La Cañada History: 10-year-old champion midget auto racer featured at Paradise Canyon’s Mardi Gras carnival

La Cañada History: 10-year-old champion midget auto racer featured at Paradise Canyon’s Mardi Gras carnival
The cover of the Feb. 27, 1958 Valley Sun featured this publicity photo for the Paradise Canyon Elementary School carnival, which that year carried a Mardi Gras theme. (File Photo / La Cañada Valley Sun)

Ten Years Ago

A murder plot that might have led to the deaths of a La Cañada couple was foiled when Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a Glendora man on suspicion of solicitation to commit a residential burglary, carjacking, robbery, kidnapping and murder. The suspect, Ramon Banos, had once worked for the couple, remodeling one of their properties in Beverly Hills and was involved in a civil suit with them. He claimed he was still owed $30,000 for his work; they maintained he had overcharged them. He allegedly asked a fellow contractor to help with an elaborate plan that would begin with a home invasion and end with the male victim being taken to Mexico and murdered. The second man notified law enforcement of the scheme in time to prevent the crime.


Twenty Years Ago

As the La Cañada High School boys' varsity basketball team moved to the next round in CIF playoffs with a 73-64 win over Pioneer High, it was reported Spartan Matt Moore had broken the school's career and single game scoring records. After the game against Pioneer, Moore's career score stood at 684, shattering the school's previous mark of 670 points, set in the 1972-73 season by Bob Hatch.

Thirty Years Ago

A 4 a.m. fire at the popular Pepe's Mexican Restaurant on Foothill Boulevard (where the Town Center sits today) forced its closure until extensive repairs could be made. Fire officials suspected the blaze, which caused an estimated $30,000 in damages, had been caused by a cigarette left smoldering in the office area.

Forty Years Ago

Harris Hall on the La Cañada Presbyterian Church was the venue for Cabaret de Cañada, an adult coffee house that featured live entertainment under the joint sponsorships of that church, St. Bede the Venerable Catholic Church, Church of the Lighted Window (now La Cañada Congregational Church), La Cañada United Methodist Church and Lutheran Church in the Foothills. In late February/early March 1978, the featured performer was folk singer Sharron Neumann.

Fifty Years Ago

The La Cañada Youth House held a teen dance the night before the holiday marking George Washington's birthday. The event was attended by 337 local youths who danced to the band Blue Plate Special. It was reported that a battle of the bands, which would include "exciting prizes," would be the next offering at the popular community center.

Sixty Years Ago

The Paradise Canyon Elementary School PTA announced its annual carnival, that year carrying a Mardi Gras theme, was set to take place on March 1, 1958. In addition to many entertaining game booths and food offerings, organizers promised appearances of child movie star Tommy Andre and a champion midget auto racer, Kenny Elam, 10, who already had 113 trophies to his credit.

Compiled from the Valley Sun archives by Carol Cormaci.