When I first started blogging in March 2011, I had no idea what I wanted to do except simply talk about the SFV since I felt it needed a voice that wasnt being expressed elsewhere.
In the ensuing posts that followed, the format and structure started to evolve into a "location stalking" theme where I would visit a specific location of interest like the former Valley Music Theatre in Woodland Hills and discuss its past, present, and future. Doing so would require a lot of time to research history, search for every and any photo available, visit the location, and compile into a readable and hopefully entertaining post. Sometimes the research was already there and it was just a matter of summarizing and posting pics. Other times the research was ambiguous like the actual location of the Desilu Ranch in Chatsworth which was rumored to be in three different locations where I was the first to confirm the true location and that it no longer existed.
But it didnt stop there as I would also scan and post my massive postcard collection. And then there was the celebrity real estate which would not only include the home being purchased or sold but past residences that no one else discussed especially if they were in the SFV.
Also cant forget TV shows and movies filmed in the SFV where I would watch the movie, collect image stills, spend several minutes locating the scenes, and finally posting. If the actual locations of the scenes were not already found by another blogger, I would make the attempt to find it on my own which was quite the challenge when the scenes offered very little clues. I essentially I had to dig into my "driving around the SFV memory banks" to match a location or clue to that scene. One movie that comes to mind that I have not seen anyone else discuss is the iconic Van Nuys Blvd from 1979 that really showcased the teen car culture emblematic throughout the nation at that time.
Lastly, the hidden and rarely discussed real estate and architecture side of the SFV. Like much of L.A. there is a lot of great architecture out there but its hidden from the general public tucked away in some hillside or neighborhood. My goal was to alert readers whenever one of these masterpieces was hitting the selling block. Or as of late, the continuing trend to demolish and build new, like the almost demolished Lautner designed "spaceship" rehabilitation center in Woodland Hills. I was the first to alert the good folks at the LA Conservancy who filed an appeal with the City literally a day from being a memory. Today, it has been preserved by a Jewish organization which will hopefully stay for generations to come.
Aside from the "location stalking" theme I mentioned above, my other primary goal was to demonstrate how the SFV was connected to the world. How you can be in any other part of this world and find some unexpected connection to the SFV. Like a space enthusiast who loved the Apollo missions where the Rocketdyne engines were built and tested in the SFV. Or a Michael Jackson fan who lived in Encino but his family now resides in Calabasas. Or a Guns 'N' Roses fan where the Appetite for Destruction album was recorded in Canoga Park. Or a Karate Kid fan with its story based and filmed in the SFV. Or a Neutra architecture fan. And the list goes on and on.
I believe I accomplished some of that but as I researched more, I found more topics that I wanted to cover but there just wasnt enough time. The advertising you see here was an experiment on how much money Google makes and the peanuts I get in return. So ideally, it would be nice to hire a staff to accomplish my daily goals but that is not in the budget right now.
Everyday a new story development would pop up that needed my time at the end of a long working day and attending to other priorities after work that would leave me burning the midnight oil to ensure the story was completed and ready for the following day like as if I was a true newspaper organization. This consistency and persistence paid off as I have accumulated over 1000 posts ranging in the various topics mentioned above.
But that clock-like process also took me away from other matters that was more important like my health and family. Healthwise I am doing okay but my family is a different story. And as a result I cannot continue hurting myself and the others around me.
Which brings me to the image above. It was from a scene in The Simpsons but I forget which one. Again using the "connected" theme, 3 of the items on the list are from the SFV where the writers could have used any other locations in this massive city of L.A. but managed to use some from the SFV that was featured on a worldwide popular TV show viewed by both adults and children.
So I dont know when I will return. Maybe next year or my retirement in 30 years. I definitely need to be in a position where I am comfortable and have time. The good news is that I am not shutting down the blog because there is too much good reference material plus I spent way too much time just to see it erase from the internet in one click. My email will still be active at firstname.lastname@example.org for any inquiries.
Its been a labor of love and pleasure. Thanks to my 5 loyal readers,
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