header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Partly sunny
Partly sunny
61°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 18
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]
Campton store


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Dec 2, 2012

Darryl Manzer

I was having breakfast the other day with Mr. Renly, my little basset hound, at the Egg Plantation in beautiful downtown Newhall.

The location seemed so familiar to me. I know it is near a house that used to sit on that part of Walnut Street where a classmate of mine lived. Just can’t remember who or what the exact address was at the time. I do think it was near the old library.

I rode a horse to that library once. Just had to drop off a book. Think old Suzy helped fertilize some of the shrubs there. In those days it wasn’t an environmental disaster – just a little fertilizer.

I remember riding over the hill on Market Street, and some folks on Valley Street had horses, so I could water Suzy in the their trough. From there it was a slow walk back to Pico. Fun!

Suzy was a good horse. Oh, she did have a tendency to bite folks when a carrot or apple wasn’t offered. She only did it to me once before I got trained. I always had a treat for her after that.

Mr. Renly

My aunt and uncle brought a city kid to Pico once, and Suzy gave him a little love bite. The kid didn’t come back – or maybe he didn’t return because I told him he could relieve himself on a stretch of electric fence we had at Minnie-Lotta Canyon (where the old bakery foundation sits). Don’t think I’ve heard a scream like that since then.

City folk up in Pico and Towsley scare me a little. I was leading a tour there not long ago, and a friendly rattlesnake was sunning itself at Johnson Park. I know to look for them out of habit. Hard to hear them if you’re hiking with your iPod cranked up to full volume and the buds are clogging your ears.

Those city folk also like to build “monuments” or leave something noting that they passed by a spot. We used to call that “litter.”  And what is the fascination with that water/oil pond in Towsley? Does everyone have to stick something in it to see that it is really oil? Why?

Those hills and mountains to the west of Newhall are a lot more wild and natural today than when I lived in Mentryville in the ‘60s. The wells are capped, and vehicle traffic is a Ranger passing by maybe twice a day. There are no cattle on those hills now. The wildlife has returned in force.

We did see a mountain lion or bobcat once in a great while. A few snakes, too. There were deer and quail and dove. But there weren’t the numbers of those critters that we see today.

The rattler was just minding its own business.

Oh, I left out coyotes. That population has really grown since the canyon has less activity.

As those lands return to a more natural state, the folks who visit Towsley and Pico should remember to watch for those critters. Trust me, they don’t want to be around people any more than you want to meet some of them up close and personal-like. Please be careful.

I forgot to mention skunks. Usually they mention themselves. Not by sight, I might add. Don’t attempt to pet the pretty little black kitty with the white stripe. Tomato sauce and juice baths are not fun.

While you’re up in those canyons and hills to the west, please remember that cell phone service can’t reach most of Pico Canyon from the bakery to the end of the canyon. In case of emergency, you’re in trouble. Towsley has a couple of cell-less spots, and the more southerly open space area west of I-5 also has limited cell service. Again, take care.

Standard Oil trucks all had a two-way radio in them. Service was pretty good except in Pico. Like cell phone service today, the two-way radio had dead spots. Like the time a cow fell on the truck my father was driving near some wells in the Hasley Canyon area. He was able to reach another company truck that relayed the message to the production office in Martinez Canyon.

The cow landed on the roof of the truck when it got too close to a steep bank near the road to a well. The bank caved in, and the cow tumbled onto the truck’s roof. Mashed it pretty good. The cow survived. The truck didn’t. I can almost picture the look on the face of my father’s boss as he was told a cow dropped on top of the truck.

Almost as funny as thinking of that city kid and the electric fence.

Couldn’t repeat those events now. Just another part of life in the SCV then.

 

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.

2 Comments

  1. DennyO says:

    OK, a cow falling on the truck roof trumps “raining cats & dogs.”

  2. Well, that’s not the only thing that ever fell on a truck. My brother-in-law had a mountain lion land on the roof of his pickup by the Y out on Pico Cyn. Rd. years ago.,, while he was driving down the road. The cat was okay and kept up his run after he bounced off of the hood again on the other side of the truck. It scared my BIL half to death, but the teasing he got from family and friends for years was worse. Just life in Pico Canyon. It was never dull living out there.

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
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.
Thursday, Sep 16, 2021
Today’s blog is the third and final installment in a series in which I review how the Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control (DACC) has improved its operations over the past 20 years.
Thursday, Sep 2, 2021
According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, youth drug abuse is a high-profile public health concern that is on the rise.
Wednesday, Sep 1, 2021
You simply have to drive through our community to appreciate the natural beauty of Santa Clarita

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Valencia High School Marching Band and Color Guard is holding the 9th Annual Pride of the Vikings Field Tournament at the Valencia High School Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 23, at 3:30 p.m.
Pride of the Vikings Field Tournament Returns to Valencia High School
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office released the five productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, Oct. 18 - Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021:
Filming in SCV This Week Includes Three TV Shows, One Commercial, One Feature
Each time the MB2 Entertainment owners — who happen to be not only business leaders but also two longtime Santa Clarita Valley residents — drove past the Mountasia Family Fun Center, they felt a pull to revitalize the SCV staple.
MB2 Entertainment Bringing Fun Back to Former Mountasia Property
A 67-yard touchdown from Saugus Centurions (7-1, 3-0) quarterback Brady Welch to running back Jacob Faraldo blew the gates open in the 42-7 win against the Golden Valley Grizzlies (3-4, 1-2) on Friday.
Cents Trounce Grizzlies 42-7
The Hart Indians (2-6, 1-2) completed the comeback over Valencia (3-4, 1-2) scoring 14 unanswered points in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime for the 27-21 win.
Hart Stuns Valencia in OT 27-21
Amy Green was a young woman when she fell into a cycle of abuse that began with a relationship with the wrong man and led her to an addiction to heroin.
Purple Palooza 5K Walk Brings Awareness to Domestic Violence
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]
Campton store
1837 - Trapper Peter LaBeck killed by grizzly bear at El Tejon [story]
Peter LaBeck
1853 - Sarah Gifford, community leader and wife of Newhall's first railroad station agent, born in England [story]
Sarah Gifford
The Saugus-based Camp Scott was placed on a short list of potential future sites for the county’s violent youth and young adult offenders, officials said Friday.
Camp Scott Placed on Short List for Future Juvenile, Young Adult Offenders
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 24 new deaths and 1,229 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 36,615 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: FDA Announces Recommendation for Johnson & Johnson Booster Dose; SCV Cases Total 36,615
The Santa Clarita City Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday calling for more local control over zoning laws and land use.
City Approves Resolution Asking for More Local Land Use Zoning Control
After Colleen Shaffer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999, she decided she wanted to help others who were on the same uncertain journey she was on — so she hosted a tea party in her backyard where supporters showed up for her and on behalf of cancer patients.
Circle of Hope Hosts 17th Annual Tea Party Fundraiser to Support Cancer Patients
Women and men gathered on top of Old Town Newhall’s parking structure Thursday for an evening of drinks and recognition of local leaders in the film industry as part of Zonta’s women’s film festival, Lunafest.
Zonta’s Lunafest Empowers Women Through Filmmaking
On Oct. 15, Princess Cruises marked the return to service of the cruise line’s third ship in the U.S. – Emerald Princess – departing from the Port of Los Angeles on a 15-day Panama Canal cruise to Ft. Lauderdale.
Emerald Princess Debuts as Fifth Princess Ship to Return to Cruise Vacation Service
Two out of five league games have been completed as the Foothill League inches closer to the CIF playoffs. The Saugus Centurions and the West Ranch Wildcats remain the only unbeaten teams, setting up for a showdown in the coming weeks, which may decide the Foothill League champion.
Week Nine Football Preview
Foothill League girls golfers tested their skills Wednesday at The Oaks Club at Valencia, which is considered one of the longer courses in the league, and the West Ranch Wildcats still prevailed, pulling some of their best numbers from the entire season.
West Ranch Girls Golf Wins Fifth League Match in a Row
In a red carpet event held at the Laemmle Theatres in Newhall, Square Zero Films filmmakers and NAACP Santa Clarita members celebrated the world premiere of the sports documentary “SCRUM.”
NAACP Santa Clarita, Square Zero Films Celebrate World Premiere of ‘SCRUM’
1939 - Second, larger OLPH Catholic Church dedicated on site of first (10th & Walnut, Newhall) [story]
OLPH
Princess is announcing plans for additional ships returning to service in the United States for February, March and April 2022 sailing from Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver and Ft. Lauderdale.
Princess Unveils Additional Return to Service Plans
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.
Marcia Mayeda | Animal Care, Control Not Just for Cats & Dogs
With a Red Flag Warning in effect this Friday, at 6:00 a.m., through Saturday, Oct. 16, at 8:00 p.m., the Los Angeles County Fire Department has implemented its augmented staffing plan by ordering additional staffing and pre-deployment of ground and aerial resources throughout the County.
LACoFD Announces Red Flag Warnings for Santa Clarita This Weekend
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 19 new deaths and 1,142 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 36,556 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: SCV Cases Total 36,556; L.A. County Transmission Rate Remains High
More than half of Los Angeles County residents, including those in the Santa Clarita Valley, live in a community deemed highly exposed to impending and severe climate impacts, according to a study released Thursday by the County’s Chief Sustainability Office (CSO).
Study Shows Santa Clarita Community at High Risk of Extreme Climate Impacts
SCVNews.com
%d bloggers like this: