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Sara Plummer Lemmon: Remembering the Forgotten Botanist 

For a few short weeks in late spring and early summer, Calochortus plummerae, Plummer’s mariposa lily, blooms in the Santa Monica Mountains. It’s an increasingly…

Dining on Memories—A Matchbook Timetravel Tour 

“The past is a foreign country,” author L.P. Hartley famously wrote in his book The Go-Between. Perhaps that’s why we hold on to the postcards…

Living with Lizards 

I see him every day: busy hunting bugs among the potted plants on the patio, sunning himself on the warm bricks, regally perch atop a…

Pacific Palisades: Utopia by the Sea 

Pacific Palisades is celebrating its centennial this year. However, when the first Founders Day was celebrated on January 14, 1922, this area already had a…

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memories. of summers past. 

Hold summer in your hand, pour summer in a glass, a tiny glass of course, the smallest tingling sip, for children; change the season in your veins by raising glass to lip and tilting summer in.

― Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

Technically, summer doesn’t officially arrive until the Summer Solstice, on Tuesday, June 21, at 2:13 a.m., but hot weather, beach traffic and that special late golden light that lingers on the mountain tops on the longest days of the year left no doubt this week that summer is already here. 

In keeping with the quote from Ray Bradbury, we are welcoming the season with nostalgia: an insider’s guide to visiting Disneyland from our newest TNT contributor, and a lunch date with the past, inspired by a box of old matchbooks and other ephemera.

Summer of 2022 threatens to be long and hot, and that will bring problems as well as joy. Expect and prepare for constant high fire risk until the rainy season arrives—if the rainy season arrives—in winter. In our Newsbeat section we have the latest information on the strict mandatory drought restrictions that have been imposed on all residents, but also some welcome advice from the Resource Conservation District on how to keep trees—especially imperiled native oaks and sycamores—alive during the drought.

There is a push underway to allow residents of high fire risk areas an extra allowance of water to help keep garden vegetation from adding to the elevated fire risk. 

In May, State Senator Henry Stern, who represents many of the communities in and around  the Santa Monica Mountains, asked the California Department of Water Resources to reconsider the restrictions in high fire risk areas. 

“I am very concerned that sufficient water supplies may not be available to maintain fire-resistant landscaping for wildfire safety and protection at the urban-wildland interface as designated by the Cal Fire Hazard Severity Zone Map,” Stern wrote. 

No answer yet, but a recent Los Angeles Times article indicates that the state is open to the idea. 

This year, record gas prices, rising inflation and the continued threat of COVID will mean more people will be heading to the beach and into the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area for day trips. Leaving early, allowing extra time to reach destinations, and cultivating patience, or perhaps stocking up on audio books, are about the only options for coping with summer traffic, but for those of us blessed to actually live in the SMMNRA, those are relatively minor inconveniences. 

It is Father’s Day on Sunday, a day to celebrate fathers but also father figures. It’s easy to dismiss this holiday as a marketing move by greeting card companies, but its history is deeper than that. 

In much of Europe, Saint Joseph’s Day—celebrated on March 19 in the Catholic church and July 20 by Orthodox Christians—is the traditional day to celebrate fathers and fatherhood.  

The U.S. holiday was conceived by artist, poet and peace and temperance activist Sonora Smart Dodd. She and her five brothers were raised by their father after their mother died in childbirth. The idea for an official Father’s Day came to Dodd while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. 

It was unfair, she said, that fathers did not also have an official day of recognition. When she presented the idea to the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA, she proposed using her own father’s birthday—June 5. The Association selected the third Sunday in June instead. 

The first official Father’s Day was celebrated the following year, on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington. It took a while for the popularity to spread, but the movement was aided by the support of several U.S. Presidents, including Woodrow Wilson, and William Jennings Bryan. Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation officially declaring the third Sunday in June as a national observance of Father’s Day, Richard Nixon made the holiday official and permanent.

Father’s Day can be a stressful or sad day for those who have lost their fathers, or who do not have a positive relationship, but this holiday can also  celebrate any and all of the father figures who have made a difference in our lives—not only biological fathers, but stepfathers, godfathers, uncles, brothers, friends, partners, teachers and mentors, present and remembered. 

Stay safe, be well. Happy Father’s Day!

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