Aranbe Avenue

Since “Aranbe” isn’t a real word or name, I believe it’s a phoneticization of “R&B” – for Ramsey & Bemus, not Rhythm & Blues. Charles Radcliffe Ramsey (1877-1946) and George Horace Bemus (1882-1931) were real estate brokers who christened this street on a tract of theirs in 1920. (Four years later, they opened the Aranbe Hotel on Tamarind; it was destroyed in the 1933 Long Beach earthquake.) George Bemus grew up outside of Rochester, NY. In 1901, he went to NYC for vocal training and soon made his name as a bass singer, performing gospel music across the country. He settled in Los Angeles at the end of 1911 upon signing a contract to sing at the Temple Baptist Church Auditorium. He and his wife Helen (née Davis), who were wed in 1913, had two children. The Ramsey & Bemus realty firm was launched in 1917 and found success not only in Compton but in Flintridge, where both men lived. Sadly, the Great Depression ruined Bemus financially and he committed suicide at 48; his farewell note read, “I love you all, but I am in too deep.” Charles Ramsey fared better. Born and raised in the Cincinnati area, he moved to L.A. with his wife Harriet and little daughter Margaret around 1908. He managed a delivery company before hanging out his realtor shingle in 1912. He later became an avid yachtsman.