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Lake Memories

May 04, 1997

Your article on Toluca Lake ("Come and Stay Awhile," by Ruth Ryon, April 13) brought back a lot of memories for me. Back in the 1920s, one of our Burbank neighbors told my dad how as a boy growing up in Hollywood they used to hike over Cahuenga Pass to go swimming in a lake near the foot of Dark Canyon Road, now Barham Boulevard. He invited us to go with him to see if we could relocate this lake.

For us, living in the arid San Fernando Valley, to conceive of a lake in our midst was too much. We accepted his offer and on a Sunday afternoon drove out Olive Avenue to explore the area. We found the location of his lake apparently in an old arm of the Los Angeles River, but it had long since been drained and it was now a strawberry farm. Disappointed, we returned home.

But it was not long after that then we began to hear of a strange-sounding real estate development in that area called "Toluca Lake." We drove over to explore what it might be, and sure enough, they had damned up the old river bed and here again was a lake--today's prestigious Toluca Lake. I only wish there were still some way to get in to see it.

TOM PENDELL

Balboa

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