On this date in 1966, Long Beach Independent society editor, Iola Masterson, reported that a housewarming party given for Kenny and Dorris Martinson in their new College Park home was “a swinging surprise.” Their daughter, Linda, schemed with party planners Mariam and George Irwin and Lois and Dr. Les Watson to surprise her parents by arriving unannounced just as the Martinson family was departing for a local restaurant, the Hunting Horn, where Linda had “made reservations.”
Caught between wanting to be polite but also worried about being late for the dining reservations, Kenny and Dorris were further surprised when a predetermined signal was given and a gang of thirty party-goers rushed from hiding spots in parked cars to ambush the new College Park residents with gag gifts, food and “all the fixings for a happy hour.”
Among the ambushing neighbors were Al and Marge Davis, Howell and Vyrle Honeywell, Mac and Jane Epley, Smitty and June Crain, Bud and Joyce Holton, and Nerrill and Phyllis Scott.
In addition to the gag gifts, Kenny and Dorris Martinson were given a $50 gift certificate and $15 in cash. They planned to use the cash to buy and plant a tree to commemorate the friendship and fun of the surprise housewarming evening.
How Iola Masterson got “swinging” from any of that remains a mystery.
– Michael Dobkins