Posted ByJim Hilliker on July 09, 2002 at 20:17:36:
Thanks for the information you provided regarding whether or not the Santa Fe Railroad ever covered all three towns/cities of Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga in one route....
Here is the information I got from a man who is part of a rail history Web site and Santa Fe is one of the
railroads he knows a lot about...I said that someone in this group/Bulletin Board postings, said that the three towns had been on the same SF rail route once.
Here's his reply to me:
That someone probably read Curt Katz's recent article on the subject. It appeared in the Winter 2000 issue of Classic Trains, and was also published in an old time radio magazine. Azusa and Cucamonga are along
the same line between LA and San Berdoo, but Anaheim is on the line to San Diego. Apparently, though, there was at one time a "motor" schedule (gas-electric railcar) that made a loop trip including a shortcut on
what is now Metrolink's Olive Sub, and managed to hit all three cities in one day. By the time Mel Blanc first uttered the classic line on the Benny radio show, though, the motor schedule had been revised and
Anaheim was no longer on the route.
Thanks to Evan Werkema who emailed me with this information.
So, I hope that makes sense to everyone, and clears up that issue...It does to me, because when I was about 12 or 13, we took the Santa Fe from the old Anaheim station to San Diego in the days before AMTRAK, and it ran north to Union Station in L.A....I knew the joke was used on the Benny show, but I never knew why Ananheim was mentioned, or the other two towns, and I sure didn't realize at the time where those two towns were; only that they were somewhere in So. Calif...
Why did Jack's writers use those three towns in the classic bit at the train station? Anyone know?
I can leave you a link here for another good article called "Jack Benny's Anaheim", which is well written and tells the story of Anaheim and its link to Jack Benny over the years...It says this gag was first used in 1945 on Jack's show...Is that right? Does that mean this train route was not in use after 1945?
Anyway, here's the link to this story on Jack and Anaheim, and hope you like it, if you've never seen it.
It was written in August 2000 by Stephen J. Faessel who lived in Anaheim, and may still today, not sure.
Take care, everyone.