header image

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

Inside
Weather


 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 25
1859 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez escapes from prison while serving sentence for grand larceny in SCV area; recaptured in August and sent to San Quentin [story]
Tiburcio Vasquez


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Saturday, Oct 18, 2014

darrylmanzerI should have known not to drop in at an event with people who don’t agree with some of the things I write. I forged ahead anyway. I kept remembering the ancient words of wisdom: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

The event was the celebration of the anniversary of saving the old oak tree known as “Old Glory” out on Pico Canyon Road in Pico Canyon Park. I missed that 2003 event. I think I was at sea doing something for the Navy … like testing a submarine or something.

Anyway, I’m happy they saved that tree. It came close to getting killed many times in its life. It is a huge and beautiful tree. I know it is a huge and beautiful tree with a charmed existence.

Some people claim they got engaged under the branches of that tree. I would imagine it was also a place for couples to do some things that may have necessitated a proposal. I wouldn’t know. I was too young, or I plead the “fifth” on grounds it definitely would incriminate me.

Anyway, the oak trees in Pico are especially magnificent this year. I think it is because their dark green leaves stand out in such a vivid fashion from the yellow and dry grasses around them. I also marvel at their resiliency. My short hike this morning up to the old bakery in Mentryville led me past many old oaks that have survived many wildfires over the years. The leaves burn and then return to the former glory of our native trees.

"Old Glory" in 2013.

“Old Glory” in 2013.

Here in California we are so blessed with trees. The giant redwoods, our oak trees, bristlecone pines that are older than the redwoods, windblown cypress trees and the thousands of cottonwoods that line our otherwise dry and dusting rivers.

That last group has yet to start turning colors for fall here in the southern part of our state.

Whatever the tree that is in our state, all of them are beautiful.

I love it when I go to an event expecting to hear about the great and wonderful thing we are celebrating, only to get a lecture on another and quite unrelated subject. I almost started laughing as the other subject was brought up. We were standing within four miles of the first commercially produced oilfield west of the Mississippi River. I think some of the old oil pipes that carried the crude oil from the wells to the old Pioneer Refinery on Pine Street in Newhall were beneath our feet.

So we hear about how the Keystone Pipeline is going to destroy the entire Midwest and pollute rivers, kill wildlife and generally change the world. The gentleman gave some data on the size and strength of the piping that would be used for the proposed pipeline. Seems plenty strong to this old submariner. But what do I know about piping and high-pressure liquids?

Like the time there was a small leak of oil from one of the rigs on the platforms off of Carpinteria. Personally I had a difficult time telling the difference between the oil seeps in the cliffs and along the beach at Carpinteria State Park and the reported oil spill.

Quigley watches the tree being moved down the road in 2004.

Quigley watches the tree being moved down the road in 2004.

I know of only one major spill in Pico Canyon in all the years there was oil production there. A pipe broke because of a large boulder. Oil contained and picked up. Sand and soil in the creek that was oil-soaked was taken out of the creek bottom and used on the canyon road. A year later nobody hardly remembered the leak.

I am not concerned with the engineering and safety of the proposed Keystone Pipeline. At least not when I’m celebrating the saving of a grand old oak tree in Pico Canyon. It felt like a case of “bait and switch.”

I love it when folks who know little if anything about piping design tell me about the strength of piping. “The pipe walls are going to be a little less than a half inch thick.” In the engineering world, that makes for some pretty strong pipes. There are some on submarines that are that thick and keep water out of the people tank just fine. For many, many years.

But if you don’t know, it all sounds pretty scary. “If the pipe breaks, the Oglala Aquifer will be contaminated with hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil.” I’d agree if there weren’t safety valves designed into the proposed system. A lot of oil may spill, but the flow of oil would be stopped before millions – no, thousands – of gallons are spilled. And that is only if the pipe breaks completely. A crack or partial break could have containment in minutes.

But I was there to celebrate a tree … not to think of a pipeline 1,500 miles away. I also had to laugh that while tree sitter John Quigley did much to save that tree in the 71 days he was in those branches, I think one reason he was able to do so was the fact William S. Hart High School took some action to save the tree.

For a long time, we had a bus driver for a few kids who lived in the Pico Canyon area, and he tended to go a bit fast. More than once he was speeding around the corner and nearly lost control right at what became “Old Glory.” That bus driver was put on another route, and the tree was saved. At least we think it was.

Mr. Quigley saved it again. Those lovers can remember the proposal. We kids on the bus can remember the driver, and our valley has a Champion Tree.

And with that, we all got into our fossil-fueled vehicles and went home.

 

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.

1 Comment

  1. Steve Petzold says:

    Remember to Vote No on Measure S. It’s a very bad deal.

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
Monday, Jun 24, 2024
The 2023-2024 school year has come to a close and along with it a very successful year of high school athletics.
Monday, Jun 24, 2024
I know I speak for everyone when I say the passing of firefighter Andrew Pontious in the line of duty just one week ago was heartbreaking.
Monday, Jun 24, 2024
As a city manager, father and community member — the safety of Santa Clarita residents will always be my top priority - especially on the roads.
Thursday, Jun 20, 2024
Every summer, Santa Clarita’s very own Central Park, located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, transforms into a premiere venue for live musical performances where friends, families and neighbors come together to sing and dance the night away.
Thursday, Jun 20, 2024
One of my favorite parts about our community is the ability to walk, bike or ride along our trails and paseos.
Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024
This weeks Edition of Pilar's Pocketbook focuses on ways to help reduce fees and pay for piling parking tickets. 

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Santa Clarita Transit has updated its transit fares across all lines and services. The new fares will go into effect on July 1.
July 1: Santa Clarita Transit to Increase Fares
Registration is now open for the city of Santa Clarita 2024 Youth Sports 6-on-6 Fall Flag Football League.
Registration Open for Youth Sports Fall Flag Football
The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control has announce the launch of a new and improved process to report illegal animal breeding that will include a tipline and online form.
L.A. Animal Care, Control Launches Illegal Breeding Tipline
It’s all systems go for the College of the Canyons Aerospace and Science Team, which has received a $136,000 grant from NASA to support its High-Altitude Student Platform, RockOn, and RockSat-X suborbital rocket programs.
COC Receives $136,000 Grant from NASA
1859 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez escapes from prison while serving sentence for grand larceny in SCV area; recaptured in August and sent to San Quentin [story]
Tiburcio Vasquez
The 2023-2024 school year has come to a close and along with it a very successful year of high school athletics.
CIF-SS Commissioner Mike West | Year in Review
The Castaic Union School District Governing Board will hold its regular meeting Thursday, June 27, at 6 p.m.
June 27: Castaic Union Expected to Adopt 2024-2025 Budget
The regular meeting of the Saugus Union School District Governing Board will take place Tuesday, June 25, with closed session beginning at 5 p.m., followed immediately by public session at 6:40 p.m.
June 25: Saugus Union School District Regular Board Meeting
A new nonprofit initiative in Santa Clarita is laying the foundation for a groundbreaking Children's Museum.
July 26-28: LEAP Children’s Museum Hosting Pop-Up Event
The SCV Senior Center was recently informed that their Nutrition Budget - “Meals for Seniors” for Fiscal Year starting July 1, 2024, will be cut by $5.1 million dollars.
SCV Senior Center Announces $5.1M Cut to Nutrition Budget
I know I speak for everyone when I say the passing of firefighter Andrew Pontious in the line of duty just one week ago was heartbreaking.
Kathryn Barger | Fighting Fires
Jeremy Bischoff, a Santa Clarita native and a member of the USA Gymnastics National Team for five years, will compete for a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympic Games this week. Bischoff, a 2020 graduate of Canyon High School/Learning Post Academy, will compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials June 27-June 30 in Minneapolis.
Santa Clarita Native Jeremy Bischoff to Compete in Olympic Trials
The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley invites the community to celebrate its 50 years of improving lives of women and girls globally and in the SCV with a glittering disco gala at The Oaks Club, Valencia, on Saturday night, Sept. 14
‘Studio 74’ Coming to Zonta SCV’s Golden Anniversary Celebration
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) Spotlight Series will feature a diverse lineup of talented musicians and performers, as well as family-friendly events as part of its programming.  
PAC Announces 2024-2025 Spotlight Series
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office has released the list of seven productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, June 24 - Sunday, June 30.
Seven Productions Filming in Santa Clarita
Eleven additional athletes claimed spots on the 2024 Paris Olympic Team, including Saugus High School alumna Abbey Weitzeil, on night eight of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Swimming presented by Lilly, in Indianapolis, Ind.
Santa Clarita’s Abbey Weitzeil Qualifies for Paris Olympic Team
As a city manager, father and community member — the safety of Santa Clarita residents will always be my top priority - especially on the roads.
Ken Striplin | Enhancing Safety, Efficiency in Our Community
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is set to roll out a fresh, data-oriented strategy aimed at curtailing crime throughout L.A. County.
LASD Rolls Out New Crime Strategy Unit
1980 - Saugus Train Station relocated to Hart Park, Newhall [story]
Saugus Train Station
1946, 11:20pm: William S. Hart, 81, dies at L.A.'s California Lutheran Hospital, leaving his Newhall estate and his (now West) Hollywood home to the public [story]
Hart dies
1972 - Vasquez Rocks added to National Register of Historic Places [list]
Vasquez Rocks
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Board of Supervisors Chair Lindsey Horvath have sent an open letter to Governor Gavin Newsom urging him to continue funding the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations hand crews who currently help the Los Angeles County Fire Department tackle wildland fires.
Supes Urge Newsom Not to Cut L.A. County Inmate Firefighting Crews
Give the gift of life, an upcoming blood drive is scheduled for Friday, June 28, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., at The Centre, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita, CA 91350. The blood drive will be held in Cedar Hall.
June 28: City Hosts Blood Drive at The Centre
The city of Santa Clarita invites local schools and nonprofits to submit a proposal outlining a project that can benefit from volunteer support as part of Make A Difference Day on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Santa Clarita Now Accepting Project Proposals for Make A Difference Day
SCVNews.com