Signs and wonders

Whats In A NameMarshall Boyar named the streets in his father's Lakewood Park tract in 1950.

Johanna Avenue is named for Johanna Dobkin, the daughter of his father's lawyer. Flangel and Frankel streets are named for two of his former schoolmates, Harold Flangel and Jerry Frankel. Streets named McKnight, Volk, McManus, and Schroll honored men who arranged construction financing for Lakewood Park.

DeeBoyar Street was named after Boyar's wife. It is said that Gloria Street is named after an old girlfriend of Boyar's.

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Allred and Dollar streets were named for servicemen reported missing in action in Korea. Bomberry Street was named for Sergeant Robbie Bomberry, who survived a North Korean massacre of captured American soldiers and returned home.

Boyar named Freckles Road after a dead cocker spaniel, run over by a car.

He also named streets Dwight, Eisenhower, Mamie, and Nixon. Since Eisenhower already had streets named in his honor in cities nearby, the county engineer directed Boyar to choose different names. He was allowed to keep Nixon and Mamie.

Boyar also considered naming streets Stevenson and Adlai. But after Eisenhower's election victory in 1952, Boyar changed his mind.

Boyar didn't name all the streets. In the Mayfair tract, where I live, the street names remember radio personalities of the 1940s, when the houses were built: Amos and Andy, Hedda for Hedda Hopper (the Hollywood gossip columnist), Autry for Gene Autry, Fidler for Jimmie Fidler (another Hollywood radio reporter), and Hersholt for Jean Hersholt (who starred in a long-running radio soap opera).

There's also a Ken Street in Lakewood, but no Barbie.

D. J. Waldie, author, historian, and as the New York Times said in 2007, "a gorgeous distiller of architectural and social history," writes about Los Angeles every Monday and Friday at 2 p.m. on KCET's SoCal Focus blog.

The image on this page was taken by flickr user lavocado. It is used under a Creative Commons License.

About the Author

D. J. Waldie is the author of "Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir" and "Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles," among other books about the social history of Southern California. He is a contributing editor for the Los Angeles Times ...
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This is great! I live on Bomberry, and had no idea until now! Wow, and I have been to visit the DMZ in Korea too. I love history!