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April 14
2014 - "Become Ocean" by John Luther Adams (CalArts BFA 1973) named winner of 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music [story]
John Luther Adams


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014

darrylmanzer021014I keep seeing and hearing a commercial for a way to whiten your teeth. “Two shades at the first application and seven shades lighter in a week.” Just one question: How much is a “shade?”

Goes along with the “Free gift if you act now” and order … whatever. Let me see. A few things wrong with that, too. First: If somebody gives me a gift, do I pay for it? Isn’t the term, “free gift,” just a little redundant? Second: If they have to give you something for you to buy something else, is it really free?

And then there is the wonderful car dealer’s phrase, “Certified Pre-owned.” Think of this: Even if you’re buying a brand-new car, didn’t the dealer own it before you bought it? And didn’t the car manufacturer own the new car before the dealer did? So in reality all of the cars on the sales lot – new and used – can be certified to be pre-owned.

I wonder what free gift the city of Santa Clarita is getting for the billboards it wants to have removed? What shade will it be when they are removed? What is so darned important about billboards? What is in it for the citizens of the city of Santa Clarita? I wonder if the replacement signs are “certified” to be “pre-owned.”

I’ve been listening to the various candidates for Santa Clarita City Council. You know, at William S. Hart High, when it was the only high school in the whole SCV, we would have pictures in the Tomahawk (Hart High’s yearbook) of seniors who had been voted “Best Looking,” “Best Athlete,” “Just Best,” etc. Well, so far, I’ve seen a couple of candidates who rise above the rest of the field. OK, three do that. No, four. Guess I’ll look some more.

I’ve signed up for the labor force at the Cowboy Festival this year. It is a great way to get into the event and have a lot of fun, too. Plus, I get a free T-shirt. I wonder what color they’ll be this year? The color last year was a bright but light green. I also have to find my “stinkin’ badge,” polish up the boots and get the hat ready, too. It isn’t easy looking like a movie cowboy – especially for someone who has been behind a herd, suckin’ dust. No chaps. Too hot.

You might want to make sure your car insurance is up to date. The weather guessers are predicting rain Wednesday through Friday and even a little on Saturday. You remember rain. That is what we call drops of water that fall from the sky. I know it has been a while since we had a prediction of a lot of rain like this. Keep posted on the forecast.

With the rain there are always a lot of automobile accidents. Drive safe out there. I don’t want either of my readers hurt.

If there is enough rain, you might want to have the camera ready to see water in the Santa Clara River. Imagine that. Water in a river. Just doesn’t seem possible. Not here. No way. No how. Nosiree, Bob. Get your cameras ready.

Hear tell at one time, when the railroad was being built through Soledad Canyon, the timbers for a bridge or trestle were floated up the river. I don’t know the truth of that story, and I wouldn’t get the rafts ready for a wild whitewater trip to Ventura. But it sure would be neat if it could be done. Then the city would have to argue about the billboards along the river.

Do you remember how the City Council voted to have the motto of the United States placed on the wall of City Hall and “in other appropriate locations?” The motto for the good old U.S. of A. wasn’t official until about 1957. Had to keep those godless commies from coming here. So Congress voted to make it official that “In God We Trust” was our motto.

With that thought comes another. A whole bunch of baboons together is called what? Yep. That’s right. A bunch of baboons are called a “congress.” Now that is surely true for those folks in Washington, D.C., under that big building with the huge white dome on it.

So what should we call the folks under that big golden dome up in Sacramento? Why change a good name? “Baboons” fits those folks, too. Might not be a congress, but they seem to make as many darn-fool laws.

Last but not least, all y’all should know. If you’d like a tour of Pico Canyon-Mentryville, just drop me an email at the address below. I’d like to have a group of 15 to 20. You can see an earlier effort in the video you see linked on this page. I’ve refined my talk a little. But there still aren’t any ghosts in the old place. Skunks and snakes, for sure. (Yes, we let politicians on the tour, so we can be sure about the skunks and snakes.)

Maybe we need billboards on the trails up there along with the motto of the U.S.A. on every building. What do you think?

 

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 Tuesdays and Sundays, are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

 

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1 Comment

  1. old granny says:

    – Darryl – you don’t need no stinkin’ badge :-D

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