Family fun

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Sleepy Hollow and the Legend of Candy Cane Lane

These photos were taken last night at the Sleepy Hollow area of Torrance, which is known as Candy Cane Lane during the Christmas season; a look at the photos makes it easy to figure out why they call it that. On December 1, Tanya and I went there to take some photos like I have for the past couple of years. There were definitely a lot of lights that went up between then and now. Homes that we thought were decorated on December 1 had even more decorations on December 18. Even though it was cold and windy, there were a lot more cars and pedestrians out enjoying the view.

After the first night of photos I submitted a report to CNN’s iReport, and was subsequently vetted by them for use on CNN. In the vetting process I was asked things like why they called it Sleepy Hollow and how long has the mass decorating been going on. My dad had told me that he thought the decorating had been going on for 40 years; so I passed that along as fact. The Sleepy Hollow thing I could not answer because I did not recall it ever being called that when I was a kid. One of my Facebook and Business & Beer friends, Dan Thomas, sent me a message that he knew who the “father” of the Candy Cane Lane phenomena was and he put me in touch with him, a Mr. Bob Solomon. Here is his story: Continue reading

Personal tour of the S.S. Lane Victory

These photos are of the S.S. Lane Victory which is located at Berth 46 in the Port of Los Angeles at San Pedro, CA. A couple of weeks ago, Tanya and I were at a regional Chamber of Commerce mixer and I won a raffle prize of tickets for two to receive the President’s Tour of the ship as well as lunch in the Officer’s Mess. It was actually the one thing I wanted to win. Anyway, this morning we met with Anthony Broude, the current President at U.S. Merchant Marine Veterans of World War II, and he gave us a personal tour of the Lane Victory from the bridge to the engine room and everything in-between. We had a great time and I learned that the difference between the Officer’s Mess and the Crew’s Mess would be tablecloths.

The S.S. Lane Victory was built in 1944 at Terminal Island, which is right around the corner from where she currently sits. She launched in 1945 for World War II. After the war she was decommissioned until 1950 when she was recommissioned for the Korean Conflict. One of the highlights of her time in Korea was when she rescued more than 7,000 Korean men, women and children and safely transported them from North Korea to South Korea. In 1953 she was decommissioned once again only to be recommissioned in 1966 for service in Vietnam. After four years there she was decommissioned on last time in 1970. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan conveyed the Lane Victory to the Merchant Marine; and on December 14, 1991 the S.S. Lane Victory was designated a National Historic Landmark. Continue reading

Santa Claus comes to North Torrance

Santa Claus made a visit to several neighborhoods in North Torrance Tuesday evening, and judging by the turnout and smiles at just one stop; he was a huge hit. Sponsored by the Torrance Police Officers Association (TPOA), Santa’s Sleigh has been going up and down the streets of Torrance since at least 1992. To be honest, they have never gone down our street so I have only caught glimpses of the sleigh as it passed around a corner. Tonight I walked over to another neighborhood to check it out up close. The sleigh stops at either end of long blocks and gives the kids and families opportunities to get their photo taken with Santa and candy canes are given out. It was a lot of fun with lots of smiles. Big props and thanks to the TPOA.

Santa will be hitting the streets through Sunday. The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, December 12th – Artesia/405 Freeway, Prairie to Crenshaw (Begin on 177th St. End off 183rd St.)

Thursday, December 13th – Redondo Beach Blvd. to Artesia, West of Crenshaw to Hawthorne (Begin on Amie, End on Ainsworth.)

Friday, December 14th – Redondo Beach Blvd. to Artesia, Crenshaw to Western (Begin on 166th, End on 170th St.)

Saturday, December 15th – Artesia to 405 Freeway, 405 Freeway to Western (Begin on 177th, End off 186th and Haas.)

They start at 5:00 PM every night except Sunday the 16th when it will start at 4:00 PM. You can see maps of the routes at the TPOA website. Continue reading

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