Culver City Observer -

Scouts Refurbish Culver’s Beloved ‘Pokey’


August 1, 2012

By David W. Myers

Contributing Editor

Some local Boy Scouts have spent the past several days in the Culver City “pokey”—and their parents couldn’t be happier about it.

The Scouts, from Culver City’s Troop 113, teamed up with a handful of other volunteers to refurbish the old wagon that was once a mainstay of Fiesta La Ballona. After a 25-year absence, the spiffed-up paddy will make its debut when the three-day festival begins on Aug. 24.

Decades ago, members of the Culver City Rotary Club and other community-service groups would wheel the portable pokey around town during Fiesta Week and “jail” residents who weren’t wearing suitable festival garb.

No one is certain why the tradition ended. But the pokey wound up in a Culver City storage yard, all but forgotten among high weeds and clutter. Its tires went flat, its paint began to flake, and its trailer lights had cracked.

Now it’s making a comeback, thanks to a sponsorship by the Rotary, a generous donation by Jeff Gillette of Culver Motor Clinic, help from the city’s Equipment Maintenance Division, and some old-fashion elbow grease supplied by the Scouts and other volunteers.

The boys, under the careful watch of local contractor and Scout Leader Tony Bravo, painstakingly sanded off its peeling paint and added a new coat. The cracking tires have been replaced, as have its broken taillights.

“This is great,” said Rotary Club President Jeff Jones. “We love the opportunity to again be a champion of the pokey, and we guarantee a good time with it during Fiesta Week.”

The Scouts from Troop 113 will also play a key role in the Fiesta, holding a “Scout-O-Rama” Sunday, Aug. 26, from noon to 4 p.m. that will showcase their array of Scouting skills and help to recruit new members.

The Observer is the Fiesta’s official newspaper. More information about the festival’s entire set of activities and schedules can be found at


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