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1874 - First train out of L.A. to reach new town of San Fernando; Newhall 2 years later [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Wednesday, Feb 17, 2016

darrylmanzer0215El Niño, we hardly knew ye.

You came in as the strongest and biggest bad guy promising untold riches and help, but you really haven’t done much of anything. In fact you’ve not done much more than the folks we send to Sacramento to work on our other problems. The one good thing about you is – unlike those elected folks – you aren’t building a high-speed railroad.

I don’t know what happened to you. Did you just run and hide or maybe want to come to the party a little later, but since you’re the featured guest and would be most honored, I’m beginning to question if you’re coming at all.

Folks here north of Sacramento are really worried about the lack of rain. They’ve had a lot, but I think they’re really concerned that we Southern Californians are going to steal water from them again. If things keep up like this and it turns out you are a no-show, they might very well be right.

There is a concerted effort up here – that seems to be spreading – to get money from the high-speed rail boondoggle and use it instead on improving our water supply system. That is a real problem for the future.

So maybe we can thank you for your help in stopping the high-speed rail system. Of course at this point, I’m as sure that the high-speed rail will be built as I am sure the forecast for your weather event is anywhere near accurate.

It isn’t easy to forecast you and what you might do. Hundreds of brilliant minds have attempted to chart your course and the effect you will have on us, but to date, they’ve all been wrong.

Little things like Santa Ana winds in January and February, when what we should be getting is lots of rain. Tempting and taunting us with cold air and some snow, only to have us bake short days later.

Now, we love our beach weather, but I think I can speak for most of us when I say I’ll forgo a day at the beach for 10 inches of rain. We just don’t need it all once. Maybe an inch every other day or so for the next six weeks. Is that too much to ask?

Somehow you remind me of a date I once had way back in my high school days. I rented a tuxedo and got her a corsage, and I know she spent time and money getting her dress. The day of the dance I spent cleaning, waxing and polishing my car, then I got ready and drove over to pick her up. We were both excited about the dance and talked about it all the way back to the high school.

We got in the door, found the table with our friends, and the music started. I danced with her that first dance but never danced again for the rest of the evening. So I ask you, Mr. El Niño: Are you going to dance with us some more, or with only those folks in northern California?

If you talk to my friends here in northern California, where I currently am located, you will find they want you to dance with us throughout the formerly great state of California. If what we hear about you from the weather service it is true, you’re big enough to dance with us all at once. So what the heck has happened?

I have to see just how you’re going to perform over the next few weeks because after that, you might sneak back to where you came from and not return for a long time.

You know, you invited yourself to this dance and even offered to provide the music, so I hope you can tell us when the music begins and we can dance.

 

 

 

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].

 

 

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