[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Hello City Folk: Don’t Pet the Black Kitty with the White Stripe | 12-02-2012
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny
67°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
July 27
1876 - 223-foot Soledad train tunnel completed; last tunnel on line linking L.A. & S.F. [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Dec 2, 2012

Darryl Manzer

I was having breakfast the other day with Mr. Renly, my little basset hound, at the Egg Plantation in beautiful downtown Newhall.

The location seemed so familiar to me. I know it is near a house that used to sit on that part of Walnut Street where a classmate of mine lived. Just can’t remember who or what the exact address was at the time. I do think it was near the old library.

I rode a horse to that library once. Just had to drop off a book. Think old Suzy helped fertilize some of the shrubs there. In those days it wasn’t an environmental disaster – just a little fertilizer.

I remember riding over the hill on Market Street, and some folks on Valley Street had horses, so I could water Suzy in the their trough. From there it was a slow walk back to Pico. Fun!

Suzy was a good horse. Oh, she did have a tendency to bite folks when a carrot or apple wasn’t offered. She only did it to me once before I got trained. I always had a treat for her after that.

Mr. Renly

My aunt and uncle brought a city kid to Pico once, and Suzy gave him a little love bite. The kid didn’t come back – or maybe he didn’t return because I told him he could relieve himself on a stretch of electric fence we had at Minnie-Lotta Canyon (where the old bakery foundation sits). Don’t think I’ve heard a scream like that since then.

City folk up in Pico and Towsley scare me a little. I was leading a tour there not long ago, and a friendly rattlesnake was sunning itself at Johnson Park. I know to look for them out of habit. Hard to hear them if you’re hiking with your iPod cranked up to full volume and the buds are clogging your ears.

Those city folk also like to build “monuments” or leave something noting that they passed by a spot. We used to call that “litter.”  And what is the fascination with that water/oil pond in Towsley? Does everyone have to stick something in it to see that it is really oil? Why?

Those hills and mountains to the west of Newhall are a lot more wild and natural today than when I lived in Mentryville in the ‘60s. The wells are capped, and vehicle traffic is a Ranger passing by maybe twice a day. There are no cattle on those hills now. The wildlife has returned in force.

We did see a mountain lion or bobcat once in a great while. A few snakes, too. There were deer and quail and dove. But there weren’t the numbers of those critters that we see today.

The rattler was just minding its own business.

Oh, I left out coyotes. That population has really grown since the canyon has less activity.

As those lands return to a more natural state, the folks who visit Towsley and Pico should remember to watch for those critters. Trust me, they don’t want to be around people any more than you want to meet some of them up close and personal-like. Please be careful.

I forgot to mention skunks. Usually they mention themselves. Not by sight, I might add. Don’t attempt to pet the pretty little black kitty with the white stripe. Tomato sauce and juice baths are not fun.

While you’re up in those canyons and hills to the west, please remember that cell phone service can’t reach most of Pico Canyon from the bakery to the end of the canyon. In case of emergency, you’re in trouble. Towsley has a couple of cell-less spots, and the more southerly open space area west of I-5 also has limited cell service. Again, take care.

Standard Oil trucks all had a two-way radio in them. Service was pretty good except in Pico. Like cell phone service today, the two-way radio had dead spots. Like the time a cow fell on the truck my father was driving near some wells in the Hasley Canyon area. He was able to reach another company truck that relayed the message to the production office in Martinez Canyon.

The cow landed on the roof of the truck when it got too close to a steep bank near the road to a well. The bank caved in, and the cow tumbled onto the truck’s roof. Mashed it pretty good. The cow survived. The truck didn’t. I can almost picture the look on the face of my father’s boss as he was told a cow dropped on top of the truck.

Almost as funny as thinking of that city kid and the electric fence.

Couldn’t repeat those events now. Just another part of life in the SCV then.

 

Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com and his commentaries, published on Sundays, are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

2 Comments

  1. DennyO says:

    OK, a cow falling on the truck roof trumps “raining cats & dogs.”

  2. Well, that’s not the only thing that ever fell on a truck. My brother-in-law had a mountain lion land on the roof of his pickup by the Y out on Pico Cyn. Rd. years ago.,, while he was driving down the road. The cat was okay and kept up his run after he bounced off of the hood again on the other side of the truck. It scared my BIL half to death, but the teasing he got from family and friends for years was worse. Just life in Pico Canyon. It was never dull living out there.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
RECENT COMMENTARY
Thursday, Jul 20, 2017
Much of the dramatic decline of the yellow-billed cuckoo in California has been directly attributed to breeding habitat loss and degradation from lands being converted to agricultural and other urban uses.
Wednesday, Jul 19, 2017
The Newhall Ranch project will create nearly 74,000 permanent jobs within the region and an estimated 130,000 construction jobs over the decades it will take to build the project, and it will provide a variety of housing types from apartments and starter homes to places to raise a family, from affordable housing to executive housing.
Friday, Jul 14, 2017
Medicare covers a variety of heath care services that you can get in the comfort and privacy of your home. These include intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language pathology services, and occupational therapy.
Tuesday, Jul 11, 2017
In their attempt to usurp the Division of State Architect's role in the reopening of Acton School, the Acton-Agua Dulce school board has exposed itself to possible penalties being levied against the district, or civil lawsuits against individual board members.
Sunday, Jul 9, 2017
Python hunters work in pairs. One is the puller and one is the “hole guy.” The hole guy crawls into the hole to face the python head-on. When he’s bitten and the snake is holding on tight, the puller pulls out the hole guy, and the snake comes out with him.
Wednesday, Jul 5, 2017
As the temperatures go up this week, a great way to cool off is to head to one of the City’s six pools, says Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1876 - 223-foot Soledad train tunnel completed; last tunnel on line linking L.A. & S.F. [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, puppies and pints abounded at fundraiser Tuesday evening. Plus, the passing of a local legend. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Bob Danis, Korean War veteran, United States Air Force interpreter, singer, trumpet player and Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center band leader, died Tuesday in Valencia. He was 85.
Bob Danis, Korean War Veteran, Senior Center Star, Dies at 85
Legislation introduced by Representative Steve Knight (CA-25), known as the Securely Expediting Clearances through Reporting Transparency Act, H.R. 3210, or SECRET, passed the House today with a unanimous, bipartisan vote.
House Passes Knight’s ‘SECRET’ Act; Senate Next Stop
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said the department would seek further legal clarity on its obligations to conform to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brady decision.
Sheriff’s Department Seeks Clarity on Brady Decision
California Senator Scott Wilk will update the Santa Clarita Valley business community on state and local water projects at the SCV Chamber of Commerce's next "Good Morning SCV" breakfast on August 9.
August 9: Wilk Water Update at ‘Good Morning SCV’ Breakfast
CalArts alum Roger Holzberg (BFA 76), a cancer survivor and former creative director/VP at Walt Disney Imagineering, co-founded Reimagine Well, a revolutionary company that creates immersive healing experiences and builds custom virtual reality theaters in hospitals for pediatric and adolescent cancer patients.
CalArtians Collaborate on ‘Infusarium’ for Youth Cancer Patients
The monthly meeting of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission will take place at the Metropolitan Water District office in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, July 27 starting at 9 a.m.
July 27: Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission Meeting
Providence St. Joseph Health and Well Being Trust jointly announce the first round of $10 million in grants and contracts to mental health and wellness initiatives that will help vulnerable Californians.
Providence, Well Being Boost Mental Health Initiatives with $10 Million in Grants
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is partnering with Univision to host a mental health and immigration awareness telecast on Thursday, July 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on KMEX, Channel 34.
July 27: County, Univision Host Mental Health, Immigration Telecast
The FBI and Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station warn of kidnapping scams and offer tips about what to do if you get one of those calls.
FBI, Sheriff’s Officials Warn of Virtual Kidnapping Scams
Garrett Hampson totaled four hits and the Lancaster JetHawks outhit the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes but lost, 11-4, on Tuesday night at LoanMart Field.
JetHawks Outhit, But Don’t Outscore Quakes Tuesday
Local singer-songwriter Savannah Burrows headlines a show also featuring country cover band Double Wide at Central Park on Saturday, July 29, at 7 p.m.
Savannah Burrows, Double Wide Bring Country to Central Park
Celebrate the benefits of vaccination during August, National Immunization Awareness Month.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month
Here's a list of the streets in Santa Clarita set for the city's Road Rehab Project from July 25 to August 4.
July 25-August 4: Santa Clarita Roads in Rehab
The California Highway Patrol's Newhall station will host a "Start Smart" driving class for teens at the station on Saturday, August 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
August 19: Newhall CHP ‘Start Smart’ Teen Driver Class
2002 - Hollywood premiere of Disney's "The Country Bears," filmed at Golden Oak Ranch in Placerita Canyon [story]
For 42 years Soroptimist International of Valencia has been committed to the Live Your Dream program awarding cash grants to disadvantaged women.
Aug. 1: Summer “Wine” Down to Raise Funds for Disadvantaged Women
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, A bear sighting was reported in Newhall Tuesday morning. Plus, the Child & Family Center and Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley are going forces and planning to merge. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, July 25, 2017
The California State University (CSU) has partnered with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) to develop the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs.
CSU Receives Grant; Will Fund Workshops for Clean Energy Entrepreneurs
The largest-ever concert series devoted entirely to the music of renowned composer John Luther Adams (Music BFA 73) takes place this week (July 26-July 30). Hosted by SFJAZZ, the festival takes place in several venues in San Francisco, including the Miner Auditorium, Grace Cathedral and the Sutro Baths at Lands End in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Concert Series Devoted Entirely to CalARTS Alum
The Child & Family Center and Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley have announced their intention to join forces and merge into a single organization to better serve the needs of the growing Santa Clarita community.
DVC Merging Into Child & Family Center
Local artist Chrystal Walker presents a one-woman show at FastFrame Valencia, located at 24204 Valencia Blvd., during September.
Sept. 1: One-Woman Show on Printmaking by Local Artist
Santa Clarita deputies are investigating a report of a bank robbery at the Logix location on McBean Parkway.
Suspected Serial Bank Robber Hits Logix in Valencia
Santa Clarita’s night-time commuters might notice some slowing on the freeway in the coming weeks, due to some road construction projects, officials said Tuesday.
Officials Issue Travel Alert for LAX Commuters
Knowing that up to 70 percent of residential water is used for landscaping, it’s no surprise that conscientious homeowners are looking for efficient irrigation methods to minimize water waste, and lower household water bills.
Aug. 19: CSUN-al Offering Class on Water-Saving Methods for Home and Garden
CHP officers and Fish and Wildlife officials were unable to locate a bear reported near Calgrove Boulevard and Wiley Canyon Road, in Newhall on Tuesday morning.
Bear Sighting in Newhall
Despite robust closed escrow sales in June, California pending home sales slipped for the sixth consecutive month, suggesting an impending slowdown in the state's housing market as the peak homebuying season winds down, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.
State Sees Downward Trend in June Home Sales
On Saturday, August 19, 2017, test your strength, stamina, and endurance at the 12th Annual Plane Pull fundraiser at the Long Beach Airport.
Aug. 19: Annual Plane Pull Benefiting Local Non-Profit
Trey Killian tossed seven shutout innings to lead the Lancaster JetHawks to a 3-0 win over the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Monday night at LoanMart Field
Killian Gets 7th Win; Throws for Seven Shutout Innings
According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in Santa Clarita Valley Tuesday.
Air Quality Advisory for Sensitive Individuals in SCV
Rep. Steve Knight’s (CA-25) bill, H.R. 2333, Small Business Investment Opportunity (SBIO) Act of 2017, passed the House Monday with unanimous support.
Knight Bill to Improve Small Business Investments Unanimously Passes House
1915 - Pioneer Juan Batista Suraco buried in a family graveyard, currently unmarked, in Bouquet Canyon near Benz Road [story]
The Los Angeles Dodgers Monday reinstated left-handed pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu from the 10-day disabled list, put Clayton Kershaw on the DL with low back strain, among other roster moves.
Dodgers Roster Moves: Kershaw & McCarthy on DL, Ryu Reinstated
Sierra Bancorp, parent of Bank of the Sierra, today announced its unaudited financial results for the three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 2017.
Sierra Bancorp Reports Earnings for First Half of 2017