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Lila Littlejohn: Raindrops and miniskirts

From The Signal Archives...

Posted: January 21, 2010 10:30 p.m.
Updated: January 22, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Editor’s note: As The Signal celebrates 90 years of service to the Santa Clarita Valley, we offer this peek into the SCV of days past. Following is from the Jan. 22, 1969, Newhall Signal and Saugus Enterprise.

Appreciation of short skirts
“The Big Miniskirt Gap” screams from a giant headline in the Jan. 22 issue of The Signal.

“New evidence shows that local women are increasingly willing to bow to the great fashion revolution that struck New York and Paris five years ago and daringly raised the hemline aloft.

“Any day now, a stroll through downtown Newhall may reveal that Valencia Valley’s fairest maidens have legs and ankles as excitingly shapely as anywhere else in the world,” the hopeful-sounding reporter gushed.

However, blazing a fashion trail in the Santa Clarita Valley (Publisher Scott Newhall’s determined use of “Valencia Valley” didn’t quite take hold) could require sensitivities of steel.

“One shapely young lady who did go into a Valencia Valley chain market in a miniskirt returned home in tears,” the story reported. “‘This area is so backward,’ she screamed at her husband, ‘that when you wear a miniskirt, the women stare at you more than the men do.’”

The story was accompanied by a Mod Squad-looking, short-haired young woman with a short skirt and knee-high boots straddling the dotted line down a country roadway.

Heavy rains back then, too
The second lead story — with a much smaller headline — reported two people were killed in car accidents during “torrential rains” in the Santa Clarita Valley. The number of weekend traffic collisions soared from 10 or 12 to 30, the story said.

A sidebar reported, “Nearly 7 inches of rain had fallen since the latest series of storms began. Oldtimers said they had not seen rains like this in Valencia Valley in over a decade.”

Some roadways were so inundated with mud and water, the article said, that “they looked like the Mississippi River.”
Sea World Santa Clarita Valley?

Another story reported that the Newhall Land and Farming Company executives were holding private meetings with officials of Sea World of San Diego. But they weren’t talking to the press.

“All they would say was what the original press release had revealed last week,” the story said. “The boards of directors of both firms met in San Diego last week and signed a ‘letter of intent’ to build a $15 million amusement park in Valencia Valley.”

Alas, there would be no Shamus cavorting among the oak trees of the “20-acre parcel across the freeway from the Valencia Golf Course.” But it wasn’t much later that construction began on Magic Mountain, later named Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Nefarious federal plot
“A top aide to county Supervisor Warren M. Dorn yesterday charged that the Reagan administration was planning to build a controversial power plant at the Castaic Reservoir without obtaining a federal permit,” began another story with the headline “The Power Plant Fight Continues.”

It reported that Dorn aide Robert E. Meyers and county recreation chief Norman Johnson had returned from a trip to San Francisco to get help to halt “the Reagan administration from destroying the recreation potential of the gigantic reservoir now under construction.”

And whose door were they knocking on for help? The federal government’s.

Man of the year
The Rev. Samuel Dixon was the recipient of the Man of the Year award presented by the Upper Little Santa Clara Valley PTA.

Hot car, cool price
A brand-new 1969 Mustang two-door hardtop was just $2,369 “full price, delivered in Newhall,” or $76 down and $76 a month, available at Newhall Ford on San Fernando Road.


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