The Feuding Pyles

Season One-Episode 18. Air date January 22, 1965

“I’m from Carolina too”…

The Champion of Ripshaw Ridge right here tossing horse shoes…

Exact spot our troops are tossing shoes, hedges removed long ago.

Not every tree still exists-most do.

I’ve been kicked out of this park too”…as a teenager.

Can’t you read -The Rules!”

The Main Gate of the Desilu Backlot doubles as the camp entrance. Once past the M.P, all roads other than in Mayberry turn to dirt… Dr. Paul Carlson is 5 minutes from here, turn left off Ince on Lucerne, another left on Braddock, and you will run right into it. It is the closest park to Desilu Studios.

Keep practicing…

Practice at Dr. Paul Carlson Park.

No fighting in the park-Go back to base!”

“I could never kill you cousin”…

No Horse Shoes allowed in the park fellas, read the signs!”

Same spot gentlemen are playing horse shoes.Bench was alongside that nearest tree.

Same house, above and below picture...Also featured in Chips-episode “MUTE”

As our troops arrive for battle, notice that large 5 ton box truck parked behind that utility vehicle. It’s there to block the camera’s view of…Goober’s Gas Station, the official filling station of Camp Henderson. Those Pyles got quite a racket going on.

Where I took this picture is right behind the first row of barracks on the dirt road that hugs the La Ballona Creek. This is where we sneak in at. I have a fort in The King of Kings Set that is hidden the Eucalyptus trees behind Goobers. This is usually where trespassing begins around here.

Notice the house on the hill looking down on the 40 acres backlot. It still stands on Hetzler Road. It’s connected to The Baldwin Hills overview and stairway up the side of the hill that overlooks old Desilu. I always was fascinated by that house. The best view of Desilu is from right there-front row seat into-T.V Land.

Have at it boys…

It figures-that was easy!

I’d yell too Sgt. Carter-“I feel your pain.

Ripshaw Ridge wins again!

Even President Clinton has appeared here…The same year Dr. Paul was killed, this Gomer Pyle episode was filmed at Victory Park.

Our park was once a race track…

This oval section of Culver City has seen a bit everything…

Get your paper here- 3 cents “December 10th, 1924…Bennie Hill smashes a world record preparing for the biggest attended sporting event ever in this city.

Victory Park / Dr Paul- to you and me…

Culver City was an entrepreneur’s dream in 1924. Studios were being constructed, not only sound stages but the backlots were just beginning. Thomas Ince and Randolph Hearst had ambitious plans to merge Cosmopolitan Pictures with Thomas Ince productions on Culver City’s East End. Hal Roach Studios was also up and producing the Our Gang Series. The mysterious death of Mr Ince forever changed the Hollywood landscape.

On the west side, MGM and its large parcels of cheap real estate would begin to carve out its destiny.Ben Hur was on location in Italy only to return home after difficulties in filming in that far off land. Culver City becomes a hub and claims itself as “The Heart of Screenland.”

Howard Hughes gobbles up real estate up in Baldwin Hills with the intention of building his mansion on top of what is now another park-Baldwin Hills scenic overlook. But that changed when oil was discovered by Standard Oil, also in 1924. Derricks popped up everywhere, like a gold rush. Black Gold/Texas Tea. Howard changed his mind and sold a large section to Charlie Wright. The street, Wrightcrest, was named after Charlie, a most fascinating man himself. Howard told Charlie, ‘The last thing I want is my mansion looking over oil derricks!”

Charlie built his own mansion-facing opposite the oil fields and I’ve been in it. All glass features- like a ball room dance studio overlooking L.A. A really well landscaped pool level existed, under the glassed in dance floor. It looked down at the 40 acre backlot. If only this place could talk...it’s Gone With the Wind now. I use that term since it was removed but there was a party up here when Atlanta Burned below- from what I’m told.

I will take you there in future posts, a fascinating place with a hidden or just forgotten past. I digress…

Dog racing, horse racing, car racing all took place around these movie studios. We even had a rollerdrome and as time progressed, a Studio Drive-In. Almost every business in Culver City started with the prefix “studio.” People knew a good thing when they saw it, and the roots of Culver City are all things studios. Actors occupied homes close to the studios, Ronald Coleman owned a couple homes on the street I live on named Huron Ave. My dad bought Ronald Coleman’s car after his passing, a Facel Vega. Custom built, kangaroo skin upholstery and a bar in the backseat. I had a lot of fun in that car.

As we move forward, this park is built and the name is changed to Dr Paul from the old Victory Park. This park is the oldest a centrally located to all the studios surrounding it. When T.V was just starting to take off, TV series found their way onto this quaint, charming piece of land. The two shows I most cherished here are The Feuding Pyles and You DriveGomer Pyle and Twilight Zone, respectively.

Even today you can stumble across The Goldbergs grabbing park scenes a short walk from Sony. As for this park, I attempted to match the Pyle scenes to their exact location 58 years later. The trees are much larger in the park, but the original palm trees still frame the outer edge.The center of the park has a stone, circular rose planter, or it was anyways. Now it’s got a stone art piece as the center replacing the roses. Hedges surrounding this centerpiece have been removed.The houses as you may expect have been modified or completely torn down for more opulent structures. This is considered an expensive area so remodels happen often. But the park itself has not changed hardly at all. It’s a park I grew up in and still frequent.

Dr. Paul would be honored and proud to know that he would be the namesake on a park that has captured extremely popular and legendary American Television Episodes. Still, if you listen closely, you may hear-“Gentlemen, start your engines”….

Written and lived by… Donnie Norden

2 thoughts on “The Feuding Pyles”

  1. I am so happy to find your post this morning and on a subject very familiar to me!
    Happy Holidays.
    I drive by this park every day on my way to swim at the Culver Plunge!

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