California Tour (continued)


Chapter Two

There were lots of other Iowans in Long Beach for the winter , and many of them had relatives and old friends living in California, the Iowa migration having brought an estimated 160,000 Iowans to the coast from 1918 to 1930.  And so from the time of their arrival there were surprise visitors at the door, and also many reasons to go for long ocean-view drives  to visit friends, with stops along the way to picnic, to marvel at scenic valleys, rugged coastlines, acres of brilliant orange groves..  In the mornings the housewives did their housework.  Afternoons they strolled the streets shopping for postcards and needlework, or took in a matinee.  One day Grandad wrote that Mrs. Groves had walked downtown to have her hair “amputated.”  (This was the year the ladies had their hair bobbed.)

The men joined a club where they went to play checkers and horseshoes.  Evenings the couples invited guests for dinner or were invited out for dinner, after which they played a card game called “500.”  There were afternoons at the beach for all, and day trips by auto to Los Angeles, Huntington Beach, Laguna, San Pedro, Santa Monica, Glendale, Santa Anna, Pomonia.  Many times they swam and combed Redondo Beach for moonstones, which the ladies had polished and set into rings.

Sometimes they ate out, and Grandad wrote they were thrilled to find “a place where you sat down at a revolving table and helped yourself to whatever and as much as you wanted” for the price of 45 cents.  They went to museums and musicals.  They walked down to the pier where they toured the battleship Colorado (over 500 feet long!) and also saw the New Mexico, West Virginia, Arizona, Tennessee nd other great ships of the U. S. fleet.

Of course they took a boat to Catalina Island after which Grandad  wrote that he had given up all plans of becoming a pirate.  Another day they were guests of a land lot company on a boat ride around the harbor, a trip to the lots for dinner, and then the sale pitch (has nothing changed?)  The lots were 45 x 140 and were pruiced to them at $2100.

(To be continued)


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