Scenes from OB’s past

by on June 3, 2009 · 7 comments

in Media, OB Time Machine, Ocean Beach

Here are a number of photos from OB’s past … (okay, I threw one current sunset by Jim Grant in there). Check out the second one – it shows then Police Chief Ray Hoobler personally accosting young people on Long Branch Avenue in 1968.  Check out his uniform. Thank you Steve Rowell.

The first one shows people marching up Voltaire to what was to become Collier Park, March 28, 1971. The third is the cover of one of the earlier OB Rags. The fourth is the opening of OB’s Green Store many moons ago. Another is a shot of what once was Voltaire Park at the corner of Voltaire and Sunset Cliffs before World Oil took it down.

If you have photos of OB that you’d like to share, send them to us via email:

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Dickie June 3, 2009 at 9:50 am

OB’s past is quite a treasure. Thanks for these images, Frank. I’m going upstairs where all my old boxes are and find some old pix to scan and send in. I have a feeling I was there when the Abbott cops pic was taken, but that corner (Abbott and Saratogs) saw its share of “police activity” . . .


mr fresh June 3, 2009 at 10:45 am

i think that picture of ol’ police chief hoobler was him using the pa system on longbranch street to tell us that we were participating in an unlawful assembly. the crowd responded with beer bottles. then the SDPD brought in their newest “toy”…some kind of device that was supposed to make a noise loud enough to make us all split. i guess those cops had never been to a blue cheer concert…it didn’t work. good times!


jon June 3, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I love these. They’re definitely before my time. But so incredibly interesting. Thanks Steve Rowell for being there to document all of this rich OB history. That PA system is classic! How many cops does it take to operate a megaphone? And the group standing on the rooftop observing the scene…the more things change, the more they stay the same eh? I would love to see even more!

I do remember Voltaire Park and Danny the Walker. I’m not THAT new.


Frank Gormlie June 4, 2009 at 7:58 am

Dickie – all right! Scan ’em and bring ’em on!
Mr fresh – Doug Porter and I will be traveling down to Imperial Beach soon to see Norman Lamssies – the guy who started the OB Liberator who has some more amazing photos of the late sixties.
jon – they are great. Steve allowed us to use the Ray Hoobler shot, the rest are not his, but he does have more, so Doug and I will be visiting him too, so we can archive all these great pics of OB’s yesteryears.


Pat June 5, 2009 at 7:16 am

Love the historical stuff. OB history has become a passion of mine.
I think it has some of the richest history in the region.
Native Americans spent certain times of the year in OB.
Then came the Spanish explorers.
How about the early yanks who settled in Old town (the birthplace of california)who used to come down here to picnic.
Then there’s our founding fathers, Billy Carlson who later became The boy mayor of San Diego at 29.
DC collier involved in the creation of Wonderland and the 1915 exposition
in Balboa Park.
If you want to know more and haven’t read Beach Town Early Days in Ocean Beach,copies are available at the OB library.
It is currently out of print but we hope to have another printing in the near future.
Please don’t forget about The OB historical society. We have a photographic archive and will make these images available for generations to come. OB history is awesome!


bodysurferbob June 5, 2009 at 8:15 am

Pat – it sounds like you have connections with the OB Historical group; are you guys able to have this blog publish any of those photos?


Pat June 10, 2009 at 7:24 am

I’am pretty well connected with OBHS my wife and I are founding members (1994).
We do hope to get a lot more information and photos on-line.
We have our own blog @ we plan on developing more and more as time goes on.
Franks latest post is awesome so much activism going on during the 60,s and 70,s
This is an important time in our history.
Frank and others inspired me to become more politicaly active when I attended a reunion of activists in the summer of 2000 I was there to document as much as I could.
I filmed a forum,history walk, and picnic.
Hope to be able to eventually have all this on-line.


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