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From The Signal Archives ... : Of pother and endorsements

Lila Littlejohn

Posted: January 28, 2010 9:46 p.m.
Updated: January 29, 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. 29, 1948, Newhall Signal and Saugus Enterprise.

Drought of ‘48
A colorful weather story on the front page expressed local residents’ disappointment when a storm was swept out of the valley before it could drop more than a sprinkle or two.

“Residents of the Upper Santa Clara Valley underwent a bitter disappointment Monday when the Weather Man, as if perpetrating a malicious joke, hurled a new avalanche of cold, dry east wind into the valley and blew away a mass of rain-laden clouds which promised some precious moisture,” the story goes.

“The eastern sirocco came in with gusts up to 50 miles per hour and drove the clouds out to sea again.”

Only 1.42 inches of rain had fallen in the Santa Clarita Valley since March the year before, the story noted.

An end to partisanship
The presidential nominations were a hot topic in January 1948, and The Signal threw its support behind Sen. Bob Taft — or as the editorialist would have it, “Bobtaft.”

“As president, Bobtaft would stand at the top of a logical chain of authority and responsibility. ... Both the Senate and the House would listen to what he said, and act accordingly. The era of partisan stalemate would end.”

Easterners need to quit grousing
The weather was also the topic of an editorial in the Jan. 29 Signal, but it was the weather east of the Rockies — along with the residents there complaining about it.

“The Signal suspects that the current pother about winter in the East can be attributed to California,” the editorialist opines.

“In the first place, California dailies like to play up Eastern blizzards, especially the ones that reach as far south as New Orleans and Florida.

“In the second place, for some reason, Easterners have started to immitate California modes of house heating. Instead of using wood and coal in the time-honored fashion, they have been putting in oil- and gas-fired stoves and furnaces.”

The editorialist says Easterners need to quit aping Californians and go back to traditional heating methods — or move to California.

Newhall boasts 916 telephones
A front-page story says the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company had grown explosively in Southern California since World War II ended, and Newhall boasted 916 phones by the end of 1947.

Still, 327 people had applied for phones and were awaiting service in Newhall, the story said.

The postwar years had delivered a “demand for telephone service in all income brackets never before experienced in the history of the telephone company.”

Too much to handle

Another front-page story reported that the Newhall Chamber of Commerce was gratefully accepting assistance in organizing the 1948 Old West Fourth of July celebration.

Planning for “Newhall’s big day of the year will undergo a complete revision of management for 1948, President Paul Carrell of the Newhall Chamber of Commerce announced this week.

“Too big of an affair for any one organization to handle, the event this summer will be managed by a special 4th of July management group made up of representatives of all organizations.”

Fourth of July parade planning these days falls to a volunteer committee, but many other Fourth of July events are handled by various other organizations.

Prices of yore
A Safeway store ad offered these sale prices: 51 cents a pound for a 7-bone roast; 29 cents a pound for short ribs; 5 cents a pound for apples; 43 cents a pound for Nob Hill coffee.


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