Escondido, CA
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Maintaining our sanity


Are you all maintaining your sanity? Having multiple activities during the day keeps your brain working positively keeping your mind off being holed up at home. The upside, of course, is if you are working from home like so many are then you are busy with your work and you can still goof off a bit just as you did at your workplace. And, there is no one around to check what time you arrive at work or time your breaks or lunch time or even what time you leave for home because you’re already there. And because of not having to drive to work you don’t care how much a gallon of gasoline costs.

As I believe in looking for positives, there is a lesson to be learned during these unusual times. My parents grew up during the Great Depression and those folks developed a different attitude about life than recent generations. “Waste not want not” was almost a life tenet. Shoes were re-soled, torn clothes were patched and all food was consumed either at the time it was prepared or as left-overs. Anyone have left-overs anymore?” You’ve all read at one time how much food we Americans toss into the trashcans. We live in a disposable economy and people today pay extra to buy torn up jeans. I don’t get it.

A huge life lesson that my parents impressed upon me was when I received my first pay at age 16 from my first tax paying job. “Every week you should put 10% of your pay in the bank.” Does the term “rainy day fund” ring a bell? Oh how I wish I had continued that during most of my adult life. Thank goodness I woke up some years ago as it is serving me well today. I was being paid $1.05/hr and worked 17 hours a week so you can guess how much I saved each week. However, when I purchased a 1961 Pontiac Ventura in 1962 I walked into the bank and withdrew 21 $100 bills and walked to the dealership and plopped it down on the sales manager’s desk. All cash free and clear title. Much to his surprise I might add. Still can’t believe I was walking around with that much cash in my pocket.

So, how about this rain? We sure have received quite a bit—which brings me to talk about the flood control channel built in the late 1960’s when Lloyd “Lefty” Mitchell was City Manager. The channel was referred to as Lefty’s Ditch and Mitchell’s Folly but let me tell you that ditch has saved downtown Escondido’s bacon many times over the decades. In January 1978 we received 17 plus inches of rain, which was more than our yearly average. The raging water in the channel was over half way up the sides and downtown would certainly have been flooded again had the channel not been built.

Historical accounts show the Escondido Creek overflowing during rainy years with water rising as high as Grand Avenue flooding stores. One photo shows the Lime Street (now Broadway) bridge being under water. It may not be pretty but it sure has done the job. Escondido showed its gratitude building the Mitchell Room at City Hall in 1988.

Some Escondido history: Remember when it was OK to eat steak? In the ‘70’s into the ‘80’s we had numerous steak houses. How many do you remember? Milan’s Steak House, Mr. Steak, Sizzler, Cask ‘n Cleaver, Chuck’s Steak House, Fireside Restaurant and I was told one of the best was the old Elk’s Club at Escondido Boulevard and Washington Avenue. And let’s not forget Dante’s on S. Escondido Blvd.

Did you know there is a TV channel directed at your dog? DogTV programs are called Stimulation, Relaxation and Reflections all designed to entertain and soothe your dog while you are not home. No I am not making this up. Oh my, I can hear the cat people asking “Why only dogs? How about my Fluffy?” I suppose it could happen but then cats really don’t care. I have had both.

A shout out to Andy Villalobos, Escondido Parks Supervisor, being recognized as a Front-Line Hero in the U-T. Anyone who has ever met the affable Andy will agree this is well deserved. This week’s license plate BRKLN42 wrapped by a LA Dodgers plate holder. Obviously a big fan.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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