While most of the businesses in this country are considered "mom and pop" in one way or another, the tragic fact is that the vast majority of them (some estimates are as high as 80 percent) go out of business within their first five years.
They could be your neighbor or the volunteer coach for your kid's soccer team. These are the hardworking individuals who are up early taking inventory, assisting customers throughout the day or working well into the night. There is no clock to punch in or out, but the job is with them 24/7.
In the middle of the 19th century, railroads were just coming of age in America. Prior to this transition, the voyage west involved a several month journey sailing to Panama, then included a hike across the isthmus before sailing north once again. It's no surprise, then, that the advent of rail transportation meant huge changes for both people and their commerce.
Spring cleaning is an American tradition. There is something about the warmer weather that makes us want to fling open the windows, air out the closets, beat the rugs and polish the silver. But what about our finances? Wouldn't spring be a good time to organize and sort them out, too?
Besides a gold discovery here and an oil drilling there, there is more to Santa Clarita than a collection of historical locations. Over the next several months, I'll be recounting some of the people and events that have shaped this valley. It can be argued that the Newhall family, particularly patriarch Henry Mayo Newhall, had the most influence over how Santa Clarita is viewed today.
How often do we complain about the cost of our auto insurance? It seems that there is always an advertisement on TV featuring a reptile, a cowboy or just a "happy family" sharing how their new car insurance is the cheapest.
How quickly they grow, these little ones in our life that we love. They give us so much, they fulfill us in ways we never thought possible. They start out so small and as they grow we reevaluate how we feel about life, wondering if things will ever return to "normal." Of course, I'm talking about our credit card balances.
Give 'til it hurts? OK, stop! It hurts! Hurricane Katrina and Rita, a historic earthquake in Pakistan, even a tsunami of biblical proportions... And now the holidays are here? Is my watch fast? The holidays are a deep conspiracy, designed to rock us back and forth into a sublime sense of our year, without a care for ourselves. Every month has a holiday (yes, check it out) and I will swear there is intelligent design at work here.
Not many residents remember the name Ed Pardee. Ed was the local sheriff back in the late 1800s and he owned a home on a piece of land bordered by Newhall Avenue, Market and Walnut streets. The home was originally built in 1890 to serve as the Good Templar's Lodge, a place Newhall cowboys could go to relax while still following the rules of Prohibition. Ed Pardee moved the home from its original spot on Pine Street, added onto the place and called it home for many years.
Like fingers reaching for the skies above, the jagged points of Vasquez Rocks rise over a hundred feet above the park floor. The rocks, formed over thousands of years of geological activity, earthquakes, and erosion are a focal point of local geography. Visible for miles along State Route 14 between Santa Clarita and Agua Dulce, the rocks are a continual source of fascination for thousands of commuters each day.
During the holiday season, many gifts will be exchanged, many holiday meals will be prepared and many miles will be traveled by those seeking to unite with loved ones. As a result, many a family will feel the pinch of holiday purchasing. At the root of post-holiday debt is lack of planning.
It's undeniable when you step in the door. Maybe, in your house (like mine) it was the smell of bacon, crisp and sharp. Maybe it was the tomato/ground beef smell of meatballs that mom could never get out of the couch (So that's why she covered the furniture in plastic!), or was it curry, greens or incense at your place?
In the hot September sun, I sit among a grove of oak trees and gaze at wildlife as squirrels and birds clamber around me. In the background, a small brook rolls by and I can barely hear the distant roar of the 14 Freeway. The sun is getting warmer now and I'm beginning to feel a little tired. Maybe I'll just nap for a minute here under the tree.