A columnist’s fondest dream come true...

May 20, 2000
After some months of bad starts, writer’s block, and low self-esteem, this writer got a real shot in the arm today! We (Norma and I) had walked our semi-marathon to the supermarket when a familiar and welcome voice called out my name: it was a dear lady here in town whom we admire for her spunk, and whose name I will withhold because any publicity would embarrass her to tears. Suffice it to say she is much-admired in town, and is a loyal subscriber to the Times. “We miss your columns,” she said, “when are you going to do some more?”Well..... was I inflated? Is the Pope a Catholic?So here, after a long absence, are random thoughts about this town and its people. It is not a pretentious town, but it certainly has a lot going for it; ambience, the milk of human kindness, this wonderful valley like a giant cornucopia protected by the majesty of mountains all around, and those soft ocean breezes which make even the warmest days seem balmy.On our walk coming home from the market, we met and chatted with a young mother and her child; then a young fellow whose pride and joy is his shiny black pickup truck; then a fellow retiree/neighbor from Hillview; and our noted resident/architect Roy Wilson, whose dad, Roy Sr., created the exquisite little chapel across from the high school on 6th Street (now a wedding chapel, but still with those charming bay windows and a style as rare these days as hens’ teeth. (If it was you, Roy, who designed that jewel and not your dad, we apologize - for you, too, are widely known and appreciated for your work....)
Our City Council has been taking its lumps these days for a bit of infighting; no big thing - I spent six years on our County Board of Supervisors (and have the scars to prove it). But at least we created some good things like the Channel Islands Harbor, Ojai’s Soule Park and golf course, and a county manager form of government. The experience was costly (it paid a token of $600 a month for what turned out to be a full-time job), so I rejoined the private sector to help my darling raise and educate our four children (it has been a privilege and a pleasure indeed to be partners with such a lady!).Now we have become a small part of this town and its people (for the last 20-odd years) and it’s been great. If The Man Upstairs sees fit, we will be around for awhile longer to watch a tree grow, see our loved ones and friends blossom, and exchange smiles and hugs with the wonderful folks who live in this special little village.Our hard-working Chamber of Commerce is helping greatly to continually improve Santa Paula - all to the good - but we secretly hope that for a little while longer we can hold it sort of sacred as it is, and be glad for what we have.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.