at the helm
This Helms Bakery Truck was was at the Richmond Street Fair in El Segundo a couple weeks ago. Years ago, these trucks apparently were common all over LA. Though they've been gone for more than three decades, a fondness for them still seems common. I love local personal history like this - even for things that far preceeded me. The Helms Bakery is restored and now houses a collection of furniture stores. Its a nice example of a piece of LA history that was saved.
found on laalmanac.com:
"At one time, not long ago, a fleet of 300 Helms Bakery vans cruised the neighborhoods of the Los Angeles area summoning people with their distinctive whistles to purchase bread and pastries. The center of this operation was the Helms Bakery building on Venice Boulevard in Culver City (still located there with original Helms logo). The company, founded by Paul Helms in 1931, eventually succumbed to competition from emerging supermarkets and closed in 1969. Still today, an independently operated former Helms Bakery truck, perhaps the last, cruises the neighborhoods of Montebello, tooting its whistle and offering bread and pastries. Source: Los Angeles A to Z by Leonard & Dale Pitt."
I also ran across this webpage with a much more personal account of growing up with Helms Bakery Trucks: