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September 26
1876 - California oil industry born as CSO No. 4 in Pico Canyon becomes state's first commercially productive oil well [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Feb 16, 2014

darrylmanzer021014I’m still laughing about the comments to the Facebook status update I posted Tuesday.

I was at Newhall Refinery having a late lunch-dinner and reported the following: “At Newhall Refinery. Blue Balls.”

The menu calls them that. I find them delicious, and only at Newhall Refinery can you get them.

If you’ve ever had a Southern meal with “hush puppies,” just imagine those cornbread balls filled with chicken and ricotta and blue cheese, sitting on a bed of blue cheese with hot wing sauce and blue cheese crumbles on top. So now everyone knows what Blue Balls are.

Today was the chicken salad pita sandwich with a green salad. You just can’t get a bad meal at Newhall Refinery. I don’t think you can find better service in all of Southern California too.

This Friday night, my karaoke coaching class at Vibe Performing Arts Studios paid off. Sang a lot better and had a great time at the ‘49er Bar and Grill in Acton.

Don’t forget – a 5.6-mile stretch of northbound I-405 is closed from Getty Center Drive to Ventura Boulevard until Tuesday morning.

There were art shows at the Newhall Library and plays to see in Old Town Newhall, too. If you’re really bored, you could always go wait in traffic at the construction site on the 405. “Jamzilla” it is called. Check traffic problems if you’re going to LAX or West LA. You might want to take an alternate route until Tuesday.

Speaking of alternate routes, the bike lane between I-5 and Highway 6 – er, Sierra Highway – is complete. Watch your speed heading west on Golden Valley to Newhall Ranch Road. There is a speed limit, even for those who have pedals and legs to power their vehicle.

Other traffic concerns? It looks like the roundabout or traffic circle or rotary or whatever in downtown Newhall works just fine. I love the lack of lights and ease of going around the circle.

Now about the art that might go in the middle – why don’t we just leave it like it is for now?

Friends and family in the East don’t like the comments I’ve been posting about the weather here. When the snowfall in your yard is measured in feet, it isn’t easy to be nice to someone who tells you how he had to turn on the AC in his car. It might not be nice, but it sure is fun.

Now, just because the northern part of the “Great State of California” is getting rain and snow, it isn’t quite time for us to celebrate the end of the drought. It might be easing in parts of the state, but even if the drought ends, the White House will declare it a result of climate change or global warming or the president’s plan to issue an executive order to end the drought.

If that guy can’t blame somebody else for our problems, he will take credit for the work of our Creator. He just seems to get a little weirder every day. Now he is in the Palm Springs area, blocking traffic on the ground and in the air until Monday. Just another little vacation while he talks with the King of Jordan.

With President Obama and Gov. Moonbeam both in the “Great State of California” at the same time, it gives new meaning to the left-leaning politics of our state. Hope it doesn’t lean so far it slips into the Pacific.

Over at the “Santa Clarita History Buffs” site on Facebook, the myth of Elvis at Melody Ranch during the 1962 fire has been busted. In fact, you might want to drift over to SCVHistory.com and see the changes. Old myths are being busted and new information is popping up all the time.

Why, I just read, in another Facebook group, that the William S. Hart High Indians became the “Indians” because the school was built on the site of a Paiute village. Didn’t know the Paiute Nation was around these parts at all. Don’t anyone tell the Tataviam.

Back in my old town of Mentryville, folks are still asking me if it is haunted. Well, it might be, after I go crazy from hearing that question again and again and again. The answer is NO. If you want to see strange actions and seemingly haunted apparitions, go to Sacramento and visit the State Capitol. Only happens when the State Senate or Assembly is in session. Those are the folks who are proposing to put labels on soft drinks with high sugar content while allowing recreational marijuana. Only in our “Great State of California.” I guess they want to try to prevent diabetic and fat pot heads.

The City Council election race is heating up. I’m going to dedicate an entire column to my thoughts on that race. We are starting to see political signs all over the place. I hope enough folks are awake to go vote on election day.

One last little item on the drought: I want everyone to wash the windows at home and on your cars with glass cleaner. If anything will bring rain, that usually works. And we could all plan a picnic at Central Park every weekend. If it doesn’t work, bring sunscreen.

 

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].

 

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