Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Never a Dull Moment in the SCV
By DARRYL MANZER.

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Darryl Manzer, 2005     I started to write a poem about the year now past. My verse tended to sound like rejected lyrics to a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. And it was approaching the size of an epic poem that we once studied in school. I wish I could remember that poem.
    What a great year to be a writer. There was plenty of political intrigue and stories of my past and of the SCV now long gone. The war in Iraq and hurricanes filled many of the columns I wrote for this fine publication.
    I've heard tell that it is the ink in the newsprint that helps preserve the fish it wraps. I don't have scientific knowledge of this, but it must be true. I read about it in a newspaper once.
    The condition of highways in California and Virginia also took up some space, as did just about any subject that would tend to slow development in the Santa Clarita Valley. There was even a missive on the clothes kids wear these days.
    Voters who didn't vote were another pet peeve I voiced rather loudly. My voice was so effective that few voters showed up to vote in the next election, too (even when the ballots were mailed to their homes).
    Poor little ol' Castaic got a dose of my spite. Really — homeless people parked outside a prison? What was so bad about that? Contrary to my opinion, the homeless are back in Canyon Country, and welcomed back with open arms. I guess Castaic will have to wait for a truck on the escape ramp again.
    I'll bet they wouldn't give anything they found to the homeless like we used to do. They think they don't have any homeless folks in the whole township.
    I wrote about working at a "big box" store. Let me just say it again: Retail sucks. I have respect for those who work in such stores. It just isn't for me.
    What about the Vallarta Supermarket wanting to go on Lyons Avenue? We sure heard a lot in response to that "problem." Isn't the old Albertson's store still empty? The next time your gardener is cutting your lawn, be sure and tell him you don't want him shopping in the same store you use. He should only shop in the stores set aside for "his kind." This way, he'll get a good idea of what it was like in the segregated Southern states of this country. Where else can he learn citizenship from Americans?
    There were columns about an oil spill, brush fires, weather and growth, my band teacher, and recycling. I also managed to fill a column with what I didn't know what to write about — but you folks sure enough gave me new ideas. There's never a dull moment in the SCV.
    I'm sure you'll see more of the same this year. This fine publication only requires that I somehow connect whatever I write to the SCV. It's an easy job when you consider your local and state governments, developers, and all the other newsmakers. I'll also keep comparing your conditions to mine in Virginia. It seems we have many of the same types of political folks and developers here.
    Now is also the time to thank all of you who helped me keep my finger on the pulse of the SCV. Your e-mails, calls, cards and letters are always helpful and necessary. If any other reader has some ideas for me, tell The Signal. They'll forward your comments.
    Once again, I've made it to the end of another year and am starting another. For many millions of folks, 2005 will be remembered by the losses they endured. I was indeed fortunate. Winds, waves, earthquakes, fires and floods have stayed away this year. I pray that all may survive 2006 without visits from any of those. We've had enough bad news for the next century.
    Happy New Year, my friends, and stay tuned for next week's column. You've already given me a subject. Like I said — there is never a dull moment in the SCV.

    Darryl Manzer lived in the Santa Clarita Valley oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s as a teenager. He now lives in Virginia.

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