The Simple Life. If Only...

Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza

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The Simple Life. If Only...
Well, we launched the first issue of The Canyon Chronicle, warts and all, i.e., low-resolution photos, hard-to-read font for articles, and a publisher’s nightmare of unintentionally slighting those whom we sincerely wish to support. That happened with the Neighborhood Network article, which we rectified on page 4, where you can meet the dedicated volunteers (who asked not to be named). Contact them ( and create your own neighborhood network with their guidance. Please make the effort. We live in fire country. Trash has our attention again. The Trash Warriors amuse and inspire us with accounts of their Sunday morning cleanups and Beth Goode’s observations about the canyon. (see page 4). We’re happy to publish them. On the downside, Waste Management is increasing fees, which brings to mind sustainability. Every time I throw a plastic bag in the trash, I know it’s going to the landfill. I know better. I’ve been to the recycling plant, written about them, provided resources through newspaper articles, assigned reporters to drive-alongs in the trash trucks. I know there are places to send plastic bags for recycling, but it’s so inconvenient and recycling them for doggy poop bags is so convenient. The world is awash in plastic film, plastic everything. It’s impossible to avoid. Sustainable lifestyles will definitely be in the ongoing lineup for the Canyon Chronicle, discovering solutions we may not have thought of. I admit, I am a child, if not a devotee of convenience and consumption. I do have my own composter. It’s a thrill to open the little door and scoop out rich soil that was once kitchen scraps. It’s one small, almost imperceptible step in the big picture, but it is convenient. The pandemic slowdown has been a revelation. What have you done in the last four months to allay your fears, stay well, and make the most of staying home? I’ve benefited from meals delivered by Rocco’s Cucina (see page 5). I also got to know my neighbors. Masked and at a distance, we talked to each other, discovered things about each other. No one was going anywhere. A neighbor offered to go shopping for me in the early stages of the quarantine. Another neighbor performed a piano concert that wafted out to the street. Eight of us, suitably spaced, mostly masked, sat on the street-side patio for about 30 minutes. The performance was superb. Ellie Carroll, a trustee of the Topanga Christian Fellowship church, also invited me to ring the bell, something they do every day during the pandemic to keep the light alive. She also invited Barbara Allen and columnist Kathie Gibboney to ring the bell. It was such an inspiring experience, they went back a second time. The church is open for Sunday services and Bible study now. Twice a day, my dog, Tippy and I also walk the cat, Tom, whenever he was ready to follow us down to Bonnell Park, conversing in meowese along the way. The activity has amused neighbors and visitors alike. Kids come out hoping to see Tom and cars slow down to marvel. Tom is also extraordinarily handsome. Oh, yes. Then there’s this newspaper that just launched…just trying to keep busy in a slowdown. I heard there is a rumor circulating that I have dementia. I don’t understand why anyone would do that. Yes, I’m 81, and I have slowed down without the help of a pandemic. But here’s the other global disease: the world is alive with discriminatory fear of the “other.” Ageism, like other “isms,” creates, at the least, a hostile environment. We don’t need that now or ever. If you want to know anything about me and my life, show your face, look me in the eye, and ask. I don’t have dementia. A friend told me, “Age is a fact. Aging is an attitude.” 81 is not dead and this old dog is still learning new tricks. Thank you all who have so generously contributed to the launch of the Canyon Chronicle. Thanks, too, to the advertisers who will ensure its success. For now, until we’re solidly on our feet, we’ll continue the Go Fund Me campaign and continue to be grateful to this extraordinary community.
Flavia Potenza

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July 10, 2020