Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Dearest Valley

I have known no other city in my life, well, at least not long term.  I was born down the hill at Verdugo Hills Hospital.  Yes, technically, it is Glendale.  But it is part of our little valley that encompasses La Crescenta, Montrose, Sparr Heights and La Canada.  I moved south when I was a young child, still technically north Glendale since it was above Glendale Community College and then back to this valley in middle school.  I have memories of attending Rosemont Junior High and both of my parents tell me of their days at Rosemont as well.  I remember going to Rocky Cola on a Friday night after a CVHS football game.  Ten of us would order two baskets of french fries and water.  We only tipped with whatever money was left over.  Those poor waitresses.

I grew up, went to college, got married and had a baby and realized I needed to be back in La Crescenta.  I needed my children to grow up in this idillic valley.  I'm sure a lot of my memories of the LC are throw the rose-colored glasses of childhood.  But now that we are back I am finding that those rose-colored glasses come in adult sizes.

I love the history that this valley has for us, for me and for our family.  I love driving passed the rock covered church on Rosemont and know that my grandmother worshipped there for many years before going to heaven.  I love driving passed CVHS and picking out the new buildings and the old buildings. Its fun seeing the cheerleaders and football players in uniform on Fridays, getting ready for the big game.  I love visiting Dunsmore Park and seeing the wading pool I used to visit as a toddler.  Driving by Clark reminds me of the stories my mother would tell me about how middle school used to be 7th - 9th grade.  

Every parent is concerned about safety when searching for a town to raise their family in and I am no exception.  I live just a few blocks from Brigg's Sherriff station.  They can (and have) been at my house in minutes; once it was because of fireworks being set off in our street, another time a drunk driver was speeding down the road.  But they are also concerned with smaller safety issues as well.  I have seen them stop teenagers wandering the streets after 10 pm, just checking and making sure no one is getting into trouble.

Once they saved me from getting into trouble too - I arrived home with 3 young children and my door was standing open.  Four patrol cars came to my house, swept the house and "cleared" it.  In the end I realized my daughter hadn't latched the door all the way and the wind had blown it open.  I was extremely embarrassed but very grateful.  It was nice to be saved and know that my home was safe for me to enter with 3 small children.  The bonus was the kids got to see the officers in uniform.  

As an adult I am falling in love with the LC all over again.  We have such wonderfully historical places to visit; the Lanterman House, Descanso Gardens, CVWD, and the Adobe House off of Verdugo.  Of course all these visits were just a mom chaperoning children on a field trip, but I think I enjoyed them far more than the children.  I learned about how water was brought to the valley, how inexpensive land was 'way-back-when',  ancient trees, what happened when the freeway came through, and many more historical gems.

I can't imagine ever leaving this valley, this balcony to Los Angeles.  When I do visit other cities I am always anxious to get back; not just for the great weather, but the sense of community, the safety, the history.  Dear La Crescenta, I love you.  I can't imagine raising my children anywhere but here.

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