunch has been doing research on the early days and I’ve assisted him when ever possible.

On Monday when I returned to work there was an e-mail from Gregg providing contact info for Brian, so I sent an e-mail not knowing if I’d get a reply.  Well I’m happy to say that Brian did reply and we exchanged current photos and plan to get together in the near future.  I’m excited to see him and talk of old times and we can each see where our lives have taken us, it has been 24 years.

Years ago when I became involved with Chrysler 300’s and those clubs my original motive was to go to the meets to see the cars.  Early on I learned that the cars were just the “tool” to meet the people and that is what the most important thing is by far.

A couple of final comments, Linda Johnson later dated Gary Huggins, founding DKP member.  Her younger sister whom I met on that night when she was just 16 has been my wife for 38 years.  I don’t know if I ever thanked Brian for arranging that Blind Date with Christie Ann, but I certainly would now. 

Life is full of adventures and is always changing, so I would say, enjoy the opportunity……

Attached is a recent photo of Biran and Lori.
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
Sarge
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2009, 19:33:41 pm »

Good reading, John! Cool
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nicolas
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2009, 19:42:18 pm »

thumbs up!

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johnl
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2009, 19:49:07 pm »

Good reading, John! Cool

Thanks Jim....  Smiley Smiley Smiley

After reading the post I find typo's, but I'm hammering this out in between work assignments.  I have a tough Boss that won't let me get away with much........  Wink Wink   Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
louisb
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2009, 19:53:20 pm »

Great story!

--louis
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johnl
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2009, 20:00:31 pm »

Great story!

--louis

You have no idea of how much I appreciate you guys & gals that appreciate those times and events that we lived.  I think Sarge will agree they were very speical.
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
ESH
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2009, 22:21:59 pm »

The blue posts are always a good read.  Cool
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Georg/DFL
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2009, 22:33:04 pm »

Thanks John, a great read as always!  Wink
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johnl
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2009, 22:47:09 pm »

Thanks John, a great read as always!  Wink

Glad you and others enjoy my "BLUE POST"    Grin Grin Grin Grin
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2009, 23:32:40 pm »

Oh, man... I wish I was born 30 years earlier somewhere around Huntigton Beach... I really dig these times. Can't compare to the contemporary times... Well, at least I can read stories from guys, who still remember and do want to share...
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Rennsurfer
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2009, 00:07:10 am »

Good stuff and thank you, John.
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vwcab
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2009, 01:02:46 am »

Just GREAT!!!
 Wink
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DKK Ted
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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2009, 01:57:12 am »

Enjoyed the reading John.  Cheesy
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bilboa2
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« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2009, 05:19:44 am »

excellent story. I was fortunate to have grown up near anaheim high from the early 60's to 74 ,graduated, moved to the beach,(newport/balboa and staying for 30+yrs)before moving here to nevada.The 60's where SO COOL. I wish I could of driven then, The hippie era happenings at la palma park/ hillcrest park etc. So-cal was a GREAT place to grow up.. mini-skirts, music, cars was at its best.drags at orange county raceway.. whittier blvd cruizing. the van craze. Going to L.A on any given night ,and seeing a top 10 radio band live. When I was preteen and wanting to drive, I knew my first car was going to be a vw. Vw's could be found everywhere..every stoplight, gas station etc. John, hearing the background of all the cars I grew up seeing is a real treat.. keep the stories coming. bill
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« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2009, 05:39:01 am »

Thanks John.
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bilboa2
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« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2009, 05:48:14 am »

oh yeah, where was the photo of brian and lori taken? great mountains in background...judging by their shoes.. nepal??
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WCB Hitler's Hot Rod
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« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2009, 05:50:35 am »

Wow, that was great reading John. It's funny how life sometimes makes a full circle. You mentioned back then you used to cruise Sunset Blvd. and such. I would be interested in hearing what the hot spots were there. Was it because of the famous dance clubs or car shows or both? Names of locations would be cool to know. Wink
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 06:04:15 am by vdubkid » Logged

WARNING! BE PREPARED FOR A ROLLING BLACKOUT.

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Roger Grago
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« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2009, 05:51:38 am »

John,

Great story!  I wish I had the memory and gift of writing you do.  But thanks (in large part) to my old roomate Bilboa and the partying days, too many brain cells have long since gone.  I am very fortunate that I still get to see you and many others on a regular basis.  We were very lucky to grow up where and when we did.

All the best!

Roger Grago
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« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2009, 12:42:43 pm »

Thanks for the memories John !
:-)
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johnl
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« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2009, 16:17:03 pm »

excellent story. I was fortunate to have grown up near anaheim high from the early 60's to 74 ,graduated, moved to the beach,(newport/balboa and staying for 30+yrs)before moving here to nevada.The 60's where SO COOL. I wish I could of driven then, The hippie era happenings at la palma park/ hillcrest park etc. So-cal was a GREAT place to grow up.. mini-skirts, music, cars was at its best.drags at orange county raceway.. whittier blvd cruizing. the van craze. Going to L.A on any given night ,and seeing a top 10 radio band live. When I was preteen and wanting to drive, I knew my first car was going to be a vw. Vw's could be found everywhere..every stoplight, gas station etc. John, hearing the background of all the cars I grew up seeing is a real treat.. keep the stories coming. bill

La Palma park was only about four or five blocks from where I grew up.  I use to go over there with my sail boat when I was a kid and use the pond in the park.  The pond is now gone and has become a parking lot next to the stadium bleachers.  On the front side of those bleachers is where we did the first photos of Der Kleiner Panzers.  Those are shown in Keith's books.

Back then the park was a completely safe place for a kid to be by himself.  Today is a different world and the few times I've been back to local car shows there is several "questionalble people" roaming the groungs.
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
johnl
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« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2009, 16:53:23 pm »

Wow, that was great reading John. It's funny how life sometimes makes a full circle. You mentioned back then you used to cruise Sunset Blvd. and such. I would be interested in hearing what the hot spots were there. Was it because of the famous dance clubs or car shows or both? Names of locations would be cool to know. Wink

Rich Kugel and I would "caravan" up the 5 freeway and exist at Hollywood Blvd.  Immediately we would pull into the Standard gas station and to quote Rich "Sanatize" the cars.  Rich had his own language such as the wndsheild washer nozzle was know as the "Nardly".  Don't ask me why, but Christie and I stil refer to them as "Nardly's" to this day.   He always refered to his car as "The Volks".  Looking back at it now he was "The Fonz" of our day and about the coolest guy I knew.   Wink Wink Once the cars were clean (as if they ever got dirty) we would head west on Hollywood down to La Brea.  Stopping down there the cars would be dusted and then east on Sunset.  This process went on for two to three hours.  We never went to the clubs, but I remember several of them including the Whiskey.

Then we would heard back down to Bob's on Whittier Blvd. for food.  Once in a while we would go to Harvey's on Firestone Blvd. or maybe back to Carl's in Anaheim.  There were a couple of summers when we did this almost every night.  It became part of our existance. 

One thing I'll always remember is Rich told me once that when we turned (50) we would cruize those streets and pass each other in our cars.  It never happend, but I think of it and him often with nothing but fond memories.   Smiley Smiley
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
johnl
Hero Member
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2009, 17:20:38 pm »

oh yeah, where was the photo of brian and lori taken? great mountains in background...judging by their shoes.. nepal??

Brian states the photo was taken in Switzerland a couple of years ago.
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
johnl
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2009, 17:29:25 pm »

John,

Great story!  I wish I had the memory and gift of writing you do.  But thanks (in large part) to my old roomate Bilboa and the partying days, too many brain cells have long since gone.  I am very fortunate that I still get to see you and many others on a regular basis.  We were very lucky to grow up where and when we did.

All the best!

Roger Grago

Roger,

The memory is a gift (or sometimes a curse) and according to Sarge it is because I "never inhaled"   Shocked Shocked  My Mom is the same as we continually pull numbers or events up that happened years ago.  Christie has always refered to me as "Mr. Trivia".  Honestly, I don't know how I do it, but it just happens.

Regarding the writing, I've done it for years and enjoy it.  My problem is I can't spell and while writing stuff my mind is five miles ahead, thus goofs occur.

I'm glad we get to see each other often and always enjoy our time at Cars & Coffee.  Sometimes I think some of the BMW guys I hang with  (Paul Cain) think you and I are a bit strange when we go back to those days of long ago.   Grin Grin Grin

As far as I'm concerned we grew up in the best place and best tme on God's earth.     Cool Cool Cool Cool
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
johnl
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*****
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« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2009, 22:08:55 pm »

Just had another remembrance about Rich Kugel.  For being such a "cool dude" he did have his weaknesses.  One day we were driving north on the 5 freeway just about at Sand Canyon where OCIR use to be.  The windows were down and we were probably going about 70 in the fast lane. 

All at once her started freaking out and screaming.  He made a hard right turn and to the side of the freeway we went.  It was a wonder someone didn't take us out right then and there.  His "Volks" was still rolling when he bailed out still freaking out.  I pulled the hand brake and got the car stopped and then got out thinking we were on fire or something.  Cars were flying by and it was noisy, so I yelled "what the hell is wrong"?  His reply..................   

Your going to love this one.............................................................  Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

There is a "Grasshopper" in the car  Embarrassed Embarrassed Embarrassed Embarrassed :-  I remember laughing for an hour, but he never saw the humor......... Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
Prowagen
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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2009, 03:27:26 am »

What amazing stories. That has to be the best bed time reading i have had. You guys must have had a brilliant time growing up. I just hope my memories become as fond. Thanks for sharing john.
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Fritter
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« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2009, 03:51:16 am »

Thanks for the stories John.  You really do have an amazing talent for remembering details!  I'm 39 and can't remember what I did last week. This really motivates me to get working on my '64 sunroof!
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Mike F.
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« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2009, 05:48:20 am »

Rich Kugel and I would "caravan" up the 5 freeway and exist at Hollywood Blvd.  Immediately we would pull into the Standard gas station and to quote Rich "Sanatize" the cars.  Rich had his own language such as the wndsheild washer nozzle was know as the "Nardly".  Don't ask me why, but Christie and I stil refer to them as "Nardly's" to this day.   He always refered to his car as "The Volks".  Looking back at it now he was "The Fonz" of our day and about the coolest guy I knew.   Wink Wink Once the cars were clean (as if they ever got dirty) we would head west on Hollywood down to La Brea.  Stopping down there the cars would be dusted and then east on Sunset.  This process went on for two to three hours.  We never went to the clubs, but I remember several of them including the Whiskey.

Then we would heard back down to Bob's on Whittier Blvd. for food.  Once in a while we would go to Harvey's on Firestone Blvd. or maybe back to Carl's in Anaheim.  There were a couple of summers when we did this almost every night.  It became part of our existance. 

One thing I'll always remember is Rich told me once that when we turned (50) we would cruize those streets and pass each other in our cars.  It never happend, but I think of it and him often with nothing but fond memories.   Smiley Smiley

You guys (DKP) should have another Ancient History Cruise this time down Sunset Blvd. , similiar to this one with Pickwick Hotel:
http://cal-look.no/lounge/index.php/topic,3570.0.html
Is this the same Harvey's?  http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=612795
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=612796
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 05:57:33 am by vdubkid » Logged

WARNING! BE PREPARED FOR A ROLLING BLACKOUT.

West Coast Blitz... "Motha Sucka!"

You may have some Swag, but I OWN da Swagoo!!

This right here is my 'lil Nazi-killa!
johnl
Hero Member
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Posts: 1533



« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2009, 15:26:54 pm »

Thanks for the stories John.  You really do have an amazing talent for remembering details!  I'm 39 and can't remember what I did last week. This really motivates me to get working on my '64 sunroof!

If I've brought a smile to your face then I've done my job.  I'm pleased to hear that the stories motivate you to work on the '64 sunroof.  Post some photos of it.
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
johnl
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1533



« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2009, 15:45:37 pm »

Rich Kugel and I would "caravan" up the 5 freeway and exist at Hollywood Blvd.  Immediately we would pull into the Standard gas station and to quote Rich "Sanatize" the cars.  Rich had his own language such as the windshield washer nozzle was know as the "Nardly".  Don't ask me why, but Christie and I still refer to them as "Nardly's" to this day.   He always referred to his car as "The Volks".  Looking back at it now he was "The Fonz" of our day and about the coolest guy I knew.   Wink Wink Once the cars were clean (as if they ever got dirty) we would head west on Hollywood down to La Brea.  Stopping down there the cars would be dusted and then east on Sunset.  This process went on for two to three hours.  We never went to the clubs, but I remember several of them including the Whiskey.

Then we would heard back down to Bob's on Whittier Blvd. for food.  Once in a while we would go to Harvey's on Firestone Blvd. or maybe back to Carl's in Anaheim.  There were a couple of summers when we did this almost every night.  It became part of our existence. 

One thing I'll always remember is Rich told me once that when we turned (50) we would cruize those streets and pass each other in our cars.  It never happend, but I think of it and him often with nothing but fond memories.   Smiley Smiley

You guys (DKP) should have another Ancient History Cruise this time down Sunset Blvd. , similar to this one with Pickwick Hotel:
http://cal-look.no/lounge/index.php/topic,3570.0.html
Is this the same Harvey's?  http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=612795
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=612796

Not being a "current member" of DKP III I usually don't know about the cruises until they are in the history book.  It would be great fun to do a Hollywood cruize, but with traffic here today it would be a bit more of a challenge.  Some of the original members I'm sure  no longer own VW's so I guess they could ride with guys that do.  Don't know if the current group would want some of us old timers "drooling" inside their rides and there wouldn't be much room for our "walkers"..   Wink Wink Wink  Guess I could take three of them with me or maybe only two as I'm sure Christie would fight for the "shotgun" position in our '63..   Shocked Shocked Shocked
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
johnl
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« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2009, 15:48:40 pm »

Sorry, forgot to answer the question regarding "Harvey's".  Yes it is one in the same.  Here is a link with the history of the place:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnie's_Broiler
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
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