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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Intermittent clouds
Intermittent clouds
58°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 21
1914 - Signal newspaper owner-editor Scott Newhall born in San Francisco [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014

darrylmanzer_blacktieThe children are going to be a little difficult to control today. “Can we open just one present tonight?”

We gave in to that ploy once. Both my wife and I were too tired even to notice that within about 20 minutes, every package under the tree had been opened … or so the boys thought.

It was the last year they both believed in Santa. What we did after they fell asleep was sly, sneaky and a boatload of fun.

You see, we didn’t have but half of the presents under the tree. The rest were in all of the great hiding places around the house and in the garage. I even had a couple in the trunk of my car. All wrapped up and ready for Santa to deliver.

Getting the boys to bed was no easy task. Even with the great presents, they finally drifted off to await Santa. Had to carry them to bed, but it was worth it. Since both of my sons are now nearly 6-foot-5, I shall not attempt to do it again. The grandkids are a little too heavy now.

Ever so quietly, we gathered the presents and placed them around the tree. We ate the cookies left for Santa and poured the milk we left for him down the drain. It had been sitting out for nearly two hours.

I remember leaving a note saying they should have picked up all of the wrapping paper and put it in the trash. It was signed, “Santa.” Only the oldest could read at the time, so he was sure Santa had left the note.

The gifts they opened on Christmas Eve were things that were practical. Socks, underwear, shirts and a couple of toys. Pretty tame stuff but enough to keep them going.

Try as she might, my wife could never sleep past 5 o’clock on Christmas morning. It just couldn’t happen. Even if we stayed up all night, she would appear to sleep, but in reality her eyes only shut to let us think she had slept. She was like that even after the boys had grown up and moved away. With just her and me in the house, she still got up early to see if Santa had come.

I missed that after the divorce, and now that she has passed on, I’ll miss it even more. It was one of the things we laughed about in the last few weeks of her life. It is funny what someone with brain cancer can remember. In May of last year, before she slipped into a coma, she remembered Christmas and getting up early – and I cannot fathom why that happened.

She told me she still carried on her little tradition of early rising on Christmas morning. Every other day of the year, she would and could sleep in if she wasn’t getting up to go to work. On Christmas Day it was up at the crack of dawn, or before. I swear that she considered the crack of dawn to be around 3 a.m.

Since she was awake, I had to be awake. About every 10 minutes she would ask, “Should we get them up now?” I’d say it was too early, but after another 10 minutes it was the same question. Usually as the first sunlight filtered through the windows, we would go wake the boys. I became adept at the “10 minute power nap.”

The year they had to open all of the presents on Christmas Eve was the year they knew Santa was real. They just knew it because they heard us going to bed and nothing else, until we awakened them. They walked out and all of this new stuff was spread around the tree, even some presents for us, Mom and Dad.

Sometimes when things seem grim and hopeless, it is the thoughts of Christmas that buoy up our spirits and let the joy of our lives soar. You’ve got to admit that the thought of an adult staying up most the night to see what Santa brought is pretty funny. I’ve got a huge smile just thinking about her wanting to go wake the boys.

I’m not sure who got more fun out of Christmas morning. I loved watching the boys’ excitement on that morning so special. The real excitement and joy was in watching Kathie delight in the gifts she gave and those she received, too. But she was a giver, and when one or both of the boys would run to her after opening a specific gift she hoped they would like and they would give her a big hug, that was when I saw her have the most joy.

Kathie and I talked about that as she was lying there on the hospital bed in her living room last May. Slowly she slipped from us but didn’t linger that long. One of the last conversations we had was about Christmas and her early rising.

This is the first year without her here in our world, for she is in a far better place. I like to think she is sitting there at a big birthday party, waiting to open gifts and watching us open ours from her place in Heaven. I’m thinking that may be the best way for me to get through the next couple of days.

She taught me to rise early on Christmas morning. This year it is just me and the basset hound, Mr. Renly. I hope he likes his gift. I sure like the one he gives me, and that is his unconditional love. Dogs are like that.

I can feel her telling me we can’t open our presents on Christmas Eve again. Once was enough, and remember, we get up early enough to open them all in plenty of time for church. I’m glad I still have that feeling.

And Kathie, if you can hear me and see me, just know: I’m going to make this year special and rise early again, if only to watch the sun come up over the mountains. I’ll see your smile and laughter as I watch the sun rise and maybe, just maybe, I’ll feel your hug in its warmth.

Merry Christmas.

 

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. His older commentaries are archived at DManzer.com; his newer commentaries can be accessed [here]. 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.

4 Comments

  1. Jan Grovme Jan Grovme says:

    *wishing you all a very happy holidays* [personal note:article by wacko re:chiquita canyon landfill..check into it..why are the resident being sited because of the stench from the landfill? i came into this valley knowing me and my kids will be better off,we have been here over 20 years.though it may not be important to you or these people who suppose represent us..val verde is as important as any other city in this valley. is there corruption within our valley system? i am asking you check deeply into this..air quality is as important to all the cities within-out santa clarita valley ..thanks..i appreciate any kind help you can provide]

  2. Deborah Kjose church says:

    Beautiful story, Darryl. You have a lovely way of describing poignant memories.

  3. Steven Lee says:

    That was such a well written story, and the memories you share make me feel like I was there. May she look down and smile upon you and yours this season.

  4. Greg Kimura says:

    Thank you for all your help this last year. We appreciate you taking the time to listen to us and write about what you see and hear.

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a safe and happy New Year!

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
Thursday, Jan 11, 2018
There may come a time in your life when you need mental health care. Your Medicare covers a wide variety of such services, in both hospital inpatient and outpatient settings.
Monday, Jan 1, 2018
Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin previews Year 4 of the city's five-year Strategic Plan in his monthly message for January 2018.
Sunday, Dec 10, 2017
Derelict since the 1994 earthquake, the Pioneer Oil Refinery in Newhall was the first productive oil refinery in the American West and is believed to be the oldest existing refinery in the world today. Unfunded restoration plans have come and gone. Now that the surrounding property is under development, will the promises be kept?
Friday, Dec 8, 2017
A National Memorial designation for St. Francis Dam will honor those who lost their lives in the nation’s worst engineering disaster and the role it played in ushering in a new era of oversight for dam construction.
Thursday, Dec 7, 2017
Eliminating net neutrality would allow Internet service providers such as Verizon, Comcast, Spectrum and AT&T to create a “slow lane” and a “fast lane” on the Internet, prioritizing certain companies over others and dictating what websites you’re able to visit and at what speed, or even blocking you entirely from visiting certain websites of your choice.
Monday, Dec 4, 2017
In his monthly message for December 2017, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin encourages residents to shop and party locally during the holidays to keep the cash in our community.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1914 - Signal newspaper owner-editor Scott Newhall born in San Francisco [story]
1993 - Hart High grad Dee Dee Myers (1979) becomes first female White House press secretary [story]
On Monday, January 22, 2018, traffic on McBean Parkway, between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard, will experience delays intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. due to filming involving a Cessna airplane that will land at Valencia Country Club. It is anticipated there will be fewer than five brief closures throughout the day and each will last for approximately two to five minutes.
Jan. 22: Filming in Valencia Prompts Street Closures
Attorneys Brian Koegle and David Poole of Santa Clarita Valley law firm Poole & Shaffery, LLP will provide insight on legal matters affecting California businesses at the Valley Industry Association's February luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on February 20 starting at 11:45 a.m.
Feb. 20: VIA Luncheon, 2018 Employment Law Update
Oak Hills Educational Foundation and Oak Hills PTA will be hosting their annual science fair at Oak Hills School in Valencia in the form of an exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Expo event on Jan. 23rd-26th.
Jan. 26: Oaks Hills STEM Expo
2017 was an exceptional year for the Santa Clarita Valley economy, and 2018 promises even more positive growth.
Live, Work, Play in SCV: All to Improve in 2018
Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation Mythbusters tackle a tough and persistent question: Is growing a community a good thing?
SCV EDC Mythbusters: Why Growth is Good
The nonprofit SCV Mayor’s Committee For Employment of Individuals with Disabilities will host its second annual Educate-Empower-Employ Recognition Luncheon at COC on Thursday, February 22.
Feb. 22: SCV Mayor’s Committee Annual Luncheon, Fundraiser
CalArts alumni will stage the second annual Co-Incidence Festival, an experimental music festival and residency hosted at Washington Street Gallery in Somerville, Massachusetts from Jan. 19-28.
Jan. 19-28: CalArtians Stage Co-Incidence Festival in Mass.
Joseph Wayne Monroy, a South Gate man charged with the murder of a Newhall man in January 2016, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles Superior Court today, and was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Monroy Sentenced to 21 Years for 2016 Newhall Murder
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed Joseph Hedges to the position of Chief Operating Officer and Pamela Mizukami as Chief Deputy Director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
Brown Expands High-Speed Rail Exec Team to Move Project Forward
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reports that influenza activity has declined over the last two weeks; however, activity is still widespread and higher than peak levels observed during recent seasons.
Flu Outbreak Eases in L.A. County, But Still Widespread
The Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District has appointed Brittany Kruczynski as the new Director of Fiscal Services.
Kruczynski Named Hart District Fiscal Services Director
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies were out in force stepping up enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle safety laws and issued 69 citations to drivers Wednesday, but none to pedestrians.
SCV Deputies’ Pedestrian, Bike Safety Push Nets 69 Citations
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued a statement calling out Acting Director Mick Mulvaney of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for requesting a total of $0 for the agency's second-quarter budget.
State AG: ‘Trump Officials Treat Consumer Financial Protection as a Joke’
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its next Regular Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.
Jan. 23: City Council Regular Meeting
Amazon announced its list of top 20 finalists for their new headquarters Thursday, and the Los Angeles area -- including the Santa Clarita Valley -- was named among them.
LA, Including SCV’s Newhall Ranch, In the Running for Amazon’s HQ2
1967 - Original airing of Star Trek "Arena" Episode: Kirk battles the Gorn commander (Saugus resident Bobby Clark) at Vasquez Rocks [watch]
In an exciting conclusion of events, approximately 40 inmates who participated in the Education Based Incarceration program received either a high school diploma or certificate of completion for vocational training.
Largest Class of Inmates in Education Based Incarceration Program Graduates
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (SCV Water) has selected its inaugural leadership to preside over the launch of the newly formed water provider.
SCV Water Selects Inaugural Leadership
Well V-205, located near McBean Parkway and Valencia Blvd., was voluntarily removed from service in April 2012 when perchlorate was detected in low concentrations, below the Detection Level for Reporting (DLR).
Perchlorate at Out-of-Service Well Reaches Actionable Level
The Santa Clarita City Council will consider purchasing the 4,598-square-foot building Roger Dunn Golf Shop building in Newhall when the council meets next week.
City Eyeing Purchase of Roger Dunn Building
Here are the Santa Clarita arts-related events for Jan. 20 and Jan. 25:
Jan. 20, 25: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, dad, mom and several other family members, Erin Oxhorn-Gilpin always wanted to be a teacher.
CSUN Alumna Nabs Teacher of the Year
Legendary Band, "The Chieftains," will celebrate their 55th Anniversary with a performance at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (SCPAC), Saturday, Feb. 24, at 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 24: The Chieftains 55th Anniversary Tour
SEATTLE - Amazon reviewed 238 proposals from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to host HQ2, the company’s second headquarters in North America.
Los Angeles on Short List of Amazon’s HQ2
The Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District Board of Directors will hold its Regular Meeting Friday at 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 19: SCV Sanitation District Regular Meeting
Kevin Young has been selected as the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) 2018 Katie Jacobson Writer-in-Residence. Young will conduct workshops with CalArts students in the MFA Creative Writing Program and present public readings, which will be held at CalArts on Feb. 15 at 7:00 p.m. and at REDCAT in Downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
The New Yorker’s Poetry Editor Selected as CalArts 2018 Writer-in-Residence
LOS ANGELES – The County Interim Health Officer is issuing a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Affected areas include:
Cold Weather Alert Issued for SCV
Here is the Valencia Crime Information and Public Safety report for the week of Jan. 1:
Crime Blotter: Shoplifting, Burglary, Grand Theft Auto in Valencia
Here is the Saugus (Zone 4) Public Safety and Crime Prevention Information for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Grand Theft Auto in Saugus
Here is the Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) Public Safety and Crime Information Report for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Attempted Robbery, Grand Theft Auto, Burglary in Stevenson Ranch
Here is the Newhall (Zone 6) Public Safety and Crime Prevention Information for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Commercial Burglary, Vehicle Burglary, Grand Theft in Newhall
1899 - Martin & Richard Wood buy J.H. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House, rename it Saugus Cafe [story]
The dismantling of a multi-state drug trafficking organization that used the U.S. Postal Service to mail packages of crystal methamphetamine and marijuana from California to traffickers in Pennsylvania since at least April 2016 - and the arrests of five leaders who spearheaded the corrupt organization, including two from the Santa Clarita Valley - were announced Wednesday by Montgomery County (Penn.) District Attorney Kevin R. Steele.
2 from SCV Netted in Major East Coast Drug Bust
With The Master's University's 2018 baseball season about to begin, TMU Sports Information Director Mason Nesbitt offers a preview.
TMU Previews Mustangs’ 2018 Baseball Season