George Probert remembers when Torrance was a community of 300 with only two streets--the houses sold for $3,000, "nothing down and $30 a month."
Probert, 86, arrived in the city in 1913. There was no mailman and people got their mail at the post office. As to the single policeman who did not wear a uniform and who rode around on a bicycle, "we didn't need him."
An ex-chicken coop served as a fire station, the fire engine was a "two-wheeled cart with a hose," and to sound a fire alarm and summon the volunteer firefighters someone struck a steel rail with a nearby sledgehammer.
Probert, who rode the Red Car to his Gardena school with tickets supplied by the Los Angeles school district, will be honored along with Russell White, 75, when Torrance celebrates its 75th anniversary on Saturday at Wilson Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.