“Sunland California”

sunland.jpg“Hello my friend, is it me your looking for”… I hate that song. Hey, well I’m going back out on the road for awhile so there will be a long blip with my stories for about 3 weeks. A mans gotta do what a mans gotta do. Winter is such a magical time on the open road. Snow, wind, ice, black ice and more ice.

Sunland California. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Sun-Land California. Are there palm trees? a few. Is there a beach? No. Is there a lake? No but there’s a dam nearby called Hansen Dam with no water in it. Is there a creek or a river? During the summer there’s a kind of small trickle of water that runs through a wash basin full of boulders and cobble stones. In the wet winter months it turns into a raging fucking monster of destruction pulling water out of the Angeles National Forest.

It is a pretty place though, it’s tucked up into the northeast side of the San Fernando Valley right up against the majestic Verdugo Hills and the Angeles National Forest. Not to far from Mt. Wilson Observatory. Gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Hot being 100 degrees and cold being around 33 degrees. The prevailing canyon breezes keeps the smog a little more tolerable.

Sunland is, or should I say was, a blue collar town with a sprinkling of upper crust. Lots of people from Lockheed and supporting industries lived in the community. As well as others with blue collar lively hoods.

We moved there in 1969 from Sun Valley California. Now that town sucks despite the name!
I was going into 8th grade so I was thirteen. My mom had just been recently divorced from my step father of eight years and recently re-married (She didn’t waste any time) to a man named Rick.

Now my mother was a very attractive women. Thin curvy figure despite having 4 kids. She had jet black hair which she wore at shoulder length with heavy bangs ala early Linda Ronstat. Which she kinda looked like. Rick was a good looking man, a lot younger than my mother and kinda on the short side. He drove a brand new Ford Galaxy 500 two door in metallic gold with bucket seats. It had a big V8 and a 4 speed transmission. This guy had some dough. Rick bought us a beautiful 3 bedroom house in a great neighborhood in Sunland right after they got married. Whenever that was.

We moved to Sunland right after school ended and the summer vacation began. So I had the whole summer to explore my new neighborhood and make new friends.

It was a good feeling to be out of the ghetto and into the “normal” I was about to meet some of the best friends I ever had. I was also about to experience some of the most violent anger and fear I had ever felt before. Along with my rights of passage.

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