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Little Red Wagons: 1965

Diamond Bar, California, August 1965. The owner of the MG across the street isn't having quite as good a day as my niece and nephew. I shot this on 35mm Kodachrome. View full size.

Diamond Bar, California, August 1965. The owner of the MG across the street isn't having quite as good a day as my niece and nephew. I shot this on 35mm Kodachrome. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

That's My House

I've really enjoyed reading everyone's comments about our house.

We moved to Diamond Bar in '62, and we were the first people on the street. Everyone else's Including the photographer's, was still being built. In this picture, it is a brand-spanking new neighborhood. That is my dad out in front looking at my oldest sister's MG. We also had a Pontiac that he kept for 13 years before replacing it.

To solve the mystery, the MG had been slashed to bits... the tires and the tarp. Here's the story; We were going to the beach with the church youth group, and she parked the car at the DB Congregational Church. While we were getting ready to go, there was a terrible accident on DB Blvd, which she witnessed. When the police came, she told them who's fault it was. When they left, we all went to the beach and when we came back, it was vandalized. We knew who did it, but could not prove it.

The "now" picture from 2010 shows the house after the folks had passed away. Dad in 2007, and Mom 11 months later. My nephew and his wife who were their caretakers, remained in the house for a while, and remodeled (as nothing had been done since my parents originally moved in in '62, the electrical was a mess as was the plumbing), and they sold it shortly thereafter.

That hill was eventually leveled down to build Diamond Bar High School. It was part of a huge piece of empty land, with a big gully in the middle of it. Like all the other hills in the neighborhood (including the one on our bank in the back yard), it has eroded into almost an even flatness. The lawn is not dichondra, it was originally St. Augistine and I think my nephew replanted something else, but not dichondra. I saw it when it was growing in, and I think it may have been some sort of fescue.

In the before picture; Yes the trees show the wires as the yard was just planted. He loved trees and planted one for each of us girls (4 of us) and one for Mom. They indeed grew HUGE. Also missing is the huge bird of paradise that Dad planted right near the front "banister". It was a huge eyesore, but he and Mom loved it. My dad and a neighbor put in the sprinkler system and the grass. In those days all the neighbors took turns doing each other's lawns. It was a great time.

So thank you for the pictures tterrace, and for another last look at my Dad. I remember your family well, and always wonder what happed to Big Frank, (You should've seen him ride a skateboard) Rosemary, Jimmy and Mary Rose. My Mom and Dad were The Ropers, Mel and Vickey who lived and died in that house for over 40 years. I'm Diamond Bar Girl.

Then and Now

Here we are today. No MG in site so he either got it fixed or it was towed. I took this from the street since I didn't want to stand on their front porch. Looks like the tree's finally grew. I'm not sure about the hill in the background, but our neighbor once told us that an enormous amount of dirt had been moved to make the high school.



Do MG's actually run? I thought they just sat in mechanics' lots.

Weeding the lawn again?

Is that a dichondra lawn? Insanely labor-intensive! Still, they used to be popular in the area, especially among those employing Japanese gardeners.

'63 MGB,

I currently have a '63 MGB, and I tell you (honestly!), it's the most reliable car I've owned. (Wait, does that say more about me or the car?)

Anyway, that MG is, at most, two years old, and washed and everything. Someone was probably sending a message about buying those furrin' cars, or the owner is, in fact, an insufferable, rake-shaking, "get offa my lawn" prat and this is what he has reaped.

Little red wagon

I was just trying to explain to my wife last night about little red wagons, she's Filipina, and how my friends and I, when we were about the age of the boy in the pic, used to ride them down a hill that ended at the brick wall of my house's garage. Sure you could steer the wagons, sorta, and you could use your feet as brakes but often as not the rides ended with boy meets wall. Good times, so much joy to be had. Helmets? Helmets were for fighter pilots and spacemen.


My immediate response on seeing the picture was "Hey! Southeastern L.A. county, or northern Orange county."

Sure enough. I moved away nearly 40 years ago, but in an instant I was back again; except that I remember Diamond Bar before the houses started going in. (I grew up in Whittier, my father lived the last 20 years of his life in La Habra.) Thank St. Eastman for Kodachrome.

Held my breath

Lileks says "You almost expect the ghost of the photographer to show up in the picture." To say nothing of the goose-bumps forming on the skin of the actual photographer.

"Made me sigh"

Today on Lileks, tterrace gets a shout-out from the man himself.

The Old photo

Gorgeous! That could have been a pic of myself and sister in Pleasanton, 1969


Had a '63 myself -- white with a red leather interior.
I'm of the opinion the thing has been sitting there since
the last time it ran and the tires went flat.


I would think not. In those halcyon days we used to take the cap off and then sit there patiently holding the valve down until all the air was out. Slashing is a Gen X sort of thing.

New suburb smell

Ah, a freshly minted suburb - note the saplings with crutches, the kerbside landscaping and the dirt in the rain gutters. We often forget that every development - even the late Victorian and Edwardian ones in my own city - once had this raw look.

When California was actually affordable.

Suburban homes like those in the picture are for sale out here in San Jose for sometimes over a million bucks. I wonder if working and middle class people back then would ever imagine that they would soon not be able to afford their own home if they had to buy it again. A shame.


From the looks on their faces, I suspect these tykes are just returning from a trip up the street to slash some more neighbors' tires.

Diamond Bar Now


Kodachrome, Kodachrome, Kodachrome indeed. The images taken with Ektachrome are all (with rare exceptions) fading into history. Kodachrome was a "dye-additive" processed film where the colors/dyes were added to the film matrix during processing. Ektachrome (and to a similar degree Anscochrome, Agfachrome et al) were "dye-subtractive" where unneeded colors were bleached out of the film during processing leaving behind only those colors necessary to form the original colors. Those 4x5 Kodachromes that Dave posts here are to die (or dye) for!

Tire Slashing Vandals?

...Perhaps the dastardly deed was perpetrated by some public spirited citizen who knew (as everyone did back then) that all MG drivers were leftist pipe-smoking History or English literature professors who listened to Miles Davis and always carried a well thumbed copy of "Quotations from Chairman Mao." They were also fond of wearing Harris Tweed jackets with leather elbow patches.(With matching tweed caps, naturally). Although wearing stringback driving gloves would be going too far!

Hmmmm....wait....this guy doesn't seem to fit the description. Oh well, I suppose it's more likely that the car simply hasn't run in months and the tires went flat from just sitting there.

Just ask the man who owned one.

Then and Now

Would love to see this same scene exactly as it is today. Possible?

New subdivision

This was about two years after my sister and her family moved into their new place here.

Colorful attributions

Those wedding photos are from delworthio's eye-popping Kodachromes. (My folks' marriage predates the introduction of Kodachrome by three years.)


That's what he gets for putting white walls on an MG. What's the keen green wagon on the left? Nash? Rambler? Stude? At first I thought International, but their quarter panels didn't look like that until the '70s. And the Travelall was taller.

[Hudson Rambler. - Dave]


All the trees and bushes are small and paltry; they all have that recently planted look about them.

The concrete sidewalks look pristine, no cracks, no heaving, no stains.

The houses and the yards all look fresh and new.

The trees across the street in the hapless MG owner's yard still have guy wires to keep them up till the root system matures.

There's still mud in the gutters, implying there was still construction going on in the neighborhood.

I'm guessing the subdivision must have been pretty new.


Tire slashing vandals in such a safe-looking, peaceful neighborhood? I still have my 1969 MGB. Wish it looked as good is this one. With fully inflated tires, of course.

No place like home, Toto

Having lived in California all of my formative years, I did not need a label to know where this was taken. I think it has a lot to do with the sidewalks, "bike" ramps at the corners and, unfortunately, no trees. Not gorgeous, but home. Thanks for the refresher.

No punch backs

Punch buggy green! My nephew hit me with that old line over one of those 'new' VW bugs.

The Missing Behomeths

Notice that the usual big American cars are curiously absent. There is a Rambler/American Motors(?) type station wagon in the driveway, a smaller Ford in the street, the MG, and a VW up the cross street. I guess all the Pontiac Bonnevilles were parked at the office.

Color, color and more color

I can't believe the gorgeous color that you've still got in these photos. Even the one of your mother's wedding just pops! I have photos from the 70's that are faded to orange and yellow that were taken on Kodak film with a 35mm Minolta. Was it the Kodachrome, the way you took them or the way they were processed, I wonder. I suppose you processed your own. We sent them out.

[One reason these look good is because they are scanned from transparencies (slides or negatives), not prints on paper. The other three reasons are Kodachrome, Kodachrome, Kodachrome. Plus of course it was taken by tterrace, the camera-ninja boy wonder. - Dave]

The neighborhood

Is that the Brady Bunch house up the street?

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