Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Can You List Five Reasons to Live in SCV?
Published in The Signal, 1-22-2006.

Darryl Manzer, 2005     The eldest son has decided that when he retires from the military, he wants to move to and settle down in Dubuque, Iowa.
    When he told me this, I thought he was a little bit off his rocker. So he sent me a number of Web sites to look at, extolling the virtues of that fair city. One of the sites listed the radio stations in town. (Yep, they've got both kinds of music — Country and Western).
    Radio Station WJOD "New Country 103" had an e-mail contact point, so I dashed off a quick question to the station. It said, "Son said I should retire in your fair city. Can you list five reasons why?" I didn't expect a reply; imagine to my surprise when, in less than 30 minutes, one came. It must have been a very slow day at the station.
    The reply was from Tom Brenner, host of the "Good Morning Rodeo" radio program. He gave me what he thought were 15 reasons to live in Dubuque. I have to share them with you.
    1. Outstanding scenery, especially if you like hills with great views.
    2. Dubuque's services, such as police, fire, etc., (are) top notch. Really, I've lived in other cities.
    3. Good hospitals, too.
    4. Turkey dressing sandwiches. OK, maybe not; it's an acquired taste, but it's Dubuque's own delicacy.
    5. Lots of live music.
    6. Clean city, clean water.
    7. Traffic problems are negligible; you just have to learn the streets. It's not hard.
    8. Only 80 minutes from Madison, Wis.; the Quad Cities, Iowa; only three hours from Chicago and Milwaukee.
    9. Low cost of living.
    10. Very friendly people.
    11. Not much crime for the size of the city (about 85,000).
    12. Lots of cool, old buildings and a very interesting history.
    13. Disc jockeys who give you more information on the Internet than you ask for.
    14. "The Good Morning Rodeo" with Tom Brenner and Jolene Kilcoyne on New Country 103/WJOD.
    15. The Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. You have to check it out! Seriously, I moved here 16 years ago and I love it here.
    Good Luck,
    Tom Brenner

    It sounds like a great place to live, right? So, I ask you folks of the SCV: Can you give me at least five reasons I should live in the SCV? I can think of many, but I love your valley and towns and write about those virtues often. Had I e-mailed you with that question, what would your reply be to me?
    Signal Staff and management are exempt, as are elected county and city officials. I already know what the Chamber of Commerce says. What do you folks say?
    (Editor's note: Send your "five reasons" to
    Sometimes, in the hustle of everyday life, we forget to look at what keeps us where we live, work and play. We take so much of our community for granted that we don't see the virtues.
    As I look at the list sent by Tom, I can tell he loves the city of Dubuque. My list for Suffolk, Va., would read much the same — except for the turkey dressing sandwiches and hills. (Just what is a "turkey dressing sandwich?")
    So please answer my question. I'm sure The Signal will appreciate the five or six e-mails and one postcard they get from my efforts to ask.

    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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