Recently I revisited my old haunts. I drove through every small city that defined my early years. A child of a father who bought a house with the assistance of the GI Bill.
Those cities that I remembered; Encino, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Chatsworth are not as they were. The large lots, the gas station/candy stores, the lawns and swimming pools that lured folks “over the hill” to the valley, are gone. Gone.
Now there are parked cars everywhere, sometimes four to a driveway, and a motor home at the curb. The schools are wrapped in chain link, strip malls lurk on every corner, there are block long motels and every manner of bad-taste billboards. Signs of things to come? Perhaps.
The orange groves and the massive oaks that lined Reseda’s White Oak Avenue are also gone. It’s as though a desire for things practical and easy and efficient has replaced the comfort of grass and shade. Each town has become a town where the residents cannot wait to get out. That motor home idling, waiting on the weekend.
I go back regularly because I believe one should know from where one comes. But I leave each time with more than just sadness, because the valley didn’t need to unravel. Folks just lost interest, and like me, they hoped there was something prettier somewhere else.
Many of you are nearing that point in Laguna. There are these new folks making decisions for us that are not reflective of our personal values, nor of our local history. They are planting the seeds of parking lots and motels and watering them with corporate dollars. And you know who they are, if only by their loud and blatant desires. And were it not for the attention they get from this, they are nothing. And irrespective of how they may pretend to be, they are not friends of Laguna Beach.
Care to save Laguna? Then vote carefully in this coming election. Unless we vote for those that care deeply for what makes Laguna different, what makes it a place where one hopes to stay as opposed to leave, we may end up with a well-scrubbed Reseda.
We’re that close Vote for those that love Laguna as it is. You know who they are. And you are not a friend of Laguna Beach if you vote to erase its beauty.
Mace Morse, Laguna BeachFirebrand Media LLC wants comments that advance the discussion, and we need your help to accomplish this mission. Debate and disagreement are welcomed on our platforms but do it with respect. We won't censor comments we disagree with. Viewpoints from across the political spectrum are welcome here. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, our community is not obliged to host all comments shared on its website or social media pages, including:
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