Posted on May 1, 2020
This 1942 registration card of Joseph Ned LaRocca’s was nicknamed the “Old Man’s Draft Card.” It was required by a Selective Service Act (after Pearl Harbor) and used to acquire information. It was likened to a “snapshot of American males age 45-64 years old.
This document shows us that Joseph Ned LaRocca lived at 3834 Evans St and that he worked at NBC and CBS on Radio Row, Sunset and Vine.
Virginia LaRocca is named owner the “double” house at 3710/12 Arbolada Rd. on an LA building permit. Donna has a voter registration record with this address in 1944. seen in ancestry. Robert Morgan Cotterell name is listed as a POW with this address in 44 (see other chapter titled Arbolada) Joseph LaRocca is listed in the LA telephone directory with this address in 1948.
Arbolada Rd. dead ends, is high on a hill with an incredible panoramic view of the area. It’s close to their Evans St. home and near famous Griffith Park.
Coincidentally 3710/12 Arbolada is about 5 minutes by car from 3311 Waverly drive, home of Manson “family” victims Rosemary and Leno LaBianca.
Antonio LaBianca, father of Leno LaBianca, bought the Waverly house in 1940. So the 2 Italian families,(Joseph’s wife Virginia was not Italian but Mormon with English ancestry) were neighbors at one point, even if they never met. Joseph’s wife Virginia was a Caucasian Mormon, she and Joseph met on the vaudeville circuit.
Ned and Virginia LaRocca may have purchased the Arbolada double house to accommodate the extended family members who occasionally stayed or lived here, per directories and voter registrations. (collection of author)
This includes: Joseph’s niece Mildred Marinell, moved out from Peoria, Ill. Virginia’s sister Josephine Harker, her sometimes singing/dancing partner back in the days of vaudeville, their daughter Donna, their son-in-law Robert, and granddaughters Constance and Diana Cotterell.
All these names (except for the girls) were linked to the Evans address from 1938 through around 1947, per records.
It’s easy to imagine the Evans house ( by Marshall High School, ) was too small to fit all those family members comfortably. I have seen city documents of the original house plan.
Donna and Robert’s divorce was final in 1947.
Virginia LaRocca had been a full time Christian Science Practitioner by the 1940s and a Christian Science Reader at some point. Her income from this is unknown. She had her own phone per listing in the LA phone book.
The city of Los Angeles experienced a housing shortage during the post-war years. More so than usual.
This fact caused me to wonder as to how the LaRoccas could afford the 2 houses in the early 1940s.
I didn’t find an exact answer but the next several chapters may shed some light on the upwardly mobile direction of the LaRocca/Cotterell family.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Rating: 5 out of 5.
View from Arbolada Drive is spectacular as is the original building itself. It’s not friendly for wheels.