A-10--INDEPENDENT-PRESS-TELEGRAM Leng Â«Â«Â«h, Cillf.. iantit, Jvlf t, 1141 VIVIAN LAIRD HILL BECAME LB. BYWORD Retired Restaurateur Muses Over Early Days By GEORGE C. FLOWERS The repeal of prohibition caught Vivian Laird n a p ping. She didn't know how to mix a drink. Sn, although she had one of the first liquor licenses in Long Beach, she had lo h i r e a bartender for a night to teach her how to mix. "I didn't even know the crazy names Ihe drinks had," she recalls, "and I was curious. So I look a sip from each drink with a straw (in the kitchen). Â· "By the time the night was over. I had forgotten everything I had been taught. So I had lo b r i n g the bartender back again next night." But Vivian Laird was rarely cauplu napping a f t e r that." * * f Â· VIVIAN LAIRD (although she married Frank H i l l in 1944 nobody ever calls her Mrs. H i l l -- in fact, they often call Frank Mr. Laird) o p e r a t e d r e s t a u r a n t s i n Long Reach and Seal Beach for .'10 years, beginning in 1927, When she retired in 1957, people said an era had ended. r - * * IF SO, t h a t era began on a "wide place in Ihe road" called H i l l h o u i n e , III..when Vivian Connor was born. About 39 years ago. Her father, a farmer, also owned a bank and an elevator. He sold the works in ] H 12 and moved to Los Angeles for two years, then to Idaho. V i v i a n married an oil driller and roamed Southern California u n t i l 1927 when the marriage broke up and she wound up w i t h S2.500--"my half of the loot." - * * * IN THOSE DAYS that represented more t h a n a rar payment. In fact, Vivian Laird used it to open a rest a u r a n t called the "Garden of Allah" on East Second Street. "We served hot biscuits, corn pones, home-made pastry, chicken and steak," she recalls. "Things were prelly simple in Ihose days. They got a lot more simple in 1929, when the depression came. There were nights when we didn't serve a single customer. "Even our bookkeeping system was simple. The paid hills went in a cigar box, the unpaid ones on top. We always knew how much money we had--we could count it in the cash register." When business got so bad that the waiters had been cut to S23 a week, Mrs. Laird got a little desperate. She borrowed S100 from a bank and put in an asphalt dance floor and a phonograph. "Then I figured oul a lot of crazy ideas for sundaes and sodas, and advertised for the high school kids." * * * * THEY RESPONDED by the hundreds. Business got so good that: "We couldn't serve them fast enough. They'd come out in Ihe kitchen and help us, and stick around after closing time lo help us do the dishes." The crowd stuck wiih Mrs. Laird u n l i l she retired. In 1936 she sold her first restaurant and b u i l t the "Garden of Allah' 1 in Seal Beach. "We couldn't get it b u i l t fast enough. The c u s t o m e r ? sal on piles of lumber and n a i l kegs." Vivian started t h a t place with an 11-stool bar. wnunt up with a 30-place drinkcry * - * v MRS. LAIRD remember; the repeal of prohibition-She had the first beer li cense in I.onr; Beach. "I'll never forget the f i t s night. "Everybody said our bee was the best in town, didn't know much abou beer, so I just thankee them. In fact, I thought al .we had was near beer." Then she caught a wai ter. Disturbed becaus Laird's had no real heer he baa been spiking the near beer with straight al cohol. There are those who sa that heer has not reache that height in Long Beach sirke. WITH A START lik that, Vivian Lard's goldei VIVIAN LAIRD AND FRANK HILL . . . Martinis and Contemplation era was soon booming. She opened the Bohemia Lounge in the Robinson hotel in 193S, the South Seas in Anaheim and the Brass Rail in Luguna Beach. In 1944 a friend, Ihe late Paul Pierce, introduced her to his fellow Shriner and friend, Frank Hill. "I invited him over for breakfast," she recalls, "and from then on he could not stay away from my cooking." They married in 1944, and she sold out her restaurant interests. Â· V :Â· * ON DECEMBER 23, 1947, Ihe Hills were back in the restaurant business up to t h e i r necks. They built and opened "Vivian Laird's" on Alamitos Avenue, where, her book advised employes: "We are selling food and drinks, but more important, we are selling happiness, or at least.an illusion of happiness." Ten years later, however, that high school gang that bailed Ihe Garden of Allah out of t'ne red was beginning to fatten up and thin out. The boom WHS over. The H i l l s sold out. went on a t r i p around (he v.'orld. THEY WENT on a n o t h e r this year that nearly took them out of the world. W h i l e motoring on a road 40 miles out of Colombo, Ceylon, on March 25, t h e i r driver suffered a f a t a l heart attack. "His number was up, and he nearly look us with him," Frank explains. The cur hit a coconut tree. Mrs. Hill suffered a broken pelvis and smashed jaw. Tied in a canvas hell, and raised or lowered from planes like a piece of baggage, Mrs. H i l l was flown to the United States in 44 hours by jets." "Another 10 hours would have been too late," the doclors told her. * * * * THE HILLS were each badly smashed up in the. accident, and each has made a remarkable recovery. And each was well insured. They bought a 53,000 travel policy to provide for t h e i r 8-year-old poodle, MUzie. "Ho she would be t n k e n care of in case a n y t h i n g Hill BufjumS' Monday Specials one day only 9:30 to 9 p.m. beautiful fox capes sensational offer ^59* Natural Norwegian b l u e fox or bleached white Norwegian blue fox . . . so wonderfully fluffy and flattering. A beauty of a buy . .. Quartitios are limited, so one day only! come early. Fur Salon--Third Floor Formats and Dale Dresses Keg. 19.95 lo 59.95 to Young Californians v/ill love the styles, the cool summer pr'ces on these formals. Long or short, forrr?al or just dressy types. Chif- fons, embroidered Dacrons, nylon organzas. PaslpJs and v/n'le. S : zes 7 to 15. Young Cfllifornian Shop, Second "We thought we'd come back dead or alive, hut never l i k e we did." In the fine print of the policy, as it turned out, there was an accident clause t h a t also protected them. * * + * THE HILLS live in what's left of the mansion bought hy the laie .1. J. Haggerty of l.os Angeles at 1800 Ocean Blvd. It was the home of movie star Fatly Arbuckle. Haggerty. an eccentric who went broke in 1929, had an u n u s u a l hobby -- he dug caves under his 18,000- square-foot home. Cuba Transfers Prisoners to Ancient Fortress 1 M I A M I (UPI)--The approx-j limaiely 1.200 prisoners of the' Pigs' Bay invasion of Cubaj *" were moved Friday night to Castillo del Principe Prison,! iccording to reliable reports reaching here Saturday. Castillo del Principe is an old Spanish fortress converted many years ago into a jail for common One of the caves survives, having been converted into a bar by Hill. The Haggerty mansion was reportedly foreclosed on a $13,000 mortgage in Ihe depression. Later it became the Army and Navy Club. The Hills bought it nine years ago. The place was so big they carved 10 own-your-own apartments from the mansion, and built Ihemselves a 3,000-square- foot, two-level apartment along the 13th Place wing. mixes a couple of martinis (he has his choice of two bars for this function). Then they like to sit in Ihe living room, looking out over the waterfront, and contemplate going back into the restaurant business. "But I don't know," Mrs. H i l l sighs. "I am afraid I left most of my ambition against that coconut tree." They were getting so downcasl, Hill reveals, that last week he went out and bought a brand new red Cadillac convertible. "I figure it might give us a lift," he said. IN THE EVENING Mrs. H i l l cooks their meal, Frank Municipal Band Concert Program SUNDAY, 3 H.M., LINCOLN PARK Selection fiom "Sampson a-.d Delilah" Salnl-Saens 'Midsummer Iream" .. . Mendtliiolm Sale "Vel.Tia". _ ....Roiebroek Mr. Haro'd B. Stephens, Soloist ile "Dwellers In n Western World" - So-jia "The Red Mm." "Tht while Man." "ThÂ« Ll?ck Man" Overluri "rJJbycco" Verdi concert Wain "ArMsl's Llle".... Strauss Medley of CÂ«le Horter Songs a r r , by Bennett Paraohrasc "Holy. Holy, Holy" .arr. by Leidzen March "His Excellency". ... Fillmart TODAY, 7 P.M. NAPLES COLONNADE the Optra "Marlha," Flolow , ...., -. -h* nells" . . . Anderson .When families of the prison- cornt^Tri^ -'SiKicr. And , rs(in 'ers went Friday to the Navy| Messrs. Arthur ciasr. R A l b t r t happened to us," Hill ex- hospital, the provisional jailiseiccnan^fclji 0 ^ w^?' ",,,,,,,,,, plained, "and our wills jfor the prisoners, they wereJHar h rÂ°i"Â»n. W "pa-i,' SIB Koer" "leiniiiwer wouldn't be.disturbed. We jtold the prisoners were being:' Su: ;;j n " N ' U i : , i Â«:i ( er" ' /.Tschainowiky NEW DENTURES for PENSIONERS ADDITIONAL FUNDS AVAIIABIE fOR OU A(H SECURITY RECIPIENTS (low your dentist can provide needed dentures, and o!hef needs, Hvoajh Medical Care Trus! Fund--p?id for by your county or i's cor.t/acting agency. If you 3'e eligible for this rrÂ»K, breeder t ccÂ»eiaje, let us assisl you. EASY CREDIT FOR ML OTHERS WHO NEED HEW DENTURES \ Wi'f 45 ills. before first cred t [ajm^f. A; D:. Crrpidl's Iheie is rj Klside f:rsr.:iij -- .13 hterest cr earr/ifig ctsfgcs. TÂ«T jÂ«i tc pa/or. Ihis credt p'an. PHONE THAT TELIS YOU savings in advance HE 6-4072 for exact prices NOT ESTIMATES! made her the beneficiary." DR. K. K. _ In Long Beach 446 P I N E AVE. FREE P A R K I N G 6th and Locust CiOSED ML D/Y WURDAYS SHOP MONDAY NIGHT TILL 9 Dine in the Terrace Room -- phone HE 6-9841 for reservations DO YOUR "WINDOW SHOPPING" HERE! Kenneth Forum Lined Bouclc Draperies ffumS' 'Just like ne Â· all self-lined! Â· 84 siies - colors! Luxurious! Salin-back bou- de, woven in thick/thin iexlured horizontal bands! Beautifully simple, unmis- takably correct in tradi- tional, contemporary or provincial surroundings! In seven richly subtle color- fast shades! 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