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Grove, Balthis continues, was the place to be. "Every well-known
band of the day was playing at the hotel. You felt very special
when you were there, mingling with the stars." The ladies carried
dance cards hung from their wrists with a tassel Balthis
still has hers saved in a scrapbook. It was Prohibition, and while
women drank punch, the men secretly sipped liquor from silver flasks.
Dinner following dancing was not de rigueur back then. Instead,
Balthis says, a couple, usually on a double-date, would go have
a "goopy sundae" at the Pig 'N Whistle or C.C. Brown's
on Hollywood Boulevard.
LONG-AGO TIMES may sound romantic, but they were anything but
were all poor back then," Grancell says. "But nobody knew
any different." It was the Great Depression. To get by, students
would take any job they could find. Grancell worked as a drugstore
soda jerk, earning 50 cents an hour during the summer, and he worked
a 10-hour shift one night per week during the school year.
'33 took a couple years off from school to work as a bookkeeper
in a potato chip factory and selling magazines door to door. "Anything
for a dollar," Goldman says. "But a dollar bought a heck
of a lot. A person making $20 a week was able to support himself
dollars also would cover all fees - including admission to sports
events - for a semester at the college, Grancell says. Since there
were no residence halls, many students took the red trolley to campus.
Zide lived in Boyle Heights and took three streetcars to get to
the end of the line at the Vermont campus. Some women were able
to find places to live through the Helen Matthewson Club, named
for the first dean of women students, Helen Matthewson Laughlin,
who helped find housing for working women so they could continue