In 1957, as Wham-O introduced the Frisbee and Buddy Holly recorded “That’ll Be the Day,” newlyweds George and Gloria Deukmejian we putting down roots sin Long Beach. The two have lived in the same house ever since, except for an eight-year hiatus in Sacramento when he served as Governor of California from 1983 to 1991 and she was the state’s First Lady. In 2013 a new state-of-the-art courthouse was opened in Downtown Long Beach and was named the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse. An honor well-deserved if we do say so ourselves!
So, you lived in Long Beach since 1957. That’s 58 years! What originally brought you to the city?
My wife was born and raised in Long Beach. So after we married we decided to settle in her hometown.
For the eight years you were Governor of California, what did you miss most about Long Beach?
I probably missed our friends the most and, of course, the ocean.
What are some of your favorite restaurants in town?
I’m going to have to pass on this one. Once in politics always in politics! There are so many, I don’t want to leave anyone out.
Well, we can understand that. Here’s a more neutral question: Is there a restaurant that no longer exists that you really miss?
That one I’ll answer. We really enjoyed going to The Captain’s Table, which was over in the marina close to where The Crab Pot is today.
Is there a restaurant that you and Gloria go to for special occasions?
Again, I plead the fifth. Actually, we go to different restaurants for different occasions.
Can you share your most memorable Long Beach restaurant experience?
When I was first starting out in politics and ran for the State Assembly, Gloria and I were dining with our friends at The Captain’s Table on the night of the election. We were there when we learned I had won.
No wonder you have such fond memories of that restaurant. Besides that bit of trivia, what is one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?
Princess Diana once fainted after meeting me.
Seriously? With a story like that, do you ever miss politics or ponder the thought of running for another office?
No – after 28 years in politics I was ready to have a private life.
Thanks, Governor, we’ll let you get back to it!