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Welcome to my story blog. I will post one new story here every day. You are welcome to comment on any or all of them. Enjoy!
                   --Lee Pound

Day 155 - A Different Orange County

When I was growing up in the 1950s, Orange County, California was a far different place than it is now. Much of it was undeveloped, mostly planted in orange groves or truck crops. On thing I remember specifically was South Orange County in those days.

First of all, the main road south, now Interstate 5, a huge freeway, was then a two lane road wandering through pastoral countryside. At El Toro Road, there was a stop sign and another two lane road that led into cattle ranches. Around here my Uncle Russell Fury’s brother Boyd ran cattle.

Driving south to Oceanside, you passed through villages like San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente. There was nothing between Tustin and San Juan Capistrano except orange groves and pasture.

Even the road through Camp Pendleton was two lanes, later widened to four lanes with a very shaky divider. It had the nickname “Blood Alley” because of all the fatal accidents that happened along it.

In those days Irvine did not exist, Costa Mesa was a tiny town just north of Newport Beach and much of central and western Orange County consisted of scattered villages and farms.

Those days no longer exist but I have fond memories of growing up in rural Orange County, in the tiny village of Placentia, where there was one high school with a few hundred students, and a grade school with a few hundred more just to the south. The north part of town was orange groves.

Sometimes I wonder if we have lost or gained from all the development of the last 60 years. Certainly we lost a lifestyle that no longer exists.

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