I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Toluca Lake knows how to have a good time. Look no further than the Out & About section of this issue, which chronicles just a few of our community’s many gatherings over the past few months. Those events include beloved observances like the Fourth of July parade, newer traditions such as the Neighbor2Neighbor block party, and an array of special events marking historic milestones — most notably, Toluca Lake’s 100th year, which amplifies the festive feeling even more.
As we look forward to additional celebrations in the months ahead, this anniversary reminds us how fortunate we are to live and work in a place where close neighborly bonds and reverence for our rich local history are fostered and cherished. While Toluca Lake Magazine set the stage for the centennial with last year’s super-sized History Issue, there’s always more to discover about our area’s bygone days and how they continue to resonate today. The story of Ollie Vick, a longtime resident who turned 100 in June, shows how the past and present are connected in Toluca Lake. In this issue, she shares some of her memories of the neighborhood over the years and the joy of being able to share this landmark event with family and friends.
We’re also spotlighting a pair of landmark places with an article about noted L.A. architect Robert Byrd, the homes he designed in Toluca Lake and the famous families who were lucky enough to live in them. And our story about five pioneering female flyers who lived and worked around Burbank in the 1930s shows how the powerhouse local industries of aviation and moviemaking intertwined to put this area on the map and capture the public imagination. Finally, on the idiosyncratic side of local history, we bring you the tale of the man who created his very own mobile monument: the California Fantasy Van, a singular spectacle that delighted, fascinated and sometimes baffled residents of this locale and beyond from the 1970s to the 1990s.
Our sincerest gratitude to the Toluca Lake community for your steadfast readership. Your enthusiasm for our stories fuels our passion for storytelling. You are always invited to share your ideas and suggestions for new articles — your input shapes the stories we tell. Last but not least, we express our heartfelt appreciation to our advertisers, whose generous support allows us to bring you this labor of love. Together, we build a stronger, more connected community voice. Thank you!