High Desert Memories - A Hometown Journal Commemorating Ridgecrest California
60's and 70's
Page One
   The 60's and 70's saw China Lake building new and modifying older weapons to meet new requirements placed on them by the Viet Nam Conflict.   The weaponry went from aircraft mounted devices to hand held devices for the foot slogging soldier and Marine.  This brought a new urgency to their research and development.

   
Our country went through a massive political and cultural upheaval where young college students really became proactive in political statements, where killings of college students proved that mistakes could be made at home as well as in the theatre of war.

     Social upheaval was the activity of the day and striking out at the establishment in any way one could, was considered normal.  Drugs became commonplace in our little home town and the people who used them were the students of families who were building weapons of destruction in their everyday jobs in an effort to protect the freedom of those who were using them.  The "Desert Party" became large events supporting hundreds of young people who wanted to have a good time.  Live music was provided at many of these parties by a band comprised of local players.   This was a time of "Love, Peace, and Partaaaay!!!". 

  
Yet we see that this mindset was not universal.  Many had other fish to fry in a different direction.  It depended on your background and culture so there was a broad spectrum of people in the mix. 
  I moved to RC in the early 60's and was single for many years.  Most of my friends were single and on weekends we always looked for something to do.  The Chicken Coop was a good place for us.  We could drink a beer and shoot some pool.  I do remember several fights there.  In fact, we would try to get the pool table way in the back as it was close to the back door and we could make a fast exit if it was ever needed.  I remember a couple of times standing in the back door while watching a fight.   It apparently had actually been a Chicken Coop at one time.  When it rained, you could still catch the odor of what a chicken coop would smell like.

The location of the Chicken Coop was in a lot just east of the Bamboo Club.  It was common for people to go from the Chicken Coop to the Bamboo Club or Pat & Charlie's (Later named JD's).  If you stand in the entrance of the Bank of America parking lot looking south from Ridgecrest Blvd, the building was located to the rear and far right of the BA parking lot.  To the left were a couple of stores of which one was a carpet store.  With some time, I am sure I can remember the name of the carpet store.  In later years I bought carpet from the owner of that store even though he was no longer located there.  All of those buildings came down when BA put up their building. 
  
Darrell Bymoen
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  My name is Marla Jones and I never lived in Ridgecrest, but I did live in Johannesburg and we had to come to Ridgecrest to go shopping and attend James Monroe Jr High, and Burroughs High School.

  As a very young child in the 60's my mom would do the grocery shopping at the Champion Market. I remember how they used to line up the new toys on a high shelf around Xmas time. A young man by the name of Gabriel worked in the meat department, and he always had a nice smile. I grew up in shoes from Cornielus's shoe store, we used to call him Corny and he was a huge man with a huge heart.

  I attended James Monroe Jr. High 1969-1971. My favorite teachers were Mrs. Rose who taught science and Miss Rolf who we had for English(?) Then there was Burroughs from 1972. Wow, what an experiance! We moved away when I was a Jr, in 1974

Marla Trombley Jones
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  As a very young man I used to live in Johannesburg.  We lived in a little house right next to what was the St. Charles Hotel right across the highway from the baseball field.  It had a screened in front porch and was painted green and white just like the hotel.  I don't know if that house was there when you lived in Joburg but it was a rather pleasant place and I enjoyed my time there.  I went to a little school house up the hill from the St. Charles that was attended by 1st thru 6th graders in a common room.  Our teacher was a Miss Kelso who was a magical little old lady who I blame for my ability to read well and to spell without too much stumbling.  She was indeed a grand Lady and I remember her well.  There were only about 15 kids in that little school house but they were all under control at all times  under Miss Kelso's somewhat strict guidance.  Ahhhhhhhhh, sweet memories of  a pleasant moment in life past.

Pat Jones
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  I was born in Ridgecrest, so my first impressions were as I grew up there.  I remember living in base housing (201-A Wasp) and it was crowded!.  I had four brothers and sisters at the time, two of them being of the age where they
needed their own rooms.  The other three of us were only 14 months apart, so we got the master bedroom--filled with three cribs!  My parents were relegated to the living room and fold-out sofas.  Needless to say, my parents bought property in Ridgecrest and built a home for their growing family.  We
moved into the shell of our home in November, 1961, and in April of 1963 another sister was added to our family!


  
The Ridgecrest-China Lake area was perfect for growing up.  We could roam the desert without fear of anything worse than a snake.  We made our own fun--we didn't need to be entertained, but it was fun to take advantage of the Ridge Theater and/or the Crest Drive-In now and then.  I remember best the close friendships not just between individuals, but between families who came from all over the United States and stayed to make Ridgecrest a wonderful home town. 

    My family has been in the area since 1950, and even though I have moved on, it's still fun to "go home" and see people I've known all my life.

Margaret Clark nee Sizemore

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  I was born and lived at the naval base for 18 years, from 1956 to 1974 (with 2 years spent in the Philippines from 69 to 71).  It really was an idyllic place to be raised.  I was able to walk for miles and miles away from home, even at age 5, without worry to either my parents or myself.  We would spend an entire day out in the desert catching lizards and snakes, climbing up B Mountain to look at the test ranges behind it.  I felt safe and secure. 

  The down side was that there was not a lot to do.  I spent many weekends bored to tears.  The Movie theater played only 3 movies a week, there was a gymnasium, but the naval personnel would be using it most of the time.  I was able to go to the Officers club pool, but that was only good for the warmer months.  For a couple of years there was a teen center, and of course there was the "Malt Shop." 

  We were treated to a visit by President Kennedy one year (I can't remember the year) when I was about 4 or 5.  The first American Harrier Jet was tested a few hundred yards from Richmond elementary school.  The same kids that I started kindergarten with I graduated from Buroughs High with.  I couldn't wait to leave, and in the ensuing years I realized that China Lake was a wonderful place to grow up.

   Bob Harrison

  The Bamboo Club now deserted and its door boarded over across from JD's a now closed popular watering hole.
Champs Market 1971 located on Balsam St.  Changed over the years to Mom's Furniture and then Lindseys Furniture
1971 Triangle Sports Shop has since become the Rice Bowl
1971 K&R Market.  Still going strong
1971 Hildreth Motors on West Ridgecrest Blvd.
1974 Charlon and Simolon located on China Lake Blvd.
1974 Prognagthas Engineering located next to the old dry cleaners in the background is the China Lake Tavern which later became the El Charro Evitia Mexican Restaurant.
It's 1973 and the Bank of America is still on Balsam St.
  These shots of the  Hideaway shows it was still a viable business in 1971.  As a matter of fact when I was there in 1987 it was still going strong. 
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Born and raised in China Lake/Ridgecrest as a Navy brat. Love the desert, Sierras and the short visits to LA & the beaches. Miss the people I grew up with and have mostly great memories of growing up in Ridgecrest.

  Had the best of both worlds as a Navy brat and have fond memories of Desert Park Elementary, the base pool, bowling alley, baseball fields, popwarner football, IWV basketball league (Marty Denkin), youthcenter, malt shop, base theater, golf course and spending many, many great summers at the CPO club swimming pool (Barney - Mr. Bernard; Halo the cook; Mary, Mike & Vicki Waters mom Betty the waitress; Gladys Cornelius the waitress (no relation to Corny Shoes or Casey Cornelius); and my dad Jerry, the bartender and regular customer.

   Born in the China Lake Dispensary and lived on Hussey Street near Richmond School and then on Dorado Street by Desert Park (Pierce?) school. Attended Las Flores in 5th grade and Monroe for 6-8th grades. Mr. Brewer was our Vice Principal and more importantly our basketball coach (lightweight team) at Monroe. I remember those discipline sessions well and I always remember his phrase "Now Phil, I'm gonna have to call your parents!" he would then proceed with the swats. High School was a blur but I do remember learning a little bit and having alot of fun.

   I'll never forget exploring the desert, first walking and hiking, then bicycling, then motorcycling and then back to hiking again. We explored everything East, South and Southeast from the hills above Cerro Coso toward Randsburg/Johanesburg to Wagon Wheel and Poison Canyon and West, North and Northwest to Cow Haven, Five Fingers, Grapevine, Indian Wells, Short Canyon, Nine Mile Canyon, Kennedy Meadows (Grumpy Bear); and many great hunting and fishing trips in the Sierras up through Little Lake, Lone Pine, Independence, Big Pine, Bishop, Tom's Place, Lake Crowley, Mammoth Mountain, Twin, Convict, Sabrina Lakes and all up and down the Owens River.

   I can still remember all these memories as if they happened yesterday and although all my family ties have past away or moved on to other places I will always call Ridgecrest/China Lake my home. I still have friends there that I have know since as far back as the first grade and I'll never forget them. 

  Say hello to Jony, Greg, Jeff and the rest of our old class of '78 members who are still around there. Best wishes to all of you.


 
Phillip Booth
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Yes, I hold the memories of China Lake very close to my heart….   I grew up there….  2nd grade thru Graduation of High School at the old Burroughs campus…  What fun years…   The only years of my life I would like to re-live…!!!
My mother was administrative assistant to the Experimental officer at China Lake… She personally knew and worked for many of the Captains that are now Admirals or even astronauts.

She has a wealth of pictures and news clippings…  She retired and then came back to work at the “Rocketeer” as a reporter… so I bet she has some interesting things.
She often reminds me that she personally arranged the visit of JFK when he came to China Lake…   I often think of the Armed Forces Day celebrations and the Fiesta that was held in the parking lot of the Navy Exchange every year…

Thanks for providing the memories…

Donnie Smith
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My family moved to China Lake in 1964 or 1965, when I was a bit over a year old.  All three of us kids went to Burroughs, and then left town.  My folks stayed for several more years.  Anyway, one of the things I remember most vividly was the grand opening of the new McDonalds, the first fast food chain place in town.  It seemed like the whole town was there, and I think the burgers were only 25 cents or something that day.  I have no idea what year that was, but I'm sure that you do!  What a great small town atmosphere.  Plus learning how to drive on dirt roads where you only had to avoid jack rabbits was easier than trying to negotiate the freeways so many kids have to deal with these days.   I also remember the Desert Empire Fair when I was young- we had so much fun eating at all of the booths (I think the Mooselodge made burritos?) and riding the rides.  As an adult, it didn't seem quite as big of a deal.

Cathy Connolly, Burroughs 1981 
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I remember several stories about Ridgecrest: the nite security arrested Sam Gregory and I shooting 27 jackrabbits on the Infirmary lawn and some early radio days during the late 50's in Ridgecrest. I met Joe Fox at Tiny's,  He seemed grumpy to me. Maybe it was the burger.

  Dad moved the family to Ridgecrest and Kirk's Trailer Park in August l950 from Glendale CA. He didn't like Lockeed. Mom wasn't thrilled to sleep outside in the desert air on a matress. Once she saw a rattlesnake my sister Donna and I slept outside. We had youth on our side.

  The Navy moved us on the base to the Hawthorne's that winter and eventually to203-A  Wasp Rd and the New Duplexes. Grove Elementary School was still in tin buildings across from the bowling alley. I always wanted a job there but the pin setters were a rough bunch. Richmond School was still being built in '54

   I opted to sack groceries at the Commissary for tips in l955; the best kept secret for a while. Mr. Rush, the store manager said I made more money in quarters in a week than his GS7 salary. He liked Roy Tan Cigars and I bought him a few boxes at the Navy X.

   Mr. Lipp, in charge of Public Works, built the All Faith Chapel across the street from the market. During my break one day I asked him why the cement beams didn't fit at the apex once the crane put them up. He muttered something about curing cement in the hot sun. My Dad was an Usher at the chapel and while listening to Rev. Reed every Sunday over the years, I admired how Mr. Lipp had patched the ceiling joints up to look good. We're all glad the All Faith Chapel never fell down.

    I was the only kid to ride a bike to Burroughs Jr. High. I had to hide the bike behind the Enlisted Mens club so not to be laughed at. Bicycling became acceptable only in the 80's.

    My Consitution teacher was Mrs. Martin in Jr. High. I wasn't one her favorite students having broken two of her nice typewriters and the picture frame glass covering the portrait of Washington. She retired that year in '54. I always wondered in Hi School why Dr. Murry didn't step aside and let Mr. Wescott become Principal. We only knew Ken as students. That went on for twenty years.  The only other hi school high point I remember was Deloris Burke asking me to go to the Susie Q one evening for a coke...in a car.  Maybe it was the Yucca Inn...who knows. I wasn't even a Ridgecrest kid as they owned all the neat cars.  I was Thespian of the year in l957, maybe Deloris had seen me in a school play.

    I worked for a while at both of the radio stations in Ridgecrest. Both went on the air within months of each other, around '56 although I not sure exactly. Hard to remember everything. KRKS-1240 was first. Absolutely running on a shoe string. They couldn't even afford a clock. They used a cheap little chronometer dial that flipped every minute. It was still there in l960 but with a nice wall clock too. The owner, who's names slips me at the moment, used to announce 14 hours a day at first and would say periodically, "Time on the chronometer dial is..." Lots of PhD's at NOTS understood that, a few of us didn't.

 
    In either case, I went to work at  KRCK-1360 in'58. We were the "famous Tri-county Station" and I eventually wrote the memorable "K-Rocket" radio jingle. The call letters came from the owner Vic Ferrell who worked at RCA.  KRCK was located next to the Water Co. and Tiny's Burgers. The three buildings became my focus for the summer of 1959.  Tiny's husband Reg used to do an hour daily of big band music just before my show. Reg and his wife owned Tiny's Burgers and to this day I've never eaten a better burger. 

    Helen Pennington worked for the Water Co. and she was my age and a Ridgecrest girl too. She was very sweet. I used tosneak her into the Base Movie Theatre using my sisters pass as long as  Sgt. Kelly at the main entrance wouldn't catch us.   You didn't chew gum either at the movies.

    Mr. Edwards, who owned The Hobby Shop, was my best sponsor. I sold some time to the K&R Market. One morning I referred to them as the "Killers and Robbers Market".   Bob Kessler complained to Vic and my days were numbered even though sales increased at the market.  I played Rock of the day and was famous for my "Mother Michael's Household Hi
nts".  Most phone calls received was when I told listeners on one Saturday morning how to remove blood from the living room rug. Vic didn't understand me either and said I'd better start looking.

    Luckily, Lee Spence hired me in l960 to work at KRKS-1240 out at the Bowman Ranch. It sold that year to three guys from Capitol Records. They finally brought some money into the operation. I met Peggy Lee, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Nat King Cole and Les Paul as they wandered through Ridgcrest checking out the station. They were very nice people. I was known as Cousin Doug and played lots of Country and Western till midnight. Lee fired me late one night for playing the Everly Bros' Cathy's Clown. Guess Lee didn't like to sleep or like good music. Bowman Ranch was in horse country. I hit a horse and rider one afternoon going to do the 6PM news. Had to shoot the horse. We all carried 22's in our cars in those days. My '54 Chev Bel Air I had just bought for $700 at Bud Eyre's didn't fare well either. Horse and rider were gate busting onto Bowman road. I still did a good job with the news that night; tried to date the rider later that summer but her parents had other ideas and Helen might have found out. And my radio days were over and SD State U. was waiting.

   Returned the following years working for NOTS as a Documentary Film cameraman under Eve Baker. Good Job. I shot and edited a wild flower film for the Captain's wife and finished a secret film about a country I had never heard of, Viet Nam.  Thanks Pres. Johnson for making those internships available. Seemed like half of Burroughs Hi was employed by the US Navy. I signed up for the Coast Guard Reserve after that film figuring that would keep me home out of the upcoming war. 

    Also in l964 and a few months before the Beatles, it was time to move on to KOGO-TV in San Diego to work with a weather man named Regis Philbin who was starting a live Saturday Night TV gig. The 14 years gave me the wisdom and knowledge to succeed outside the valley. I had aged considerably by the time I arrived in SD. I still have all my 45's from my Ridgecrest radio days. My kids think they look like CD's and want to sell them on eBay. Sure wish this format had spell check.

     Doug Huse

    
Class of '59
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   My dad worked on the Base like many others who lived in Ridgecrest. I was born in 1964 on Burns Street on the Base. Shortly after, we moved to Maryland, then to Arizona,but came back when I was in third grade. I attended Viewig Elementary School and Mrs. Jean Scott was my teacher. She was great! After 4th grade we moved out to R/C to California Blvd.

   I left Ridgecrest when I was around 16 or 17. I have many good memories of Ridgecrest and many painful ones as well. My mom, Felicia Robbins, was killed in a car accidentin 1978 a couple of miles from our house. She was coming down Gateway Blvd and was hit at the intersection at Bowman Rd. It was a tough time for all of us. I was 14 at the time, and a Freshman at Burroughs High, my brother was 16 and a Junior.

  I remember riding at the stables up the hill from us. It was originally called Bottom Acres and then the name changed to Rancho Bajada. I don’t remember the name of the road they were on and it may even be different now. It’s probably paved now, though it was dirt then. Floyd and Velma Pickrell owned the stables and Mrs. Pickrell taught riding lessons. I learned a lot from her, not just about riding, but about life and friendships. I'll never forget my days at the stables.

   My family did a lot of hiking, camping and fishing in the area around Ridgecrest. In the summertime, we used to go to Lake Diaz near Lone Pine to waterski. That was always so much fun. We also enjoyed going up to Walker's Pass in the Sierras when there was snow. We would go sledding and then pile snow on top of our station wagon and try to bring it home. There was usually a little left by the timewe made it back and we would have snow ball fights on our street until all the snow was melted.

   I remember when Kmart came to town. We were so excited! Before that there wasn't really anything in the way of a department store. Once Kmart made it to town, my girlfriends and I would ride our bikes all the way across town to look at all the cool stuff they had, even if we couldn’t buy anything.

   I also remember when we got our first stop light. I believe it was at the intersection of Ridgecrest and China Lake Blvds. I think that event put us on the map.

   I heard somewhere that Ridgecrest’s original name was Crumville. I didn’t know if that was true or not until I read someone else’s entry on this website. So it is true! 

   I remember going to the cinema in town with my friends. We all went to seeStar Wars when it first came out.I think the ticket cost 50 cents. I also remember the drive-in theater. Too bad it’s gone now.

   I remember making “snowmen” out of tumbleweeds.

   I do remember that it snowed several inches one year. I don’t remember how old I was, maybe 11. That was really a fun time! No school of course and we played in the snow all day! I live in Michigan now and I’m sick of snow. Ha! Ha!

   Many more memories, probably too many to write down here. My mom and her parents are buried in the cemetary in R/C, so there will always be a part of me that stays there even though I live in Michigan and probably won’t be back to live, though maybe sometime to visit. I would like to show my husband where I grew up and all the cool stuff in the surrounding area.

    God bless.

     Cheryl Davidson (formerly Robbins)
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   My family came to the desert in July 1952, one week after the earthquake that evastated Tehachapi. They hadthe road cleared but the brick store fronts were laying out in the street. Coming from Los Banos CA (dairy, canteloupe and sugar-beet country) to the desert was quite a shock.

  We lived the first month at Wheeler's Trailor Park in Inyokern. Jim Wheeler owned the Western Auto Store in Ridgecrest. Art  helen's Cafe was on the corner where the Sierra Club is now. Flossies Variety Store was also on the main street. The telephone company employed switch-board operators and I believe that Mable Forrest (Gerald's mother) was the supervisor. I remember Anderson's Bar, the old race track, Pappalardos, Ewing's, and the El Corral Cafe along Inyokern Road.

   We moved to Ridgecrest and lived at 305 Helena Street. My father laughed when I began watering the little green plants that later turned into tumbleweeds. The Dwinell family lived nearby. Jackie Dwinell married Rudy Pappas. Al Adams, the owner of the Olds/Buick dealership, and his family lived us for a short time.

   Because we were on the edge of the open desert, we found an array ofcritters including sidewinders, horned toads, desert tortoise, scorpions and lizards in our yard.
We used to swim and have picnics at the old Trona pool. They had a black and white television outside and you could watch wrestling featuring Gorgeous George. Roller Derby was also popular at that time.

   My father got us up early one morning to watch the Atom Bomb blast from Nevada Flats.We were told not to look directly atthe flash but I will never forget that muchroom cloud coming up over the horizon to the East.

   My seventh and eighth grade teachers were Mr. Doug Brewer and Mrs. Genevieve Wise. Some of my classmates included Clarebelle Golyer, Justine Hallett, Janet Moss, Caroline Kiehl, Joanne McClatchy, Pat Hildreth, Margaret Cotant, Judy Hill, Charlotte Menard, Micky McMillan and Lucy Orozco. The guys were JOhn Oney, Bill O'Day, Grant Wood, Bob Klavetter, Tommy Swope, John Orr, Leonard Hines and George (Tacky) Middleton. Our eighth graduation was held in the shop at Bob Smith Chevrolet which is now Bud Eyre Chevrolet.

   More of my early memories in the desert included:
When we first got to the desert, you could still drive through the old towns of Isabella and Kernville.

   Bauer's Burgers was a favorite place to visit on the way home from James Monroe. Regis and Tiny Bauer were wonderful people who knew just how to relate to kids. They had great "drip down your arms" hamburgers.

   Who could ever forget Corny and his Shoe Store? Corny actually fit the shoes to your feet. He had a tiny repair shop near the front gate when we got here. In later years, Corny would
donate shoes for us to take down to our sister city of Tepatitlan, Mexico.

   The Castaneda family owned La Fiesta and it was a tiny place with a walk-up window. It was next to the Texaco Service Station on that was on the corner of Ridgecrest  China Lake Blvd's. They later built a new La Fiesta with patio seating across and down the boulevard. Weldon Sparrow had an office building next to the old La Fiesta.

   I remember the awful sand storms; the sand would beat your legs until they stung. The sand wasn't much fun in your teeth either.

   There used to be a cafe and service station in Red Rock Canyon. They filmed part of the movie "The Egyptian" with Edmond Purdom in Red Rock Canyon. There were lions in the movie and a couple of them got loose. It caused quite a stir but they were found in the desert toward Mojave. Part of the movie "Big Country" with Burl Ives was filmed near Jawbone Canyon.

   Do you remember when the circus train came to town on the railroad spur from Inyokern? They stopped at that grove of Tamarisk trees where the water tanks are now, unloaded the animals and walked them along the railroad tracks. That was quite a sight.

   San Quist Spa was a fun place to party. We also had picnics at the pool that was out past the base airfield.

   The old Davis Airfield was on the corner of Upjohn and China Lake Blvd. CLOTA later used the old hanger building for their theater productions.

   There used to be a Spring Fiesta held in the Station Theater parking lot on the base. I think those stopped when Ridgecrest started having their fairs. Before the fairgrounds were built, Ridgecrest held an annual Fair on Kirchmeire's property along China Lake Blvd.

   Hartley and Lenna VanPelt owned the China Lake Tavern and Cafe. In the early 60's you could get a (lunch special) sandwich and cup of soup for $1.35. What a deal!!
When they were teenagers, both of my brothers worked washing dishes for Sherm at Shoaff's Cafe. I used to love going in there just to watch Rita cook and serve customers. She was poetry in motion and did not waste a move. When an order was ready, you could hear her yell "Sherm, pick it up". He was usually in the other room chatting with customers. Rita and her brother Sherm rank right up there for being some of our towns most beloved people.

   During the summer of 1954, we moved to the corner of Florence and Las Flores Streets. Don and Dale Lane live there now. I rode the bus to Burroughs High which was on the base. The bus stopped at the Hospital to pick up Bonnie and Terry Drummond. John Battistone was our bus driver. He was a greatguy who looked out for us.
Of the seven kids in my family, five us of went to Burroughs High School. We were in the following classes: Bonnie - '53; JoAnn - '56; Rita - '58; James - '60; and Ted - '63. The station restaurant was called the Des (for Deserteria?). You could get a hamburger and milkshake for fifty cents; fries were fifteen or twenty cents.

  The summer of 1956, we moved to 428 Florence. Classmates, Ray Mann and Larry Ingle lived next to each other across the street from us. I became friends with Carolyn Jones (class of '58) who had just moved to Ridgecrest. Carolyn is married to Dee Davis (class of '57). We have stayed in touch for all of these years. Carolyn is the sister of Lt Ralph Foukes (class of '61) who was killed in Vietnam. The tennis courts near Burroughs High were dedicated in Ralph's name thanks to the efforts of Linda Miller (class of '61) and others from his high school class.

   In May 1963, my mother and I were at Armitage Field when President Kennedy's Airforce One landed. We were later along Blandy when his motorcade paraded up to the O'Club for lunch. I am sure that we all remember where we were when he was assassinated the following November. I was working at Seaboard Finance on Balsam Street. I ran down the street to tell my father and the men who were constructing the buildings at the corner of Balsam and French Streets.

   I remember Poncho Barnes walking into Seaboard Finance inquiring about a loan. She normally dealt with Tom Reese at Bank of America but I think she had pushed her limit with him. I hear tell she once walked over to Tom Reese at the bank, pulled her shirt open and showed him her mastectomy scar. Bank employees might be able to tell us a little more about that shocker. Poncho wore men's clothing, was very weathered, but she had the most piercing blue eyes I have ever seen. She was quite the character.

   My husband Pete and I retired from the base in 1994 and moved to Pine Mountain Lake, Groveland, California. We went full-time Rving in 2001 and now winter in Yuma, AZ where we have built asouthwest "casita". We see Zeke and Doris Boyack often. They live two miles from us. We see lots of Ridgecrest visitors in Yuma including Dick and Ellen Zurn, Dick  Donna Tolkmitt, Bill  Barbara Underwood, Norm  Jerry Nelson, and Larry  Jean Joners.


  
Rita Lane Petersen
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Navy photographers started to change their photographic angles on China Lake once Wherry Housing was complete and general activity shifted to the south.  Ridgecrest and China Lake Blvds. are very visible at bottom center. In past
photo's they have been off in the distance. The old Prefabs and Hawthorne foundations from years past are still visible at middle right. Desert life was settling in for the moment during the fall of l970 as another phase of construction was about to begin.
Photo and Caption submitted by Doug Huse
    This high altitude view of Ridgecrest and China Lake was taken in 1963.  You can see on the left Ridgecrest Blvd. and at the top China Lake Blvd.  Wherry Housing is very evident on the left upper section of the photo.  If you look carefully you can make out the old High School campus, the business center and of course on the right lower is the golf course.  There are many other features that are discernible.  If you lived there anytime at all you will be able to find most everything you were familiar with.