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Arleta

Tell us what Arleta means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?

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Though I never met Shorty, my uncle referred to him often during my youth. My uncle Jim (Douglas) worked for Manfull for about twenty years keeping the machinery running. Two other uncles and my father all worked at the dairy for shorter times during the early and mid-'50's. They had all moved off dairy farms in north-central Minnesota to move to the Golden State, so that's the kind of work they knew. Those three all moved on to other things, but Jim stayed on until he retired, shortly before the dairy operation closed.

— M M
May 28, 2013 at 9:49 p.m.

Cyrus Manfull owner of Manfull Dairy Farm was my grandfather. Thanks for the story about him paying for the window you broke. Of course, I remember Shorty. I played a lot in the haystacks and in the milking barn. Also, later I married a man whose grandfather had designed the Helm's truck. Funny huh?

— Natalya Livingston
October 11, 2012 at 10:06 p.m.

We lived on Mercedes just down the street from Manfull Dairy moving there 1954. Desert out front, Sunkist orange groves out back. Horned toads and lizards everywhere. Remember playing on Mr. Manfull's front lawn, one day a foul ball crossed Wentworth breaking a large front plate glass window. The owner came out pretty mad but out came Mr. Manfull giving the property owner money for the window and to his apparent satisfaction then walking us over to his drive-thru dairy giving each ice cream. Played baseball nearly every evening after school on that field sometimes into the dark having to go home when called for dinner. Mostly over-the-line because of the short left field /family garden situation.

The Manfull family also had several Great Danes that would occasionally get out running the hood with rumors of family cats missing. And of course who could forget "Shorty" the dairy foreman (as called back then) chasing us out of the haystacks. And the catering trucks filling up with shaved ice and the giant aluminum wrenches the milk tankers used. And the bull pen of course.

While riding bikes to school sometimes stopped the yellow Helms truck usually going for a 15 cent creampuff. Have not tasted anything close to those sugar bombs since.

Actually witnessed the 2 planes colliding in the '57 airplane crash, after they hit each other could only see one flying towards the east with the sound of the other obviously coming down. Then going to the site after school talking with investigators and seeing the plane wreckage, a row of seats, the engines in the school field.

Delivered papers for the morning Examiner with 110 homes and having to cross the construction site of what became I5 having to go through an unlighted tunnel that was sometimes flooded. The tunnel was right next to the Pacoima Little League field built similar to Fenway Park with a high left field green wooden (monster) fence. Played for the Colts hitting a couple over for coach Nels Johnson, a man we truly respected. And the free personal pizza for hitting one during a game and the little bat to iron onto your hat. Having ball practice under the power lines, a true sand lot. And jumping the fence on little league off days playing home run derby then chasing the balls into the vegetable fields near Jessup Dairy, we all loved those turnips slicing them with the spokes of our bikes.

Of course cruising VN Blvd in mom and dad's cars, up and down around 7-8 times a night every night of the week. Cupids, there's no hot dog like it, 2 regulars please. Just across from Honda Van Nuys.

After graduating HS 1965 and registering for the draft decided to enlist, have not been back to the area since although have used Google Earth to cruise the area but did not recognize much.

— rt
July 9, 2012 at 3:33 p.m.

ARLETA LITTLE LEAGUE !!!

The community that got together and and did something for the kids was the center of the universe for those of us that grew up in it. Our beseball fields started out sharing fields with Pacioma little league on the Jessup dairy, then moved to the Manfull's dairy, and finally wound up on the dump site next to Poly high school.

Every Saturday morning found all the men of the community at the fields for a "work party". They could'nt wait to see each other and do anything they could to improve the baseball diamonds. The last three locations for the fields never did see real grass. The first dump site fields were actually painted green over the dirt for opening day. The Hollywood Shorty's were there to play an exhibition game against our hand picked"best of the best" kids, who always lost to them. Those guys were good and included half the cast of munchkin's from the wizard of oz.

The men and women who forged every scheme they could conjure for fund raising to keep the league afloat were bonded together. Everything centered around the kids and the league. I remember half the league gathered at our house every Satuday following the last game of the day. Most of us played under the street lights, still in our uniforms and cleats, while our parents gathered around the world's smallest bar and made their plans for the next weekend, vacations together, Mike's pizza league meetings, and the laughter.

For those of you that remember, the work parties always included beer for the men, Their wives quickly caught on to this and would show up, after the men had a good buzz going. They would "confiscate" their beer , put in the snack bar and sell back to them to " raise additional funds for the kids"

These mothers and Fathers we're also the coaches for the baseball and softball teams, you could'nt sneaze without the whole of Arleta knowing about it.

So many families, so many freinds, such a good time to grow up.

From the Frozina's and Goodes, to the Watanabe's and Zacharia's, The Prices, Linden's, Leland's ,Wolfes and EVERYONE who made it a community, god bless you all!!! It took me a long time to learn it, but the values and morals you taught us are alive and well. Get outside and Play!!!

— Jeff Sheffield
May 20, 2012 at 8:12 a.m.

My grandparents were Cy and Lucille Manfull. They started Manfull Dairy Farm in the 1930's on Wentworth Street. I still remember the address, 13152 Wentworth Street.

I loved my summers at their home and around the dairy. I remember when they opened the drive-up dairy, which was the first of its kind. I was lucky because I could go there anytime and get free ice cream. I felt very privileged.

The dairy not only had cows and milked them, but they also processed all the milk, bottled it, and had delivery to homes and businesses. It was quite the operation.

My summers were spent playing in the hay stacks, eating the shaved ice from the cooling tower, running in and out of the cow pens, playing "chicken" over the manure pit, and king of the mountain on the manure piles....ah those were the days.

— Natalya Livingston
May 15, 2012 at 9:38 a.m.

I recall our neighbors not wanting to live in Pacoima and made the effort to have our area's name changed.

We originally wanted to be Panorama City but the post office there, was just a station not an official post office.

We got our wish since the Arleta Post Office was legitimate, so we became Arleta.

We enjoyed lots of places to eat out, with the Red Barn, Chi Chi's, an upstairs dining room at the Broadway, Mike's Pizza, The Sizzler, a Jewish Delicatessan, and Biffs to name a few.

The 50's were happy days, unfortunately graffiti on old buildings,

new buildings, trees, dogs, block walls. and rooftops!. Nothing is or was sacred

We have memories of the Osmond Brothers living on Osborne Street and

Ritchie Valens going to school with my sons.

The record player in our house was fllled with stacks of records, The jackets that held the records, the Beatles and the Monkees were well worn and so were the records. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz lived in Pacoima and were known to cruise the area in their convertible.

The memories linger on.

— Shirley O'Connell
September 5, 2011 at 11 p.m.

i grew up in Pacoima.Lots of memories there.met my best frend there, shes gone now.But Pacoima made me who i am today. Being white, living in the prodjects,made me street smart, i got jumped quite often by the blacks and some mexicans, but also had alot of black and mexican friends.I wouldn't change a thing.Kinda taught me how to fight and stand up for myself.I watched my brother get jumped my sister and my dad.It was a tough nieghborhood. my kids love when i tell them some of the stories about growing up in the prodjects.Was an expeirience i'll never forget or regret.

— helen berryman
August 20, 2011 at 9:55 a.m.

Mike Matinez, I have a picture of the yellow doughnut truck. I still remember the smell of the candy and doughnuts when the old guy dressed in white would open the back doors. Beautiful memories.

I found many pictures of all the stores and restaurant of back in the day. I will share with anyone that wants to see them. Go to this link, it'll take you to my facebook. They're in my folder "Back In Time" this is the link www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1343320033712.2047552.1552586943. You need a Facebook account in order to see them....

— Carmen Ponce
July 5, 2011 at 8:54 a.m.

Lots of crazy times. Parties with bands like Sneak Attack with Casey Abbot on guitar, Madwhip Thunder. I remember riding skateboards in the pools while the many condominium units were being constructed also riding skateboards ontop of the DMV building, on Canterbury and Van Nuys, while it was being built. Arleta was a great place to grow up. Lots of fun and diverse cultures all coexisting. Its a shame that Arleta has really changd and not for the better. I have lots of fond memories of that area, I try not to go there after dark these days.

— Mike Nave
March 3, 2011 at 8:42 a.m.

Some memories growing up in Pacoima/Arleta during the 50s and 60s

Seeing the airplane fly very low over Montague elementary when I was in 3rd grade, and seeing all the smoke and debris that filled the sky when it crashed into Pacoima Jr. High.

Walking home from Byrd Jr. High and watching a huge gang fight at the miniture golf parking lot on Laural Cyn. near Sheldon. They just fought with fists in those days.

Great place to grow up and a good mix of many cultures. Drinking 5 cent chocolate milks in little glass bottles from Manfull's Dairy. Mostly good memories growing up in the Northeast Valley.

— Joe Menkin
October 5, 2010 at 10:57 p.m.

Well, after a little research online, I stumbled across an article from the Valley News (now, the Daily News) announcing the opening of the second Pacoima post office on Arleta Ave (named the Arleta Post Office) shortly before Christmas 1954! So, the post office has been there for 56 years!!

I think this may have been the reason that the community was named Arleta after all!

— Reuben Zadeh
September 17, 2010 at 6:40 a.m.

I used to be a real estate agent for Mike Glickman Realty back in the late 80's and Arleta was my primary area of activity. The real estate market was very bad and as a 23 year-old going on 17, the odds were against me because I didn't look experienced enough, so I stayed in school and became an accountant instead!

Ironically, I don't remember ever seeing an Arleta post office, but there definitely is one! Does anyone know or remember how old the Arleta Post Office is? How long has it been there?

— Reuben Zadeh
September 6, 2010 at 11:49 a.m.

I spent most of my growing up in Arleta from the 80's to present time. My fondest memories of this city are having all my friends and family withing 5-15min of eachother. Walking to Beachy elementery with my cousin Jen. Then onto San Fernando High where we graduated from. Cruising the canyon and meeting boys in my gramma's 5th avenue while my oldest cousin drove us trying to not let us get into too much trouble! Crushing on my first heartbreak on Sunburst Street. (Friggin Chris F.) Walking to what used to be Ralphs market on Van Nuys & Woodman from my gramma's house with my cousins. (it's now walgreens & a mini strip mall) eating at all the fine dineries such as shoe string & wongs! Driving by my now fiance's house and hoping he would be outside so I could catch a glimpse of him! ;) Picking up my bff Jessy in my SUV & crusining around singing to people at stop lights!LOL! Learning how to drive down beachy and going off a curb in front of a cop on Osborne in a red rental cavalier with my cousin Jen & Erica busting up laughing in the back seat! I wouldn't trade these memories for nothing!

— Dee
August 23, 2010 at 2:43 p.m.

I grew up in Arleta in the 90's.. had some great times.. Other than the occasional shootings and the time we were coming home and saw a car in flames- on our block! My sister ERICKKA G. reminds me of all the times our parents used to take us grocery shopping at EL TIGRE when it was open... or maybe that chinese lady that hemmed my mom's pants.. LOVED going to hansen dam.. Loved being so oblivious to do anything else other than "cruise the canyon" in the 90's with friends on our spare time... Getting your nails done at Fashion 2000..

— Arleta Chick for life
August 23, 2010 at 12:18 a.m.

Grew up in Pacoima in the 60's/70's. Used to collect soda bottles and cash them in at the Safeway, don't know if it's still there. Joined air force, traveled all over the world, but I will always love growing up in Pacoima.

— Jerry
June 27, 2010 at 11:03 a.m.

I grew up in Alreta in the 70's and 80's on Mercedes Ave. Mom worked at the GM plant. I'd spend the summer browsing the 45 records at Gemco, going to Taco Bell on Nordhoff where thay had a real fire pit out front, Chi-Chi's Pizza, and taking the RTD bus with my brothers to the Americana Theater, Panorama mall and Tower Records. I remember stopping that old donut truck in the morning to get a few Red Vines. We would walk across the bridge on Peirce Street over the wash to get to Pacoima Jr High. Riding bikes and playing hide and go seek well after dark. It was a wonderful time in my life

— Thomas E.
June 23, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.

We moved to Gullo in 1952 when Arleta didn't exist. It was all Pacoima, I think, until the 60s. Arleta was maybe the first split off motivated by disassociation. (I still say Pacas Rifan!) I grew up there: Beachy Ave Elementary, Pacoima Jr High School, San Fernando High. I tell my friends that San Fer was a third white, a third Black, a third Chicano, and a third Asian. All of which is true. As interesting is that the last three category names didn't exist until the end of the 60s. I remember the change from sand box to rubber under the jungle gyms at Beachy. I remember the bungalow classrooms that Google maps says are no longer there. I remember playing Building Fox among those bungalows led by Danny Hester (Disney's "Swamp Fox" was then on TV). I still have a wooden medallion with the painted words "Keep Beach Clean '61" from the year of my commencement. I remember singing "Adios, adios, amores, the time has come for parting..." at that commencement as a 6th grader. I also remember my father telling stories of the work done to locate Kennedy High. He worked on a related committee, I think, in the early 70s. The discussions were how to keep it less than 10% minorities. I guess demographics is having the last laugh. That leads back to San Fer. In the late 60s, the practice was to avoid that mixed school sending your kids to Poly or Monroe instead. As I was mixed already, I guess my parents saw no problem. I liked it there and made second board on the chess team!

I also remember attending Mass at what was then the Panorama Theater, the homes torn down to make way for the Golden State Freeway, the sweet smell of the cows at Rodger Jessups, holding a Christmas tree outside the window of our car as we drove home to Gullo, talking about the plane crash at Pacoima Jr, buying local MacDonald's for my family of 13 and only paying $6. I also remember two magical times when it snowed in L.A.: once when I was in kindergarten; once when I was at San Fer. I now live in Boston. Do los vatos still say "For reals?"

— Mike Melendez
May 20, 2010 at 6:36 a.m.

I've been living in Arleta for close to 23 years and have experienced the good and bad. Recently on 3/11/2010 some people drove through our neighborhood and smashed the windows of approximately 12 vehicles but the media didn't bother to cover the story except the story and photos I submitted. Do google search for "Arleta Car Vandalism"

— Chris
March 13, 2010 at 6:02 p.m.

I remember the old fishbowl beer joint on Van Nuys Blvd. I spent many of beers in there. This was in the 60S Had a lot of good times there

— JIM CLARK
January 23, 2010 at 2:13 p.m.

I grew up in Arleta in the 70's and 80's . I remember times being simple and not so much to worry about .I remember The small things like flashing your card at to Gemco and when White Front was turned in Two Guys and then it was Fed Mart and then t arget. The donnut guy in the yellow truck,he would open the back where the donnuts and pastries were,his horn sounded like"hooot" and george the Ice cream man with .10 cen popsicles and dont forget shoe string and Wongs kitchen(still in Business) Garcias by the church I can go on and on and the Metal house parties with Mad whip Thunder and ruok , fighter the local rock bands How bout the miniature golf and trampoline on Laurel Cyn before Sheldon great times and good food thanx Arleta

— Mike Martinez
January 23, 2010 at 12:13 a.m.

The only central Valley community that's habitable. The long large nurseries along the power lines preserve some of its rural heritage.

— Arleteno
September 22, 2009 at 10:43 p.m.

What a great place and time to live is the 60's and 70's. The two dairies and the fresh vegetable stands on Branford. The greatest tasting strawberries you could ever eat. Going up to Dales Market and to the pizza place across the street always made my day. Don’t forget about the big White front store. The Japanese festival every year or going to Sav-on Drugs to get a nickel ice cream cone and Blue Chip Stamps…. The list goes on…

Jim Forssell

Bartee Ave

Vena Ave School

Richard E. Byrd Jr.

Poly High.

— Jim Forssell
September 4, 2009 at 10:57 a.m.

Growing up in Arleta in the 60's and 70's, were filled with amazing memories.

My best friend and I would have our annual Manfull's picnic on their lawn under that huge tree the first day after school let out for the summer.

Dusty over the line games at the ball fields on Manfulls property.

Listening to my parents argue whose milk was better Manfulls or Jessups.

Spending hours watching the construction crews build the 170 extension, and scheming how to get our bikes inside the construction site.

Catching lizards and disturbing red ant holes on Arleta Avenue.

Pickup basketball games at Branford Park.

My Herald Examiner paper route that stretched from Wentworth to Montague Street.

Arleta was a great place to grow up.

— Mike Dill
August 26, 2009 at 10:25 a.m.

Growing up in Arleta in the 50's meant the smell of cows from Manfull's and Jessup's dairies, playing in haystacks and on mountains of dried manure, orange groves, bean fields, chicken farms and horse ranches,catching horn toads and lizards and exploring the dry washes, Little League and swimming at the Park, hide and seek after dark during daylight savings time with scads of kids running wild, all eventually giving way to urban sprawl with the advent of the Golden State Freeway, under a pall of intense smog from the burning of trash in backyard incinerators.

As they say, those were the days!

— Robert Rich
June 4, 2009 at 4:40 a.m.

Arleta

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County.
The neighboring communities are Mission Hills, North Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City and Sun Valley.
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About This Project
Arleta is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
About The Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.