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  • BREA BACK THEN by Jolita Penn McDaniel

    12 months ago by

    Back then was 1938. I was three years old that year, and my very earliest memories began in Brea California. Brea, the little tar town whose hills in my memory were covered with pumping oil wells. Somewhere back in time, I remember those sounds of the rhythmic pumping whoosh of the wells that was both soothing and sleep inducing for me as a tiny girl. I only lived in Brea a few short years before we moved to the adjacent town of Fullerton, but those early years in Brea were rich and memorable and set the foundation for my path in life.


      Brian Penn with his daughters. Left, JoAn and Jolita Penn.

      Bryan Penn with his daughters. Left, JoAn and Jolita. Courtesy of JoAn Penn Haws


        Nine years before, my young farmer parents, Bryan and Ann Penn, dedicated, hard-working, God-fearing people, had moved from the poverty of their life in Arkansas to California with my older sister JoAn (then just a baby). After a five-day trek in their Model T Ford, they arrived with barely a dime in their pocket but filled with the treasure of their dreams for a new life in the beautiful “golden state”. After working a short time in the Olinda oil fields, Daddy landed a job with Shaffer Tool Works in Brea and worked there about two years. Mr. Shaffer invented the huge steel gate that was placed over oil wells to control the oil gushers when the oil came in while drilling, and that is what the company produced and mainly what my father made on his enormous lathe. I remember Mama telling me that she and Daddy rented a little house somewhere adjacent to Shaffer Tool Works when they were so young and fresh from Arkansas and Daddy was so eager to learn his craft and make a living for his family. She said that she would make yummy sandwiches for his lunch, and that Daddy's coworkers began to remark on his lunches and asked if Mama would make lunches for them. So, Mama said for a couple of years, some of Daddy's coworkers would come across the street to their little rental house and she would have prepared a good lunch for them. Money was so scarce in those days that she added a little pin money to their income that way. This would have been around 1929 and 1930. The depths of the current country's depression caught up and hit them personally. He was laid off, and he found himself jobless along with thousands of others across the nation. Since there were virtually no jobs (he did manage to pack pickles in a man's garage for 50 cents a day briefly), he and Mama still had eighty acres of land back in Arkansas where at least they could farm and eat, and prudently, back they went. I was born in 1935 there on the farm, and then wonder of wonders! In 1936, Shaffer called Daddy back to work, and beautiful California, the “land of opportunity”, became our permanent home.

          Mr. Shaffer at work.

          Mr. Shaffer at work. Courtesy of JoAn Penn Haws


            Daddy started at Shaffer Tool Works in 1929 and retired there in 1974. He was recruited to work for Vultee Aircraft in Downey, CA for a short time during WWII. We were extremely thankful for this job for it meant he would not be drafted into the military since he was doing national defense work. Daddy was well respected at Shaffer Tool Works advancing as a machinist, years later becoming supervisor. But he also was always wonderful to help at home, juggled finances, and, every chance he could, worked with my Uncle Bert Pyland in the butcher shop of the grocery store he and Daddy's sister, my Aunt Addie, now owned. Of course Daddy and Mama had lifelong experience on the farm raising and butchering their own hogs and calves. I remember him bringing home delicious sausage from the butcher shop that he and Uncle Bert made themselves. Daddy was a gentlemanly meticulous man who came home every night covered in oil and smelling strongly of kerosene with which he used to clean up his tools and himself, too. During the War, he grew a Victory Garden and all of his life satisfied the farmer in him by maintaining pristine yards and gardens full of flowers and beautiful vegetables. Every night, listening to the radio, I watched him clean his nails with his pen knife until they were clean and white again.

              Just this week, I checked with my cousin, Christine Kercheville who still lives there in the same house she and her husband bought over sixty years ago and where she raised her children. She lost her young husband at an early age, and remarkably she very capably raised and educated her four young children and was always a vital part of Brea's community and the Church of Christ. She tells me her parents' store was named Pomona Drive-In Market located on the corner of Date and Pomona Ave. Many called the store Pyland's Market. Pomona Avenue eventually became Brea Boulevard by which it is now known. Uncle Bert and Aunt Addie raised their two daughters in a little home on Madrona. Both girls raised their big families in Brea also - Christine as I mentioned, and Frances Lee Quinliven and her family, all of them attending the Brea Schools. My cousin Christine's son Mark Kercheville eventually returned to Brea to teach at Arovista School in Brea. My Aunt Addie when I was a girl was a tiny, quick-moving, quick-talking angel of an auntie, and she used to scoop me up in a huge hug, cover my face with kisses, and then push a lollipop into my hand. Of course I loved her!

                Shaffer Tool Works  logo. Courtesy of Joan

                Shaffer Tool Works logo. Courtesy of JoAn Penn Haws


                  From time to time, Daddy would take his little family to visit “the shop” at Shaffer’s, eager for us to know exactly what he did. To a small child, it was an immense building, the ceiling rising into darkened heights that held a bewildering array of huge overhead equipment lit by rows of stark electric bulbs that emitted a weak inadequate light for such a cavernous space. The floor felt thick and sticky with years of accumulated grease, dirt and the grit of metal dust. The smell was sharply distinctive, a strong hot aroma of steel shavings, oil and solvents, and the general atmosphere was one of enormous hunks of iron in dark shades of pewter, steel grey and black with a cold light filtering through dirty windows. The vibrating cacophony of tortured metal was deafening as it screeched and screamed turning on the many lathes that slowly delivered the final shining steel product. We always stood watching, all with our hands over our ears while Daddy demonstrated his quick and sure skill at his lathe. I surely wish I had the photos Daddy once owned of the entire Shaffer group circa 1930 or maybe late thirties. There is my very young father, probably in his twenties, and Mr. Shaffer and the whole group that Dad worked with for years. The company had a bowling team, and in Dad's younger days, a softball team, and later several of the men played golf together, and my athletic energetic Daddy was always right there, My father had lifelong friends from his career, and Elvin Wilson is one man I remember as being an especially close friend. Don Shaffer, son of the founder of the company became a good friend, and when Daddy died, I remember reading a touching hand-written letter to my mother expressing the personal respect he had and loss he felt for Daddy.

                    At the time Brea Grammar School was the only elementary school now Brea's only middle school, Brea Junior High.

                    At the time Brea Grammar School was the only elementary school, still similar in presence today as Brea Junior High. Courtesy of JoAnn Penn Haws


                      While living on Laurel, my sister JoAn began taking flute lessons from the band leader, Mr. Lee Auer, the music teacher at her elementary school. A fellow classmate, Martha Kitaoka of Japanese descent and quite a shy girl, took lessons, too. She enjoyed being with Martha and often invited her over. Only once did Martha invite JoAn to her house, and JoAn felt overwhelmingly intimidated as if she had stepped into a foreign land with exotic red ornate Japanese furnishings and a strange spicy fragrance. Martha's mother did not speak English and was obviously not happy to have JoAn in the house, and she was not invited to come on in, and indeed stood close to the door until time to leave. Shortly after this, our parents read in the newspaper that Martha's father and brother had been arrested as spies. They were geologists, and according to the paper, were caught with a short-wave radio in their basement sending vital mapping information to Japan. This was shortly before WWII, and quite disturbing in the little town of Brea on this very small block of Laurel. In another incident later, Mama and Daddy had farmer acquaintances, the Yamaguchi family that sold their wonderful farm vegetables from their roadside stand. Daddy enjoyed exchanging farming tips with Mr. Yamaguchi and Mama visited with his wife while purchasing produce. The whole Yamaguchi family (along with all Japanese-American families) was moved from their land and interned during WWII for fear of spying. My mother was incensed and I heard her say, “Bryan, the Yamaguchis are no more spies than we are!”

                        The winter of 1939, my younger sister Jan was born, and though I was only four, I well remember a storm that Mama called “a cloud burst”. This little rented house on Laurel Street was conveniently less than two blocks away from Daddy's work so that he could always walk. It sat right at the bottom of the V formed by the hilly street, and backed up against a dry, sandy riverbed that I loved to run barefoot in. There were no light fixtures except for a porch light, and as I remember, each room was lit by a light bulb hanging on a cord from the ceiling and there was a chain to turn the light off and on. There were two small bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room that looked out on the front porch facing the street, and a small bathroom that was the delight of the family. An indoor bathroom!! With running water, a bathtub, and best of all, a flush toilet. This rather marvelous rental sat on a very small sloping lot, and the tiny one-car garage sat downhill at the back of the house, but it was our little home and Mama and Daddy were wonders at making our homes livable and cozy.

                          I actually remember that storm for it frightened me. The wind threw enormous raindrops at the windows that bounced off the glass sounding like handfuls of gravel being pitched against them. The noisy, rattling, hard-hitting wave after wave of water finally reached flood stage. When Mama stepped to the side of the porch and looked at the garage down the driveway, she was aghast to see boxes floating in four feet of water out the open door. She was just sick to realize many sentimental memories in her big trunk including precious letters and baby clothes and photos were ruined that day. Thank goodness Daddy's relatively new car, a 1936 Chevy that I think I remember he paid $400 for, was parked out front instead of in the garage. The “dry” riverbank spilled into our backyard and water lapped at the back steps. It was only a few years until an enormous flood control program installed “barrancas” and alleviated most of the flooding problem for Brea and Fullerton.

                            September, 1939 (the same year and month my little sister was born), I began Kindergarten at the Laurel Street Elementary School at the tender age of four years, eight months. I was so eager, and the memory of that first day is so sharp, I even remember the little new school dress my Mama made me. It was off white with puffed sleeves and printed with little red apples all over it. Mama said “apples for your teacher!” I loved it and loved my class and especially loved Miss Elder, my Kindergarten and First Grade teacher, and as little as I was, I've never forgotten her kind influence. I was like a sponge I was so ready to learn.

                              Writing these remembrances of Brea brings back memories of people with whom my family interacted, and Dr. Curtis comes to mind. He was the Pyland's family doctor for maybe thirty years or more and was wonderful to them. He and Mama were friends, for Mama often helped her sister-in-law through some tough illnesses and Uncle Bert's terrible fall.

                                Dr. Ed Steen in Fullerton was our family doctor, and saw us safely through our illnesses including my sister Jan's Caesarian birth more than seventy-five years ago. Jan was a miracle baby for Mama should not have been able to carry her, but God granted life to both my sister who is a true gift to the world, and to my Mama long blessed years At age six, I vaguely remember seeing Dr. Steen sitting asleep in a chair across from my bed when he spent the night to support us through a scary time afraid I may not live from pneumonia. Our family was attended by him and his beautiful nurse, Veda Wade for many years. Miss Wade's influence was the reason I eventually went into medical assisting, for she made terrifying doctor visits bearable by her serenity and soothing hands and lovely voice. He was our physician until his untimely death by car accident, taking this gifted man from us far too early.

                                  Brea Grammar School 6th grade class of 1923. Sitting far right JoAn Penn. Courtesy JoAn Penn Haws

                                  Brea Grammar School 6th grade class of 1938. Sitting far right, JoAn. Courtesy of JoAn Penn Haws.


                                    Mr. Jaster was a teacher at JoAn's school, and became the principal. He became lifelong friends of my parents, and he sold a product named “Selrodo” that dispensed an epinephrine liquid to help open breathing passages for hay fever and asthma. My mother had hay fever and she swore by Selrodo, because when I was struggling to breathe with pneumonia, she used it on me and always thought it saved my life. I remember Mama buying Selrodo from Mr. Jaster and laughing and talking with him on the phone when she was in her sixties at least.

                                      Mr. Barnes of Oilfield National Bank comes to mind, also, and Daddy and Mama admired and respected him as a professional who also became a good friend. Daddy said Mr. Barnes took a chance on him as a very young man recently transplanted from the farm in Arkansas, and my parents had their bank account with Oilfield National Bank for most of their lives. I remember my mother calling Mr. Barnes when she was unhappy with a mortgage on a house they bought in Fullerton, and within twenty-four hours, she and Dad paid off that bad mortgage and had a new good loan from Mr. Barnes.

                                        I recently asked my sister JoAn (who is seven years older), if my memory was right about Brea then, for I remember beautiful rolling hills and pristine blue skies before smog when you could easily see the snow-covered San Gabriel mountains. There were lovely mild days when I rode my tricyle up and down the small hilly street. She said it was a lovely little town, and her memory, too, is one of a quiet pretty place to live. It seems there was an enormous archway over the entrance to Brea on what would eventually become Brea Boulevard, and on the right was a pretty park with swings and slides and teeter-totters and a city swimming pool called “The Plunge”. I thought the plunge an awesome privilege, and my Mama and sister JoAn often swam there with me.

                                          And that is the jist of what I remember of the little Brea I knew as a small child. We moved only fifteen minutes away to Fullerton the summer before I started Second Grade, but Brea remained a constant in our lives. Family still lived there, Daddy and Mama banked there, and most importantly, Daddy worked there. I always had the feeling of stepping back in time when we drove back as a teenager and young adult, for I believe real growth in Brea did not begin until maybe the fifties. The pumping oil wells on the lovely rolling hills would welcome us first, then we'd drive under the old graceful Brea archway, and the pretty park and pool and beautiful tree-lined streets would greet us. I always loved the smell of oil and kerosene and even gasoline for I associated it with hugging my loving father in his dirty work clothes. How this somewhat shy, meticulous man would fuss at us, for he didn't want us to get oil on us. But we got the oil anyway, good oil remembrances down in our spirits from the loving years we spent in the beginning of our lives in California, and it didn't hurt us a bit.

                                            From those humble beginnings, our family grew to include doctors, a dentist and hygienist, dental assistants, medical assistant, electrician, scholars, teachers, physicists, artists, musicians, ministers, CHP, a policeman, and even a beauty queen! JoAn just recently reminded me that after high school, as a young woman before she married, she too, worked for a short time as a secretary for Shaffer Tool Works right next to Don Shaffer and his father's offices. Now I am an old lady, and perhaps my memories are jaded and softened by time, but to me those years were halcyon years. Our precious Jan was born during that time, our mother lived to become a feisty vibrant continuing part of our lives, Daddy was able to buy lovely homes and enjoy the California he loved, and my sisters and I were given the gift of two loving parents providing the very best life they could possibly give us. We have a treasure of humble yet loving memories of those sweet early years and they are locked in my heart always.

                                              Jolita Penn McDaniel

                                                June 2016

  • 2015-2016 PTA Reflections Program creative results!

    2 years ago by

    Helen Newland and Rosemary Kleiser co-chaired the Brea PTA Reflections program. The contest is a national arts competition. Winners were awarded a medal and certificate.

    Some of the award winners of the Reflections PTA contest included (left to right) Devin Hall, photography, Dominique Chen, literature, and Alexander Telly, film.(Courtesy Rosemary Kleiser)

    Some of the award winners of the Reflections PTA contest included (left to right) Devin Hall, photography, Dominique Chen, literature, and Alexander Telly, film.(Courtesy Rosemary Kleiser)


      “The PTA Reflections theme this year is Let Your Imagination Fly,” Helen said. “Wow, did the students from Arovista Elementary, Brea Country Hills Elementary, Brea Junior High, Brea Olinda High School, Laurel Elementary, Mariposa Elementary and William E. Fanning Elementary do just that.”

        Some 171 students entered the judged contest, which includes arts from dance choreography and film production to literature and visual arts.

          “It was a wonderful way students could express their talents and imagination,” Rosemary said. She thanked Brea Woods seniors who were the judges.

            Winners included Lexi Alives, Evelyn Burt, Dominique Chen, Nathan Doh, Devin Hall, Si Woo Kim, Alexander Telly and Nolan Witt.

              Honorable mentions went to Steve Clark, Andrew Gandora, Esmeralda Garcia, Danielle Kim, Novelly Torres and Dominique Zenzola.

                Any news? Give Susan Gaede a jingle at 714-529-8561 or email her at suzgaede@aol.com.

  • Laurel Elementary School has a brand new Mac Mini lab – thanks to many

    2 years ago by

    A letter from Laurel Elementary School Principal, Mrs. Bojorquez:


      Ladies and gentlemen,

        I would like to introduce you to our BRAND NEW Mac Mini lab. The computers, keyboards, and mice are courtesy of the BOUSD School Board as a thank you for hosting Fanning while their school was rebuilt. The screens are courtesy of our fantastic Leopard PTA from the funds they raised from Jog-a-Thon. Thank you to both!
        Fanning Elementary School's brand new Mac Mini lab!

        When the community gets together amazing things happen: Laurel Elementary School's brand new Mac Mini lab!


          We have 25 Mac Minis and supplemented with an additional 10 of our white iMacs. This year we will work on fundraising to add 10 more Mac minis to complete our lab at 35. But for now, students may need to share or rotate if the new computers are being used.

            A special thank you to Desmond Nguyen, Kari Windes, and a handful of BJH student volunteers who helped get the lab up and running in two days!

              Welcome to the new lab and it's time to explore all the possibilities for 21st Century learning. What might the kids be able to create?

  • BOHS junior, Anabel King, joins BBON staff

    2 years ago by

    BOHS junior Anabel King,  managing editor for the BOHS Wildcats Newspaper 2015-16 school year, joins BBON team.

    BOHS junior Anabel King, managing editor for the BOHS Wildcats Newspaper 2015-16 school year, joins BBON team.


      I am very excited to be contributing to Beautiful Brea Old and New! I hope to gain experience as a student reporter for a news site that centers only on Brea. I was born in southern California in Riverside County. We moved two times: to Fullerton, where I went to elementary school, and then to Brea, where I attended Brea Junior High School and now Brea Olinda High School.

        Writing has always been a huge part of my life. Even as a child I would carry a notebook and pencil with me everywhere I went. I would jot down something I found funny or interesting, or I would write pages of poetry trying to describe something that sparked my mind. But I never really realized how much I loved to write and how much it meant to me until I met my 7th grade English teacher Ms. Gonzalez. She encouraged me to pursue my writing and offered advice on where to go with it. I eventually took a creative writing class the next year which gave me the confidence and curiosity to seek greater subjects to write about.

          When I entered high school, I was asked to join the student newspaper by the advisor Alex Koers. He mentored me throughout my freshman year, teaching me how to improve my writing grammatically and stylistically. The next year I became the Opinion Editor of the school newspaper, writing the staff editorials and running my own op-ed column, and I also expanded my role further by introducing a Health section to the paper. This year I will be the Managing Editor for the newspaper, overseeing all the articles and making sure they are perfect before publication.

            I am also very involved with my community. I have volunteered over 300 community service hours to the city of Brea alone, and I plan to continue helping my community because it is something I really enjoy doing. Some of the activities I do are: running the children's Summer Reading Booth at the Brea Library, serving breakfast and lunch to the less fortunate at St. Angela Merici's, creating and performing science experiments with fifth and sixth graders as part of a STEM-inspired program, and introducing American culture to Chinese Exchange Students as a Junior Ambassador.

              I also take my academics very seriously. I am an honor student with a 4.33 GPA, a member of the National Honors Society and the Rho Khappa Society, a member of the Teen Advisory Board, the Vice President of a science club, the President of a history club, and a member of the California Scholarship Foundation. I also run for my school's cross country and track and field team.

                Overall, I am thrilled to be a part of the BBON team, and I can't wait to see what life has in store next.

                  Sincerely,

                    Anabel King

  • Susan Gaede aka Newsy Suzie, an identical twin, talks to Brea Jr. High’s multiples

    2 years ago by

    Would you believe the Brea Junior High has 14 sets of twins and a set of triplets?


      I am an identical twin (Sue and Lou), so it was fun interviewing these students. Ironically, I interviewed 12 sets of twins in 1979 at the Brea Junior High.
      1979 Brea Junior High twins photo taken by Susan Gaede. (Courtesy of Judy Wedemeyer)

      1979 Brea Junior High twins photo taken by Susan Gaede. (Courtesy of Judy Wedemeyer)

      Brea Junior High School has 14 sets of twins and one set of triplets enrolled. Most of them in an interview said they enjoyed being a multiple.

      Brea Junior High School has 14 sets of twins and one set of triplets enrolled. Most of them in an interview said they enjoyed being a multiple.

      I met the current students in the school office and I kept hearing the twins comment to each other “I didn’t know you were a twin.” The students are: Gagleen and Loveen Bajwa, Dakota and Dillion Ford, Faith, Grace and Hope Geraldiez, Justin and Zachary Glomboske, Catherine and Christina Grattan, Alessandra and Gianna Horvath, Annika and Leah Johnson, Jessica and Jonathan Kim, Joshua and Katelyn Kim, Garrett and Thomas Long, Karen and Sophia Madamba, Eleanor and Sally Min, Emily and Meghan Patrick, Cassidy and Caylle Phillips, and Dylan and Evan Vo.

        Asked if their handwriting was alike, all twins and triplets answered “No.” Did they like doing things together? About half of the group did. Most of them enjoyed being a twin, but eight sets said they did not.

          None of them ever switched classes. Several were on crutches, but none of them ever felt each other’s pain. Half of the group could read each other minds, and liked same thing. Most of them said they did not like to dress alike. Only one set of twins out of the group were dressed alike.

            Any news? Give Susan Gaede a jingle at (714) 529-8561 or e-mail her at suzgaede@aol.com.

              Since I've known Sue Gaede her fascination about twins (being an identical twin) is evident. Her stories about she and her identical twin never get old. As children (Sue and Lou) were a tad mischievous and certainty assertive, and yes I agree with Sue, two of them in one city would have been too much. Forty-five years reporting Orange County news and still going strong! Carolyn Campbell

                Susan Gaede:

                  Left to right: Sue Gaede and her children: Lisa on her lap, Jon, and Laura, Lou Webb and daughter Patty only-child.

                  Left to right: Sue Gaede and her children: Lisa on her lap, Jon, and Laura, Lou Webb and only-child Patty.


                    My mom strived to make my twin and I individuals. She even had sweaters that said Sue and Lou made.

                      We had a lot of fun being a doubleton. I dominated because my mom said I was 5 minutes older. After my mom’s death we found our birth certificates and Lou was 5 minutes older. Lou was pretty unhappy about the discovery that would have changed our lives.

                        I took advantage of being a twin. I hated my senior photo so I used hers in the yearbook. Everybody said we really looked alike in the yearbook, but they knew the difference.

                          We both had columns in local papers and I still do. Hers was in the Saratoga paper. She didn’t have a column as long as I did because she liked to write about celebrities and the paper wanted her to write about local weddings, etc.

                            Speaking of celebrities, Lou attended the Oscars for many years. We sneaked into the governor's ball and had a ball. We have both always been interested in famous people. I have a famous people wall and she has a photo and interviewed zillions of famous people.

                              We both taught fourth grade at different schools that were hundreds of miles apart. I don’t think one town could handle both of us.

                                In college we had to take a routine required test with no credit to graduate in reading. I passed with flying colors, but Lou didn’t. She talked me into taking it. I did and failed it. That’s another twin story because we got caught....

  • Set of triplets, and a dozen twins attending Brea Junior High

    3 years ago by

    Grace, Faith, and Hope Geraldez 12 year old identical triplets will be attending Brea Jr. High when it opens September 2. (courtesy Geraldez photography)


      Brea

        Students at the Brea Junior High at the first day of school may think they are seeing triple or maybe double. There will be 12 sets of twins at the school and one set of identical triplets.

          I chatted with the triplets Faith, Hope, and Charity Geraldez. The girls giggled a lot. They are best friends, but don't mind if they are separated in class. Singing is something they really enjoy doing together. The trio may fight a lot, but don't let an outsider say anything against any one of them. They are very protective of each other.

            Asked if their handwriting was similar and they said "No." Grades are similar, however. The trio have the same taste in clothes, but don't usually dress alike.

              Melinda Geraldez (their mother) said, "When the girls were younger they had a secret language of their own and nobody knew what they were saying accept themselves," she added, "The trio did everything late, they didn't walk until they were 17 months old, when just one got up and walked, the other ones got up and joined her." She also said the girls always had someone to play with and entertained themselves.

                Any news? Give Susan Gaede a jingle at (714)529-8561 or e-mail her at suzgaede@aol.com.

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    13th Annual Brea History Day for Third Grade

    3 years ago by

    Brea’s 3rd Graders Relive the Past!


      Last week was the 13th annual “Brea History Day” for Brea’s 3rd graders. It’s a day of learning about Brea’s heritage, experiencing it up close and personal. The day begins when the classes board a bus for a tour of significant sites around town that has a story. The students see Brea’s oldest school, the Brea Jr. High School, which was built as a grammar school in 1917. They visit the Portola Monument in Brea Canyon that depicts the site where the Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola and his men camped in 1769 while scouting the area for possible mission sites. They see the site of the 1926 Stewart tank farm fire that burned for days with flames reaching hundreds of feet in the air, the building which was used as a locker room for the famous Walter Johnson / Babe Ruth exhibition baseball game in 1924 and the original “Brea Welcomes You” sign that once spanned Brea Blvd. They hear stories of buried gold in Tonner Canyon and Brea’s first Mayor’s house which is rumored to be haunted. The tour takes about one hour to complete before they disembark at one of three sites, the Olinda Oil Museum, the Brea Civic Center or the Brea Museum and Heritage Center. Once there they are met by volunteer docents that guide them through the sites taking them back in time to Brea’s early years.

        Because there are six elementary schools the event now takes two days to complete. Three schools on one day and three on the other. Thanks to a generous donation by Chevron Land and Development’s La Floresta Community the buses are completely paid for. All the students need to bring is a sack lunch and their enthusiasm, which is not in short supply. Volunteer docents come from the community and the High School. They interact with the groups taking on the role as a pilot, farmer, oil worker and school teacher. From all accounts the kids seem to really enjoy the day while learning about their community. I have been told it’s their favorite field trip of the year.

          I would like to thank all the volunteers that help make this event possible and the teachers that do such a good job preparing the students beforehand. If you have not been to the Brea Museum and Heritage Center or the Olinda Oil Museum I would encourage you to visit as soon as possible. I think you’ll find them very interesting and hopefully come away knowing as much as a 3rd grader.

            History Day founder, former Mayor Don Schweitzer

              Photos courtesy of Isaac Avila

  • Award-winning Brea Junior High Bands slated to perform Wednesday

    4 years ago by

    The award winning Brea Junior High bands will perform on Wednesday, May 22 at 7:00 in the Brea Junior High Auditorium. The concert will also feature a performance by the Brea Junior High Color Guard. Tickets are $5 each (kids 5 and under are free). The bands will perform a selection of pop and rock music as well as many movie themes that you will recognize. Come join us for an exciting night of entertainment! By Jeanne Steffanni BJH Band Booster Publicity Chair

  • Brea Junior High Bands concert is tomorrow night

    4 years ago by

    Brea Junior High School Bands wow the crowd at Christmas in Brea Downtown 2012.



        By Jeanne Steffanni

          A night of entertainment awaits you. On Wednesday, March 13 at 7:00 pm in the Brea Junior High auditorium, the Brea Junior High Bands will perform along with a special guest appearance from Brea Olinda’s High School Jazz Band.

            Tickets are $5 and will be sold at the door. We can’t wait to perform for you.

  • Brea band students joins forces at football game

    5 years ago by

    BREA Junior High Band Mom, Jeanne Steffanni:

    The Brea Junior High bands will perform alongside the Brea Olinda High School marching band at the BOHS final regular season football game on Thursday, November 1 at 7 pm against El Dorado. We hope you can cheer on the bands along with a victory for the BOHS football team.

    Send your announcements to us and we will gladly get the word out on BBON!

    GO Wildcats!

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