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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
63°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 25
1859 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez escapes from prison while serving sentence for grand larceny in L.A. County; recaptured in August and sent to San Quentin [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Jan 13, 2013
Darryl Manzer

Darryl Manzer

Tomorrow is my birthday. Not that it means much to anyone but me, but it marks the fact that I’ve been somehow connected to the Santa Clarita Valley for 63 years. Yes, all those years of change.

While both of my loyal readers know I can wax nostalgic at changes in our valley and how much better it was when there were far fewer people, streets, houses, and malls, I must admit I like many of the changes.

Now, historically, I don’t like some of the changes made in Mentryville since I lived there, but I have to remember what the folks who lived there before me and my folks said about how we had changed things for the worse. And I still don’t like the changes the folks who followed us in Pico accomplished.  I mean the fruit trees and sucker-rod fences and roses in the front yard and – see what I mean?

I don’t like the barn and schoolhouse colors now. But those changes preserved the place. At least it got some paint. Goodness knows we couldn’t afford it.

Those changes in the lower areas of Pico Canyon, right about where the Ralph’s supermarket sits, I kind of like. It means nobody will be growing, cutting and baling hay there again.

You know, if I never lift another bale it will be too soon. Another good change.

The view from Happy Valley toward the future Valencia in 1958. Click to enlarge.

The view from Happy Valley toward the future Valencia in 1958. Click to enlarge.

I really like the overpass at Pico Canyon Road and Interstate 5. There was a time before that bridge – actually on April 5, 1966 – that I encountered a vehicle heading north with my motorcycle. Car won, motorcycle lost – and so did I. Both legs broken and wheelchair-bound. Guess that change was better, too.

I do think the SCV has cooled a little. Before Valencia and all the trees, there was little shade to cool the valley floor. There were just lots of open, flat and dusty fields north of Lyons and west of Newhall Avenue. You could look across those fields on a summer day and watch the heat waves ripple off of them.

While I write about how the smell of the onion fields and the stockyards could help Hart High win a Friday night football game if the wind was right, I don’t miss those smells. I like the changes made in that department, too.

San Fernando Road – now Newhall Avenue – four lanes or more from Highway 14 all the way to Saugus and beyond. I like that change, too. Dare I mention the cross-valley connector? Remember the traffic on Soledad Canyon Road before it existed? Good change? You betcha.

Want a good meal?  We’ve got some right here in our valley. Don’t have to leave town to buy just about anything.

Not all of the changes are for the better, but we’ve made some great strides in preserving the best part of the SCV.  The city is slowly expanding the open-space areas that surround the valley so we won’t have huge, ugly waves of houses rolling over every ridgeline. That is one way to make the changes better. I think that is pretty good.

Now, I can refer to certain places and place-names that only we “Been Here’s” know and all of the “Come Here’s” don’t. Like if you know where Hi Chic curve is on Railroad Avenue, or where Thatcher Glass was located, you may be a “Been Here.”  If you pronounce Castaic in three syllables, you ARE a “Come Here.” No doubt about that. For the uninitiated and Come-Here folks, it is pronounced “Cas-STEAK.”

Not that I’m putting anyone down. You had the good fortune to come to a great place to live and work. Some of us were blessed from birth to have been able to call this valley home. If by birth or by choice you came here, you have indeed found a place to sink roots and call home. Your children can become “Been Here’s.” Pretty cool. You should like that, too.

You know that cattle, sheep and horses used to far outnumber people in the SCV. It wasn’t even called Santa Clarita Valley before Valencia. We just called it … well, it really didn’t have a name that anyone used like they do today.  For that, I like the changes. We have a name for OUR place and our home.

We moan, groan, cuss and discuss our city and county government. We gripe about the traffic and heat and cold and schools and parks and whatever. But we stay here. Our children stay here. We like it here. Sometimes we roam away but return (like me), and others come and stay. Still others have never left our valley except on vacation.

If all of this change were bad, we would have left long ago. Many of us who did leave have returned to stay.

You see, I do believe Dorothy was right when she clicked the heels of those ruby slippers. There’s no place like home … especially if it is the good, old SCV.

 

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.

1 Comment

  1. Once upon a time, I mourned the loss of the grassy, uninhabited hills west of Interstate 5 at Calgrove. In the 1960’s, dad took us shooting there. Fast forward to 1996 – and I found myself living in Hidden Valley – on one of those very same hills. Newhall, I love you, and I always will.

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...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
Your rights guarantee that you get the health services the law says you can get, protect you against unethical practices, and ensure the privacy of your personal and medical information. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, and to be protected from discrimination.
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
California voters just bought the feel-good tax proposition that was stated to raise yet another $4 billion for “clean water” funds. Days later, Brown declared it isn’t enough. There will be another ballot measure in November to raise another $8 billion.
Friday, Jun 8, 2018
Our state leaders are finally working together to address one of the greatest inequities in higher education – funding for California community colleges that serve high need students.
Wednesday, Jun 6, 2018
Not every decision on the table must be made within the next week. When it comes to deciding how to fund community colleges, it would be wise to hit pause and devote more careful consideration to the discussion.
Monday, Jun 4, 2018
This summer, help your kids break away from Fortnite and YouTube – by signing them up for fun recreational opportunities offered by the City. Instead of screen time, their days can be filled with sunshine, learning, activity, arts, culture and much more.
Friday, Jun 1, 2018
In her June message, Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste details the best ways to enjoy the local trails and open space this summer.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1859 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez escapes from prison while serving sentence for grand larceny in L.A. County; recaptured in August and sent to San Quentin [story]
1980 - Saugus Train Station relocated to Heritage Junction [story]
1946, 11:20pm: William S. Hart, 81, dies at L.A.'s California Lutheran Hospital, leaving his Newhall home and 80-acre estate to L.A. County [story]
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan announced the sixth ballot counting update for the June 5 Statewide Direct Primary Election on Friday.
Sixth Election Results Update for June 5 Primary Election
The Master's University women's cross country team released its 2018 schedule Friday, the highlight coming Nov. 3 when it hosts the Golden State Athletic Conference Championships at Central Park in Saugus.
TMU Women’s Cross Country Releases 2018 Schedule
Minimum wage laws change July 1, so the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation and SCV law firm Poole & Shaffery, LLP will present a "Minimum Wage Forum" at College of the Canyons' University Center on Wednesday, August 1 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
August 1: Minimum Wage Forum at COC University Center
Allison Needham of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation outlines the top five digital trends shaping 2018 so far.
It’s Personal: 5 Digital Trends Shaping 2018
The Robert T. Brentnall Pawsibilities Foundation, a Santa Clarita-based nonprofit animal rescue organization (Tax ID# is 47-5634745), is asking the community to help a family with a litter of German shepherd puppies, by adopting one or donating funds to help care for them.
Animal Rescue Group Seeks Help for German Shepherd Puppies
CalArts School of Art faculty member Shirley Tse will represent Hong Kong at the 2019 Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy, happening now through November 2019.
CalArts’ Shirley Tse to Represent Hong Kong at Venice Biennale
University administrators are falling short in their responsibilities to swiftly hold accountable staff and faculty named in sexual violence complaints and align disciplinary policies with federal guidelines, according to a state audit released Thursday of three University of California campuses.
UCLA, 2 More UC Campuses Faulted for Sex Misconduct Process
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is proud to announce commitments from four additional industry partners – AMC Networks, Moving Picture Institute, Telsey + Company, and Xperi – to participate in Academy Gold, an entertainment industry-wide internship enhancement and mentorship program for students and young professionals from underrepresented communities.
Academy Launches Summer ‘Gold’ Diversity Internships
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in their meeting Tuesday will consider a motion urging California to create an emblem program for licensed cannabis stores so consumers will know which stores are legal.
Supes Propose Statewide Cannabis Store Licensing Program
The JetHawks began the second half of the 2018 season with a win, beating Inland Empire, 7-5, at The Hangar Thursday night.
JetHawks Start Strong in Second Half, Beat IE 7-5
After four weeks of spirited voting, USA Today announced Friday that readers have voted Six Flags Magic Mountain the winner of the 2018 Best Theme Park contest.
USA Today: Six Flags Magic Mountain No. 1 Theme Park
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, June 26, starting at 9:30 a.m.
June 26: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The state of California has a list of more than 10,000 known individuals in illegal possession of firearms, but has not provided adequate resources for law enforcement to recover their weapons, Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) said in a statement Friday.
After Firearms Raid, Acosta Calls for More Law Enforcement Funding
A voter-approved ballot measure aimed at reducing California’s prison population and ending racial disparities in the war on drugs has produced most of the cost-saving, equity-focused results it promised, with some exceptions, according to a study published Thursday.
Study: Prop. 47 Decreased Racial Disparities in Drug Arrests
A Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputy reportedly clocked a Las Vegas woman driving 93 miles an hour near the Saugus Speedway and arrested her on charges of excessive speed and reckless driving late Wednesday night.
Nevada Woman Arrested for Speeding, Reckless Driving in Saugus
1972 - Vasquez Rocks added to National Register of Historic Places [list]
The ARTree still has openings for next week's Junior Arts Sampler and "I Made That!" pastel classes.
ARTree Summer Classes Still Available
The Santa Clarita Arts Commission will hold a study session, Monday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m.
June 25: Arts Commission Study Session
The California Enterprise Development Authority will hold a teleconference meeting, Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
June 28: California Enterprise Development Authority Teleconference Meeting
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday, June 26, at 5:30 p.m.
June 26: Santa Clarita City Council Special Meeting
Firefighters are battling a brush fire at the Sunshine Canyon Landfill that started around 3:00 p.m. Thursday.
Firefighters Battling 1-2 Acre Fire Near Newhall Pass
Glenn Frankel and Keri Walsh have been named 2018 Academy Film Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Academy Honors 2018 Film Scholars
Join the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and Sweat Box Sauna Bar as they celebrate the opening of their new location.
June 27: Grand Opening Celebration Sweat Box Sauna Bar
Fresh Mustang connections to Major League Baseball didn't end with the draft earlier this month. Master's graduate David Sheaffer, who transferred before his final collegiate season to pursue an international MBA program, signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Mariners on June 10.
TMU Alum Signs with Seattle Mariners
There are spots still available on the Saugus Spartans Football program for kids between the ages of 6-8 years old.
Spots Still Open on Saugus Spartans Football Program
An already extremely tight inventory bumped into rising interest rates to further complicate home sales during May in the Santa Clarita Valley, which saw drops in home and condominium closed escrows compared to a year ago, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Thursday.
SCV Home, Condo Sales Drop Amid Tight Inventory, Rising Interest Rates
Detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station are looking for a male suspect who stole a tip jar from a local coffee shop. Details below are from the Facebook page of the SCV Sheriff's Station:
Detectives Seek Public’s Help in Nabbing Tip Jar Thief
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting. There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.
July 28: Children’s Bureau Foster Care, Adoption Information Meeting
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on Friday, June 22, in the city of Santa Clarita in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.
LASD to Conduct Specialized Motorcycle Safety Operation
LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy for all individuals in Santa Clarita Valley and for sensitive individuals in East San Gabriel Valley area tomorrow, Friday, June 22.
Air Quality Advisory Issued for SCV
1941 - Ernie Hickson buys out Trem Carr's interest in their Monogram movie ranch, renames it "Placeritos" (later called Melody). [story]
CalArts alumna and faculty member Brigette Barrager (BFA Film/Video 07) was awarded the Christopher Award for Distinguished Achievement for her illustration of "Pocket Full of Colors."
CalArts Faculty Brigette Barrager Wins Christopher Award
"Window Lace," the first exhibit by CalArts students to be presented at the Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall, is now open on the mall's first floor across from H&M and will be on display through the end of summer 2018.
CalArts Opens its First Art Exhibit at Westfield Valencia Mall