The street where I live appears to be a part of rural Somewhere, yet three blocks east the Foothill Freeway leads to Montrose, Glendale, Pasadena Los Angeles, anywhere I need to drive to. Two horses while away their days on the corner, cars, trailers, trucks and an oceangoing vessel line the street. No crime comes to this place and the neighbors are excellent. You may wonder where this unique place might be—why, in Sunland/Shadow Hills of course.
I see from my point of view, Sunland-Tujunga and Shadow Hills are towns with exciting demographics, wonderful scenery, and a personality that, according to new residents, is somewhere between unique and weird. That personality is worth fighting for. Once an agricultural community, we find ourselves now a combination of ranches, single family homes, apartments and condos. Once in a while over the years our homes have been tents and shacks, even castles dotted here and there. The people hail from everywhere bringing philosophy, expertise and culture with them.
Here, some of the people do volunteer work in the museum, in schools, at festivals and events, running service clubs, at the Cultural Arts Center, on streets, in churches, at the neighborhood council meetings.
So many of us go to work, shop outside the area, come home to get ready for work again and those people over the years have not explored the richness of this small town culture. My message to those who want to know what is going on here, who don’t know how to become involved, here is how it is done:
Join the Little Landers Historical Society, the Friends of the Library, McGroarty Art Center, a church, local neighborhood council, or other interest groups. Attend school functions, the Watermelon Festival, the Easter festival, the Easter Sunrise Service, the Fourth of July parade and fireworks, school productions, Bolton Hall Museum, the Lions, Elks, American Legion, Rotary and neighborhood groups (Shadow Hills, Lake View Terrace). Absolutely read your local newspapers. All these places, and more, offer information through newsletters to inform people of events and opportunities.
One very exciting activity is to walk, bike or drive the streets of these communities to find the many hidden treasures.
Your community is vital to you. Don’t be caught saying “I didn’t know about it or I would have been there.”
Editors Note: Marlene Hitt is a Director at the Bolton Hall Museum, past Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga and writes for the Reporter.