header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
53°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 26
1990 - "Duplicates" premieres at L.A. Phil; concerto by CalArts Music School dean Mel Powell wins Pulitzer Prize [story]
Mel Powell


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
Tuesday, Jan 24, 2023
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to call upon President Joe Biden and Congressman Adam Schiff to end Armenian suffering due to the Azerbaijani blockade of the Lachin Corridor, a nearly four mile road that is the only land connection between Armenia and the Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan.
Friday, Jan 20, 2023
Unprecedented cold weather across the nation has caused natural gas market prices to more than double (about 128%) between December and January.
Thursday, Jan 19, 2023
As we prepare for the upcoming Winter Sports Championships, I am struck by where we were approximately one year ago to where we are today.
Wednesday, Jan 18, 2023
Traditionally, animal shelters (including DACC) responded to the plight of homeless animals by admitting them into care and making best efforts to reunite lost pets with their owners or place homeless pets with new families.
Monday, Jan 9, 2023
Education is the best way to fight fentanyl overdoses and save lives.
Monday, Jan 2, 2023

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
NEW ORLEANS – The California State University, Northridge Men's and Women's Cross Country programs earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Teams for the 2022 NCAA Division I Cross Country season as announced by the USTFCCCA Thursday.
Matadors Cross Country Programs Named to All-Academic Teams
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency Board of Directors will now be meeting in-person for all Committee meetings.
Feb. 2: SCV Water Engineering, Operations Committee Regular Meeting
Friends of Placerita Canyon Natural Area invite the public to share in the grand opening of the new "Know Your Nature Center" on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m.
Jan. 28: ‘Know Your Nature Center’ Grand Opening
Join Landmark Opera at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church as it presents Gilbert and Sullivan's famous operetta, "The Pirates of Penzance," Sunday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m.
Feb. 5: Landmark Opera Presenting ‘Pirates of Penzance’
In Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation's latest episode, you’ll learn about DrinkPAK, a premier contract manufacturer of premium alcoholic and non-alcohol beverages based in Santa Clarita.
SCVEDC’s Latest Podcast Features DrinkPAK CEO Nate Patena
The College of the Canyons Sports Medicine Program and Valencia High School Medical Science Academy will host the 2023 Sports Medicine Professions Fair on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 10 a.m. - noon, at the college's Valencia campus.
Feb. 4: COC, Valencia High Partner to Host Sports Med Fair
The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons will present "Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience" on Sunday, May 21. Two shows will be offered at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
May 21: Santa Clarita PAC Presents ‘Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience’
On Jan. 19, the Board of Directors for the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation approved long-time board member John Shaffery, managing partner of Poole Shaffery, to step into the role of Board co-chair as successor to Roger Seaver.
John Shaffery Named New SCVEDC Co-Chair
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station reminds Santa Clarita Valley residents that the past rain event may have created great riding trails, but riding off highway vehicles unauthorized on private property is considered trespassing.
Unauthorized Off Highway Vehicle Owners Reminded to Remain Off Private Property
SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced a new partnership at a press event today between the California Department of Education and California Volunteers, Office of the Governor, to promote new pathways for California Volunteers service corps members — a group that includes 10,000 per year across all corps, including the California Climate Action Corps, AmeriCorps, #CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs and #CaliforniansForAll College Corps — to become teachers in California classrooms.
State Schools Chief Unveils Plans to Recruit More Teachers
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday no additional deaths and 62 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, with 23 additional deaths and 1,095 new cases countywide.
Thursday COVID Roundup: 62 New SCV Cases
1990 - "Duplicates" premieres at L.A. Phil; concerto by CalArts Music School dean Mel Powell wins Pulitzer Prize [story]
Mel Powell
Nominations for the 2023 Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce Business Choice Awards is coming to a close soon.
Jan. 31: Deadline for Nominations for Chamber’s Business Choice Awards
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued beach closures for the following areas due to the release of approximately 64,000 gallons of untreated sewage:
Several Beaches Close Due to 64k Gallons of Sewage
The Santa Clarita Community College District’s Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee voted to accept the results of an independent audit confirming the district properly accounted for all bond expenditures in the 2021-22 fiscal year.  
Audit of COC Bond Spending Affirmed
Nominations for the yearly SCV Man & Woman of the Year are coming to a close, but there is still several days left to submit a nomination. 
Last Chance to Nominate 2023 SCV Man & Woman of the Year
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health cautions residents who are planning to visit the below Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters:
Ocean Water Use Warning For Jan. 25
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed Supervisors Lindsey P. Horvath’s and Hilda Solis' motion to extend COVID-19 eviction protections for renters and further the process of setting up rental assistance programs for renters and owners. 
Supervisors Extend Eviction Protections For County
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors asked the State of California to launch an investigation into natural gas utility bill spikes that County residents experienced this month and to develop a plan to prevent future spikes.
County Requests State Leaders Investigate Natural Gas Price Increase
With their striking orange wings laced with black lines and bordered with white dots, monarch butterflies and their annual migration south from the United States and Canada to California and Mexico have become the stuff of legend. But habitat loss threatens the future of not just the butterflies, but other pollinators essential to the nation’s ecosystems.
CSUN Student Receives Grant to Increase Habitat for Butterfly, Other Pollinators
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health today confirmed 22 new deaths throughout L.A. County, 1,254 new cases countywide and 20 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Wednesday COVID Roundup: Santa Clarita Adds 20 Cases to Total Count
1915 - Death of pre-Mentry oilman & San Francisquito vintner Ramon Perea [story]
Perea grave marker
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion today by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and co-authored by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell that establishes a $45M countywide relief fund for small property owners. The new rent relief program will benefit mom-and-pop property owners hardest hit by non-payment of rent.
Board of Supes to Bring $45M in Relief for Small Property Owners
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health today confirmed 20 new deaths throughout L.A. County, 919 new cases countywide and 118 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday COVID Roundup: 20 New COVID Deaths, 919 New Cases in County
SCVNews.com
%d bloggers like this: