Stories and insight in the world of showbiz and beyond.

Monday, October 02, 2006


That’s my daughter Jennifer in the picture above looking lovingly at LT Show guest Johnny Crawford. I would estimate that picture to be circa, 1963. Jennifer, now a little larger, lives in Maui.

Shortly after posting my “Waxing Nostalgia” story, which included a picture showing me holding my head from my long departed Hollywood Wax Museum
statue (?) … figure (?) … candle (?), Jennifer wrote:
“Hi Pappy,

I had to comment on the wax head. I thought you looked particularly handsome in that picture on the blog. Not the wax guy, the real guy. It was so creepy to walk in (the wax museum) and see you in there. I 'm so lucky to have had such an interesting childhood.


Jennifer, I must mention here, has also had a very interesting ADULTHOOD. After a successful eight-year European country music career (five albums) with her husband Willy Wainwright (the best fiddle player in the world), she wanted to relax in the sun. She said good-bye to Geneva, Switzerland and took up residence in Maui.

I couldn’t help but find the statement, “I’m so lucky to have had such an interesting childhood” to be very interesting in itself.

So I emailed her back …

Dear Jennifer:

I just glommed onto your statement, "I 'm so lucky to have had such an interesting childhood."

When I was at the same age as you when you used to come down to the TV studio to see me work, I would go and see my Dad work. After school my mom would give me a quarter and I would hop on a streetcar (five cents). It took me downtown to the Toledo YMCA (I was learning to swim). At 4 PM, I would walk about three blocks to the corner White Tower and buy two hamburgers (five cents each) and an orange drink for five cents.

To this day, I can still taste those award winning burgers. Then I would walk about ten blocks to the Toledo Blade, climb up onto a first-floor window ledge that looked into my Dad's office and watch him work. It was very exciting with the newspaper presses roaring in the background. I would stay there until he could leave and give me a ride home. I would sit there for about an hour literally watching the news.

So, you see, I was also lucky to have had “such an interesting childhood.”


P.S. The best part is ... I still had a nickel left over.


Don’t you agree that it is the old simpler life we remember the most? The life that seems so lost today? When I look back I find it amazing that I, as a 9 year old (and my parents), had no fear getting on a street car, stopping at a corner burger joint and walking ten blocks through the city alone (key word here is ALONE). What happened to all those “interesting childhood days?”

I'm posing a question for all you Mouse Cliquers: “What interesting thing do you miss about your childhood, that you feel your own children (grandchildren) might be missing today?” You might even offer an opinion as to why those days are gone. You can post your comments in the … eh … comment section. We could then file them in the “Lest we forget” section.

In the meantime, Jennifer is now putting together a new country band in Maui. She blew off my suggestion of naming the group “The Maui Wowies.” And completely turned her back on my suggested name for the group’s first album, “Jennifer Weatherly in Mauiburro Country” She wasn't too thrilled about my idea of her pictured riding a Maui donkey on the CD cover. Can you believe that?

Just thought of something. Maybe the reason I felt safe while surfing the city of Toledo at 9 years old is because of how I looked at the time. Mafia Don Lloyd Thaxton at nine is pictured at right in his first suit.

Life just keeps getting more and more interesting.

As Perry Como might say (Perry Como?), “Keep those cards, letters, and comments coming.”

Stay tuned.


Blogger By Ken Levine said...

I grew up in Woodland Hills in the 60's watching your show. I must've been about 13. At least once a month I'd get on a city bus on Ventura Blvd. and take it all the way to Hollywood & Vine. There I'd patiently wait on the corner for ten or fifteen minutes until my father drove by, picked me up, and we would go to the Dodger game.

Can you imagine letting a 13 year old on a bus riding across the city alone and then left alone at Hollywood & Vine today? I hardly think so.

Progress doesn't always move forward.

2:05 PM

Blogger bhone2000 said...

Hi Lloyd,

Very cool to be part of your blog. I never would have imagined watching your show with my older sister in the 60's that I'd be sitting here at age 50 corresponding with you! One of my fondest memories of that time is this,
In about 1965-66 work started on what became a MAJOR freeway through my city of Portland Oregon. It just so happened that this freeway was going to pass directly behind my gradeschool. As time went by all the houses that were behind the school were demolished. I remember spending entire days over there after the demolition was done and no one was around. I'd don my little Army fatigues, my helmet, strap my canteen to my belt, put my pistol in my holster and play in the "bombed" out holes that once were houses in my neighborhood. I would tell my Mom that I was going to go play and it was basically, "well, be back before it gets dark honey". I was able to amuse myself for hours on end BY MYSELF!! Never got hurt, no one called the police because I had a toy gun,etc. Looking back on those days it seems impossible that the world was that safe. My two kids are grown now but even in the early to mid 80's I would've NEVER let my kids do something like that. The 60's was an incredible time to be a kid/teen. I feel incredibly lucky that that was my era to grow up in. I miss those days.

4:31 PM

Blogger Gary said...

I remember riding the city bus and going to the movies, when I was about 9 or 10. Downtown was a 30-40 minute ride (15 cents) and it was a BLAST. I couldn't wait to go see the new Don Knott's movie (my fave being THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN), any Disney film, or even the latest Elvis movie. $2.00 would get me to the show and back (that's 30 cents), admission in the movie (25 cents), candy, popcorn, and root beer (2 helpings of each would make that roughly 60 cents) and of course when I got home, I would have to give any change I had back to mom. Sometimes a brother would go with (depending on the movie) or a neighbor friend.
One thing I don't see around here anymore are kids playing outside. My neighborhood has PLENTY of kids, but I hardly see any of them playing hide & go seek, riding bikes, playing sandlot baseball....nothing. The best times of their lives are spent inside playing video games or watching TV. It sure is sad. I, myself, don't have any kids but I guarantee you that if I did, they would be outside skinning their knees, getting sick eating the neighbors green apples, trying to catch frogs by the creek, and exploring the shack in old man Paul's back yard.
I sure miss those days......

4:33 PM

Blogger Mike Barer said...

I would like to check out your book. Is there a site where I could get an autographed copy of it?

5:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lloyd ; Like Kevin , I too grew up in the San Fernando Valley ( Granada Hills area ) in the 1960's. One of my favorite things to do was hop on the old green RTD bus and travel to downtown LA and watch the LA T-BIRDS Roller Games team skate LIVE at the Olympic Auditorium. The Sunday Roller Game of the Week was FREE and like most Angelenos in the 1960's we LOVED the T-Birds....My buddies and I ( all of us 14 yrs old ) would pile onto the bus and a way we'd go....I can still hear the roar of those skates and can still hear Dick Lane yell " WHOAAAAAAAA NELLIE ! ".......My dad would pick us up after the game and we'd all go have a Bobs Big Boy in Toluca Lake.........Those were fun times ! Would I let my teenage daughters ride a bus ALONE to downtown LA ??? Heck ! I would'nt ride on one !!!!! LOL

8:52 PM

Blogger Lloyd Thaxton said...

To all:

Great stories. I love it.

To Mike Barer:

Don't know of anyplace you can buy a signed copy of my book "Stuff Happens." However, if you go to the web site you can order the book from Amazon. Then email me with your address and I will send you a personally autographed bookplate you can put in the book.

It looks great.


9:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you want a comment on the "Good 'ol days...(where did they go...?". Well, what happened to good 'ol parenting... how about getting a good 'ol spanking when you really did something way outta line... "We" are letting the Madison Ave., electronic driven media and fat-fast food industries run the show. Remember when you sat down to diner with the whole family? Foul language is common place and good manners have gone down the tubes. Need a picture painted as to the (current) results?

7:53 AM

Blogger Chuck Hinson said...

Lemme seeee ... did I HAVE a childhood??? Hang on. Be right back:
Just called my sister. She says I did, so I guess I'm now qualified to answer your question:

Back in-the-day (whatever "that day" was), the world was like an unopened box of Crackerjacks ... you never knew what the prize would be, but you knew it was there. And the fun of it all was doubled because, like Crackerjacks, you got to go through all the tasty goodies until ya got to the surprise.

With me, it was strictly music. The first Sears Silvertone acoustic guitar was worth a million bucks! Just thinkin' of all the songs I could wreck ... er, play ... when I learned was awesome!
Today, there are few surprises, let alone excitement. Everything's already "out there" ... they don't need to explore anymore: the web, TV, CDs, nothing really sacrosanct in this old world now.

When our kids are given something new to explore ... something good that they can uncover and get excited about ... when there are new horizons to set sail for ... then we'll see a refreshing rebirth of verve and creativity.

Incidentally, nice bit about Jennifer. The lady is (in a word exhumed from files dating to 1967) ULTRAFANTABULISTIC!

11:16 AM

Blogger Chuck Hinson said...

Oh ... a quick memory that made me sit up and bark ... er, take notice of the LT phenomenonemonemon(how dya STOP that word?!?):
Although I forget the group's name momentarily (GOD, I'm getting old!), it was a surf group that had just synched their big hit. After the song was over, Lloyd asked them to do part of it again, but a capella so the audience could hear the amazing harmonies coming from the California surf sound!

As far as I know, Lloyd was the only host to actually show a sincere appreciation of the performance qualities (as well as personalities) of the various acts.

For that, he should be Lloyded ... er, lauded ...

Oh ... and, since he was holding that wax head in the photo, and the broadcast media is his game, was he really "get A HEAD of his GAME" there??

Okay ... I'll leave ...

11:23 AM

Blogger Mike Barer said...

I think your show had the first apearance of The Mamas And Papas. I can't document that.

11:24 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

AAAAAAAAAHHHH! The wonderful world of childhood. I lived in Riverside, California thru my teen years all the way to adulthood. The area I actually lived in was called Glen Avon. A burbs of Riverside. It was a very rual area. Busses did not run out to our area at all back then. To get where you wanted, you had to walk several miles to the nearest bus stop like on Mission Blvd. Which was the US highway 60 run from Pomona to Riverside. The freeway wasn't even a thought of yet. The bus trip from there on into Riverside was 15 cents. Took me right to the heart of downtown Riverside 7th and Market. FOX Riverside Theather was right there on the corner. They use to have specal Saturday morning free shows for kids only. (theater is all boarded up the last time I saw it) The local merchants sponsored the programs. The Swiss Dairy would leave two tickets with the Friday morning milk delivery. WOW there's a memory. Having the milk delivered right to your front door. I don't guess that happens anymore.

During my childhood I walked the length and width of Riverside. I rarely took the bus. Sweet Lord above, I was a healthy kid. And I would walk those areas day or night without fearing what might happen to me. I drove thru Riverside recently and was looking at the area where the MTA / Grayhound bus station use to be. It was scary. Thinking back to the number of times I would walk these areas. How did I become 63 years old. I was lucky enough to have lived at time when the world wasn't as screwed up as it is now. Now I feel like Charlton Heston in the Omega Man. Locked up in his fortress away from all the sicko's wanting nothing more than to distroy him for no reason, simple because he didn't believe the way that Matthias (played by Anthony Zerbe) and his followers thought. Sounds a little like some other nut case (Osoma Been Hidin') in the news.

Yes Mr. Thaxton it was a much better time.

Robert V

3:13 PM

Blogger Mike Barer said...

The people posting here are really the survivors because the end of your show crescendoed into an amazing time of our history.

6:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My early childhood memories in Los Angeles include being chosen one of the two grandkids whose turn it was to go downtown with my grandfather - on the street car, sitting at the soda fountain at Newberry's and twirling around and around, the afternoon matinee with cartoons before and between the TWO movies, buying candy bars 3 for a dime at Drug King instead of buying candy at the movie theater.

In my teens when I lived in the San Fernando Valley going to Hollywood was a special date nite, including a movie at Grahmans Chinese and pizza at Magoo's.

Then there was "cruising" Bob's in Van Nuys, or the "Top of Topanga" when parents thought we were at the school dance! Although we did stay at the dances "sometimes" (:

That's one thing I know MY kids missed, and perhaps my grandkids will too - a high school social life that revolved around school activities. All we thought about all week was Friday night - who would be at the dance, football game, or school activity at the end of each week.

One thing they won't miss if they spend any time with me, though, is the music. I'm still playing those 60s "boss" tunes! Long live the music!!

7:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Top of Topanga ??? Bobs Big Boy in Van Nuys ???? Dana .....I think I might know you .....LOL....well at least I KNOW the areas of which you speak !!!!! LOL


8:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, if you were at the Canoga Park High School 40th Reunion that Lloyd mentions in his September 06, 2006 post "LLOYD THAXTON’S ROCK & ROLL ROAD SHOW TIME MACHINE", then you know me.

I might add that I was always with the same guy at "Top of Topanga" and only cruised Bob's in Van Nuys with girlfriends and only when we all broke up with our boyfriends ... so we could cruise Bob's in Van Nuys!

11:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OOOOOOOOOOPS ! Wrong Dana !!!!! LOL.....Actually , it seems that I graduated a few years after you.....The Dana I dated went to Monroe High........LOL...but we all seemed to have hung out in the same areas.....Ever go to SKATELAND in Northridge ???? That was another fave place that high schoolers hung out..........

7:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope didn't go rollerskating in Northridge ... Would you believe the ice skating rink at Topanga Plaza?

Speaking of Topanga Plaza ... I remember when Paul Revere and the Raiders shot "Where the Action Is" at Topanga Plaza - directly across the street from our high school - no problem drawing a crowd! We must have all missed the Lloyd Thaxton show that day (:

5:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the ice skating rink at Topanga Plaza very well......It was at the south end of the mall by Broadway. THe only other ice rink was at Valley Plaza in North Hollywood........I spent many a hot summer afternoon there ! Although I did'nt see the Raiders film their TV show there , I did see Mark Lindsay several times at Wallichs Music City at Topanga Plaza......Remember those lil listening stations at Wallichs ??? Good memories.........

12:32 PM


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