Back in the 1930s and for a couple of decades thereafter, going to the beach had an altogether different meaning than it does nowadays. San Gabriel Valley families flocked not to the popular Pacific shores but down by the river—to a sand strand along the Rio Hondo locals called Marrano Beach. Then, a day along the river was like a day at the beach anywhere—sunning, swimming, picnicking. But such activities at Marrano Beach had a distinctly Spanish accent, often including a pot of menudo (tripe soup) bubbling on the campfire and guitar-accompanied songs from south of the border. Progress dimmed, then doomed the Rio Hondo’s attraction as a recreation site. By the 1960s, an upwardly mobile population drove new freeways to ocean beaches.
© 2006 John McKinney/The Trailmaster. All Rights Reserved.