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Today in
S.C.V. History
May 13
1825 - Town founder Henry Mayo Newhall born in Saugus, Mass. [read/watch]
Henry M. Newhall

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Apr 27, 2014

darrylmanzer021014I’m back in Cadiz, Ky., where my ex-wife is slowly succumbing to brain cancer. I hate that word: CANCER. I think all of us hate that word. At least with hospice and controlled pain medications she isn’t suffering. The quality of her life sucks, but now it is just a waiting game. Our prayers have been answered but not how we wanted. We know her cure is in Heaven not here on Earth. It still hurts to think about it. Tears are a part of my life every hour of every day.

Leave it to my hometown to provide some levity during this time in my life. Seems that folks are playing a little “dirty politics” back home. Gathering signatures for a petition to block the billboard deal with some folks at the sites where the signatures are being gathered trying to block folks from signing.

Isn’t America great? Some of those that are gathering the signatures are calling the others, “blockers.” There has even been a little shoving and pushing going on. The Sheriff’s Department has responded and some folks have been arrested. Wow. Paid political folks in our little valley. Seems like a new version of the old-time Western movies. Hired guns come in and try to take over.

Those that want to block the billboard deal seem to be angry that those trying are trying to block the petition to keep it from being voted on. Seems like a whole lot of free speech, paid and otherwise, is being used in this little fight. I’m just a little confused. Those that want to block the deal are petitioners. Those that want the deal to go through are now called “blockers.” Only in America.

So I guess another deal has grown from this. Our local Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival will now have a location where those folks that want to block the deal can gather signatures. How about a spot for those that like the deal? Equal time seems appropriate at this moment.

And by the time all y’all read this, the Festival will be almost over. Too bad. It is a festival of Western music and cowboy poetry with a whole bunch of local movie history. And now we add a bunch of local politics. Not good.

Can’t we have at least on event in our valley totally void of political overtones? I hear tell our city manager negotiated the deal to allow folks to collect signatures on the petition to block the deal at a spot in Melody Ranch. Did he check with Melody Ranch? Private property and all. What a tangled web.

I’m not sure if folks want to block the billboard deal because they don’t like it or because they don’t like the election results. Can’t figure this one. So far what I get is a bunch of sour grapes.

And then we get to another joke in the SCV. That joke is the opening date for Castaic High School. The date keeps moving to the right by weeks and then months and now years. When is the next Hart district election for the board? Sounds to me like we have to elect somebody who can decide something and stick with it. Someone that can lead a little. Where we going to find someone like that?

I’m tired. Just plain worn down and stove in. I’m helping my daughter-in-law care for Kathie and by the end of each day I’m an emotional and physical wreck. I want to thank the folks out west in my hometown for providing a few laughs. I need them right about now.

A couple of nights ago I was awakened by a good old Midwest thunderstorm with lots of lightning and thunder and rain. A regular torrential downpour. I bet more rain came down that night then all the rain we got in the last three months. Wish I could send it home. I really worry come fire season. (Or has fire season already started?).

Usually, during storms like the other night, Kathie would wake me up and ask me to check it the house had been hit by a bolt of lightning or the roof was leaking. She slept through it all. But I’m still trained. I got up and checked anyway.

You know it is those kinds of memories that make all the politics in the SCV and in our nation seem like just so much nothing. We seem to spend so much time being negative about something we hardly have time to find something positive.

I’ve found that positive this week. Not too late either. I’ve found the memories we share and today laugh about. Can’t get that from Congress or City Hall.

So relax a little, folks. Kick back and let that God of your understanding do the heavy work. Spend time with family and friends. Build memories of love and fun events.

And when it is time to part this Earth, we can smile at the good and the bad. We can say we were loved and did love. Our only tears will be those of joy.

Rest well, Kathie. I hope you are awake one more day to smile at us all.




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. I’m sorry for what you are going through. I will keep you in my prayers.

  2. It’s very hard! I’m really sorry!

  3. It’s very hard! I’m really sorry!

  4. Kin Brenn Kin Brenn says:

    prayer is useless you morons, get a grip on reality, sic of all this religious crapola!

  5. Lifting you both in prayer. I know the feeling. I’m leaving for CA this week to see my childhood best friend with pancreatic cancer. Gonna be a hard trip back home.

  6. Darryl and his family are in my prayers as I prepare for Cpwboy church at Masters College this morning. He should know that the blockers were offered equal access to the Cowboy Festival by the city. These petition organizations know each other and are used to playing the game. No one ever said that blockers should not have their right to petition-but they are being paid by Allvision the consultant to the MTA and that have a paid lobbyist registed with the city- Mr Arthur Sohikian. The blockers often harass and shadow the petitioners who are attempting to gather signatures under a very tight time limit.It remains to be seen whether Allvision will expense the blockers against the revenue stream from the billboard deal. IMHO-the people should not be expensed or charged for the blockers. SCVTV is the Pravda/PARS of the SCV and is not acting in the capacity of an honest news agent in this controversy.A significant portion of their revenue stream comes from local government agencies. Safe travels Darryl.

  7. Teri Baxter Teri Baxter says:

    You know I’m sending hugs and prayers…and if I could, I’d send some rain to CA too. ::hugs::

  8. Linda Peters Linda Peters says:

    Lovingly written, Darryl. Lovely.

  9. Linda Peters Linda Peters says:

    Lovingly written, Darryl. Lovely.

  10. Bob Becker Bob Becker says:

    Hey Kin, your personal beliefs about religion are ill-timed, insensitive and irrelevant! First, get some therapy! Next, read a book on manners. Then, the next time you get a thought, keep it to yourself!

  11. Bob Becker Bob Becker says:

    Hey Kin, your personal beliefs about religion are ill-timed, insensitive and irrelevant! First, get some therapy! Next, read a book on manners. Then, the next time you get a thought, keep it to yourself!

  12. I am praying that God ends her suffering soon. And praying for you and your family.

  13. The Lord comfort and strengthen and keep you and your loved one and loved ones.

  14. I am so sorry. My uncle died from brain cancer. Prayers to the both of you.

  15. If you don’t believe in God, fine. This is no forum to spout off about it. Some people do not have any filter, Darryl. I am praying for you, and going through this hell with you as my mom lays dying of that same disease-cancer. Godspeed, Darryl and Kathie, and if anyone is offended by my prayer, get a filter and stifle yourself.

  16. I know what it is to be in this moment…my husband had the same thing…may your faith sustain you…prayers …

  17. praying for you @this difficult time..

  18. Linda Tah Linda Tah says:

    Prayers for your loved ones

  19. Alana Smith Alana Smith says:

    I wouldn’t be smiling that big. Weird.

  20. Michelle Lea Michelle Lea says:

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Hey Kin prayers are not useless moron you are for making the comment you did you got a black heart.

  21. So sorry, Darryl. Lifting you all up on prayer. God be with you.

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