Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Recently In a Galaxy Not So Far Away...
Published in The Signal, 5-21-2006.

Darryl Manzer, 2004     Every so often — and thanks to this column — I hear from an old Hart High classmate. Sure enough, via the magic of e-mail comes contact with yet another former Hart High Indian, Class of 1968.
    The gentleman who took the time to write was known to have lived "the '60s" in full measure. He really believed he could live better through chemistry — thus his proclivity to use various street-variety hallucinogens when we attended Hart.
    In the long and rambling e-mail he sent, he asked me to tell the tale of his abduction by an alien spacecraft and trip to the Planet Laconia in a galaxy not so far away ... at least to him.
    He said he was willingly abducted from an area near Palmdale. The folks in the spacecraft explained that they were not going to do any probes of his body but only wanted to show him how a perfect society worked on Planet Laconia so he could spread the good news of such good government here on Earth.
    He explained that Laconia was divided into five kingdoms, and he was taken to the kingdom of Nolaconia where he was introduced to King Mejormikel. The king personally escorted him throughout Nolaconia, showing him the many accomplishments during his reign (since 1982 in Earth time).
    King Mejormikel explained that at the beginning of his reign, the other four kingdoms on the Planet Laconia complained that Nolaconia was not paying a large enough tribute to the planetary fund.
    "Your farmers and ranchers pay such a small amount that we can't operate the planet unless we get more tribute from Nolaconia!" the other Kings exclaimed.
    So King Mejormikel decided he had to increase the population of Nolaconia by getting more people to move there. He got together with the Great Builders of Laconia (such as the Great Danpalmer), and they were able to buy land from the farmers and ranchers. Soon they had built thousands of dwellings, but the people who lived there still traveled to the other kingdoms to work.
    The other kingdoms were very happy now. The amount of tribute to the planetary coffers far exceeded the amount they had to spend on the Nolaconians. Everyone appeared to be happy — especially the kingdoms of Westlaconia, Eastlaconia, Cenlaconia and Solaconia. The Great Builders were happy, too, for they were able to accumulate large amounts of grafts (Laconian currency). All appeared to be well.
    All was not well. In Nolaconia were many small villages and towns. Those villages and towns contained people who had lived in Nolaconia for many years. When they saw that the king was allowing the Great Builders to cut down ancient trees and level whole mountains, they were much aggrieved.
    They asked the king if they could form a separate kingdom of Newsaugvalcancoun, and King Mejormikel, feeling particularly kind that day, said, "You may form your own kingdom if that is what the people want — but I will not let you have Kashtuk or anyplace across The Great Road from your villages, because those people are too stupid to be governed without me."
    So the new kingdom of Newsaugvalcancoun was formed. When those still in Nolaconia saw, too, that the ancient trees and forests were being cut down, King Mejormikel set aside some land so that some of the ancient trees could be preserved.
    Those new to Nolaconia didn't know that the very places where they now lived had once been covered with those ancient trees. They thought King Mejormikel was even greater for giving so much land to preserve some trees and mountains and had him name that land, "The King Mejormikel Ancient Tree Preserve."
    When another area of Nolaconia started to complain, the Great Builders provided the "King Mejormikel Temple of Laws." Soon there were many buildings and places of recreation named after King Mejormikel of Nolaconia. The people of Nolaconia thought the king was good; still more tribute was sent to the other four kingdoms of the Planet Laconia and not much returned to Nolaconia — but the people couldn't see that.
    My friend said he told the king of Nolaconia that he should stop giving things to the people and naming them after himself, and instead give them good government and keep their tribute in Nolaconia.
    At this, King Mejormikel gave my friend a choice between being thrown into the jail of the Dread Sheribaca or returning to Earth. He said he chose to return to Earth.
    I'm not really sure he did, but you never know.
    I wrote my friend, telling him that the years had been good to him and that I'm sure he told his story exactly as it had happened. I assured him I would write about his travels in my next column.
    So there you have it, folks. I'm sure glad something like that hasn't happened in the SCV.
    At the same time, I can't help but feel I've heard this story before. Y'all think it could be real? Nope. Never in a million years or a thousand galaxies. Not so far, away.

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

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