Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Meryl Adams
Tales of the Acton Post Office (1977)


Who: Meryl G. Adams

What: Lecture at Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society general meeting

When: Wednesday, August 17, 1977

Where: Placerita Junior High School auditorium

Why: Meryl Adams came to Acton as a child in 1919, served as Acton postmaster from 1949-1955, and published a volume of Acton-Agua Dulce history ("Heritage Happenings") in 1988.

Topic: Tales of the Acton Post Office, originally billed as "Life in the Soledad Canyon Town"

Emcee: Art Evans, founding president, SCV Historical Society

Format: Original: audiocassette; presented here: MP3.


Transcript.

This is an uncorrected computer-generated transcription.

If you would like to clean it up, please contact us by email.

Note: There is a break at 36:30 when the 2-sided cassette tape was flipped over during the talk.


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[00:00:01] The following tape is a recording of Mrs. Meryl Adams, who is the guest speaker tonight on the 17th at the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society meeting being held at Placerita Junior High School.

[00:00:20] Quite a few years ago, my sister called me. My sister at that time was in charge of a community house in Modest Deal, a suburb of Santa Barbara, and she wanted me to be a new assistant. She had. And so I dashed off to meet her. I was impressed, taken from me by the fact that she could beat me and beg me every time I thought I was pretty good. She was better. Our Spirit Knight has had a most interesting career, and the thing that interests us especially is that she has a long history in at least an extension of the Santa Clarita Valley.

[00:01:12] When I moved up here, which is about twenty five years ago, I envy those people who had been here so many more years and who had a knowledge of how this area had grown out and evolved. The people who had lived in it and what they had done are speakers and night has had that opportunity. She came here with her parents to Acton when she was about 9 years old. Nothing. And grew up there. No lives here. And this part of the valley. You know, we wonder about Acton. We know it's there, but we don't know about us history. And tonight she is going to tell us about it.

[00:02:03] As I have you know, sir, I would like to to another old family friend that I met tonight after our lapse of 17 years. I'll burn a bell. She and her husband were old timers in this country. Alberto was born in this area and she and her husband for a long time had a business on Zero Highway when Sierra Highway was quite a business street.

[00:02:32] I've got a standing.

[00:02:40] And then I would like to introduce the speaker tonight, an old and dear friend, Meryl Adams.

[00:02:47] As.

[00:02:50] Do you mind if I don't use the microphone?

[00:02:56] Can you hear me all right? No, I'm not used to. But then I had to. Well, I just do not.

[00:03:06] But if you'd rather I will. Whatever.

[00:03:09] In 1919, my mother and dad took me out of Maxwell R 1962, Maxwell, Kansas. We were gone for two months. We spent one whole month on the road going and coming. And my father got back inside, saw all his brothers and all his relatives farming. So he thought, well, I'm gonna be a farmer. And he came back. He was a mechanic in Los Angeles.

[00:03:49] And we came up here to Acton for a few years, a few times.

[00:03:58] Is that better? We came out here to Acton a few times and I was really excited. I thought, oh, boy, living in the country, that's really going to be something. So I began to wonder, when when are we going? When are we going?

[00:04:18] And my mother and father didn't seem to know. And so a friend of mine down the street had one of these a Ouija board. You remember that Ouija board? So I used to go down investing and my friend and I'd take him on lists, work the Ouija board. And of course, I always wanted to know when are we going to move back home?

[00:04:39] Well, the Ouija board I got so I really had more faith in it than I did and my mother and father, because they weren't telling me a thing, but they went, keep it. It could certainly make me get excited.

[00:04:51] Finally, we moved. We came here in 1919 and the last day of the year. Well, now I think I know why we came at that time.

[00:05:02] Christmas vacation. So Meryl must go to school then right up to New Year's. So the was to Acton to go to school and we got to school before the teacher did. There was a young boy there and he was fixing the fire and a stove pipe wife have quite some across Sydney and was about to fall down. So my father helped fix it.

[00:05:32] Well, you know, that was the first fixing my father did and Acton. And for forty seven years he fixed the An Acton.

[00:05:40] He was a fixture and windmills and most everything that came along. Oh, go get it, Adams.

[00:05:47] He'll do it for you, son. Pretty soon I was a wagon came on the street and some children in it, and the teacher was with him. So the teacher came in and she met my mother and my dad. My dad was trying to be very pleasant. He said, my, the mountains are certainly beautiful. And teacher said, you know, those same old mountains, I stay right there.

[00:06:13] And my mother thought, I'm going to St.. And then she turned to my mother and she said, why did you take your daughter out of the five city schools and bring her up to this horrible place to go to school? And my mother had already had misgivings, and this didn't help matters much. Well, we got through the first day of school and then I was going to walk home. And who met me? My mother and father. They wouldn't let me walk home. And I wanted to walk home. I simply got over that. But I did want to walk home.

[00:06:44] I have about a year I wanted to do. Walking. After that, I'd take a ride with anybody that came along. It just didn't make any difference to now.

[00:06:54] Tonight, as I talk, I want to focus on the post office and want to focus on people who were in the post office. Not that I knew them when they were in, but I do want to focus on them.

[00:07:12] For instance, Mr. Acton Nickel, he was the postmaster that I found out that Mr. Nickel.

[00:07:27] He was a pretty fine man. And he did more things than just the post office because you see, he was in the post office back in 1888 when he first started.

[00:07:46] And the way that I knew him, the way I became conscious something. He decide to build some new houses.

[00:07:52] Those three White Houses across from the Taylor Land Company, which was the old Newton place, Mr Nichols built those houses. And my grandfather was one of the carpenters that worked on those houses. Mr. Nichols worked in one. Just last week, I found out that Mr. Nichols had been a notary public. No, I found that out from my first application for a driver's license dated 1927 and signed by my mother and my father, as well as myself and Mr. Nichols notary public.

[00:08:39] Then after we got out of elementary school, we had to go over to Lancaster to high school. And, you know, that was a new experience for us going from a small country school into this enormous large high school of four hundred students seemed like a lot. And it was a thrill to me. It was a thrill to everyone, I thought. But my feeling was I wanted to share that back home at Acton. I wanted to share it. So we had programs in high school.

[00:09:22] And how wouldn't it be fun to have programs at Acton? So I decided that we decided that we would have a club. So we called our club the likely go getters. And our object was to have a program once a week. I mean, once a month and invite everybody to come. When both invited the ladies to bring cakes, they always sprout cakes and cookies. Now I've brought cookies and we had this program. Well, it was a home talent type of thing. We ask everybody who could do anything to be on the program. Mr. Nickel was a fine gentleman at reading poems. Are essays something of that sort. And he prided himself on doing it. He liked to do it. So we always invited him to do it. Well, this took place somewhere along in 1927 and 28.

[00:10:27] And one night at our program, he was going to give a reading and he gave the reading.

[00:10:35] And he did so well. And everybody clapped and he walked to the back of the room and he collapsed and he died. Well, you can imagine that was quite a shock to those of us who were members of the club. We felt a little bit responsible. I remember the next day I went to see his wife, Mrs. Nickel. And I told her how sorry I was. And she said, Oh, don't be sorry.

[00:11:03] Yesterday was one of the happiest days of his life. So you see, she realized how happy he was.

[00:11:11] And we we really didn't have to be sorry that we had asked him to be on the program. Now, that happened in nineteen twenty seven or twenty eight.

[00:11:24] And I think another postmaster was Mrs. Newton, Mrs. Lydia C. Newton.

[00:11:35] Now when I was in the elementary grades, I knew her as the mother of two. My best friends, Edith and I were graduated together from the eighth grade. Joyce was a little younger, but later on Joyce and I were roommates in college. And so over the years, I knew Mrs. Newton and Mrs. Clinton was the postmaster when we first came to Acton. She was the postmaster up until 1922 in the little two story house, which is now the Taylor Land Office, which became a one story house after the earthquake.

[00:12:14] And then later on, Mrs. Newton did a real fine thing. And I'm not going to tell you that right now. Way to get to it.

[00:12:27] What she really did. But she was my friend for many, many years, and she did know quite a bit about history.

[00:12:35] She went back to the 1938 school, the present day school for a whole week in 1951, so that she could say that she had been to all four schools, which.

[00:12:50] We're in the Acton area and she did, and they took her picture and put it in the Times and the animal belly press.

[00:13:02] Then after Mrs. Newton gave up the post office in 1922, Mr. Haisch JJ Haisch took over the post office.

[00:13:12] He was the 12th postmaster and he was at the time.

[00:13:18] We went there. He was a member of the school board. He had served in that capacity for ten years. Mr. Haisch was pretty good. He was a friend to many, many people. He was a generous man. He always brought ice cream to the forth to, like, picnic. And I think it sends what we kids remembered even for the most low.

[00:13:41] Whenever we wanted to use the school for anything, we'd go see Captain Haisch and ask him for permission. And he would give it and we would go ahead, put our posters up and go to school and have our program. So he was always interested in us.

[00:13:59] And I think my father served one time with him on the school board. I think that was the year my father ran for the school board and there were no other candidates running and there were seven votes cast and my dad got all up.

[00:14:17] So I did pretty well. And his political career. Mr. Haisch died after I went away.

[00:14:27] He died during 1934 and I was away during that time. But he gave a great deal of his time and energies to Acton. And I have some pictures here and all that people may look at afterwards about these people.

[00:14:45] I went away to school in 1929 to Santa Barber, and from then until nineteen forty seven forty eight, I was away in Santa Barbara for ten years. And in Texas before. And in Minnesota for three.

[00:15:10] And don't add that up under the new math rules or it probably won't come out right.

[00:15:17] But anyhow, I was away during that period of time and then I came back after my father passed away. I came back in 1948 and I expected I expect and I fully expect it to take a year off and have, you know, a relaxing time and decide what we should do, because I didn't feel I could leave my mother up there alone. And so I thought, well, I'll decide what to do. I'll stay home a year. Well, somebody asked me to work part time in the post office and I thought, wouldn't that be fun? I believe I will. So I work part time in the post office. And then in nineteen forty nine, I became the postmaster and I served in that capacity of forty 1949 till 1955. And now I can really tell you some of the inside dope about the post office when I took over.

[00:16:22] I bought from my predecessor all of the post office boxes and things that I put your mail in those boxes around the post office. I bought them. That's what you're supposed to do. I did it by Boston. Well, you know what happened? I had. I read them. I collected the rent. And you got it. The post-office department got it. But I own the boxes. Now, that's a fact.

[00:16:58] Don't ever let Mr. Baylor know that nowadays, because I think that's a pretty good idea, a way that you don't make money for the post office. So don't let Mr. Baylor in on this, because we must keep this from him if we possibly can.

[00:17:12] At any rate, that was all right. So then I decided that I I became rather interested in Acton and other Acton. Then I looked up in the postal thing and I found room for Acton in the United States.

[00:17:33] One Acton in Canada, Ontario, Canada, and one Acton in England. So I proceeded to write letters to all of the actions and high received replies from all. Acton, Ontario. And from all Acton Montana, Acton main Acton, Indiana and Acton, Massachusetts.

[00:18:03] Now that postmaster I don't know about him. He didn't even sign his name. He just wrote my side of my letter. All questions that I'd ask.

[00:18:17] He just scribbled a few little things down and in reply to me news another piece of paper. He used the stamp envelope by sending, but he didn't use my favorite.

[00:18:28] Now Acton main Acton Indiana and Acton Montana all have very clear postmarks.

[00:18:39] Acton Massachusetts. You can't even tell it's Acton Massachusetts.

[00:18:45] And I thought, my goodness, what's the matter with that man? Cause he's got a bigger office than the rest of us had. But still, you know, thought he should at least have been a little bit more courteous upon it, but he wasn't. I have it all here. If you want to see those letters I got here. But if anything, that was one of the things that I did while I was in there. And then one day I got a letter and it was addressed to his honor, the mayor or other chief, civic authority, Acton, California.

[00:19:25] And the return address was from Acton, England. So I thought, my goodness. We don't have a mayor who is the chief civic authority.

[00:19:39] You know, Captain Haisch still been alive. I believe I probably would have turned it over to him, but he wasn't there. So I thought I left it on the shelf for three days. I couldn't decide what to do. Then I thought, well, now this is ridiculous. I don't want to return it. I can at least open it and read it and resell it and send it back to him. If there isn't anything I can do about it. So I did. I opened the letter. Well, it was from this man. Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Neville in Acton, England. They had received from some relatives in Los Angeles. The Examiner newspaper where the travelog on it showing up you all of these little trips I used to take out. Well, one up through Acton. Pico Acton was there. Well, the English are very interested in history, so they find I must find out about this Acton in California. Naturally they knew about the one in Massachusetts, but they didn't know there was one in California. So that was the reason they wrote the letter. So that was the one question that they ask was. There were several questions, but the one I asked was how did Acton get its name? So I thought, well, I guess I'll try and find out. And I think I'll try and answer this letter. So I asked Mrs. Newton. She came to Acton in eighteen eighty five, and I thought, well, I think I'll just ask her.

[00:21:24] She knows how I Acton got its name, so I ask her. I knew she was quite interested in, and she'd been back to school for a whole week to Newhall so she could say she'd gone to her schools. That was an indication of the type of lady she is.

[00:21:42] She was always trying to find out things. So I thought, well, I'll just ask her. And that's why I asked her. And she said why? She knew how it got its name. She said back in 1876 when the rally was put through Acton. She said Acton was named by a railroad engineer who came through here and nobody knew his name.

[00:22:08] But he's the one that gave it the gave Acton its name. So I thought, well, that sounds pretty fine to me. And so that's what I wrote back to Acton England then answered some of the other questions. I have all the letters, everything here for anybody who's interested in looking at them. So I sent that off to them.

[00:22:29] And at that time I did not know the existence.

[00:22:36] Maybe I did know the existence of the rooster.

[00:22:42] The Acton rooster, which many people, especially you in the library, know about the Acton newspaper. That was. By our Nickel.

[00:22:52] I heard it was in the Newhall Library. Right. In the new. Yeah.

[00:22:59] Yes. And I have a copy here, too. But I found in one of those copies a 1996 copy where it said something about names, Alpine Springs and Acton. It was taking on the appearance of its namesake, Acton, Massachusetts.

[00:23:22] Oh, my goodness. And that postmaster didn't even write me an answer to the letter and the questions. And they think that this Acton is just like that one back in Massachusetts. I think I prefer to tell that. Could be Acton in England.

[00:23:42] Not the one in Massachusetts. I mean, after all, what difference does it make? The Acton in England we know came first. We had to come from them some way. And so I didn't feel too badly about writing that. I'm glad Mrs. Newton told me that I thought it. It's a nice little start. So I sent email and information. We had quite an exchange of correspondence. Pretty soon, right out the clear skies. And have you ever thought this thing in England? Quite a to come and stay with us. Come and go as you like. Stay as long as you like. And why don't you come this summer? Well, I thought, well, why don't I?

[00:24:25] So I did. And it was very exciting.

[00:24:29] Getting ready for that trip. It's all here in this book.

[00:24:33] And so I. How long before I left. Tower. My goodness sakes.

[00:24:40] I got a letter from the Acton Anglo American Association in Acton, England, in which they said, we see by the newspaper that you are going to visit an Acton England.

[00:24:53] Will you speak to the Acton ball works?

[00:25:00] They said they wrote a letter to this Mr. Newhall in England and they said, we say by the paper, I have gone to visit with you. We want her to come and go through Acton both works and have lunch. So this is all even before I ever arrived. All those invitations. Well. So things progressed and I went to Acton, England. And one of the things that impresses me the most is the fact that the mayor of Acton income had a telegram waiting for me when I got there. And I think a lot of thought and joy hearing him.

[00:25:54] This was addressed to me in Acton, England.

[00:26:07] Warm and sincere. Welcome to it. England's Acton. May I visit? Do much to stimulate your interest between our respective towns. Besides increasing your own circle of friendship. Arthur Parks, Mayor now. I still have a friend there that I keep in touch with. The one who was the editor of the Acton Gazette newspaper. She and her staff were just wonderful to me. Had they met me at the at the airport with this great big plaque saying Acton England welcomes Acton, California. And they told me afterwards that round the rest of the crowd waiting to saw their sign.

[00:26:52] And he said, what's coming? A hockey town. Chris, I was not kidding.

[00:26:58] But anyhow, it was very exciting and I was interviewed by several of the London papers.

[00:27:08] In fact, one London reporter just went wild.

[00:27:14] He said, and the wagon wheels are trundling down the dusty road and the sand is flying in the sky and the sun is shining.

[00:27:28] Oh, you think that's California? Yes, it's Acton gonna burn it. And that was the way he wrote this article. So he really had a good time, I guess, writing that. I think I know what I means. I think that once awhile myself. But at any rate.

[00:27:46] I spoke to the Acton annual American Association. I showed the movies that I had taken of our own Acton there again.

[00:27:55] I wanted to share our Acton with their Acton. I had the blue brand. I had Scanlon Ranch.

[00:28:02] I had the chickens.

[00:28:07] Let's see chickens from the scan lands. And I have apples from the blooms and the lilacs from Mr. Brevard Arts. And then I also had the wildfires in the spring of 1952.

[00:28:21] The wildflowers were wonderful. And those movies are just as good today as they were then.

[00:28:27] Their cars are just beautiful. And those were what I showed to them. It's strange. After that meeting was the only time that I felt any any division like a caste system of royalty.

[00:28:44] And, you know, the rest are something else. But at any rate, I did feel that a little bit.

[00:28:51] I had anticipated answering questions and talking to these people and got a couple of questions. One of the questions that was asked was, what about those chickens? You say they were still ancient back in 1952. SOFTLY So what about those chickens? Did they lay eggs? They were rationed on apes. And I said, Oh, those chickens are for friars.

[00:29:18] And so the story came out that the chickens that they were seen in my movies worked for the capital FRIARs I was I to know what I misunderstood what I had said. But at any rate, they put a stop to these questions immediately and I had to go into the mama's parlor for a reception and let the rest of the members out in the other room when I went about my other room. No one thought of the rest of the members. But I didn't misbehave and run right out. I did let them hurt me where I was supposed to go, but that was the only time that I had any feeling whatsoever of that sort of thing. Went to the Acton Bolt works. Now, that was really something. They showed me all the workings and I didn't understand a thing. But the pictures they dug, it looks like, you know. So anyhow, I saw them bolts and then I had lunch with seven men on the staff and it was wonderful. Wait, is that a fine time?

[00:30:32] And by that time, Mr. Parker is the little one with the gold teeth. He's the manager ice. He said, we want to do something for you while you are here. We want to give you an all day trip to Oxford. So it was all arranged correspondence I never saw.

[00:30:53] I got more letters while I was I knew that I am going to get here at all and just spit on them for deliveries a day.

[00:31:02] I don't know about now, but they did then and so were. I went with a Mr. and Mrs. Sharp for an all day trip, and it was wonderful. Then before I leave the country, I get a letter from the man saying Wishing me a happy journey home. They are so glad that I was visiting. I went to I got a letter from the Acton works saying they were glad I had been there, wishing me a happy journey home. I got more mail after I got home from both the mayor and Acton voters. They were just simply wonderful.

[00:31:42] Then I went to the Acton Gazette staff. They were really nice to me. There were four young men on there and one was a photographer and the rest were reporters. And they took me all around everywhere.

[00:31:56] The bell tower of the church and all different places and radio. They took me to prefab home and that was really nice.

[00:32:10] There was a housing worker there, government worker, I guess.

[00:32:15] And the lady of the house, the man of the house and two little girls. Now, this is a Friday. The man stayed home from work. The children stayed home from school. I never thought I'd do or do that to anybody, but I. I wasn't responsible. But there they were. And I was quite overcome. I got a letter her manner the day after I had tea.

[00:32:45] Thank you for coming.

[00:32:48] Not that the children I sent after I got home, I sent them pictures that the Acton set gave me extra pictures that I sent it to their mother. She wrote me a nice letter. She said she had them framed and they were hanging up on the wall. Oh, no, not really. But that's that's what happened. That's just part of it. And so actually, I had the feeling that I was representing in a foreign country town that I love very much and a town that I have always felt I want to share. Good things with this town, and I'm talking about this little Acton, California, right up the road. I've always been proud to come home to Acton.

[00:33:49] I've always been pleased to come home. Acton. And I don't have past the Ouija board. Now, when to go? Every time I got home, I put my movies together and I shared that I home with my with our Acton people. We had 300 who came to see those movies.

[00:34:13] Then I must confess something to you. They were just as anxious to see our own local Acton movies as they were once, but that it was a pleasure to show both of them to them. Showed them in Palmdale.

[00:34:28] I shot them in Santa Barbara and shared them with my friends. You know something? I'm also glad that Mrs. Newton told me how Acton got a snake. I've always been very grateful to her for that. Well, it wasn't. I see. That was in 1952.

[00:34:52] So I was writing for the newspaper over in the Valley press. And you don't post office. Good place to pick up news.

[00:35:00] Helped you pick it up right and left without even reading the postcard. You don't have to read the postcards to get. You can get desperate if you're a postmaster.

[00:35:13] But to denigrate it was a pleasure to be in the post office. And then I had to. While I was there, I was busy. I was remodeling my mother's house.

[00:35:27] And I fact I got more done there when I worked seven days a week than I did after I decided to teach and worked five days a week. So I am learning about 1955. I thought, my goodness sakes, what am I doing here behind these bars on my way to Europe? That post office had a little window like this and they had bars like that, you know. And literally, I was behind the bars there. And so I thought, well, maybe I shouldn't stay here any longer. I generally I did train for other things and maybe I really should be doing it.

[00:36:11] I had just kind of fallen into the path of least resistance, which turned out to be the post office. But I found out and I have an awful lot of resistance to get in it. I mean, to get out of the post office.

[00:36:23] The first thing that happened to us when I decided I was going to resign, I.

[00:36:36] Acknowledgement that I got for my resignation was your resignation has been received.

[00:36:44] Please refer to section so and so article, such and such paragraph, so and so on.

[00:36:54] The chapter on, so on. So.

[00:36:57] And you will find that if you leave your office before a replacement comes, you will be dishonorably discharged for abandonment of office.

[00:37:14] Now, that was my acknowledgment and I thought, well, I kept out of trouble all these years and now maybe I'm about to get into some bad trouble. So I you know, I look forward to those last few weeks with the people I love that came into the post office. I like the people.

[00:37:39] We got along fine. And I enjoyed the association and I thought, I want to have some fun with them.

[00:37:47] But here, hanging over my head was that I was maybe get radio bad in my office and goodness only knows what was going to happen to me.

[00:37:54] So I went on the day before, the day before, and we had a replacement, so they had no excuse.

[00:38:07] I got a phone call from Pasadena and the inspector said, well, I hear you want to get out of the post office. We had had telegrams to the Washington, D.C., telegrams to San Francisco, telegrams to our congressmen, everything trying to get this thing set up. And I said, well, yes. So he said, all right, I'll be up in the morning. So he came up. Well, I get all that inspect that to count the postage, to count the money. And you don't see that you're honest and everything's all work. So he came up and he said, yeah, thirty three sounds sharp.

[00:38:43] And I said, well, would you take 33 cents? I will let me out of here.

[00:38:49] I've had so many things since I got out and my successor took over. Well, you may think I was through with post office, but it wasn't.

[00:39:05] I had made up my mind I would not sell the post office boxes to my successor. That that was not right and that it was time I stopped should be put to that. And I was going to teach him back there in Washington that they couldn't get by with that sort of thing. So I was gonna make him buy it for me. You see what I saw my I sent my request to be reimbursed.

[00:39:36] I bought some new box of student. Meantime, I think they owed me three hundred and sixty nine dollars that I paid. But they been getting Grant all these many, many years and they've been on the box. They weren't out of sand. That was clear profit. Clear profit. No wonder the post office is in such bad shape now, but at any rate, to profit in those days. And so I was going to just put a stop to that.

[00:40:03] So I wrote and I sent him a bill for three hundred and sixty nine dollars.

[00:40:09] And of course, the reply I got. So take your boxes and go home. Post office I made. That was just about the gist of it. So I thought, well, this won't do.

[00:40:20] So I got in touch with my congressman, Congressman Edgar. He stammered. So he got on the ball, and he really had to work at it. And Mr. Loveland, who was president of the Rotary Club there in Acton. He got on the ball and they worked at it. Well, in about six months time, I got. Guess what? I got one hundred and fifty dollars.

[00:40:53] Out of those boxes, that's all they felt because it allows for such.

[00:40:59] Shipping boxes, second hand boxes at same time. My successor did not have to buy the boxes, nor do they have to buy them now, and I don't buy whether that was the beginning of doing away with that section of the postal laws and regulations or not. But at least I felt pretty good about it. I always feel like the government got a pretty good deal out of those of us who pay for the boxes and I got there.

[00:41:29] In fact, I was paying rent on one of those boxes myself and it was my box and I paid the rent to the post-office department.

[00:41:40] And I don't know that I got any more mail because of that arrangement either, but at least that's what I did.

[00:41:49] I know my days in the post office were happy ones and then I went into teaching.

[00:41:58] But I want to say that it's been a privilege to me to have known.

[00:42:05] Are a Nickel reversed? Oh, I must tell you this. Soon after I got into the post office as postmaster, they sent me a notice from St. Louis, Missouri. That was one of the big headquarters for the post office department, and they said. All of the old records of your post office must be sent here to this center. Well, here is this box. A couple boxes of the old cash books and all the rest of it.

[00:42:43] Clear from right into the post office and the Acton Post Office. And of course, I had never even looked at them. Right. I had no occasion to. But I kept it there because they were came with the post office.

[00:42:59] I didn't have to pay for me there, but I mean, they were there, you know.

[00:43:02] And so I thought, well, that's pretty bad.

[00:43:07] We sent these records away. And what do we know about the past? We don't know anything as far as postdocs are.

[00:43:15] So it took me quite some time, but I took out all of those cash books and arranged them in order of dates.

[00:43:23] And I dug out the list of all the postmasters that Acton. And that was when I found out that Mr. Ari Nickel, whom I had known was the first postmaster. And then I have all had the postmasters in order. And our present postmaster has a copy that. I've got the original copy that I'd scribbled out on my worksheet as I as I did it. But I had the feeling this I must do for Acton because it does preserve something that you'd never get back from the post office, any of that information.

[00:44:01] And so I was always glad that I had done that little, little item at the present. I'm happily retired and active and happy to talk to anyone who wishes to. I don't say I'm an authority on anything, but I must say I do have happy memories of Acton and I wish we had a historical society up there as you people have done here. I think it's a wonderful, wonderful thing that you are interested in preserving the past, because once the past is gone, unless you have it preserved somehow, it never can quite be recovered. I should make it up and then some people they try to do. But. I don't think that's quite the way to do it. So I thank you for having become then as I say, you're perfectly welcome to look at some of these things that I do half or come and see me and. Glad to see any of you at any time.

[00:45:25] No, we all thank you so much. I had two suggestions to make to President Carter. One is that he sent Meryl back to England to represent our client of the United States and to then he put her in charge of the post-office department.

[00:45:51] Meryl one of the things has been traditional in that society. Ever since the beginning is that we do have meaning. We have great speakers such as yourself. But then after that, it's all over. The best part of the meeting sometimes is when we can offset in the time. That's bad. Now is the time for that. You have more? Yeah, well, I came back to you. Then he played everyone. I had the advantage on a lot of you. Val Verde and I had with Meryl and Alberto. So we had of acquired a visit. I do stay afterwards and visit with her.

[00:46:34] You'll find it rewarding talking about our experiences with us.

[00:46:42] For goodness sakes. For me? Yes. For you. Oh, my goodness. It will be a surprise until you open it. Oh, my concerns. We think they're great.

[00:46:54] Oh, for goodness sakes, something. Oh, my goodness sakes. Nelson thought so. Oh. Why?

[00:47:08] Who is that memorable?

[00:47:12] I knew the operator at lying for so many, many years.

[00:47:16] I have very close friends of mine and William Johnson and his wife and his two daughters and their son, and they were all close friends of mine stationed in 1976.

[00:47:31] I did not want to leave.

[00:47:37] That's this moment and.

[00:47:41] If it doesn't get out, but I can hear you.

[00:47:47] She's going to tell me about what you have heard me say is going to come out later.

[00:47:53] Something about after the earthquake. What about an earthquake?

[00:47:58] Said Exact. It's something you have to tell.

[00:48:02] Oh, Mrs. Mentry. Oh, well, look what she did. Oh, no. Let me see. She told me what had happened.

[00:48:10] That its name. See, that was after.

[00:48:13] Ah, no, that was no.

[00:48:20] Yeah. That's what I was going to say about Mrs. New. Yeah. But yes, that's what I was going to say about her now.

[00:48:35] Thank you again. Oh, you're very welcome.

[00:48:38] Given another big ham.

[00:48:45] But back some memories for me, too. You know, I started with when I went to country school in Iowa.

[00:48:53] That's what I used to start a fire. That was about the sixth grade, I think. So one day I got a shotgun shot. Would be great to drop in a at all. And I did. We got a new stove.

[00:49:07] And I might say that there are not the first ones to get. But I never told anyone. Let's go on for a moment.

[00:49:22] Now we have a couple of announcements from me.

[00:49:26] I didn't quite make it. Being with them. We wanted to let you know what the next day in meetings is going to be.

[00:49:37] We'll have it in a newsletter. But reserve the 21st of camp camera and we won't be here as we usually are, will be at the Valencia Library, multipurpose room. And if you recall, last year in September, when we had the landscape in advance, we had the library take a videotape. It's a new thing with the library system and we got to use it right off the top. And so the library is going to show that videotape of the celebration at Lang and Checchi, who was out there at lying and very active last year, is bringing up the film that he and the Chinese Historical Society kept there. They're both great until they'll be signed a year later to see what we accomplished last year in the final place.

[00:50:24] And then we have them in October.

[00:50:32] It was in a new site of this time we're going to have a Halloween party. And I don't know if we definitely said, but we're going to have a meeting that month or not.

[00:50:39] I think we decided we weren't that you might get different words. And then in November, of course, that Tobar is the big Mentry celebration on October 8, which is a Saturday.

[00:50:51] And everybody write down on your calendar to see that.

[00:50:55] And in November and a little bit after, we wish we could have had it before. We're going to learn how many pamper and her various cool, her heartedness and historic preservation operate through Mr. Tom Fitton, who works at the Museum of Natural History, the old museum in Exposition Park. He's coming up to our November meeting and tell us the various steps to get for a different kind of preservation recognition that we are trying to get ourselves into. You know, this Mentry deal that we and the women's club are doing jointly will be our really first achievement on our own of having something preserved for the future. And the count Mentry Nickel. So that's the way it's going to be. And one thing and current, I brought more at Mr. Perkins booklet and the story at Rancho San Francisco. We had them last week. Ken Lampkin had given them to Rick Newhall, as you may recall. And in addition to any very interesting things, there's some Acton history in it. I was going through them again, their wonderful little book, but we are selling them, giving it. Kid Lamkin is handling this. And he used to help Mr. Perkins with all these different shows that we're keeping 50 cents on each card.

[00:52:23] And they're selling for two dollars. Have some here tonight. OK.

[00:52:29] OK. Thank you, my man.

[00:52:33] And are there any other questions?

[00:52:35] I guess. Publicly single nor often reveal. All right.

[00:52:43] I wanted to say people that signed up to store lemonade. But our treasure without purchases that put it in her own freezer. So we have seen a can of those eliminated now. But we need people to the only many committee today and then. We need the classy young Florida woman who to make up a lemonade, 84 people up there up here and people let them live in a desert because they last few. The more you build water, whatever the reason why it is, although it is much, much nicer.

[00:53:19] So if any of these people have ice makers, regulator, or they want to start making them a story.

[00:53:26] But certainly it was a plot. My father have always lived. You always find those who are interested in, I think a lot easier for are. Okay. One more with. Another thing. Yes, the ladies or gentlemen wish to wear costume. We think it would be very nice to have you love. We love you. That would make you suffer. Del Valle. And the. That despair. I think it would be very nice. You to leave them to be in handcuffs.

[00:54:04] Say what you will do for our Mentry bill celebration. I think we finally have a city going out.

[00:54:11] I thought it might have been.

[00:54:14] Be decided. Time is right. I was in mourning, but we had decided one day and it kind of depends.

[00:54:26] I like a lot of fun. Everybody be there so that no other announcement.

[00:54:32] Why we are going out in the cookies. Oh, I.

[00:54:37] Why didn't you say something about and for too long? Oh, I've never seen again. And we are flying again. Another bus trip. The last five minutes here. And as we changed a lot since I saw it and what I understand now, Jerry, they'll start again today. And that fact straight here will be your last civil war battle that year will constitute began to take on the 20th of November.

[00:55:10] So that puts it at a little bit closer to base, getting that sort of thing. Mentry people are getting to fly into the camp of people who we're going to do it on Sunday. There are some people who make best kept that be better on the at. End. If you can see your way to go marching on calendars, you must forget what your mother wanted to do.


MP3 file from original audiocassette tape, Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society collection.
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