74 years later a couple returns to Hotel Laguna to celebrate a complete life – Orange County Register

Roland Hansen knew he wanted to propose to his girlfriend Lauren in a romantic setting somewhere along the Southern California coast.

Hansen, who served in the Naval Air Force from 1943 to 1945, returned to Compton, where he grew up. The two met at Compton College after a friend who was on his way to school with Hansen told Lauren he was “interested” in her. They dated for a year, after which Hansen, who was finishing two credits before going to USC dental school, decided it was time to pop the question. She had been awarded a scholarship to the University of California, Santa Barbara, which prompted him to speed things up.

Therefore, Hansen considered all possible options.

“Sunset Beach had a lot of junk,” he said. There were a lot of cans and rubble. Long Beach had a lot of oil rigs. I could drive north towards the peninsula, but there weren’t any restaurants or hotels along the coast. Where would you suggest? In the car? No other places have any more appeal than Laguna Beach.”

It was September 1947 and two months later, on November 26, the couple married at First Christian Church in Compton. They honeymooned at the Mission Inn in Riverside. They were given the $8 reservation as a wedding gift.

On Friday, November 26, the couple returned with their five children, Craig Hansen, 70, Ann Seebeck, 69, Carrie Hansen, 65, Karen Smith, 62, and Kristen Linders, 56, to the Laguna Hotel to celebrate their 74th marriage. General with a view of the beach as Hansen suggested.

A photo of the Hansen family in the lobby of the Laguna Hotel in Laguna Beach on Friday, November 26, 2021, the 74th wedding anniversary of Roland and Lauren Hansen. Left to left: Carrie Hansen, Roland, Lorian Hansen, and Craig Hansen; Front row: Karen Smith, Ann Seebeck and Kristen Linders. (Photo by Mark Reitmeyer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Inside a private room at Larsen, the recently renovated Laguna Hotel restaurant, Lauren, 94, and Roland, now 96, remember their children looking at photos of their many years together. Pictures and other memorabilia, including a newspaper scrapbook and a model of a Stearman biplane — the plane Roland Larsen learned to fly while on duty — were laid out on a long table lined with white linen.

There were pictures of their old home in Rolling Hills, a gated community on the Palos Verdes peninsula. This one-story white farmhouse was simple. It contained two acres and a barn and was surrounded by a white fence of three rods. The couple pride themselves on maintaining their original Californian yard and landscaping work.

“My father wanted the land to remain the original land,” said Sibeck, of Irvine. “For 35 years, they have never had a gardener. My father went to classes at UCLA to learn about the native plants of California. He and my mother planted all the plants. They did everything to save money.

“The California poppy was his favourite, and it’s mine,” Seebeck said. “We grew up with them all over the property. We learned to listen to the pop of poppies when the seeds came out.”

And there were other memories, like when the whole family went to Europe to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. It was a six-week camping trip that the couple’s children said instilled in them a lifelong passion for camping and travel. The family rented a wagon and stopped at places in Belgium, England, Holland, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. I

In Denmark, they found the church where they married and buried their grandparents. That trip also inspired Hansen to research his Danish family lineage.

There were also photos of outdoor accomplishments, such as when Hansen turned 60 and set a goal to hike Mount Whitney. Lauren Hansen and four of his sons were there for the conquest. Then when Lorient Hansen turned 65, the whole family climbed to the top of Half Dome, the famous rock formation in Yosemite National Park.

Seebek said she still remembers the experience and became emotional as she talks about what it was like for her mother to get to the top.

“My mother has been, all her life, a very strong woman,” Seebek said. “She never cried. But when we got to the top of Half Dome, she cried how we did it together. She brought us all together to tell us how much it meant to her.”

Roland Hansen completed his dental education from the University of Southern California in 1950 thanks to GI Bill and majored in pediatric dentistry. He later served as president of the California Pediatric Dental Association and the American Pediatric Dental Association. Lauren Hansen was a housewife mother.

“My dad and mom were kids in the depression era, and they didn’t grow up with much,” Seebek said, adding that the outdoors was a way to have fun that didn’t cost much.

Their passion for camping, hiking, fishing and skiing has taken them on trips to the High Sierra Mountains and Mammoth Lakes. They moved there after living on the Palos Verdes peninsula for 35 years. Roland Hansen continued in dentistry and treated patients at the Toiyabe Indian Health Project in Bishop for seven years. Lauren Hansen volunteered at Mammoth Hospital and the couple donated to a local college.

After 10 years and lots of snowy winters, they moved to Palm Desert, where they spent another decade. Recently, they moved to Orange County and are currently living in Laguna Niguel.

When their children got together with them on Friday, they thought about the lessons learned and what their parents’ cooperation had taught them.

Craig Hansen, who still lives in the Mammoth Lakes region, said his parents’ passion made lifelong exploration important.

“On many of these family trips, we would stop at ‘points of interest’, monuments, next to the roadside turnout,” he said of early family trips. This was their way of teaching us about the history of the area.

“As an adult, I realized the importance of exploration,” said Craig Hansen. “It could be an alternate route to your destination or back home, reading a different author or book, or doing an overall home repair project on your own.”

Kristen Linders, the youngest of the couple’s children, incorporated the values ​​she learned from each parent. From her father, there was a lot, including that “the outdoors is an unrecognized exercise”, “take care of your corner of the world and plant things”, and that “photographing helps document it all.”

From her mother, she learned all aspects of the home, including important coupons and sales as well as growing and preserving food.

“I’ve done it all,” Lenders said. “Our house was clean, and she was always put together and beautiful. She welcomed her father after the daily work and home-cooked meals were always eaten together as a family.”

As she looked around the table on Friday, her eyes filled with tears as she watched her parents and siblings exchange memories.

“This is an example of what a family looks like,” she said. “For them, it’s a full circle. That’s where it all began. It’s not just an anniversary, but a life supplement.”

And for Lauren Hansen, the place her husband chose was still special.

“Oh my God, that’s cool,” she said, looking around. “Then it was just an old hotel.”

Were you surprised when he asked her?

“We were in love and I knew it was coming,” she said with a smile. “I thought, Well, why not?”

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