Video: Ocean Beach in the Sixties

by on July 17, 2012 · 22 comments

in Culture, Environment, Health, Ocean Beach, Popular

Here’s a Youtube video about Ocean Beach in the surfin mid-Sixties to the rowdy late Sixties, set to trendy music.  The artist is Trouble 6.

Come on inside to let us know your fave scene or other minutia of our OB history.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike James July 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Hate to be a downer, but it is unfortunate that who ever created the video didn’t have the courtesy to give photo credits. The photos were shot by local photographer Steve Rowell.
Also one of the pictures was captioned Ocean Beach Street Fair, which didn’t start until 1983.


Frank Gormlie July 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Mike, take off that tux, relax, chill ……. well, at any rate, thank you for the historical correction. The video was sent to us and we wanted to share it.


Mike James July 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Yeah Frank ever since I moved east of I5 I’ve been a little uptight. Yet if someone started to post copies of old OB Rags on their website without credit I would be on them like white on rice as well. OK I guess I just need to head to Helmer’s for a beer and mellow out. Let me know when you got time?


Mike James July 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I meant Hoffer’s.


Frank Gormlie July 18, 2012 at 7:53 am

Hoffer’s it is. Just about any weekend night or even during the week depending on Patty’s availability.


Frank Gormlie July 18, 2012 at 7:56 am

You know Mike, as a once hippie, I ate my share of rice – but ya know what, it was brown; brown rice and zucchinis were such common fare for a long time. And as a once hippie, I do recall that we didn’t call ourselves “hippie” – we were freaks! As in the Furry Freak Brothers, as in ‘let my freak flag fly’, and as in my very first political sign “San Diego Freaks for Wallace” – that was George Wallace during the 1968 presidential campaign and we were a-mocking him.


james h. smith July 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm

That was a nice piece. I am a member of that familythat was spawned in the sixties. I arrived in O.B. in 1969 on a cool foggy night from Pensacola Fla. My guide and mentor O.B. Tony who had just finished a tour of duty in Vietnam serving in the Navy’s top secret signal core had accompied me and two other fellow refugees on a grey hound bus after our overloaded corvair blew up just outside of Mobile Ala. At this point we abandoned the corvair on the side of the causway and walked 4 miles to the nearest bus station. Upon our arrival in OB Tony’s roomate “Sailor Mike”, Scored us some hits of “checkloslovacien black” acid. My traveling companion, “Holly” and I had been looking forward to this night as a delious mix of political statement and and wild sex all rolled into this one unforgettable event.It was unforgettable, in no small way due to the fact that “Black Checkloslovacian”was mostly stictnine and Holly and I spent most othe the evening afraid to even make out because our jaw muscles kept contracting involuntarily so much we were afariad we might bite each other’s tounge off, so we entertained ourselves watching the walls melt and moved on.So much for combining love, polotics and Black Checkloslovacian acid


james h. smith July 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Also if anyone has pictures or film of the” save the jetty” concert on dog beach with the “Alley Cats” I would love to see them .


dave rice July 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I’m thinking that at least a handful of those pictures fall outside the strictly ’60s time frame, and bummer if they’re the work of someone who wasn’t properly attributed, but regardless I still loved seeing them.


Jack Hamlin July 18, 2012 at 9:06 am

I really enjoyed the photographs of the street clearing by the SDPD…the guy in the street clothes using the bull horn was Ray Hoobler, former chief of police and facist extraordinaire. The kid in the sailor suit is in the 1981 SDPD police “annual” in an article about the unrest in OB in the 70’s…not the 60’s. But the photo I loved was the one cop shooting the peace sign. That was my old partner R.D. Brown who passed away a year and a half ago. He was about 10 years older than me and joined the department after his return from Viet Nam as a “fighting SeaBee.” One of the finest men I have ever known, and one the funniest people I have ever been around.


OB Mercy July 19, 2012 at 9:02 am

Loved this! I have to repost on FB for my OB friends not on The Rag. Loved the shot of Long Branch where I live! Yeah, the peace sign by the PD was very cool, made me giggle.


OBceanGal July 19, 2012 at 11:17 am

Back to the subject of credit where credit is due. The dude (or dudette) who put the video together did a nice job of representing Steve Rowell’s great photo-documenting of OB history. Unfortunately, not only did he/she FAIL to give proper credit, he/she also mis-labeled SEVERAL headings. That ALL could have been avoided simply by contacting the photographer DIRECTLY, BEFOREHAND, so that ALL responsible could be recognized for their various contributions. I don’t need to be wearing a tux, to know right from wrong. Acknowledgement of individual’s is VERY OBcean!


Steve Rowell July 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I would just like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to the people that commented on the fact that someone, Casbo33, thought it would be OK to post a video using my images of OB without at least giving me photo credit . Chasbo33 really all you had to do was ask. I guess you really didn’t even have to do that, but I feel it would have been the right thing to do For those of you that would like to see the images Chasbo33 used in his video at a higher resolution and a few more OB images you can go to the top of this page and click on LINKS. Scroll down and click on my website:


Mike James July 20, 2012 at 8:59 am

We are lucky you were around during those interesting times. You photos really captures O.B. in the “60’s” (The “60’s” actually spanned a period of time from 1967 to 1975).


OB Dude July 21, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Terrific photos on your website….especially enjoyed the birds! TX


Citizen Cane July 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Steve’s photo of the Hitchiker’s Corner is a classic ( at 2:o8 on the video.) In the higher resolution photos you can see the price sign at the Super-Cal-a-Gas across the street…25.9 for regular and 25.9 for premium. In those days it was hard to spend two bucks filling up a VW bus, yet large numbers of people used that corner to hitchhike to San Diego State and Mesa College.

OK…so hitchiking may never regain that level of popularity in OB, and the boulevard is now two lanes wide. But looking at Steve’s old photo got me thinking that we missed the boat on developing transit lots at Dusty Rhoades Park and Robb Field. Flank both sides of the boulevard with hubs that unite bike riders, buses, and car poolers. It’s something that could still be done.

P.S. Chasbo…you neglected to give credit to Bobby Darin. That cold feeling on the back of your neck…the ghosts of Bobby Darin, Sandra Dee, and the Kahuna Cliff Robertson are standing behind you right now…arms crossed and glaring.


Citizen Cane July 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Correction…that’s 29.9 for premium.


Tiz July 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Wonderful that Steve Rowell’s work is out there to be appreciated, bummer that proper credit was not given. Despite the incorrect captions, it was a joy to view and share. A reminder to hold on the unique community we live in, and an inspiration to “keep it Obeachian”. Was that our Willy at the end?


OB Dude July 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Very fun ride…..thanks!


Roger July 25, 2012 at 12:24 am

Saw the sign for ABC Ocean Beach Cab Co. I worked for Perry Black in 1967 to 1969. It was often said he won the whole shebang in a card game in 1950. And Sav All drugs reminded me of Mr. Ward and his daughter Sue Ward. I think I went out with her once. And in the parking lot at the pier is an old 55 Chevy Bel Air wagon, might have even been mine, not sure…Every year we’d march in the O.B. kite day parade, held in March, it started at O.B. Elementary, and went down three blocks to the beach.


OB Mercy July 25, 2012 at 6:36 am

Does anyone have any info on the house on Long Branch that was all hippied out and called The OB Temple?? My girlfriend lives there now and I want to give her the history.


Annette Williams January 23, 2014 at 3:46 pm

As I remember…that’s where Bruce Krafton lived, with a bunch of others, and was really a happening place. They called him the OB Sheriff….don’t know what ever happened to to him though. I lived in OB from about 62 to 74, but now live in New Mexico. These pics brought back so many memories…..thank you so much for sharing, as I lived thru most of this. The guy in the sailor suite looks a lot like a guy named Jerry Athey….don’t know what happened to him either. Again….thanks for the memories!


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