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Today in
S.C.V. History
June 21
1941 - Ernie Hickson buys out Trem Carr's interest in their Monogram movie ranch, renames it "Placeritos" (later called Melody). [story]
Ernie Hickson

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Jul 20, 2014

darrylmanzer_blacktieThe mother of a close friend died yesterday after a long bout with leukemia. A lady of quick wit and ready smile, she was the wartime bride of a World War II veteran who passed last year.

Being 95 years old, she was just a few months older than my mother would have been. The funny thing is, she attended school in a little town in South Dakota with some cousins of my father. I think my dad went to that same school, but he was four years older, so I doubt they ever met.

Folks in that part of the Midwest were hardy souls. Hard work came easy to them. A day of doing nothing just didn’t seem to be in their character. Folks who seemed to love work, she and her husband raised two children and built a good life for their family in West Los Angeles.

The lady was full of cute sayings that my friend called “mom-isms.” She had so many, I can’t even begin to repeat them. Just say that during her long life, she had experienced so much that her cup of wisdom was filled to overflowing. The type of person with common sense who seems so difficult to find these days.

With three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, her life was truly blessed. She was a class act to the end.

When a mother, father, husband or wife dies the pain seems almost unbearable. Having known “Mom,” she wouldn’t want us to feel so much pain. She’d want to hug and hold us until the pain subsided and we could continue our lives a whole bunch richer because she was part of our lives.

I learned of the pain of losing parents when I was just a teenager. I’d like to think that my folks, had they lived longer, would have been much like my friend’s mother and father. A priest friend once described such people as good and happy souls who will be in heaven to greet us when we, too, leave this life for the next.

Born in 1919, she saw all kinds of events in her life. She was born just before women were granted the right to vote, so she first voted in 1940.

She saw the crash of the stock market and the end of Prohibition. There was the rise of Hitler and the sneak attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor. She married a soldier who, soon after the wedding, went off to Europe to be part of the invasion of France on June 6, 1944.

They wrote letters in those days, and there were many, I’m sure. From the day of their wedding to yesterday, she loved the man she married. As long as she was still talking, she never failed to say something good about him. She was in love from the beginning. I know they are together now, and I’ll bet they are hugging each other tightly again.

Being part of the Greatest Generation, her outlook on life was a little different than what ours is today. She and her husband knew the value of the work they did and built a business and raised a family. I’m sure times were rough for the couple, but they did just fine. Financially they had a comfortable life, but only because they knew the value of what they had.

I remember being at her home once when I discovered she was saving aluminum foil for reuse. It seems that generation knew how to recycle long before it ever became a city-mandated green and blue barrel day. Maybe they were a little more attuned to the world’s environment than we thought.

There are many, many people who will miss her daughter posting on Facebook the latest “mom-ism.” They were able to share in her humor and wisdom just a little with each of those postings.

I’ll miss her smile and conversation and the ability to laugh when she was hurting so much. We can’t imagine what she went through. We do know we can feel our hearts breaking, which can only be healed by the tears streaming down our faces.

As this old sailor will recall, the prayers I’ve heard too often in my life seem a bit apropos today. You see, at the end of a watch or duty time at sea, the ship’s bell would toll so that the next watch section could take over. This time the bell tolled for her so she can lay down her oar and never have to suffer a storm again. She is at peace, and so is the sea.

Mrs. Saporito, you’re the best. Say hello to my folks when you see them. I’m sure you would have been long and fast friends in this life. I know you’ve already become that in the next. May God bless you and keep you through all eternity.



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 are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

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  1. Dianne Raynor says:

    Thank you Darryl for this heartfelt tribute.

  2. Wonderful read. Thank you.

  3. SCV Janie says:

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this beautiful tribute to my mother. She was all of this and more. I am up at 6 am because it is the time it usually had to check mom’s oxygen and vital signs. But she is not here, the bed is empty and so I will try to sleep a bit longer. The house is so quiet. Even the birds outside are silent this morning. The sky is heavy with gray clouds,and it is the latter part of July. Nature mourns with me today, and so I will rest, knowing the beautiful Leaetta is dancing with my father once again, this time forever.

  4. Penny says:

    I followed the posts and read each mom – ism. Beautiful tribute to her. Thank you.

  5. lorraine richards says:

    Throughout the past few years I have have been blessed to see Jayne post some precious and funny momisms that made my day! What am amazing tribute to Mom And Ms.Jayne! Sending love, hugs and prayers to the entire family he loved her an will miss her!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great tribute. You kept so much in this. Whatta wonderful woman!

  7. Sandy Holt says:

    Wonderful tribute to Mama Saporito… Thank you for sharing

  8. I just found out, and you and the family are in my prayers. Beautiful tribute.

  9. A great tribute to a wonderful woman, I wish I could’ve known her. This will always be my loss. Rest in peace.

  10. Wow, Jayne! A lovely tribute for ur wonderful mama!

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