News-Pilot, April, 4th 1986......Now 25 years ago (click on photo to enlarge)
Peck Park Pool in San Pedro is a childhood/teen landmark for those of us who grew up in the area. Generations of kids have visited the pool during summer break. I started going to Peck Park pool around 1996 before that I used to go to Gaffey pool but when I moved I started coming here. My friends and I would "mob" up Summerland to get to the pool. During that time is was the awkward years for my friends and I. The boys started to become interested in girls and the girls in the boys. However, the boys acted a bit more immature about it. My friends and I would wear T-shirts because if we dared go in our swimsuit it was boy drama. Most of the time our peers went to the pool to check out that certain boy or girl of interest. It was not surprising to find couple kissing in the canyons after the pool closed. During the years I was going I never seen graffiti in the pool. By that time there was a heavy duty steal fence and censored lighting. The photo above was from a 1986 News-Pilot article. During the mid-1980s graffiti was at its early stages in Los Angeles and in San Pedro. The pioneers of graffiti where themselves starting out experimenting with bombs and pieces.
My memories of graffiti in San Pedro started during the late 1980s. I would see full blown pieces and characters in alleys around my neighborhood. Down the street from my house there was also a huge wall across from train tracks that graffiti artists would paint on. I can not recall many of the names from back then, however, there were a few talented artists that came out of San Pedro as well as out of towner's coming to paint the tracks.
The article was about the problem that was happening with the pool constantly being vandalized. The methods back then failed because it was such a new problem. They tired leaving the graffiti up instead of buffing it in order to prevent more, that equaled to failure. They thought about barbed wire fencing however, worried about liability issues if someone got hurt climbing the fence. Here is a good quote from the original article:
"Graffiti is a reality and if we cover it before someone sees it we're not doing ourselves a favor"
Back then it seemed like a losing battle, from what I can read some of the work is pretty legit for that time period. Some of the most legible is.
PWL= Park Western Lomas which was a local gang in the area
RSP 3rd= Rancho San Pedro Third Street, established local gang
Peck Park Pool lives on for a new generation of kids, minus the graffiti.