When I was in my senior year of high school (1973 - 1974), I used to meet with my pals Mike and Bob for lunch in the flatbed of Bob's '73 Mazda mini-truck parked just outside of school; these were some of my happiest memories of high school. We'd eat, chat and listen to music on Bob's stereo: Alice Cooper, Frank Zappa, Todd Rundgren.
Bob's Madza was very stylish. It was a powder blue, and had a huge whip antenna on the back for the citizen's band radio. It also had a bullhorn concealed in the engine compartment connected to a P.A. system - Bob could issue announcements to other drivers, such as, "I heard that Hondas suck!" Bob also fitted intensely bright airplane landing lights as high beams; at night it lit up the world. The flatbed - our lunch area - was lined in astroturf, which I thought was novel and cool, and he always parked in the same place every day, on Delaware Rd. and Third St., just a half-block north of the intersection of those two roads. The Burbank High School tennis courts were across the street.
For years, for some reason, I thought that the house we parked in front of was the same one seen in Laverne and Shirley, and last night this came up in a cell phone conversation. Could I quickly prove or disprove this using the resources of the modern Internet?
The first stop was to wikipedia's Laverne and Shirley entry to see if there was a mention of the site used for shooting this location. While the specific location wasn't cited, there was this: "Setting: Burbank. For the sixth season in 1980, the current cast moved from Milwaukee to Burbank, California, with the catalyst behind the move as the girls losing their bottlecapping jobs to new automation installed at Shotz Brewery, and want to start fresh. Their friends and family are inspired by the idea and also pack up to move out west. Laverne and Shirley took jobs as gift-wrappers at Bardwell's Department Store..." Okay, so for at least part of its run, the show was supposed to take place in Burbank. This was encouraging.
The next step was to get an image of the Laverne and Shirley house as seen in the series. I had guessed that this was probably available via youtube, and indeed, it was. You can see the title characters walking out of the house in the opening sequence where they do that weird hopscotch chant, " "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!" A pause and a screenscrape of the youtube sequence provided what I needed.
Finally, I needed an image of the place where we used to park, and the house. Google Maps Street View to the rescue... (you can do a 180 and see the school).
Here's the result. Does it look like the same house to you? No, even allowing for some possible remodeling over the years, this is clearly not the same place. I can see how I got confused, however: that arched doorway. Myth busted!
Additional comment: Why would the show's producers move the show's location from Milwaukee to Burbank, of all places? Possibly because the show's creator Garry Marshall (brother of star Penny) lives in Burbank. In fact, he wrote a forward for the 2011 Centennial City of Burbank book, just now being published and distributed.