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Father’s Day

Father’s Day 

Happy Father’s Day to all of our fathers: the ones who tell us stories when we are small, the ones whose stories we miss when they are gone. This is a day to celebrate not only biological fathers, but all of the father figures who help guide us through life. Cover concept and design by Urs Baur

The Canyon is open, or at least, mostly open. Depending on what time one heads down (or up) Topanga Canyon Boulevard, both lanes may be available or one may be closed, resulting in a wait while traffic alternates. Delays are inevitable, as hundreds of truckloads of earth and rock are moved, but it’s a much better situation than the one predicted for the summer. The early reopening would not have happened without pressure from our elected officials and that support would not have been there without the tireless efforts of the Topanga Town Council and all of the citizen activists who called and emailed and kept asking until officials were fully aware of the road closure’s impact.

In response to the extended road closure, the county will be making small business grants available for Topanga businesses impacted by the disaster. Los Angeles County Third District Supervisor Lindsey Horvath’s office has announced that the LA County Department of Economic Opportunity will be creating a fund of at least $250K that will provide grants of up to $10,000 for Topanga businesses. More information can be found at

This Sunday is Father’s Day, a holiday that is marked in the media by an increase in the number of ads for easy chairs and power tools, as if somehow the needs of the fathers and father figures in our lives can be distilled down to those two things. 

In many European countries, fathers are traditionally celebrated on St. Joseph’s Day, commemorated on either March 19 or July 20, while men in general are honored on International Men’s Day, on November 19. American Father’s Day was proposed in 1909 by Sonora Smart Dodd, the daughter of a Civil War veteran. Her father raised her and her four brothers on his own. Dodd was inspired while attending a Mother’s Day service and worked to make her inspiration into a reality.

Clarkia cylindrica, also known as speckled clarkia, fairy fans, or farewell-to-spring, is in bloom along the roadsides in the Santa Monica Mountains—its flowers appearing almost luminous against a serene background of drying grasses. Speckled clarkia, and its cousin, elegant clarkia—Clarkia unguiculata— are harbingers of summer. These California natives are among the last annual wildflowers to bloom before the summer heat dries out the soil. The late, heavy rain must have suited them, because this year’s bloom is abundant, widespread and beautiful. Photo by Suzanne Guldimann

For those who have fathers or father figures in their lives, Fathers’ Day is a time to reach out to them with love and gratitude. For those who have lost their father,  or who are estranged from their father or family, or who never knew their father, this holiday can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to stand just for one’s biological father. This should be a day to celebrate the men who have had a positive role in our lives, not just fathers, but  grandfathers, uncles, godfathers, brothers, stepfathers, and the men who have been our mentors and teachers. 

For fathers who would prefer something other than power tools or easy chairs or mugs with the Mandalorean on them that proclaim “Yoda Best Dad”, our annual spring local authors and local interest summer reading section, and Jimmy P. Morgan’s summer book recommendations are back just in time for Father’s Day. Also in this special Father’s Day issue, Nathalie Krull, TNT’s resident cook extraordinaire, has prepared two special recipes that are family favorites.  

Father’s Day marks the start of the first full week of summer activities. School is out for just about everyone now. College students are arriving home, and families are headed off on vacations. The newly reopened canyon road will be packed once again with beachgoers on the weekends. Summer officially begins in the northern hemisphere on June 20. The solstice will take place at 1:51 p.m. PDT. June 21 will be the longest day of the year, as the sun reaches its northernmost point in the sky. 

The wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains offer their own calendar, tied to the astronomical one. All throughout the Santa Monica Mountains, purple and pink clarkia flowers mark the end of spring, while the hills, so green this winter, are already turning dusty gold. Endless summer is one of those California myths. Our summers are longer than those further north, but this season is short and fleeting. By next week the nights will already be lengthening towards winter. Carpe diem.

Stay safe. Be well. Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers and father figures in all of our lives.

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