TIM GROBATY: Koi, homes add meaning to life in the fishbowl – Long Beach Press

COOL PONDS AND HOT PADS: Here’s an amusing little memory. When we were terribly small and young, goldfish ponds were all the rage. People had them in their back yards and they were sometimes quite elaborate, incorporating fountains, waterfalls, colored lights and various aquaflora.

We hankered for one back in the early ’60s. And, because our childhood was marked by disappointment and deprivation, we couldn’t get our folks to pop for one.

So, banking on our inventiveness and can-do spirit, we set out to make our own. Who can’t make a goldfish pond?

Choosing an area of the back yard that wasn’t getting a lot of use – our neurotic dog Chu-Chu (yes, another name inflicted by our mom) didn’t use the whole yard, preferring to continuously run diagonally across the area, leap up against the fence and repeat the process until there was a trail worn into the ground like you’d find in Africa where elephants have marched for millennia – we dug a hole, ran some water in it from the garden hose and threw a couple of goldfish in it. Done. And so to bed.

The next day it was all gone. The fish, the water, everything but the hole itself. Huge, huge mystery.

That’s the kind of saga that, perhaps, has inspired this year’s koi-tinged Great Homes of Long Beach Tour, as conducted by Long Beach Heritage.

The tour, which runs from noon to 5p.m. June 5, will include a special opening of Cal State Long Beach’s Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden,

which features one of Southern California’s largest koi ponds (a goldfish pond writ large).

Even before our pisceneophile youth, Japanese gardens were key elements in the Craftsmen architecture in the early 1900s.

The homes part of this year’s Great Homes tour will include private peeks in and around residences designed by five early Long Beach architects:

A two-story 1911 Craftsman Classic Chalet-style home on Ocean Boulevard with views of the Pacific was designed (it is thought) by Meyer Holler.

A 1920s-era Modified Italian Revival-style home that was designed by famed and acclaimed architect Horace Austin.

A late-1920s house, one of the first built in Bixby Knolls and owned by the same family for 80 years, was extensively remodeled and redesigned by Kenneth Wing.

A Mid-Century Modern home, with floor-to-ceiling glass, was one of the first houses built by architect Paul Tay.

A 1952 Mid-Century Modern designed by Richard Neutra as part of a two-house compound. The open floor plan features sliding glass walls that open to the outdoors.

If you were to purchase all these homes separately, the bill would probably run into the tens of millions, especially with the Burns Garden thrown in to sweeten the deal.

But you pay only $35 ($30 if you’re a Long Beach Heritage member).

The homes’ locations and other tour instructions will be made known to you in the fullness of time – when you pay, via PayPal at www.lbheritage.org, or by mailing a check and a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Long Beach Heritage, PO Box 92521, Long Beach, CA 92521.

SMOKE FOR THE HEAT: Oh, the things we do for cops. And despite all that, they still go around whining about “where’s a columnist when you need one?”

Another thing you have to mark on your calendar is the Father’s Day Eve – June 18 – stogie bash, “The Grand Smoke,” from 5-10 p.m. at the Grand Event Center, 4101 Willow St., in Long Beach.

There’s a nice outdoor patio there if you must smoke at the smoking event.

Thrown by the Southern California Cigar Alliance to benefit the Long Beach Police Foundation, “The Grand Smoke” will feature fine cigars from Arturo Fuente, Oliva, Kristoff, Rocky Patel and others, plus cocktails, dinner, a silent auction and live entertainment.

You might expect to pay in the tens of millions for the fundraiser, and you’re welcome to, but the buy-in is a mere $125, and if you’ve priced cigars lately, you know you’ll get that back in samples alone.

To purchase tickets, and to get more information than you could ever hope to get from us, go to www.LBPolice  

Foundation.org, or call the foundation at 562-343-5111.

Tim Grobaty can be reached at tgrobaty@yahoo.com or 562-499-1256.

Article source: http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_18130913

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