Remember When is a series of photos and stories of South Orange County; what it was like growing up here and the stories that shaped our lives. There is much history and individual stories that make up the fabric of the communities we live in. We welcome new stories and pictures from any of you that were fortunate enough to have grown up in an area where there was open space at the end of every street and an adventure just around the corner.
San Clemente Community Center
Bud Browne

"I never went into this thinking I was going to amass a fortune. Actually, most of my films just paid for my daily expenses and made enough extra to invest in the next movie. The money just seemed to be there for the next step."

I watched Bud set-up his Graflex, in the San Clemente Community Center's Ole Hanson Room. His movements were quick and practiced -- testiments of his being in his element and to his spirit, undampened by his 82 years on the planet. Two years or so, a similar observation was made and published in The Surfer's Journal:

"Imagine seeing genuine 16 millimeter surfing films for free. What a departure from the norm... Browne settled into his narrative patter. The lights were off, the film reels were creaking and when the drive socket slotted into the perfs, all was right with the world. Men, women, children and dogs were all riveted to the screen. If it wasn't perfect, it was damn close... It was a lot like the first surf movies any of us ever saw; pure, utter magic in a black room."

Back in the black room, Bud began showing some early 1950s footage of Dewey Weber and Linda Benson. The ever shout of "Down in Front!" reminded me of the tribal rite of true surf movie showings that Bud pioneered. Almost immediately, there were whoops and whistles, oooh and ahhs at the sights Bud delivered on screen. The Sun Rays sang "I Live for the Sun," as Bud made subtle adjustments to the Graflex.

That night, legendary surf photographer LeRoy Grannis, also honored, was to sum-up the feeling most all of us had, with his own personal testimony:

"In all my years of shooting surf and surfers," LeRoy said, "Bud was always at least 50 yards ahead of me."

Courtesy of Legendary

If you have a story you would like to share with our readers please send the story to with a picture if you have one. Thanks goes to those that have documented this magical place, the characters that have lived here and times gone by. There is no reason you can't make a memory tomorrow like those of yesterday.

South Laguna History El Camino Real 1957
Del Mar 1958 The Many Points of Dana Point 1968

Coming Soon, stories of (you can add to any of these stories click here):