Looking at life before it became 'The O.C.'

It's a mouthful, but here it goes: IGUINBBIBTOC.

It's not an acronym for a government agency, but a popular Facebook page: "I Grew Up In Newport Beach Before It Became The OC." It's a commentary on the former Fox television series "The O.C.," which aired between 2003 and 2007 and put Newport Beach on the international radar.

As popular as the show was (early on), somehow in there the true history of coastal Orange County got muddled and lost, which Gordon Grundy, director of the Newport Beach Historical Society, is trying to rectify.

Already the Facebook page has nearly 4,000 fans, with all sorts of memories coming out of the woodworks that reflect a time long preceding the obsession with the lives of troubled fictional Newport teens.

The page was created by Thomas Stillwell, who currently resides in Brentwood, Tenn. Stillwell yearns for the good ol' days, writing that … "If you ate ice cream at Will Wrights at Dover and PCH, water skied the Back Bay, remember when Coco's was the Snack Shop, or listened to the organist at Richard's Market then you remember Newport Beach before it was The OC." He implores locals to "share your memories and pictures from the Newport Beach we remember!" That way at least the Internet would know what's already proof in the pudding from the old, grainy photographs — the stuff of which local libraries and the society's archives are made.

"Economics has a lot to do with the cultural shift," Grundy said. He pleaded with even elderly folks at a recent get-together last week to join the Facebook page and write about what it's truly like to be from Newport Beach. "The Newport Coast is America's Riviera. Housing prices, at a premium, have knocked down the beach shack and the beach bum with it."

"There is a lot of value in the philosophy of the beach culture," Grundy added. "This has been the greatest erosion."

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World