George William Horlacher, was the son of George Washington Horlacher and Catherine Nolan Horlacher. George was born July 23, 1913, in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When he was about four years old, his family took a train to Los Angeles, California. He grew up in Redondo Beach, California. When he was a teenager he had four Model T Fords, in pieces, in his parent’s back yard! My Grandmother insisted he clean up the yard and get the cars out of there. Amazingly, he was able to get all four cars back together and running!
During his teen years, he had a newspaper route, and he also set pins in a local bowling alley. He also played football in high school in 1930. He liked to fish and hunt, and some of his fishing buddies were Will Murphy, a Filipino fellow whose name I don’t remember, Pete Lerma and his brother Joe Lerma, and a fellow they called Shorty. Through the years my Father fished on many of the Southern California piers; one of his favorites was the Newport Pier in Newport Beach California. His parents used to fish there, my Father fished there, I fished there, and my son, Lance, fished there too! Four generations of Horlachers fished off that pier!
As I said, my Father also loved to hunt. One of his hunting buddies was Frank Woodruff. He had another hunting friend who made and repaired guns. His wife, a school teacher, tested them! She was a very good marksman and had the medals to prove it.
George married Gladys Ruth Miller in 1932. He had a 1927 Model T Ford at that time. He worked as a busboy at the Pig and Whistle restaurant in Los Angeles, for ten dollars a week.
Some of the things I remember from when I was very young include the ice deliveries to our home on Irena Street in Redondo Beach. These were also the days of the Helms Man, who delivered breads and other bakery items, the Fuller Brush Man, who sold home care items door-to-door, and the Jewel Tea deliveries. By that time, my Father was working as a coremaker molder, and later, as a crane operator for National Supply Company in Torrance, California.
When I was about 7 years old, we moved to North Redondo. Redondo was a rural area in the 1930s and early 1940s. Then, in the early 1940s , we moved to Riverside, California to 10796 Arlington Avenue at the corner of Mitchell Avenue. The house was on one and 3/4 acres with a garage, work shop, and three large chicken houses. The house was fully furnished, and my parents bought it all for $2,500! The area was rural with citrus, walnuts, grapes, and poultry ranches. The house was just a block from my Grandparents’ egg ranch on Arlington Avenue.
Around 1943, my Father went to work at the Kaiser Steel mill, in Fontana, California. He operated a ladle crane. The following year, 1944, he was drafted into the Navy and sent to New Guinea to work with the Navy Seabees. He was 31 years old and had four children! The United States needed more manpower by 1944 as it prepared for the Second Front that facilitated the end of World War Two.
While my Father was in New Guinea, he went stone deaf and was sent to a hospital inAustralia, and then to a hospital in San Diego, California. The Navy sent him to lip reading school in Philadelphia, and fortunately, my Father had family still living there. His Aunt Stella Nolan Worth lived there with her son, Robert Worth. Aunt Stella was the sister of his Mother, Catherine Nolan Horlacher. In 1945, my Father received a medical discharge from the Navy and returned to his own family in Southern California. For a short time, he worked for Jess Imal, removing old, non-producing citrus trees. Jess had a 1925 Moreland truck with a strong A-frame, and a winch that was geared 2500 to 1. It removed large trees, roots and all! It was like watching a clock hand move, the soil around the tree would start to crack and slowly the tree roots would appear.
A side story about Jess Imal involves his Moreland. He loaned it to a competitor who needed to remove a large Eucalyptus tree in Arlington. The competitor didn’t own a truck that the job required, so Jess obliged him by loaning him his Moreland. The local newspaper wrote an article about the event and printed a picture of the truck hauling the tree down Arlington’s busiest street, Magnolia Avenue. It was Jess’ truck, but his competitor got the publicity! Jess wasn’t too happy about that!
In 1946, my Father and a friend, Art Huffman, became partners in an auto repair garage, called the Country Garage. I was 13 years old at the time and I liked working in the shop, especially driving the shop “push car,” a 1930 Oldsmobile sedan. When customers would call the shop with a problem, I would drive to their location and push them to the shop. I liked my job in the shop, too, though not as much as driving the “push car.” I had to take things apart, clean them, and then lay them out for reassembly. Unfortunately, the shop was not making enough money to support the family so George went back to work at Kaiser Steel and worked in the coke ovens area until he got something in his eyes and went blind. He spent several months in and out of the hospital before regaining his eye sight. On returning to work, he worked as an inspector on the rolling mill. He retired from Kaiser Steel in the late 1970’s after working there a total of 28 and a 1/2 years.
During his retirement, he bought and rebuilt a camper, and he and my Mother traveled in it for several years. One of the hobbies they shared as collecting rocks. My Father cut the rocks and tumbled them and then he used them to decorate small furniture and home items.
My Father died December 5, 1984 and is buried at the Riverside National Cemetery. My Mother died ten years later, to the day, and is buried at his side.