header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
81°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
November 28
1950 - CalArts grad Ed Harris ("A Beautiful Mind," "Apollo 13," "Westworld") born in New Jersey [link]
Ed Harris


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Jan 13, 2013
Darryl Manzer

Darryl Manzer

Tomorrow is my birthday. Not that it means much to anyone but me, but it marks the fact that I’ve been somehow connected to the Santa Clarita Valley for 63 years. Yes, all those years of change.

While both of my loyal readers know I can wax nostalgic at changes in our valley and how much better it was when there were far fewer people, streets, houses, and malls, I must admit I like many of the changes.

Now, historically, I don’t like some of the changes made in Mentryville since I lived there, but I have to remember what the folks who lived there before me and my folks said about how we had changed things for the worse. And I still don’t like the changes the folks who followed us in Pico accomplished.  I mean the fruit trees and sucker-rod fences and roses in the front yard and – see what I mean?

I don’t like the barn and schoolhouse colors now. But those changes preserved the place. At least it got some paint. Goodness knows we couldn’t afford it.

Those changes in the lower areas of Pico Canyon, right about where the Ralph’s supermarket sits, I kind of like. It means nobody will be growing, cutting and baling hay there again.

You know, if I never lift another bale it will be too soon. Another good change.

The view from Happy Valley toward the future Valencia in 1958. Click to enlarge.

The view from Happy Valley toward the future Valencia in 1958. Click to enlarge.

I really like the overpass at Pico Canyon Road and Interstate 5. There was a time before that bridge – actually on April 5, 1966 – that I encountered a vehicle heading north with my motorcycle. Car won, motorcycle lost – and so did I. Both legs broken and wheelchair-bound. Guess that change was better, too.

I do think the SCV has cooled a little. Before Valencia and all the trees, there was little shade to cool the valley floor. There were just lots of open, flat and dusty fields north of Lyons and west of Newhall Avenue. You could look across those fields on a summer day and watch the heat waves ripple off of them.

While I write about how the smell of the onion fields and the stockyards could help Hart High win a Friday night football game if the wind was right, I don’t miss those smells. I like the changes made in that department, too.

San Fernando Road – now Newhall Avenue – four lanes or more from Highway 14 all the way to Saugus and beyond. I like that change, too. Dare I mention the cross-valley connector? Remember the traffic on Soledad Canyon Road before it existed? Good change? You betcha.

Want a good meal?  We’ve got some right here in our valley. Don’t have to leave town to buy just about anything.

Not all of the changes are for the better, but we’ve made some great strides in preserving the best part of the SCV.  The city is slowly expanding the open-space areas that surround the valley so we won’t have huge, ugly waves of houses rolling over every ridgeline. That is one way to make the changes better. I think that is pretty good.

Now, I can refer to certain places and place-names that only we “Been Here’s” know and all of the “Come Here’s” don’t. Like if you know where Hi Chic curve is on Railroad Avenue, or where Thatcher Glass was located, you may be a “Been Here.”  If you pronounce Castaic in three syllables, you ARE a “Come Here.” No doubt about that. For the uninitiated and Come-Here folks, it is pronounced “Cas-STEAK.”

Not that I’m putting anyone down. You had the good fortune to come to a great place to live and work. Some of us were blessed from birth to have been able to call this valley home. If by birth or by choice you came here, you have indeed found a place to sink roots and call home. Your children can become “Been Here’s.” Pretty cool. You should like that, too.

You know that cattle, sheep and horses used to far outnumber people in the SCV. It wasn’t even called Santa Clarita Valley before Valencia. We just called it … well, it really didn’t have a name that anyone used like they do today.  For that, I like the changes. We have a name for OUR place and our home.

We moan, groan, cuss and discuss our city and county government. We gripe about the traffic and heat and cold and schools and parks and whatever. But we stay here. Our children stay here. We like it here. Sometimes we roam away but return (like me), and others come and stay. Still others have never left our valley except on vacation.

If all of this change were bad, we would have left long ago. Many of us who did leave have returned to stay.

You see, I do believe Dorothy was right when she clicked the heels of those ruby slippers. There’s no place like home … especially if it is the good, old SCV.

 

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 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. Once upon a time, I mourned the loss of the grassy, uninhabited hills west of Interstate 5 at Calgrove. In the 1960’s, dad took us shooting there. Fast forward to 1996 – and I found myself living in Hidden Valley – on one of those very same hills. Newhall, I love you, and I always will.

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
Tuesday, Nov 16, 2021
In last month’s blog I listed the many unusual animals DACC has impounded throughout the years. I challenged readers to guess which two species of animals that DACC has not impounded, promising to reveal the answer in this month’s blog.
Tuesday, Nov 2, 2021
October 30 was the day we cut the ribbon and welcomed residents to the new Canyon Country Community Center.
Monday, Nov 1, 2021
Tis the season to celebrate, and I know I cannot wait to come together as a community, once again, to kick off the holiday season at Light Up Main Street! This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct 14, 2021
People are often surprised when I tell them the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) cares for animals other than dogs and cats.
Monday, Oct 4, 2021
The culmination of a major project is always an exciting time.
Friday, Oct 1, 2021
It is time to celebrate everything that makes Santa Clarita an All-Star City! We are thrilled to once again hold our landmark State of the City event in person for 2021. The big event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 3:00 p.m. at the brand-new Canyon Country Community Center.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1950 - CalArts grad Ed Harris ("A Beautiful Mind," "Apollo 13," "Westworld") born in New Jersey [link]
Ed Harris
1941 - Funeral for "our" Remi Nadeau, whose Canyon Country deer park became North Oaks [story]
Remi Nadeau
Volunteers are needed to help make fresh garland and vintage-style decorations for the Antelope Valley Indian Museum in preparation for Holidays on the Homestead.
Antelope Valley Indian Museum Looking for Volunteers to Decorate for the Holidays
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials confirmed Friday 29 new deaths and 2,073 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 38,955 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID Roundup: County Releases Data from the Last 7 Days
Find something for everyone at the various events happening in Santa Clarita this holiday season including Six Flags Magic Mountain's magical winter experience, an international film festival and holiday shows.
City Highlights Activities for Holiday Fun in Santa Clarita
The city of Santa Clarita's Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission will hold its Regular Meeting Thursday, Dec. 2, at 6:00 p.m.
Dec. 2: Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission Regular Meeting
1916 - A score of Wobblies bust up Newhall Jail after commandeering SP freight train [story]
Wobblies logo
The Antelope Valley Indian Museum announced it will host the 10th annual Holidays on the Homestead celebration on Saturday, Dec, 4 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 4: Antelope Valley Indian Museum Invites All to 10th Annual ‘Holidays on the Homestead’
Every November in honor of National Family Caregiver Month, Los Angeles County Department Of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) recognizes the important role of Los Angeles County's caregivers who provide essential care, support and medical assistance to older and dependent adults.
WDACS Celebrates Caregivers in LA County
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health shared how to avoid foodborne illness, also known as food poisoning, with families celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday.
Public Health Shares Safe Food Preparation Tips for the Holidays
The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management announced it will be on high alert due to the potential of very strong winds and fire weather conditions that will impact much of our County through Friday morning.
County Residents Urged to Stay Vigilant as Strong Winds, Fire Weather Forecasted
Just in time for this Thanksgiving holiday, Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, Inc., in partnership with Christy Smith and Grocery Outlet, donated turkeys, mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, green beans and additional non-perishables for their annual Thanksgiving Dinner Event on Tuesday, Nov. 23.
Samuel Dixon Family Health Center Shares Thanksgiving Dinners to Families in Need
1875 - Vasquez lieutenant Clodoveo Chavez reportedly killed by bounty hunters in Arizona Territory [story]
Clodoveo Chavez story
The season of giving is here, and the Department of Public Social Services  is encouraging the public to consider sponsoring a family as part of its annual holiday Adopt-A-Family Program benefiting low-income families throughout the County of Los Angeles.
Social Services Urges Others to ‘Adopt-A-Family’
It’s time to clean our closets for charity and support the Flair Cleaners 19th Annual Holiday Clothing and Shoe Drive Nov. 26 through Dec. 31, 2021.
Flair Cleaners Holiday Clothing Drive Returns for 19th Year
Princess Cruises, the Santa Clarita based cruise line, is announcing new Oceanic destinations, including their longest ever World Cruise.
Princess Cruises Announces New Oceanic Cruises and Beyond
As part of an ongoing effort to help students recover from learning loss, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond will host a town hall to spotlight best practices and secure new ideas to support literacy and biliteracy goals.
State Superintendent to Highlight Best Practices to Support Literacy
The College of the Canyons music department will present its fall “Electronica Musique” show on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Black Box Theater.
COC Music Presents Fall Electronica Concert
2003 - Ruth Newhall, longtime co-owner/editor of The Signal, dies in Berkeley [story]
Ruth Newhall
College of the Canyons freshman Danielle Salcedo ran down history on Saturday, clocking a program-record time of 17.54.9 on the 5K course at Woodward Park to become the first California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Women’s Cross Country Individual State Champion in school history.
Danielle Salcedo First CCCAA Individual State Champ in COC Women’s XC History
Los Angeles County, in partnership with the National Development Council, announced that it has extended the application deadline for its small business rent relief grant project to Sunday, Nov. 28.
County Extends Application Deadline for Small Business Rent Relief Grant Project
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials confirmed Tuesday 29 new deaths and 725 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 38,802 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday COVID Roundup: Public Health Notes Vaccination Disparities Among Children 5 to 11
The Los Angeles County Health Officer issued a Cold Weather Alert for the Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures with wind chill temperatures expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nov. 24: Cold Weather Alert Issued for SCV, AV
SCVNews.com
%d bloggers like this: