Upon reaching L.A. County we learned our house wouldn't be vacant for a few more days. My parents decided we would spend a few days at a motel near Knott's Berry Farm.
Currently Knott's Berry Farm is well known as a theme park. It has become famous for it's roller coasters and Camp Snoopy. But in the early fifties, Knott's Berry Farm was a different place than it is now. Knott's Berry Farm started out as the name says, as a berry farm. Walter Knott grew berries and he and his wife began making jams and jellies and selling them to the public. Mrs. Knott started cooking her fried chicken and a restaurant was opened and became highly successful. The farm was located on Highway 39, a very popular route between Los Angeles and the beaches, and people would line up to eat Mrs. Knott's famous fried chicken. To keep his customer's happy while they waited to get into the restaurant, Walter Knott created Ghost Town, buying buildings from well known western ghost towns. He bought a train, which would travel around the parameters of the Berry Farm, and then he added actors who would stage a train robbery as you rode through the park. At the Calico Mine you could pan for gold, and if you were very lucky, you may get a few small nuggets.
In those days, there was no cost to enter the park. It was possible to go to Knott's Berry Farm and spend an afternoon having fun without spending any money. Of course, most people would go to the restaurant while at the park and buy some jams and jellies before leaving. There was a candy store, which I loved looking at, and a gift store that sold western style clothing. Silver and Turquoise jewelry, belts and other western gear was very popular there.
We spent several days enjoying ourselves at the park while waiting to move back into our home. I had come often to Knott's Berry Farm before we went to Japan, so this was a nice welcome home.