Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | September 2, 2011

Happy 93rd Birthday to Oliver Brown!

From: Nancy Lebrecht, Oliver’s Neice

Oliver will be 93 on 9/4/11 and still in good health thanks to the wonderful team at the Palomar Continuing Care Center.  He would welcome a visit or call from his friends on the mountain.  He’s in room 45, or they can call 760 739 2245 to say hello.  He loves his favorite mountain and often talks about returning to visit with his many friends.   The story you wrote below, four years ago is now a treasured family favorite.  Thanks for getting the word out.

Many warmest regards,
Nancy Lebrecht

From:Palomar Mountain News
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2008 1:40 PM
Subject: 50 years waving to folks on the Mtn! Happy Birthday to Oliver for his 90th!!!

Today is Oliver Brown’s 90th birthday!  He is celebrating all month long, so if you drop a card in the mail or pop by to see him, you’ll brighten your day!  Don’t know Oliver yet?  Here is a little of his background:

Oliver Brown has been on Palomar for over 50 years now.  If you have driven across Crestline Road on a warm day, you have probably see Oliver sitting in his wheel chair out in front of his cabin.  He waves to everyone as they go by and you are always welcome to stop and visit. Oliver has some great stories tucked away about life on Palomar.

Oliver, is someone many people call the ‘Mayor of the Mountain’, was born September 4, 1918 in the little village of Oscela, Missouri, half way between Springfield and Kansas City. Out of seven brother’s and sisters, he is the third oldest. His father had drug stores in several towns and was a Doctor.

Oliver served in the Marine Corps and took his basic training in San Diego then was stationed in Goleta Air base in Santa Barbara.  He was with the Air Wing and did a lot of traveling, covering eleven air bases, classifying personnel for various positions in the military.

In 1934 he visited Palomar for the first time at the recommendation of his Great Aunt Mina Dyer who lived in Vista.  Aunt Mina told Oliver that Palomar reminded her of their home in the Ozark Mountains in Southern Missouri.  Oliver loved the mountain too and several times during his Marine Corps career, visited his Aunt and came to the mountain on a weekend pass.

In 1948 he moved to Palomar and lived in the Bailey area for a bit then moved to Crestline. He managed the Lodge for eleven years when it was owned by Mike Papich as a Restaurant and Hotel.

Oliver shared the following:

“I’d drive my Chevrolet to Escondido and fill up the trunk with steaks.  When we ran out of steaks, the kitchen was closed.  The Hollywood actress, Joan Crawford stayed at the Lodge.  She had been ill for a short period prior to coming up and relaxed at the lodge while recovering.  She ate well and often…  One of my customers was one of the actor’s agents in Hollywood, Jimmy Sands.  Jimmy would come with four or five people on the weekends to get away from the big city and noise of the studios.  We occasionally had some cowboy singers and had a piano in the dining room and once in a while people take a turn at the piano.  Most often they were very good, but it was unofficial and unexpected.  I managed the Lodge until Betty Lowe and her family purchased the Lodge and took it over.”

You can see one of Oliver’s faded stickers on the windows of some of the old cabins on Palomar.  His “Palomar Mountain Security” business took care of cabins for people who were away most of the time.  He and his workers kept the exterior cleaned up to the local standards, handled the rentals of some absentee owners, and did repair work.

You are in for a treat to stop by and visit with Oliver, sit a spell and listening to some of his wonderful stories about our favorite Mountain.

Here is a link with photos for Oliver’s 92nd Birthday greeting:

Happy Birthday Oliver!

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