All posts for the month July, 2010

I was around 9 or 10 and the year was around the mid 1960’s. My dad took me to my first and only gymnastics meet at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. It was a men’s competition that night and I remember seeing two gymnastics events that are no longer used in competitions today, the Rope Climb and Tumbling.

In Rope Climbing, the competitor would sit on the floor with legs outstretched in front of him and the rope between them and he would climb to the top of the rope as fast as he could using only his hands (no legs or feet allowed). He would then strike a tambourine coated with lamp black so he could prove that his hand touched the tambourine. The person with the fastest time wion the competition. Rope Climb

This website gives a good description of the event:

Tumbling is done on a long narrow row of mats and it is a continuous set of 8 different tumbling moves. This was my favorite event, because it was so energetic and just plain awesome to watch. The tumbling in the current floor exercise event of today is great, but tumbling was adrenaline charged!

After watching this event at the UCLA gymnastics meet that one evening, I decided that’s the sport I wanted to try out for in high school and I did. Unfortunately, by that time, tumbling was no longer used in competition so I went for the next best thing which was floor exercise. Click the link below, to see a series of AWESOME tumbling runs:

Baby Turtle

Long ago when I was just a youngster, my aunt sent me a package through the mail. It was a small cardboard box with holes in it (from what I can recall) and to my surprise, it contained a small, live turtle like the one pictured above. I even remember it having the same red markings on the side of it’s head.

I was surprised that my aunt did this, I’ve never received anything like that through the mail before. This turtle, which I eventually named Timothy was the first pet I ever owned and was around for quite some time.

Now I don’t condone this method of purchasing turtles, I think it’s cruel to put a living creature through our mail system, knowing what I know now about how mail is handled. But as a kid, it was a great surprise and I will never forget this turtle and how HE came into my life. I hope Timothy was a HE, sorry, if you were a SHE after all these years! :)

I know that I’ve been to Marineland before, but I honestly can’t tell you what I saw there, my memory regarding this particular venue has faded almost completely away. The best that I can do is supply photos that I’ve found online and tidbits of information about the park. For instance, Marineland opened in 1954, this was 1 year before Disneyland and was considered by many to be California’s first major theme park.

Marineland was once the home of killer whales Orky and Corky and when SeaWorld bought the property, Orky and Corky were moved to SeaWorld San Diego and Corky was given the name Shamu.

One thing that I do remember is the entry way to Marineland because it had a tall tower that had a huge whale statue incorporated in it (see photo below). As a matter of fact, that tower was there long after Marineland had closed it’s doors and I recall driving down Palos Verdes Drive South and seeing the tower as an adult many years ago. The tower was demolished in 1995.

Today, the land where Marineland once resided is now the new home of the Terranea Resort (see before and after ariel photo).

Marineland of the Pacific EntranceMarineland Aerial ViewMarineland Dolphin ShowMarineland Before and After

For more information:

Greek Theater LogoGreek Theater Inside

Although the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles is still going strong as a venue for concert goers, I have memories from my childhood, of a different kind of concert experience.

It was a perfect evening for watching a concert under the stars (for those of you that don’t know, the Greek Theatre is an open air venue or amphitheater). That night, it was Neal Diamond on the schedule and you could hear him loud and clear, even from the nose-bleed section. Ok, I wasn’t exactly inside the Greek Theatre, but outside amongst the many trees and bushes. There was a spot at the back of the amphitheater where you could pretty much just walk into the foliage and watch the concert from behind the last row.

Many, many years ago, they blocked off access to that area to keep out concert squatters (I guess I wasn’t the only one). I only did this once, but it’s still a memory from when I was young that’s engrained in my gray matter for life.

Steel Spring Shoes

These steel shoes strapped on over your existing shoes and literally gave you a ‘spring in your step’. It’s kind of like strapping your mattress to the bottom of your feet. Yah, you can really get jumping with these shoes, but watch out for that house, or car or any other object that is within jumping distance. Kaboom! I had my share of twisted ankles too.