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March 12th, 2020
May 5th, 2020
Local business owner Ed Pawlack recalls life in Brea and the city’s designation as a “Tri-City” due to its close relationships with Los Angeles and Riverside. Excerpted from full interview with Linda Shay, Museum Curator, Brea Historical Society. Recorded in Brea, California.
Down typical Old Town was a number of bars scattered around, some real small ones, though nice places. I’ve coined this many many times, I’ve wrote it down in my notes too, the town reminded me of me being from Montebello area, East L.A. area. Montebello was a nice little town at the time, very clean town. Brea reminded me of going over into L.A. and getting on Vermont. Vermont, five years before that, five six years before that, back in the 60’s, had race riots, and you’d have vehicles coming over, and there was a lot of fires going on in the Vermont area and different things happening and all that, and we had business over there. People owned property, they’d call me, some contractors I’d dealt with, we’d take our crews out to L.A. area to do the work. And we’d go down to Watts and farther down, and I do remember the destruction that went through those areas. Brea was not like that, was not like Watts, it wasn’t like any other area, it was clean, but the buildings were beat up. They had not had work done probably for paint peeling off of it, probably for thirty years. It wasn’t a vision that I had that the places were run down or anything like that, but they were messy. Entertainment, at the Catholic church, okay, you had the carnivals that John McAdie put on, and it started off as a small group, we’d bring our radios over there, sitting around, someone would be playing a guitar, and it was nice. We’d bring our beers and sit around and talk, and we’re all at the same age, starting off and it was fun. Functions, you had, I think we called it Buccaneer Days, and what it was, they’d have parades along Brea Boulevard, with horse and buggies, people would load their vehicles, their trucks and everything else, load everybody on it, and it turned out to be a big carnival. It was nice. That was something that would bring everybody together because you would have the kids marching down the streets, playing their banjos and everything else, just doing it, going down to the park, and all of a sudden there would be a carnival going on over there. To be very honest with you, when I thought that a mall came in, I like it, I thought that it was going to be a great thing, I was one hundred percent for it, by that time, you’d been here for a few years, you started to get to know different people, by that time I started to know Wayne… a lot better, his son and my son played on the baseball team, and over… Beckman… one of the buildings, there was a field over on Lambert, closely associated to State College, that was. We’d get up in the morning on Saturdays, sit down, he’d take his coffee, I’d take my coffee, and we’d sit around, and I’d go out and do my bids on projects on Saturday mornings, it gave me a little bit of a chance because I was still working with the tools and everything else, and setting tile myself, and it was a lot of fun meeting different people, and I think that was the best thing, because Montebello was a nice little town, it did have its quaint little things on it, but everybody went in different directions. Here in Brea we started meeting everybody, my wife would get involved in different stuff, the kids would be involved in their stuff. It brought people in from all over. I remember when they started calling Brea the Tri-City because it was tied into L.A., it was tied into Riverside, San Bernardino, everything was tied in right in a corner, locked it all in, and I think that was one of the greatest things. Whoever coined that back in the years was fantastic.
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Original file was named, OCDS PAWE001.mp4. It was renamed to, corcl_000186_prsv.mp4.