This Date in Seal Beach History Online Slide Show

Let’s try this again.

I’ll be hosting a Zoom meeting at 7 pm Thursday, December 15th. This event is free.

The meeting will run approximately 40 minutes to an hour. This slide show won’t be a chronological survey of Seal Beach history through photographs as I’ve done in the past, but will focus on answering some of the questions I’ve been getting about specific Seal Beach history topics with perhaps an update on some of the research I’ve been doing lately.

If this is successful and there’s enough interest, I might make online Zoom presentations a bi-monthly or quarterly event leading up to my resuming daily This Date in Seal Beach History posts in 2024 or 2025.

If you want to attend this meeting, please e-mail me at mike@SealBeachHistory.com, and I’ll send you instruction on how to log in to the meeting.

Take care,
mpd

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2022 SEAL BEACH HOLIDAY EVENTS

Because these Seal Beach holiday season questions keeping popping up at the end of every year, I’m going put the answers here for quick and easy reference.

SEAL BEACH CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING

Saturday, November 19th at 4-7 pm 
Eisenhower Park
Ocean Avenue and Main Street

This event promises Santa, music, sledding, and cocoa. You can find out more at the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce’s web site.

SEAL BEACH “THANKS GIVING” FOOD DRIVE

November 10th – 24th

Donate non-perishable food items (non-expired canned and boxed items) at the following locations:

American Beachside Brokers
816 Electric Avenue (562) 430-0609 

Beach Fitness
148 Main Street Suite F (562) 493-8426

Bogarts Coffee House
905 Ocean Avenue (562) 431-2226

Seal Beach City Hall
211 Eighth Street (562) 431-2527

Javatinis
148 Main Street (562) 626-8202

The Sun News
216 Main Street (562) 430-7555

All donations will be given to St. Anne Church to be given to the needy. Food drive sponsored by the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce.

SEAL BEACH TOYS FOR TOTS

These are the drop off sites for Seal Beach:

Dojo by Leo Vieira and Girl Scouts
November 14th – December 17th     6-8 pm
350 Main Street, suite F
714-588-5362

Coldwell Banker Realty
November 21st – December 17th     9-5 pm
610 Pacific Coast Highway Suite 100
310-990-5260

To find out more about the 2022 Toy for Tots drive, please visit the Seal Beach Toys for Tots web site.

SEAL BEACH CHRISTMAS PARADE

Friday, December 2nd at 7pm

The 44th annual parade will run from the Seal Beach pier to PCH along Main Street. The theme is “Christmas Under the Sea.” This event always attracts a large crowd, so showing up early (and maybe dining or doing some Christmas shopping on Main Street before the parade starts) is suggested.

You can find out more at the Seal Beach Lions web site.

Also, if you’re unable to make it to Main Street for the parade, Seal Beach’s own cable channel, SBTV3 covers the event live the night of the parade and offers repeats of the parade coverage on the SBTV3 schedule.

SBTV-3 airs 24/7 on TWC Spectrum CH3, Frontier Fios CH37, and online streaming is available at the SBTV3 web site.  If you have a Roku Channel, visit the Roku Streaming web site to add SBTV3.

FREE BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 10th at 9-11 am 
Marina Community Center
151 Marina Dr.

The Breakfast with Santa event is held by the Seal Beach Recreation and Community Services Department.

The event features live entertainment, arts and crafts and photos with Santa Claus. A free pancake breakfast will be provided by the Seal Beach Lions Club, a city news release said. 

Residents can also bring new, unwrapped toy donations to be given to children in need this holiday season, the city said. 

MUSIQUE SUR LA MER-RY HOLIDAY CONCERT

Sunday, December 11th at 4 pm 
Seal Beach Center for Spiritual Living
500 Marina Ave

Christmas and Hanukkah music performed by the Long Beach Musique Sur La Mer Youth Symphony Orchestra, MSLM Honors Chamber Orchestra with Offshore Winds and Shoreline Strings. This concert is FREE of charge and fun for the whole family. Sponsored by the RuMBa Foundation.

SEAL BEACH MENORAH LIGHTING

Sunday, December 11th at 5 pm 
Eisenhower Park
Ocean Avenue and Main Street

The event is free and open to the public and paid for by Chabad.

This year’s live musical performance will include Los Al’s Xtreme choir and LA’s popular singer songwriter Isaac Gordon.

SEAL BEACH CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS

The limited edition 2022 Ornament is crystal-like clear glass and features the pier.  The ornaments can be found in shops along Main Street like Javatinis, Bogarts Coffee, Endless Summer, Station 17, and The Sun News. 

The price is $20 each, and the ornaments sell out quickly.

Happy Holidays, y’all! – Mike Dobkins

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TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND

Around 2:30 pm on the Fourth of July, this blog received its 200,000 view since its January 1, 2010 launch. I’ve been busy on non-Seal Beach projects for the past couple weeks, but I did want to celebrate and offer something in return for all the kind words, interest, and attention the THIS DATE IN SEAL BEACH HISTORY blog has received in all its various formats and purposes over the years.

On social media, I floated the idea of scheduling a Seal Beach History AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, and there seemed to be a little enthusiasm for such an event. So I’m going to do it!

(“It’ll be fun!” he said to himself, nervously wondering if he was making a big mistake.”)

I haven’t decided just yet whether this AMA session will take a form of a Facebook chatroom, a Zoom videoconference, or (as I’m favoring right now) just my writing answers to submitted questions and posting them here on the blog. I’ll have a better idea of what’s doable after I received your questions. Whatever form it takes, I’ll present it at some point in the next two weekends.

So between now and Sunday, August 7th at Midnight Pacific Standard Time, please feel free to ask me any question related to Seal Beach history or this blog, and I’ll do my best to research it. Please post your questions either below in the comments or send them to mike@sealbeachhistory.com.

I will compile a presentation answering as many questions I reasonably can.

—————-

Also, I will be resuming my research into 19th Century Anaheim Landing and pre-Seal Beach Bay City next month in preparation of a 2024 relaunch of the blog with new daily posts. A six-month subscription to the online newspaper archive I use costs $75. If you want to contribute towards that amount, donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal.

Every little bit helps. Thank you. 

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March 17th

If you were on Main Street on this date in 1974, you probably experienced a riotously celebratory St. Patrick’s Day.

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Have a Merry Seal Beach Christmas

Merry Christmas to all Seal Beach residents and visitors both past and present, across the planet and on the ships at sea!

There is plenty of work and preparation going on for the site’s relaunch in 2024, but sharing the details will have to wait. We’ve charged up the flux capacitor and are about to pop into the DeLorean for a turkey dinner with walnuts, dressing, cranberry sauce and musical accompaniment by Jimmie Means on the Hammond organ at Sam’s Seafood in 1963.

It’s a little pricey, but the parking is free.

– Michael Dobkins

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Take a Look at Historical Seal Beach – Late 1958

If you belong to a generation who lived during the era when black and white series still aired on broadcast television, chances are you fondly remember the television show named “Sea Hunt.” This was an immensely popular syndicated half hour action and adventure show that enjoyed a top-rated four season first run from 1958 to 1961 and then went to reruns for decades.

The series starred Lloyd Bridges as hyper-competent ex-Navy frogman and freelance scuba diver, Mike Nelson. Each week (or every afternoon once the show went into reruns), Nelson’s steadiness and ultra-reliability made him the go-to guy for the military, law enforcement, charter fishermen, or anyone who needed assistance with a marine crisis or seabound adventure. For 155 episodes, Mike Nelson tangled with bank robbers and crooks, consulted on top-secret military missions, recovered underwater treasure, fought dangerous sea critters, rescued distressed seagoing folks, and solved other underwater crises. The stories were lean and straightforward pulp narratives with no room for subtleties like deep characterization, subplots, or subtext. Bridge’s gruff and matter-of-fact narration of the underwater sequences makes the series oddly diverting, even when viewed with jaded twenty-first century eyes.

What makes the show especially relevant for local history is that much of it was filmed on location in the Bahamas, Florida, and, for a couple seasons, the Long Beach area — especially Naples, the Long Beach peninsula, Alamitos Bay, and the newly built Long Beach Marina. The above-water locales in many of the show’s episodes serve as a visual catalog of the Long Beach area as it existed in the late fifties. I’ve never seen an episode filmed specifically in Seal Beach, but Seal Beach landmarks are often featured prominently in the background in scenes shot on the Long Beach Marina.

One episode did feature a Seal Beach landmark prominently, so much so that it appears in the episode’s title card.

In the second season’s “Underwater Security,” Mike is hired by the military to go undercover to test the security of a seaside rocket fuel plant and ends up foiling the plans of actual saboteurs. Seal Beach residents tuning in to that night’s “Sea Hunt” episode on January 19th, 1959 would have been surprised to see the Seal Beach power plant passing itself off as the rocket fuel factory. The episode itself was probably filmed in late 1958.

(There’s a very mild irony in that an actual rocket assembly facility would be constructed in a few years on the other end of town to build the second stage of the Apollo program’s Saturn rockets.)

You can watch “Underwater Security” below.

And here’s a link to a YouTube playlist for all the “Sea Hunt” episodes. If you see Seal Beach appearing in any episodes, please share the show’s title in the comments section. I don’t have time to go through all the episodes, but if we all crowdsource the project, maybe we can create a comprehensive index of Seal Beach appearances in “Sea Hunt.”

Other films using Seal Beach include the silent version of “Ten Commandments” and the first Billy Jack movie, “Born Losers.”

– Michael Dobkins

I won’t resume daily blogging here until 2024, but I’m trying out a new feature that I hope won’t take as much writing, researching, and prep time. For lack of a better title, I’m calling this new feature, “Take a Look at Historical Seal Beach.”

If you have unique photos from Seal Beach’s past that you’re willing share on this blog, please contact me at mike@SealBeachHistory.com. What I’m looking for are high resolution scanned images in either a tiff or jpeg and a few words to provide a little commentary and context on what is being shared.

I hope to share a new post of photos (or just one photo) from a single donor each month. Currently I have images stockpiled for the rest of 2020. That leaves thirty-six months to cover from January 2021 to December 2023. With luck, there will be enough interest and response to fill those thirty-six months.

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Take a Look at Historical Seal Beach – January 1959

I’m conducting an experiment.

I still won’t be resuming “This Date in Seal Beach History” daily posts until 2024, but I also don’t like leaving such a large gap of time without some historical Seal Beach content. Ideally, this content would not require time and labor intensive research or writing on my part because I’m devoting most of my free time to other writing projects. It took a few months, but I think I’ve stumbled upon a plan that fulfills these requirements.

The solution came in the form of an e-mail from Dave Gibbs, son of former Seal Beach mayor, Norma Gibbs. Back in January, Dave was kind enough to send an e-mail to me with some Seal Beach photographs from his mother’s estate. I’m sure you agree that these are fantastic photos.

Looking at these photos, I realized they’d make a great post just on the visual appeal of the images. I also realized that there must plenty of unique and personal photos like these tucked in the photo albums and boxes of current and past Seal Beach residents that can be shared with a minimum of research or writing from me.

So here’s the experiment. If you have unique photos from Seal Beach’s past that you’re willing share on this blog, please contact me at mike@SealBeachHistory.com. What I’m looking for are high resolution scanned images in either a tiff or jpeg and a few words to provide a little commentary and context on what is being shared.

For lack of a better title, I’m calling this new feature, “Take a Look at Historical Seal Beach. I hope to share a new post of photos (or just one photo) from a single donor each month. Currently I have images stockpiled for November and December 2020. That leaves thirty-six months to cover from January 2021 to December 2023. With luck, there will be enough interest and response to fill those thirty-six months.

If not, it will be a long content-free hiatus of no posts until 2024.

So without further delay and in celebration of Seal Beach’s 105th birthday today, here’s our inaugural “Take a Look at Historical Seal Beach” with a few words from Dave Gibbs:

I thought you would like these…check out the guy with the duckfeet fins ready to go body surf the big swell, love it!  I appreciate all the work you do on the Seal Beach blog on Facebook. I put these on my Facebook and I also shared the article you posted about my Mom Norma from 1960. I was born in 1959 and Mom climbed over these sandbags to get to the hospital. I think my Mom or Dad took these pics, not sure who but I found a ton of them in her estate. Feel free to share these and if I find any other gems I’ll send them to ya. Dave 

Note the serene Sphinx surveying the surf it has bestowed upon the Seal Beach shore.
The aftermath of an East Seal Beach storm flood – A Seal Beach tradition since before it was Seal Beach
Another iconic Seal Beach moment
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Quick Update.

Next month, I’ll have some Seal Beach history fun to share that I think few people have had a chance to see. With luck, this will be followed by similar monthly posts until I’m ready to restart the daily date-by-date posts in a couple years. More details later.

Also, I’d like to thank Jillian Gallery for making a donation last week. While I’m not officially writing any new “This Date in Seal Beach History” posts right now, I’m still researching and subscribed to online archives, and every bit helps. Thanks, Jillian!

– Michael Dobkins

Have you enjoyed this and other This Date in Seal Beach History posts?

If so, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that made this blog possible.

Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you

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Hmm.

1967 Seal Beach Steam Plant from Central Way & Second Street (Dobkins family collection)

I’m considering a way to continue bringing new Seal Beach history content to the blog that won’t require my doing research or writing anything new. I’ll share more details later in the month, but I thinking of launching it in August or September on October 25 (Seal Beach Founder’s Day).

Sorry, folks. Non-Seal Beach concerns continue to dominate my schedule.

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This Date in Seal Beach History will return in 2024

This Date in Seal Beach History

January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2019

Thank you for a decade of your comments, questions, and interest. It’s been a pleasure.

I’d like to also extend my sincerest gratitude to the fine people who have donated to make this project possible.

– Michael Dobkins

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