Smithcliffs Laguna Beach
Today I gained access to Smithcliffs, a gated community in north Laguna. There’s one circular street with around 20 estate-sized homes. Smithcliff’s has a couple well known former residents: Mossimo Giannulli and Pancho Barnes (Pancho lived in LB in the Roaring ‘20s and early ‘30s). Fun facts about Pancho: pioneered American aviation; established the nation’s first military air unit; installed a landing strip on her 40 acre Smithcliff property; flew in famous Hollywood celebrities for parties and flew in liquor from Mexico during Prohibition; when Pancho wanted to get her pilot’s license, a roadblock was Orville Wright who reviewed and signed all application requests. He didn’t think women should fly or even drive cars. For her application picture, she dressed like a man, had dirty fingernails and held a cigarette. She refused to mark male or female on the application. She was accepted! First stunt pilot in Hollywood; Broke Amelia Earhart’s air speed record; Owned the Happy Bottom Riding Club: a bar, dude ranch and restaurant in the Mojave Desert, catering to the test pilots and aviators; Pancho was depicted in the 1983 biography, “The Right Stuff”; 1988 made for TV movie about Pancho stared Valerie Bertinelli; 2000 PBS documentary on Pancho used Kathy Bates as her voice; founded the Association of Motion Picture Pilots; 4 marriages and one son. #panchobarnes #smithcliffs #smithcliffslagunabeach #walkeverystreet #newyearsresolution #gatedcommunity #privatecommunity #igotthecode
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