Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
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The Turkey War
Acton, California

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Dick Whittington is at left in the white costume; future Santa Clarita Mayor Jo Anne Darcy is at right. At lower left in the military hat is Gerry Walker, a member of the band Santa Fe; fellow band member Jim Fernald is behind Whittington in the other military hat.

Los Angeles-area radio personality "Sweet" Dick Whittington (KGIL AM-1260) kept poking fun at Acton — he was the genesis of the "Where the hell is Acton?" bumper stickers — so Wittingham and the townspeople finally challenged each other in 1976 (1977?) to a friendly little "turkey war."

It was a zany event complete with costumes and a makeshift cannon, drawing about 400 people into the streets. A five-member local band, Santa Fe, dressed in fatigues, set up a stage on a flatbed truck and performed the song "Acton" (Is My Hometown). Band member Marty Prue turned into the "Acton National Anthem," rewriting it to include references to Whittington's "invasion." The entire incident was broadcast live on both KUTY in the Antelope Valley and KFI in Los Angeles, Prue said.

The war ended in a draw; Jo Anne Darcy, owner of the town watering hole (the Acton '49er saloon) presented Whittington with gold-plated horse apples, and he presented the Actonites with a peace pipe. The horse turds and peace pipe were buried in the lot next to the '49er, and they're probably still there, waiting for some future historian to dig them up and ponder 20th-century civilization.

(Note: Jo Anne Darcy's photographs indicate the date of the turkey war was 11-6-1976; photo contributor Marty Prue says it was November 1977.)


JD7101a: 9600 dpi jpeg from 2400 dpi jpeg from digital image
ACTON TURKEY WAR

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