Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happenings: Delightful Events and Troubling Qs from Newhall

There’s a lot going on in Newhall this Saturday. Apart from the usual dealing of drugs, eating of Way Station breakfasts, playing of soccer, revitalizing of Old Town, tagging of walls, visiting of parks, selling of fruit from trucks, drinking of Doc’s Inn alcohol, admiring of murals, hawking of labor, installing of elaborate wrought-iron gates, feeding of Hart Park animals, mowing of lawns, attending of picnics, and receiving of special massages at as-yet-un-busted massage parlors, there will be several special events.

These events are detailed below for your weekend planning pleasure. If you get your timing right, you can go to all of them—I certainly plan to. Events are presented with a series of questions I hope to be able to answer by the weekend’s finish.

EVENT: River Rally & Environmental Expo (click for details!), 8am-11am, free
APPEAL: Watching Claritans attempt to interact with nature in positive way
BURNING QUESTION: Do POTR residences count as trash?

I walk in the Santa Clara River a lot. I’ve always felt that the tires and shopping carts give it a nice, lived in appearance. A few thousand people disagree with me, though, and they’ll be walking the dry riverbed to pick up trash on Saturday morning. (I will be the one fighting to keep it in place.)

Troublingly, I know of at least two POTRs (People Of The River—those who live, sleep and eat in the river wash) dwelling along the stretch of river targeted for cleansing. One of them has two tents and a kitchen table beneath a lovely cottonwood tree. What a fun confrontation it will be when the Girl Scouts and other community do-gooders meet the POTRs. “Hey, that’s not trash, it’s my home!”

This time of year, the river is rusty with the seedheads of California Buckwheat and golden with the flower of Scalebroom (more attractive than it sounds). Why not make things even prettier by picking up trash? The plants--gleaned from the Santa Clara a few days ago--from left to right, are Tree Tobacco (non-native), Butterweed, Scalebroom, and Common Sunflower.

EVENT: Hart Park Anniversary[1] and Excess Freight & Baggage Sale (click for information!), sale starts 8am
APPEAL: Being in a[2] historic place on a quasi-historic day and buying other people’s stuff which is probably old, perhaps historic
QUESTION: Can Leon Worden count?

This week we received the Newhall Gazette. I learned that (1)The William S. Hart Park and Museum will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its dedication on Saturday, (2)There will be an “Excess Freight & Baggage Sale” (i.e., garage sale) at the Saugus Train Station to help restore the Pardee House on the same day, and (3) Leon Worden may lack basic counting skills.

I didn’t get any sense of what manner of events will be commemorating the dedication of the Hart Mansion and property, but it’s a good excuse to visit. I haven’t been to the Hart Museum for nearly a year, so it’s high time for a refresher course.

As for the garage sale thing at the Saugus Train Station, I will go primarily in hopes of encountering a ghost. I will also look at the things for sale and judge the former owners for having bought said things. Pat Saletore was listed as a contact for this event; perhaps a certain purveyor of Daily Briefs could visit and discuss hauntings with her after their spirited (ha! a pun!) electronic exchange over a ghostly fundraiser.

After informing me about these two great events, the Newhall Gazzette led me to question Leon Worden’s counting skills. You see, he wrote “The City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to prohibit the demolition of more than sixty houses and ‘potentially historic’ structures in Santa Clarita.” While there was unanimous approval to send the ordinance to a second reading, only 3 of 5 CC members foolishly approved the final ordinance. This isn’t the first time L.W. has miscounted; he also claimed attendance of 25,000 at the Fourth of July Parade that was clearly attended by only about 7,000. He ought to be confronted with flashcards to determine his counting prowess once and for all.

EVENT: Frontier Days Bar-B-Q Fiesta at OLPH Church, 4pm – 11pm, free (pay for rides & games/food). Click here for more info (click on "Our Fiesta" at bottom of page)
APPEAL: Eating in carnival-like atmosphere while in shadow of salvation factory
QUESTION: Is gluttony a sin when it benefits the Church?

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church will have its annual barbecue this weekend. I’ve rarely missed a year. Despite being put on by a church, it has minimal religious overtones and is widely attended by the faithful and heathens alike. It’s most fun for those under 12 (games! silly string! churros!) or those over 60 (my old friends who haven’t died yet! margaritas! churros!). Still, I go to eat and people-watch and find it thoroughly enjoyable.

EVENT: Gawk at Madeover Street, any time, information on location/background here
APPEAL: Check out how the Extreme Neighborhood Makeover made Market Street look prettier!
QUESTION: You call this a makeover?

A portion of East Newhall will be the second neighborhood to endure a “Block Party” in the name of making the place more presentable and up-to-code. Since you’ll be in the neighborhood anyways, you should stop by to see how things are looking up…or looking the same.

[2]I refuse to do the "an historic" thing that everyone does now. It's thoroughly un-American. And it's immoral.

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