Growing up on Thrasher Avenue in Los Angeles, California – Mary Cummins

I was born December 1965 in Long Beach, California. We lived in Lakewood at the time on the country club golf course at 4114 Lakewood. We moved to Doheny Estates aka Trousdale within two weeks of my birth to 9170 Thrasher Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90069. At that time it was a new two story white prefab home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms all on the second floor. I think my grandmother Mary R. Cummins paid about $20,000 for it. She liked the home because it was in the hills on a cul-de-sac which she thought would be safer for two little kids.

Back in 1965 it was a three bedroom, two bath home on a 5,313 sf lot. It had a two car built in carport and another two car carport on the other side. We also used to use the lot next to us for a dollhouse and more parking.

Ingeborg Burke “Inga” lived at 9171 Thrasher almost across the street. She used to take me and my sister to different “churches” on Sundays. We also had one neighbor across the street at 9151 Thrasher Leland and Marjorie Roswell who had a daughter named Missy who was older than us. There was a home north of them at 9117 owned by a single man and an older couple that lived at 9105 on the corner of Thrasher and Oriole. Those were the only homes on the street at that time. These were older smaller homes.

I used to ride my bike up and down the street. I ended up breaking my nose and knocking out my two front teeth riding my tricycle down the street when I was four. I used to hike around these hills with my friend Valerie Delapp who lived off Doheny on Warbler Place and went to my same Catholic school Beverly Hills Catholic School. I also hung out with Wendy Ward whose dad Russell Ward lived on Sierra Mar who owned a gravel business in Southgate. My mom used to date her dad and they all hung out at Scandia or the Cock ‘n Bull bars on Sunset near Doheny.

Leland bought the vacant lots at the end of the street. He eventually sold them off and they built two homes at the very end and another almost at the end. Someone else built another home across from us and north. By now every lot on the street was built with huge homes. Dolly Parton bought a peach painted home at the end of the street with a fantastic view. Ricardo Montalban ended up buying the vacant lot left over from a tear down at the corner of Oriole and Thrasher. He built a very nice home with a pool directly north of us. He went to our same church St. Victor’s. I used to skateboard in the old pool on the vacant lot with Valerie.

Bob Hope lived on Oriole at the time. He later gave the home to his daughter who had a toddler. The toddler Andrew used to walk down our street with the maid and we’d leave candy for him in our mail box. I was about eight at the time. He had a Korean nanny who would call my neighbor’s cats named Harley and Suzuki aka “Suki” “meow meow” which is Korean for “cat” I was told.

My Nana used to throw big birthday parties for me and my sister in May. My bday is December 17. My sister’s is May 4. Because my bday was during Christmas break we celebrated around my sister’s birthday instead. We’d have races in the street and always had a pinata. My grandmother was born in Mexico so pinatas were a big thing.

Madonna ended up buying that house and totally redoing it. This was 1984 or so. I’d see her jogging up the hills with her personal trainer. Cheryl Ladd lived on Oriole in a smaller home. She had a few dogs who would climb on her roof and bark at people. Her dogs escaped many times and we’d always bring them back. David Niven Jr lived on Oriole at Blue Jay Way. He was dating Cheryl in the 1980’s. Moe Howard of the three stooges also lived on Oriole. When I was seven I knocked on his door to say “hello” because I was a huge fan. He was very nice and even told me a few jokes.

We moved to the flats of Beverly Hills 1978 when we went to El Rodeo school in Beverly HIlls. At that time my mother rented it out to one person.

1984. My mother stucco’d the house in pinkish stucco. Neighbors hated it. So did I. My mother has no taste and did the god awfullest remodel. The house was originally a white stucco square home, nice and plain. The Rosewell’s lived in the house on the right. It was cantilevered. 

Around 1990 when my grandmother who owned the home was 90 my mother and sister offered to care for her in the home on Thrasher. I did not think my grandmother would get proper care so I was against this. Plus, the place had stairs and my grandmother had broken her hip in 1986. My grandmother moved there and not only kept paying all the bills for the house but she paid my mother and sister to care for her. They did not give her proper care.

My grandmother called up crying one day so I went and got my grandmother and brought her to my place. I tried to go back and get my grandmother’s clothes and personal effects the next day but my mother would not let me in. My grandmother only had her night gown, bathrobe and slippers! My mother refused to give her, her clothes or anything else stating “she’ll just give them to charity when she dies.” These were worthless clothes.

In 1975 my grandmother put the home in a living trust for my mother. This means my mother would get the home when she died. My grandmother died June 3, 1991 at the age of 90. My mother left the property in my grandmother’s name until just a few years ago so she wouldn’t have to pay a stepped up property tax. I think she also used my grandmother’s credit to refinance it a few times. My grandmother supposedly gave it to my mother as a gift in 2004 but my grandmother died in 1991, 13 years earlier so of course that is impossible. My mother had fake IDs in my name, my sisters, my grandmother’s and other names. She left her wallet in my car one day and I saw all the fake IDs.

In the meantime my mother tripled the size of the home. I’m assuming this was from money her second husband Frank Anton Schott left to me and my sister which she took. I also think her new husband Clifford Sponsel also gave her money. For a short time the property was in his name. He is 102 years old now and looks half out of it. He probably doesn’t even know what’s happening.

I got an email and phone call about “my” property today asking me why I was against the new construction. I told the person they had the wrong person. Then I pulled up city docs and saw everything that was happening. They sold the house behind us for $36,000,000. They are building a new home where our dollhouse and parking was for $25,000,000. I then pulled up our old house and saw all the new additions. This area used to be a place for quiet people who wanted to live in a little house in the hills. Now it’s just mega-mansions for entertainers. I’m sure they bought the properties because it’s at the top of the mountain with great views so I don’t blame them.

Here is the house today. They are building some huge thing next door. That home is on Oriole the street behind Thrasher. I hope they grow a lot of plants over that cement.
Map of who lived where on Thrasher. The “A” is where we lived.

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

About Mary Cummins Animal Advocates Real Estate Appraiser

Mary Cummins is President of Animal Advocates. She is licensed with the California Department of Fish & Game, USDA and the City of Los Angeles to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife. Cummins speaks to local community groups and students about respecting wildlife and humane wildlife control. She is also a Humane Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator. She has written manuals on small mammal rehabilitation besides numerous articles. She was born and raised in Southern California. She attended Beverly Hills Good Shepherd Catholic School and Beverly Hills High School. Besides being a member of Junior Mensa and on the Dean's list, she was a top ten national swimmer and competed on the men's water polo team. She began college at the age of 15 attending the University of Southern California on scholarship, majoring in Psychology/Sociology. After college Cummins became a licensed real estate agent specializing in income property in Los Angeles. She obtained her real estate appraisal license, real estate brokerage license and currently does real estate consulting, expert witness testimony and review appraisals at Cummins Real Estate Services.
This entry was posted in 90069, 9105 thrasher, 9117 thrasher, 9151 thrasher, 9170 thrasher, 9171 thrasher, avenue, cheryl ladd, david niven, dolly parton, los angeles, madonna, mansion, mary cummins, moe howard, ricardo montalban. Bookmark the permalink.

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