Larry Collins

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Larry Collins

25441 Neptune Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629


Update: 4/30/12

I attended Cal Poly Pomona, studying Aerospace Engineering. However, when I got out of school, the industry tanked. So I went to work for CF Braun & Co (the 'brickyard' at Fremont and Mission) in Alhambra. I was employed by the company through several iterations for over thirty years. When it became apparent the company would be closing, I accepted a position with Universal Studios as a Project Engineer for their Universal Studios Japan theme park.

I worked for one year at Universal City (commuting daily from my home in Dana Point). Then my wife, Lorna, and I moved to Osaka, Japan for project construction. Both of us worked in the field office. When we returned to California, we wrote our memoir of the experience, 31 MONTHS IN JAPAN: THE BUILDING OF A THEME PARK. It has received wonderful reviews and was a finalist in several contests. Following our stay in Japan, I went to work for Power Engineering Services in Brea for the next ten years until my retirement in 2011.

Together, Lorna (AHS '64) and I have written two mysteries, MURDER... THEY WROTE, and MURDER IN PARADISE. last year, I published my first collection of short stories, LAKEVIEW PARK. You can learn all about our books on our website

I'm enjoying my leisure time, surfing every weekday (too crowded on the weekends), writing, and traveling. Our daughter, Kimberly lives in Dallas, Texas, so we try to see her as often as possible.


Update: 6/8/11

Since returning from Japan, I have continued working for PES in Brea. However, as of April 29, 2011, I will be retired. Good thing since I am now a published author.

In 2005, Lorna and I wrote our memoir of living and working on Universal Studios Japan, "31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park." It received quite a bit of attention and was named one of Rebeccas Reads top nonfiction books of 2005. It continues to sell, even though our target audience was the team who built the park with us. We've subsequently had two mysteries published: "Murder... They Wrote" and "Murder in Paradise." After I retire, we’ll start work on the next in the series. We’ve already outlined three more. In addition, I am writing an anthology of short stories.

I continue to surf every chance I get. Check our website,, for more information.

Original Post:

I attended Cal Poly Pomona (along with Don Wolford). In 1965 I married Lorna Lund (AHS '64) and went to work for CF Braun & Co ("the brickyard" on Fremont Avenue) as an Electrical Designer. While working for Braun, I lived in Illinois and Denver and had the opportunity to work on several other field jobs, including one in Istanbul, Turkey. During my years at Braun, I moved up to the position of Electrical Principal Engineer.

In 1967, our daughter Kimberly was born.

Braun was sold, first to Santa Fe International, and then in 1987 to Kuwait Oil Company. I left Braun went to work for Holmes and Narver in Orange. We moved from Arcadia where we had been living to Dana Point. But in 1989, Braun was again sold to Brown and Root and many of the old Braun employees were re-hired.

By 1997, however, the Alhambra facility was decreasing in size. I was offered a position as Project Engineer at universal Studios to work on their Universal Studios Japan theme park. I accepted that position, and in July of 1997 Lorna and I moved to Osaka, Japan. We were there until March of 2001 when we returned to the US. I am glad to say that USJ has broken all theme park attendance records in the year since opening.

I am now working for PES (Power Engineering systems) in Brea.