Topanga Before Today

Pablo CapraBy Pablo Capra      July 9, 2021

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Topanga Before Today
As digital archivist for the Topanga Historical Society, Pablo Capra saw an opportunity to compile historical vignettes lifted from bygone newspapers and publications that capture the times when they were written. Capra encourages readers to support the Topanga Historical Society by becoming a member and buying their book, “The Topanga Story,” a detailed history of Topanga. Published in 2011, it was compiled and written by local residents and edited by Michele Johnson. (topangahistoricalsociety.org) 15 Arrested at Topanga Pot Party by Louise Larson March 20, 1968, Santa Monica Outlook—Four members of the well-known “Buffalo Springfield” rock ’n’ roll band and a guitarist from “The Cream” group were among 15 persons arrested in Topanga Tuesday night when Malibu sheriff’s deputies raided an alleged “pot” party. Ten women, including a 16-year-old girl, and five men were booked at Malibu sheriff’s station on suspicion of marijuana possession. They were: Neil K. Young, 22, Hollywood; Paul R. Furay, 23, Los Angeles, and James M. Messina, 20, Burbank, all members of the Buffalo Springfield; their manager, Eugene Sarns, 25, 1875 Topanga Skyline Drive; and Eric P. Clapton, 22, Hollywood, guitarist for a rock group known as “The Cream.” Also, Susan Lee Hafey, 21, 1174 Old Topanga Canyon Road, where the party was held; Nancy Furay, 21, wife of the band member; Karen Harvey, 25, singer, of Wilmington, Del.; Hannah R. Stills, 27, sculptress, San Francisco; her sister, Talitha Stills, 18, student, 1076 Old Topanga Canyon Road; June Nelson, 31, publicity writer, 760 S. Barrington, Los Angeles; Linda Sontag, 21, entertainer, Hollywood; Mary Hughes, 24, model, West Hollywood; and Linda Stevens, 24, singer, 1321 Old Topanga Canyon Road. Malibu sheriff’s deputies responded to a call at the house at 1174 Old Topanga Canyon Road at 10:15 p.m. on complaints by neighbors of loud music and a “boisterous” party. Deputies Andrew Yobuck and Oscar Lowry reported smelling “a strong odor of marijuana” when the door was opened. Some of the celebrants ran to the bathroom and tried to flush several marijuana cigarettes down the toilet, but the drug was retrieved, deputies said. More cigarettes were found in the kitchen drain, where a hurried attempt was made to wash them down, according to the officers. Marijuana debris and seeds were discovered in the living room and fireplace, the report states. All the suspects were transferred to the county jail after booking except for the juvenile, who was released to her parents. The “Leary” Column By Timothy Leary July 5, 1979, Topanga Messenger,—CHICAGO, ILL. (I.N.S.) In recent months the cold war between the socialist states of East America and Western America has stepped up from cultural competition to a full-scale Hot-Air War. Ever since World War II the monolithic propaganda bureaucracies of the eastern Zone have heaped ridicule on the western free states—with California selected for special scorn. The grim, socialist spokesmen of the Atlantic states consistently deride the Pacific Society for its emphasis on individual freedom, its change ability, rootless mobility and intolerable cheerfulness. At the same time East Zone moralists denounce innovation and hedonism, they are reluctantly forced to follow western innovations in technology, dress, music and entertainment. While California is attacked for being culture-less its culture is being co-opted by Old World commercial enterprises. East American states consistently discourage their citizens from visiting California with lurid tales of earthquakes, Manson-cults, smog and moral degeneracy. “She hates California, it’s cold and it’s damp” goes one popular eastern folksong. At the same time the migration westward has continued unabated. In spite of the national press and highly censored book monopolies, the word-of-mouth flows back to the Atlantic states. The west is free. A new phase of anti-western propaganda emerged recently when a Chicago columnist Mihail Ryko suggested that a wall be built around California to prevent the subversive culture from spreading to the settled East. The barrier would presumably run along the Arizona border to the Oregon State line. The construction of the wall and the nature of its policing was not specified by the Mid-western writer. The erection of such a culture barrier is, of course, the traditional technique of eastern bureaucrats to prevent their citizens from migrating to the free-west. There has never in history been a case of westerners voluntarily migrating east. All the great xenophobic walls are designed to keep collectivized easterners from exposure to the free-swinging west. The reaction of Pacificans to the Ryko proposal has been wildly enthusiastic. Talk of secession was heard openly from the cloak-rooms of Sacramento to the barrios of L.A. A bipartisan committee of state legislators immediately announced hearings for separatism statutes. Pointing to the increasing tendency on the part of western Canadian states to sever relations with the bumpy, backward-looking, European-leaning Ottawa government, the Pacific Coast is buzzing with independence talk. One state senator proposed that a special visa be required for Snow Belters wishing to visit California. Laws banning further migration to the free Pacific states by easterners were also being studied. On the other side of the great cultural divide, committees of officials from Boston, Washington and New York were planning to visit Berlin to confer with East German officials who have been dealing with the same problem for the last three decades. First of an occasional column from the controversial and original mind of Dr. Timothy Leary. An in-depth profile of Leary, by Michael Cregar, will appear in an upcoming issue of the Messenger. “Sightings: UFOs Anyone?” October 9, 1997, Topanga Messenger—A few residents on Callon Drive are disturbed by the strange lights spotted hovering around a group of trees near their homes last week. “The lights are so beautiful,” says Emery Scognamillo of his Sunday night sighting. “They’re shaped like crystals and float turning colors, blue and red and beaming. It was an amazing show.” Scognamillo and his companion Gisele Queiros say the strange lights that floated around their area for about 20 minutes last Sunday resembled what they thought could be a UFO. “We are very certain about what we saw,” says another neighbor, Katie Korzen who, along with her husband, saw the floating light show for three nights running. “We even got our neighbors to verify it so people wouldn’t think we’re wacko.” Korzen also claims she saw “very glassy floating crystals” that reflected different colors and radiated light. “They did different formations on top of each other and then around,” she says. “Then they appeared and disappeared. It’s definitely something, but I don’t know what.”
“John D. Heron Pioneer Republican at 99 Years of Age...”
November 17, 1960 Topanga Journal—When John D. Heron, pioneer of Topanga, voted at the polls Tuesday, November 8, at the age of 99, it was the 19th time he had voted for president of the United States. Every election since he was 21 he had voted Republican. This year he had the satisfaction of seeing Topanga going Republican with 651 votes for Nixon to 494 votes for Kennedy.

Pictured above at Sycamore Lodge polling place (precinct 4) Mr. Heron is shown flanked by his daughter Dora and her husband Lee Conger, in the presence of election officials, from left: Mrs. Milford Scott, Mrs. Phil Gingerich, and Mrs. W. W. Lewis. Mrs. Ralph Alexander was a member of the election board but is not shown in the picture.
Pablo Capra

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