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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Tuesday, May 21 2002

Places like home

The old song says "there's no place like home," and though I can't deny the truth it intends to convey, it's my persuasion that there are some places that "seem" like home or that make you feel at home when you first encounter them. Maybe my thinking of this was crystallized by reading on Monday about the secession campaigns of several sections of greater Los Angeles. Three parts of the city are targeted in campaigns to secede from the city: San Fernando Valley (home of the "Valley girls"—or is that "gurlz"?), the district Hollywood, and the port section of the city, San Pedro.

I've probably said before on this forum that Southern California in general struck me as familiar and welcoming, like home, from first seeing it, and I've never lost that sense. I still feel more "at home" there than I do here in San Jose, even though I've lived in this county longer than anywhere else in my life, including Cambria County, and lived in Los Angeles County only 15 months, in 1998-99 (though as a commuter I was there much of the time as a graduate student at UCLA in 1971-72).

I believe that all America and even beyond, wherever American movies and television programs dominate, have at least a partial sense of belonging in Southern Cal. "This is the City, Los Angeles, California..." Dragnet began for combined decades of weekly broadcast first on radio and later television (and decades more on reruns). On TV, the canned introduction was accompanied by photo flashes of palm trees swaying three stories higher than most of the houses, endless freeways, City Hall, suburban subdivisions, and Venice Beach.

When I first heard of San Fernando Valley (where the best known subdivisions are Van Nuys, Northridge, Universal City, and Topanga Canyon) wanting to secede, it struck me as ludicrous and an awful mistake. The Valley includes about a third of Los Angeles' population. It has much of the ambience that is always understood when Los Angeles is invoked, and many of its qualities are the epitome of Los Angeles. But as a resident said in the story I read about the campaign on Monday, "they can call it whatever they want...it's still going to be Los Angeles." I'm sure that, like Pasadena and Glendale, Burbank and Long Beach, which are and yet are not Los Angeles—this is true. And having no vested interest in the outcome, I should get rid of such opinions and let the voters have their say.

More places like home to come.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Burma Shavers (continued)



***Burma Shave***

  —Sent by Bob Kennedy

Thought for the day

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.

Horace Mann, address at Antioch College, 1859

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