Itâ€™s hollyhock season! My neighbor, Jaimie Lynnâ€™s garden (left) put on quite a show this year much to the delight of all who pass by. It surprised and delighted her, too. My other neighbor across the creek, Gary Jensen finally finished the remodel of his childhood home. In the process, he restored his late mother, Evelynâ€™s hollyhocks, her favorite flower (right), which were barely holding on since she and her husband moved out. Evelyn passed in 2019 at the age of 81 but her hollyhocks are now flourishing all around the yard on 10-foot-tall stalks with leaves the size of a catcherâ€™s mitt.
Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea). What a way to start the summer. Who knew or even remembers this old-fashioned, actually ancient flower? Itâ€™s thought to have originated in China, but is reminiscent in our time and place of English â€ścottageâ€ť gardens. Look up their history; itâ€™s fascinating. Note that hollyhocks are not poisonous but can cause skin irritation.
Where does the time go? The Canyon chronicle is three years old! Our first edition published on June 26, 2020. Thank you Topanga for more than youâ€™ll ever know. Itâ€™s a privilege to serve.
Bad Days: Want to know what causes more than a bad day? More like a waking nightmare? Fraud Scams. Having been the victim of one, I wish I had columnist Paula La Brot around then as she is now with her latest column, â€śScam Slime.â€ť Read it to be enlightened, be aware and know what to do if it happens to you. Stating the obvious: Donâ€™t let it happen in the first place. (Page 11)
Good Days: Through the month of July, weâ€™ll be focused on Will Geerâ€™s Theatricum Botanicumâ€™s summer events and celebrating with them their 50-year anniversary culminating in a Gala Celebration on August 5. Become a sponsor or, at the very least, buy a ticket for that event. Their repertory season of plays just opened with a stunning production of Macbeth, reviewed with a sidebar, â€śThe Curse of the Scottish Play,â€ť by Annmarie Donkin, and the theaterâ€™s signature annual production of A Midsummer Nightâ€™s Dream, reviewed by Sarah Spitz. (Pages 8-9)
Just like it always has, wonderful things come to us over the transom (now in emails; nobody knows what a transom is any more). Jennifer Jenkins shared a nostalgic Topanga remembrance written by her cousin for her motherâ€™s memorial, that we titled â€śA Place in Time Remembered.â€ť (Pages 12-13)
Our News pages (4-7) for this issue are, well, newsy, with Caltrans telling us theyâ€™ll be brush-clearing the roadsides by hand (and may have already started) and there will be traffic delays due to partial road closures. They postponed the â€śemergency storm repairsâ€ť of damage to SR 27 during the winter storms but we hope theyâ€™ll get to it before next winter. The steel nets they installed along the S-Curves did their jobs. It could have been worse. Roger Puglieseâ€™s photos tell the story.
Other newsy items are that Rabbi Mendy Piekarski says that anyone (even me!) can learn to read Hebrew in five weeks. Sign up for the course now and be ready for the High Holy Days in the fall.
Speaking of classes, Topangaâ€™s erstwhile Beloved Witch, Coco Blignaut, now living in Sherman Oaks, is offering French classes to kids this summer and has written yet another book, â€śOur Young Lady in Paris.â€ť (Page 7)
Yale Climate Connections opens a window on people helping scientists gather essential data just by looking around their yards and documenting what they see. (Page 5)
Finally, we had room to post Mayâ€™s Crime Report from Captain Jennifer Setoo of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriffâ€™s Dept. Since we usually donâ€™t have space for the full report, we should be posting it online. Donâ€™t know why we havenâ€™t thought of that sooner. (Page 6)
Just FYI: Pritchet-Rapf Realtors has sold its business to Sothebyâ€™s.
Gripe: Not so much a gripe as a whine. Iâ€™m missing our Topanga Canyon Gallery just as it was starting to gain some traction. We should have had a Studio Tour this month, an event that brought people and revenue into the canyon and showcased the artistic array of talent that shares our space. Couldnâ€™t some someone(s) sponsor a gallery?
We donâ€™t publish again until after July 4 that falls on a Tuesday this year. Happy Fourth! Be safe.