It strikes me as ironic that on the national and global levels the times we are living in seem in so many ways about as bad as I can remember, but at the local level things seem about as good as I remember growing up in Laguna Beach back in the 1950s. Could it be that the troubles in the outside world that are beyond our control cause us to be more careful and get it right more often in our personal and civic lives here close to home?
In ways that seem important to me, a small town tradition once again has been restored in our public schools. Under new stewardship, LBHS now is recognized nationally as one of America’s best high schools. It just feels good to attend on-campus events these days, like it used to in the good old days.
Similarly, it seems City Hall has become so much more user friendly, the way it was decades ago. Instead of fearing the consequences whenever we have to deal with the city, you can go downtown for help and get it on fair terms. After hearing him outline his management philosophy recently, I have to give a good measure of the credit to the new city manager.
Perhaps, contrary to what we may tend to think, the times when we live large and with exuberance may not be our finest hour after all. Instead, maybe times of uncertainty, living within limits, and even some difficult passages in life, actually bring out the best in us. That may explain why my Uncle Bob always remembered Laguna during the Great Depression as the best of times, and why the Laguna that I recall in the years right after World War II seem to be among the very best in my life.
Maybe the times we are in right now will turn out to be just as much the good old days as the good old days ever were.
Howard Hills, Laguna Beach