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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
53°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 23
1886 - Film director Robert N. Bradbury born in Washington state; launched John Wayne's career in Placerita Canyon [watch]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014
Darryl Manzer

Darryl Manzer

You probably know I live nearly full time in a rather large recreational vehicle, or RV. That makes me a “full timer.”

You might think being a full timer in an RV captures the magic of the road and the ability to drive your house just about any place at any time. You can follow the sunset West, or drive to the sunrise in the East. One can also be a snowbird and avoid cold weather by moving South every winter and North in the summer. Packing isn’t a problem. You have it with you already. Just imagine watching the sunset over the ocean under the awning of your RV, parked near a secluded spot on Highway 1.

Soon, reality steps in and you find out about “home repair” in an RV and you learn that an RV’s electrical system was designed by someone who wanted to avoid logic. So you get to learn new terms like “converter” and “inverter” and “auto-switch.”

Parts you can find at a local hardware store will cost three times more at an RV place – only you don’t know that until after you’ve bought those parts at Camping Universe or RV Heaven. If you own a boat, you know what it means when the sign says, “Marine and Boat parts and service.”

Same thing. It means the price goes up exponentially.

In an RV, stuff breaks at the worst time because Murphy’s Law was written by a guy living in an RV.

For instance, just last month in Kentucky, when the temperature was hovering around 10 degrees, my electrical system was damaged by a connection to electrical power on the garage of a kinfolk. Let’s just say 220 doesn’t fit in 110. Major components of the electrical system were toasted. Crisp.

My submarine training kicked in, and soon I had some form of heating device working. My propane heater worked, and in combination with some electric heaters, I didn’t freeze. I was able to drive to Paducah and get the first major component replaced. The auto-switch. Parts and labor were only $600. This allowed me to drive to warmer climes in the West – so drive I did.

In Las Vegas I found out that my “inverter” was cooked, and a new one might cost $2,000. I could put in a “converter” for about $500 total.

With that done, I now have full electrical capability in the RV. I put away the heaters and the extension cords and headed to the SCV pretty happy. Well, except for the lack of my radio/CD/MP3/Satellite radio. I lost the 12-volt DC power connection to it. That means I had to find other means of staying awake.

I want to thank the many friends who took my calls and kept me awake during the drive from Kentucky. I had thought I might get my radio working in Las Vegas. Everything else works now.

Once the phone calls stopped, I resorted to singing – because if you talk to yourself, folks think you’re crazy. Just why is that? You can drive down the road singing, and folks who can hear might want to join in. If you talk to yourself, those same folks might call the men in the white lab coats with an “I-love-me” jacket. I decided to sing.

I sang a lot. Mr. Renly, my basset hound, got as far away as possible in the back of the RV. I sang just about every song I know. Mostly old standards from what the “Great American Songbook.” Sinatra songs, Dean Martin songs, Nat King Cole and Louis Prima songs, too. I even did a couple of gospel tunes. At one point I resorted to singing scales, just to help increase the range of my voice.

Early in life, I took a few voice lessons. I’ve even done a little singing with a big band and a Dixieland band. I’ve belonged to various choral groups and church choirs. I also sing in the shower and when I cook. I have been known to frequent karaoke places, too.

Do you identify with this in some small measure?

Now that my electrical problems are mostly fixed, I thought I would go get some coaching for my singing. This Friday, I’m headed to Vibe Performing Arts Studios at 6:30 in the evening, hopefully to get some instructions on how to perform a little bit better … well, maybe a whole lot better. Would you care to join me and a bunch of other folks in this quest?

Now, the Good Book says for you to “make a joyful noise.” That is what karaoke is all about. A joyful noise for yourself. Ability and intonation not necessary. Fun is necessary, and this event will be fun.

I’ll be there, and you can laugh at my singing and whatever else. This won’t get us on “Idol,” but it will get us past the fear of performing in public … we hope.

So I’ll see all y’all there. It costs $10 and you can buy refreshments, too. Next door is a great pizza place that might serve some Karaoke Courage if you need it. Sometimes that helps. Vibe Performing Arts Studios are located at 24460 Lyons Avenue in the Valencia Plaza. Give them a call at 661-255-7464 for more information.

Now I’m headed back into the wiring harness in the dash. Won’t be long and I’ll have some tunes again.

Oh, I did find out that my CDs for karaoke will play just fine on my machine. I can’t read the words, but I can learn the tunes.

Note to self: Teach the basset hound to hold the flashlight.

 

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.

1 Comment

  1. Melissa says:

    Hi Darryl,

    I enjoy reading your column, and all about your adventures.

    With all the repairs in tight places that are necessary with an RV, have you considered wearing a “headlamp?” I bought my hubby one last year from Amazon.com, and he loves it. It comes in handy for those times when he must go outside after dark. (Mr Skunk lurks nearby).

    Might be easier than teaching the Bassett Hound to hold the flashlight, too. :-)

Leave a Reply


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, Mar 15, 2019
Medicare covers a wide variety of shots to help you stay healthy. It also covers numerous tests to help detect diseases early, when they’re in their most treatable stages.
Monday, Mar 4, 2019
This month marks the beginning of the next exciting phase of progress toward the completion of the new Canyon Country Community Center.
Friday, Mar 1, 2019
In her message for March, Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean invites residents to read Lisa See's book “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” and participate in the Santa Clarita Library's One Story One City reading event.
Wednesday, Feb 20, 2019
The app displays general cost, coverage and eligibility details for medical items and services covered by Medicare Part A and Part B. You can search or browse to learn what’s covered and not covered; how and when to get covered benefits; and basic cost information.
Friday, Feb 8, 2019
On January 30, 2019, I conducted a press conference to discuss the current state of the Department. During this press conference, I presented statistical data compiled by the previous administration related to violence within the Los Angeles County jail system.
Monday, Feb 4, 2019
We are a month into 2019 and your City is already hard at work taking plans and projects and turning them into reality.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1886 - Film director Robert N. Bradbury born in Washington state; launched John Wayne's career in Placerita Canyon [watch]
For the second time in as many years here, a Mustang barreled to the rim in the closing seconds and scored a game-tying basket, only for the opposition to land a jarring counterpunch. This time no overtime was necessary.
Men’s Hoops: TMU Falls on Buzzer-Beater in NAIA First Round
As Master's concluded the Battle at Primm in Nipton, California, on Tuesday, the tournament's bright spot remained Karsten Briley's ridiculously low second round a day earlier.
TMU Men’s Golfers Prep for Fast Turnaround After Primm
College of the Canyons placed golfers in the top three individual spots on the way to winning its fourth straight conference tournament with a five-man score of 367 at Antelope Valley Country Club on Monday.
Wakaari Medals Again, Cougs Win Fourth Straight
College of the Canyons' men's swim team won a relay event and combined for eight top-five finishes to lead the Cougars to a third-place team result during the Western State Conference meet held at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday, March 16.
Cougars Swim to Third at Home WSC Meet
College of the Canyons won a combined nine events and finished runner-up in six more during a strong showing at the non-conference Bakersfield College Relays on Saturday, March 16.
Cougars Track & Field Roars at BC Relays
The city of Santa Clarita will host a public ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the completion of the Sierra Highway Pedestrian Bridge and Street Improvement Project on Friday, March 29, at 10 a.m.
March 29: City to Dedicate New Sierra Highway Pedestrian Bridge
Nearly two years in the making, Special Counsel Robert Mueller confidentially submitted his report Friday on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, but it remains unclear as to when, or whether, Attorney General William Barr will make the report public.
Mueller Submits Long-Awaited Report on Russian Meddling in US Election
The Civilian Oversight Commission for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will host its monthly commission meeting in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, March 26, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
March 26: Oversight Panel to Focus on LASD Secret Subgroups, ICE Policy, Sheriff’s Actions
The students in California State University, Northridge Finance 491A and 491B: Student Portfolio Seminar are outperforming finance professionals and turning nearly $5 million of investments into scholarships, research and other opportunities for the university.
Students Beat the Markets in Managing CSUN’s Portfolio
Governor Gavin Newsom Friday proclaimed a state of emergency throughout California ahead of the coming fire season, directing his administration to immediately expedite forest management projects that will protect 200 of California’s most wildfire-vulnerable communities.
Newsom Proclaims State of Emergency on Wildfires
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station will take part in a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation in the city of Santa Clarita on Monday, March 25, between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m.
March 25: LASD Bicycle, Pedestrian Safety Operation in Santa Clarita
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, March 26, starting at 1 p.m.
March 26: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
California consumers are applying for clean-vehicle rebates at a record pace as demand for the cleanest vehicles on the market skyrocketed over the past year.
Sales of Electric Cars Breaking Records in California
As long-sparring foes, Cemex and the city of Santa Clarita enter what appears to be the final 16 months of their rocky relationship. A recent lawsuit filed by the former against the latter was done without fanfare and withdrawn just as quietly.
Cemex Silent on Dismissal of Suit Against City of Santa Clarita
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station arrested an unidentified couple in Castaic on felony vandalism and misdemeanor drug and theft charges on Wednesday, station officials reported Friday.
Napping Couple Nabbed in Castaic on Vandalism, Drug Charges
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Friday filed a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to block the Trump-Pence Administration’s Title X Family Planning Rule.
California AG Seeks Injunction to Halt Feds’ Title X Gag Rule
The Looks Threading Salon, located at the intersection of Copper Hill and Seco Canyon, is celebrating its 1-year anniversary on Saturday, March 23, from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Local Threading Salon to Offer Mimosas, Deals at Anniversary Event
Parents of a girl rescued after she was found pushing on a second-floor window screen early this month appeared in court Monday on charges of cruelty to a child that is likely to produce injury or death.
Parents of Child Rescued from Window Appear in Court
Noted life scientist, teacher and academic leader Carol L. Folt will become the University of Southern California’s 12th president and will take office July 1, the USC Board of Trustees announced Wednesday.
Carol L. Folt to Become USC’s 12th President July 1
The Los Angeles County Probation Department, along with several of its county collaborative agencies, has officially rolled out a new protocol designed to provide specialized services to detained youth who are identified as victims of sex-trafficking.
LA County Probation Moves to Aid Young Sex-Trafficking Victims
1875 - Construction begins on San Fernando Railroad Tunnel [story]
A new report on the health of counties across the nation has ranked Los Angeles County among the California health jurisdictions with the lowest rates of premature death. The County’s result also fared better than those of the other three most populous counties in the nation.
Report Indicates LA County Among Lowest Rates of Premature Deaths
The Valencia High School Marching Band, led by band director Mark Judd, with over 40 members of the award-winning marching band, performed in the historic New York City 2019 St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 16.
Vikings Marching Band Featured at New York’s Historic St. Patrick’s Day Parade
LOS ANGELES - In observance of World TB Day 2019 on Sunday, March 24, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) and community partners will light the LAX pylons, Grand Park Fountain and Union Station up in red as part of the Stop TB Partnership Light up the World campaign to honor victims and survivors of the deadly disease.
County Public Health to Observe World TB Day on Sunday
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — As The Master's University men's basketball team interacted with elementary students inside Municipal Auditorium on Wednesday, one child asked an assistant coach to take a selfie.
No. 2 Mustangs Banking on Experience at NAIA Tournament
Coach Dan Waldeck's excitement over learning that members of his starting front court had been named NAIA All-Americans was matched by another interest.
Pair of Lady Mustangs Named NAIA All-Americans
ATHERTON, Calif. – The University of Antelope Valley Pioneers were swept in their doubleheader against Menlo College (11-18), losing game one, 9-1 in five innings, and dropping game two, 6-2 on Thursday in non-conference NAIA softball action at Wunderlich Field in Atherton, Calif.
Lady Pioneers Swept in Doubleheader
The seven-week trial of a commercial driver charged with six counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter has ended in a hung jury and a mistrial declared in the case of 71-year-old Richard Lopez.
Mistrial Declared in Vehicular Manslaughter Case that Killed 6 in Gorman
Junior Chamber International of Santa Clarita, also known as the “The Jaycees,” is celebrating after holding several successful events and is thrilled to announce some exciting new opportunities to connect with young leaders.
Junior Chamber Santa Clarita Embarks on New Opportunities for Young Leaders
Spectrum SportsNet LA announced Thursday its comprehensive, all-access Los Angeles Dodgers programming schedule for the 2019 regular season. The network’s coverage will include over 150 live games in English and Spanish, beginning on Opening Day when the Dodgers host the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 28 at 1:10PM.
Spectrum SportsNet LA Announces All-Access 2019 Dodgers Programming
Attendees at the 2019 Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, presented by California Resources Corporation, will have a new opportunity to see some of the most iconic sets in recent film history.
Tour of Blue Cloud Movie Ranch Now Part of Cowboy Festival Lineup
The County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors passed amendments Tuesday to strengthen the County’s policies on smoke-free environments and to close loopholes where smoking is permitted. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) provided recommendations to close the gaps of existing County smoke-free ordinances.
County Looks to Strengthen Ordinance on Smoke-Free Environments
College of the Canyons has been awarded $3 million by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to upgrade its existing fuel cell technology system, bringing the college one step closer to energy independence.
COC One Step Closer to Energy Independence After $3M Award
For the first time, the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation's award-winning Parks After Dark (PAD) will be offered during Spring Break.
‘Parks After Dark’ Now Being Offered During Spring Break
John Chernesky has been promoted to the role of senior vice president, North America sales and trade marketing for Princess Cruises.
Princess Cruises Appoints New Senior VP North American Sales, Marketing