Cool. My park and park jet was definitely a contemporary of yours. The whole Orange County area was just suburbanizing then and both the military and aerospace were big industries in So Cal. Although the aircraft were both Grumman and therefore probably built on Long Island NY.
I know you know this, but others might appreciate the following trivia. That article gets the aircraft info almost right.
Between those models coming out the Navy changed their designation system from “<aircraft mission letter><arbitrary ID number>< manufacturer ID letter>[-<version number>]” to match the USAF’s: “<different aircraft mission letter>-<different arbitrary ID number>[<version letter>]”.
So F9F-1 through -5 versions are Panthers while F9F-6 and subsequent were renamed F-9F, F-9G, etc. The Cougar article goes into this is some detail.
And yes, per the article, we always called it the “airplane park.” The city held a carnival there every year and even into adulthood it always felt weird to see the posters calling the park by its official name. It’s “airplane park” to me and always will be.