One reason I love living up here is the sense of community. However, every now and then I do venture outside our valley. Last Saturday night was such an occasion.
My husband Steve flies helicopters and on Saturday evening we were invited to Santa Paula airport for an intimate gathering of fellow pilots.
The event was held in a hangar being refurbished into the airport’s museum. When we drove up, there was a nice crowd of folks very casually dressed munching on a dinner of sandwiches and meatballs. Not pretentious at all, these pilots were on hand to learn about the Santa Paula airport and its rich history displayed in the museum.
According to its website, the airport was established after the St. Francis Dam disaster in 1928. It was the brainchild of local ranchers Ralph Dickenson and Dan Emmet who decided some of the devastated area adjacent to the river would make a good location for an airport. They both had airstrips on their ranches and realized a single airport would greatly benefit the city of Santa Paula. Dickenson obtained $1,000 each from 19 local ranchers and businessmen and they began building, with their own hands, the Santa Paula Airport. This was the first airport in Ventura County. Many talented and famous pilots have flown in and out of Santa Paula Airport including Charles Lindbergh and Chuck Yeager. During a brief presentation Saturday night, I learned that the museum is run totally by volunteers who oversee a First Sunday of the Month event when pilots from all over fly their crafts to the airport. Many of the hangar owners open their doors to the public. Some of the folks I met Saturday night actually live in their hangars, so they are pretty decked out. The Aviation Museum is actually housed in several of the hangars and visitors can get a sense of the importance of the little airport.
The dinner Saturday night was entirely prepared by the museum volunteers, all part of the effort to raise awareness of the airport and its significance in aviation history. Their zeal and enthusiasm reminded me so much of our own community here in the foothills. We share the idea that no project is out of our reach, that collectively we can accomplish whatever we set our minds to.
It was a great evening and I hope that you visit the website http://www.amszp.org/ to find out more about their events. For the aviation enthusiasts, I suggest spending a First Sunday of the Month in Santa Paula. You’ll probably see some great aircraft and will definitely meet some interesting folks.
Building on that sense of community, I’m lacing up my walking shoes for this weekend’s 24 hour American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event being held at Clark Magnet High School. Cancer fighting teams from all over the Crescenta Valley will be erecting tents and setting up booths as team members walk the school’s track for 24 hours to raise money for cancer research. Having lost my mom and father-in-law to cancer, I’m just one of the hundreds who have been touched by this destroyer. I know that many familiar faces will be at the track, but I’m ready to welcome the new ones. For example, students from Crescenta Valley High School’s Prom Plus Club have a team that will be participating for 24 hours. I’m so proud of them and ask that if you haven’t yet found the time to financially support any of the teams, please do so. You can visit http://www.foothillsrelayforlife.com/ to find a list of the teams. Scroll through team members and I’m sure you’ll find some familiar names. Or you can send a check made out to the American Cancer Society to the CV Weekly office at 3800 La Crescenta Ave. #101; La Crescenta CA 91214 and we’ll send along to the Relay folks. If you want your donation to support a specific team, just mention that in the memo line and they’ll get the credit.
See you at Clark!