June 25, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Brentwood Teens, Then & Now An Interview with Shaun Cassidy

Shaun Cassidy
Where did you live and go to school in Brentwood?

Between the ages of four and ten, my family lived on Glenroy, Cascada, Kenfield and for the longest period, Bristol. My schools included Montessori pre-school in SM, Sunshine pre-school, Warner Ave elementary, Roscomare Road elementary, and an elementary school at the top of Glenroy. These were the pre-private school days of course, when the LA public school system was top notch.

Where would you go to if you wanted to hang out with friends on the weekend?

The Baskin-Robbins on San Vicente was a big destination. Going to events at Cottonwood Park. When I was older, the UCLA Mardi Gras was always fun– a great place to meet girls. Third Street Promenade wasnʼt built yet, but Third Street was a fun place to go to shop and see other kids.

Having kids of your own, do you think the “social scene†amongst teenagers has changed?

Yes, I think itʼs dramatically changed because of the advent of cell phones, texting, and social media. My biggest concern with kids today is that they have little sense of keeping their private lives private. As someone who was actually a public figure when I was a teenager, I can tell you that thereʼs a lot of stuff you may be proud of when youʼre a teen, but when youʼre older and youʼre looking for a job (or running for office!) you will wish youʼd kept your private life confidential, and refrained from posting that picture of yourself dancing on a bar.
Nowadays, teens are faced with having to pay high entrance fees when going to parties. Did this occur back then?
The whole entrance fee thing existed, but it was rare, and it was usually at HUGE parties when I was older. The parties in High School and Junior High School that were the best were the ones where either the parents were around but let the kids do their thing, or the parents were out of town. And yes, there would always be some kids drinking or doing drugs, but for the most part, I stayed clear of that.

Kids these days are heavily dependent on Facebook and text messaging to make plans. How would you and your friends make plans?

Weʼd use the old standby, the hard-wired telephone. I miss the days when a phone weighed five pounds, sat on your desk like a rock, and didnʼt annoy you 24/7 wherever you went. If you were out and you needed to call someone, you just went to a pay phone. Parties were always about word of mouth at school and then a few phone calls. The classic Friday night call was always “Whereʼs the party?â€
In order to get around, would you walk or drive? Are there any specific places you remember visiting in Brentwood?
Before I could drive, the bike was EVERYTHING, and the Mart was (and remains) one of my favorite places in the world. I think the Mart was built when people in Brentwood all rode horses and would convene there after a long ride to swap stories, have coffee, and maybe even have some of that awesome rotisserie chicken. The comic book/candy store was immediately on the left as you came in. The burgers, shakes – always great. And the TOY STORE – ah, I can still smell the Play-doh. If they ever tear it down (which I know they have been threatening to do) I will never go back to Brentwood again. Swear to God.

Do you think that life for a Brentwood teenager has changed over the years?

Despite the fact that Brentwood is WAY more crowded than when I lived there (In the sixties there were only three or four stores on San Vicente: Vicente Foods, Janonʼs Hobby Shop, Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream, and the Coffee Bean — first one I think!) the INNER life of a teenager in Brentwood and everywhere else is still pretty much the same. If you really want to know what Brentwood was like in the good olʼ days, just throw out your cell phone, hop on a bike, and youʼll be just like me: Young and dorky and lookinʼ for the next great party!

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