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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
65°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 19
1863 - Gen. Edward F. Beale loans money to A.A. Hudson and Oliver P. Robbins to erect toll house in Newhall Pass [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Nov 3, 2013
Darryl Manzer

Darryl Manzer

I wonder how much more productive I could be if there weren’t a thing called Facebook?

I’m a Facebook user. I used to write long rants on many subjects about which I knew little. Those rants didn’t solve many problems, but once in a while folks who read those rants could comment and maybe take some action to change things. At least I could hope they did.

Of late, I’ve been sitting in the background just reading and offering terse little comments. I have withheld my barbed pen, too. Better to be thought a fool … you know the rest.

Now I find humor in those rants. Sort of like speakers at Santa Clarita City Council meetings. You know the ones who complain about everything and offer no viable solution. But every week, there they are, exercising their right of free speech.

I love the one gentleman on Facebook who can find Satan in just about anything happening in the SCV. Haunted houses = work of Satan. Teachers dancing as a flash mob while dressed as zombies to entertain the kids for Halloween is inappropriate and un-Christian. In fact, according to the gentleman, Halloween isn’t Christian.

Tell that to the millions of Roman, Orthodox and Coptic Christians who celebrate for two days, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, as All Saints and All Souls days. Shall we have a history lesson?

I posted a report of my status on Facebook the other day when the “storm” was coming into SoCal. I wrote of high winds and gathering clouds. So the comments came back: “It was a dark and stormy night…” followed by, “…and the young girl….” I wanted to follow up on that, but until now, I just didn’t take the time. So here goes:

“It was a dark and stormy night and the old gentleman, seeing the storm was coming, shut himself in his abode and read rants on Facebook until at long last he was so tired, he and his trusted dog, Mr. Renly, retreated from the storm by slipping under the bedclothes and fell fast asleep.” The End.

Trust me, I shall never do that again. (Or at least until the next time I do it.)

peachlandelementary1I don’t know if I’ve ever told the story about how I came to love to write. It happened at Peachland Elementary, and I was in the fourth or fifth grade. Bunches of us kids were playing with a large ball in the southeast corner of the playground. There was, and still is, a rather large California live oak tree. Just over the fence. The branches of that tree hung over and came close to the ground.

Well, the ball was kicked or thrown or hit into the tree, where it stuck in the branches. Feeling the ball needed rescue, I climbed on the branch and was able to assist the ball in gaining escape from that limb.

As I was climbing down, my teacher, Mrs. Danner, spied my efforts and called me over for a discussion about how I had committed a grievous breach of playground rules and regulations. Instead of sending me to the office – a place with which I was more than a little acquainted – she did something new. She assigned me the task of writing an essay. A 500-word essay. Subject: “Why birds are better adapted to trees than boys.”

peachlandelementary3Never one to leave without having the last word, I commented that 500 words might not be enough. She retorted, “1,000,” and I said, “maybe 5,000.” To my astonishment, she agreed. So I was tasked with writing a 5,000-word essay as punishment for my rescuing the ball.

By the time I completed the assignment, I knew more about bird feet and bird nesting and bird beaks and … I loved it. I loved putting the words on paper using an old, manual typewriter. (Much later, I got an electric typewriter.) I loved telling the story of the ball and the birds. I loved comparing boys with monkeys that have thumbs that grip the limb better.

I got an extra-credit “A-plus.” I loved that, too.

When you get tired of what I write, you can blame Mrs. Danner and that “kick ball,” some birds, and that old oak tree. I’m not to blame. Couldn’t have been. I’m the hero. I rescued that errant ball.

Today I could blame it on Bush. The current president taught me to do that. Only this story is real. Period.

 

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 Tuesdays and 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.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

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
Saturday, Sep 16, 2017
While not perfect, SB 54 kept intact our ability to maintain partnerships with federal law enforcement officials who help us in the fight against gangs, drugs and human trafficking. It also retains the controlled access that the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has to our jails.
Thursday, Sep 7, 2017
Local residents have the right to record things their congressional leaders and legislative staff members say to residents of the 25th District and any of Rep. Knight's town hall meetings and legislative decisions.
Tuesday, Sep 5, 2017
Speaking with one of our Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies recently, he was telling me about the hardest part of his job.
Friday, Sep 1, 2017
Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth invites residents to join him for the Santa Clara River Rally cleanup on Saturday, September 23.
Thursday, Aug 24, 2017
McConnell’s herd was among the Republicans who have been yelling about repealing an replacing Obamacare for over seven years, and now he says Trump is expecting a change too soon?
Thursday, Aug 24, 2017
I started by asking my grandchildren what color they would use to draw a fox. I handed them a box of crayons. The situation became impossible when both started fighting over the red crayon.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1863 - Gen. Edward F. Beale loans money to A.A. Hudson and Oliver P. Robbins to erect toll house in Newhall Pass [story]
California State University, Northridge students and faculty have joined forces with Bet Tzedek to expand legal aid for undocumented parents of CSUN students.
CSUN, Bet Tzedek Expand Legal Aid for Students’ Undocumented Parents
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, the family of a missing 16 year old Hart High student is asking the community for help in locating him. Plus, dust off your resumes: COC is hosting its Fall semester Job & Career Fair soon. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, September 18, 2017
The Governing Board of the Saugus Union School District is extending the deadline to apply for the 7-11 Advisory Committee through Thursday, September 21 at 4 p.m.
Saugus School District Extends Deadline to Apply for Surplus Committee
After letting an early two-set lead slip away, the TMU Mustangs volleyball team rallied from behind to secure a 3-2 win over the San Diego Christian Hawks Saturday night.
Mustangs Volleyball Team Rallies to Beat San Diego Christian 3-2
The Master's University and Bethesda University battled 110 minutes to a scoreless draw in double-overtime Saturday afternoon on Reese Field.
TMU, Bethesda Men’s Soccer Teams Battle to 0-0 Draw in Double Overtime
The TMU Mustangs men's and women's cross-country teams raced in the open division of UC Riverside’s event Saturday.
TMU Cross Country Impresses at UC Riverside Invitational
The TMU Mustangs volleyball team rallied to win sets four and five against Arizona Christian Friday, taking the match 3-2 on Bross Court.
TMU Volleyball Edges Arizona Christian 3-2
The Gentle Barn is celebrating its 18th year of spreading compassion and hope for animals around the world from its current locations in Santa Clarita, California, Knoxville, Tennessee and the newest animal sanctuary set to open September 24 near St. Louis.
Gentle Barn Animal Rescue Sanctuary Turns 18
“Wildwood Canyon: The Resilience of Nature,” a photography exhibit by artist Kristina Jacob, will be on display at the Jo Anne Darcy Library in Canyon Country from September 26 through January 24.
Sept. 26: Wildwood Canyon Photo Exhibit at Darcy Library
October is National Arts and Humanities Month and to celebrate the city of Santa Clarita will host ARTober during the month.
October is ‘Artober’ in Santa Clarita
College of the Canyons will host the one-day conference, “It’s Still Happening Right Here! Human Trafficking,” on Friday, Sept. 22 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Sept. 22: COC Hosts Human Trafficking Conference
College of the Canyons hosted the 2017 California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Preview on Friday, attracting a field of more than 500 cross-country runners to the course at Central Park in Santa Clarita.
Canyons Women Take Second at CCCAA SoCal Preview
The Dodgers enter the final leg of their 10-game road trip (4-2) tonight with the first of four against the Philadelphia Phillies, with Clayton Kershaw on the mound.
Dodgers and Kershaw Open 4-Game Stand in Philadelphia
Family members report they have found Elias Ortiz, a 16-year-old Newhall resident who had been missing since Saturday night.
Newhall Teen Missing Since Saturday Found
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that six of 27 national monuments under review by the Trump administration be reduced in size, with changes to several others proposed, but the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is not on Zinke's shrink list.
San Gabriel National Monument Not on Interior Secretary’s Shrink List
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce will move from its present location at City Hall to new office space at 28494 Westinghouse Place, Suite 114, Valencia 91355, on October 12.
October 12: SCV Chamber Moves to New Office
The Modesto Nuts pulled away late and swept the California League Championship Series with an 8-1 victory over the JetHawks in Game 3 on Friday night at John Thurman Field, ending the season for the Lancaster team.
JetHawks Swept in CLCS to End 2017 Season
New stencils on Santa Clarita crosswalks are part of the city's 'Heads Up' pedestrian safety program.
‘Heads Up’ Crosswalk Stencils Boost Santa Clarita’s Pedestrian Safety Effort
Senate Constitutional Amendment 12, or SCA-12, authored by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Los Angeles) with Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) the principal co-author, has passed by the State Senate on a bipartisan vote of 27-7.
Mendoza-Wilk Supervisors Expansion Bill Clears State Senate
The California Highway Patrol's Newhall station screened 375 vehicles in a DUI checkpoint in Stevenson Ranch Friday night but made no arrests.
CHP Screens 375 Vehicles in Stevenson Ranch DUI Checkpoint
A man died of a suspected heroin overdose in the 17000 block of Sierra Highway in Canyon Country late Friday night, according to SCV Sheriff's Station officials.
Canyon Country Man Dead of Suspected Heroin Overdose
1962 - Articles of incorporation filed for Golden State Memorial Hospital on Lyons Avenue [story]
1879 - First official Newhall School building erected near Walnut & Ninth streets [story]
While not perfect, SB 54 kept intact our ability to maintain partnerships with federal law enforcement officials who help us in the fight against gangs, drugs and human trafficking. It also retains the controlled access that the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has to our jails.
Changes to ‘Sanctuary’ Bill Made it Better | Commentary by Sheriff Jim McDonnell
In the conceptual planning stages for decades, the extension of Lyons Avenue to Dockweiler Drive could finally be shifting out of neutral.
Plans Are Out for Lyons Extension to Dockweiler
1872 - Sulphur Springs School District established by Mitchells and Langs [story]
Jack Shine, founder and president of American Beauty Homes and a key figure in the development of affordable housing for veterans in the Santa Clarita Valley, died Thursday. He was 82.
SCV Home Builder, Philanthropist Jack Shine Dies at 82
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today reiterated his call for consumers to take action to protect their identities in light of the recent Equifax data breach, and provided links to do so online.
AG Urges Consumers to Take Action After Equifax Data Breach
The Santa Clarita City Council's Public Safety Committee will meet at City Hall to review preliminary plans for the new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station on Tuesday, September 19 starting at 3 p.m.
September 19: City Public Safety Officials Review Plans for New Sheriff’s Station
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, see the Grand Finale of NASA's Cassini mission. Plus, Fair Oaks Community Elementary students not only got a "bag of books" on Friday, they also got to see their principal and vice principal get a shaving cream pie in their face. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, September 15, 2017
The 15th annual Rubber Ducky Festival to benefit the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers will splash down at Bridgeport Park in Valencia on Saturday, October 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
October 14: 15th Annual Rubber Ducky Festival for Sam Dixon Centers
A teleconference meeting of the California Enterprise Development Authority is scheduled for Thursday, September 21 starting at 10:30 a.m.
September 21: California Enterprise Development Authority Teleconference
Here are agenda highlights for the next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, set for Tuesday, September 19, starting at 9:30 a.m.
September 19: Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda
American Sign Language artists will take the stage for a special performance at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons on September 23, starting at 7 p.m.
September 23: Sign Language Artists at COC PAC