Have an Old Towne summer story or memory you’d like to share? Join the conversation by emailing your stories to Alisa Driscoll at driscoll@chapman.edu and we’ll assemble them in a blog post next week here at NeighborsofChapman.com. Enjoy the summer!

Ice cream on summer afternoons. Concerts in the park. A dip in the city pool. Sound like anywhere you know? Yup – we’re talking about summer in Old Towne Orange, both yesteryear and today.

To celebrate the season in this special community dear to us all, we asked a few City of Orange residents to share a summer story from “then … and now.” Whether you’ve been here for generations or just bought that jewel of a bungalow a year ago, we invite you to join us in this summertime stroll through time.

Teri Lepe is a fourth-generation resident of the historic Cypress Street Barrio in Old Towne Orange, and serves on the Neighborhood Advisory Committee, and the boards of the Orange Barrio Historical Society and the Old Towne Preservation Association.


The old Orange Theatre holds fond summertime memories for City of Orange resident Teri Lepe. (Photo courtesy of Orange County Archives.)

Then …

“In the summer of 1972
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
came out and we saw it at the Orange Theatre. It was full of kids. At the end of the movie when Caesar leads the revolt of the apes against the humans, all the kids were standing up and yelling at the screen, ‘Go Caesar! Go Caesar!’ That’s the best memory I have of going to that movie house.”

Now …

“We love the summer concerts in Hart Park. When we get the schedule I put all the concerts on my phone. That’s the start of summer. And I walk everywhere. A lot of friends come over to my house because we can walk to so many restaurants and the farmer’s market. Where else can you have all that?”

Barbara and Bill Parker are Chapman alumni – ’52 for him and ’64 for her, and former Old Towne merchants who owned and operated Kriewall Music. The Parkers raised three children in Orange and enjoy an active retirement here.


Remember the Lionettes Softball Team? Chapman alumni Bill and Barbara Parker do!

Then …

Says Bill: “We used to go watch the local professional women’s softball team, the Lionesses. They were amazing. Every once in a while a men’s team would challenge them and the girls always beat the men’s team. They couldn’t hit the pitches because they were coming in too fast. They were fun.”

Now …

Says Barbara: “We like to go out to eat at the restaurants. And we enjoy the history walks the historical society leads.”

Dan Jensen, owner of Antique Depot, Antique Station and the Jensen Building, built on the site of the parking lot of the former Satellite Market, established by his parents Roland and Helen in 1966. Dan is a member of the Neighborhood Advisory Committee. He and his wife Susan Secoy live in Old Towne.


After-dinner ice cream in Old Towne is one of Dan Jensen’s favorite summertime traditions.

Then …

“We’d come down with relatives in tow and go to the Hart Park swimming pool. We didn’t have a swimming pool. We were a very average family. So Hart Park was fun in the summer with the pool and all. I spent a lot of time there.”

Now …

“We like the concerts in the park. Those are always fun events to go to. And just walking around town here grabbing dinner and sitting around having an ice cream afterwards and watching people pour through town.”