Friday, September 01, 2006


After a week of vacationing in California, I formed a few "first impressions" from first-hand experiences in Los Angeles County. These impressions differ from images in my mind before going there. It's interesting and alarming how humans form images about people, places or things before experiencing them. I've been surprised many times when meeting a person after a phone conversation with them first. They are sometimes much different in appearance and character than I first imagined. These differences can be more significant if you form images about people or places from listening to others or from reading and watching news reports. News reports are usually highly focused and give a tunnel view of a situation, event, place, or person.

Here are my impressions of California from my visit:

People there are very patriotic. I formed this opinion mainly from listening to Roger Hedgecock radio talk show on KOGO each evening as we drove in rush hour traffic. Roger and callers to his show were constantly praising military service personnel and their families. Names of GI's were quoted and their graduation dates from high school or college. Money was donated and given to families. Examples of good deeds offered to families like fixing their car at below market costs.

I related this observed patriotism to a friend when I returned. A few days later he sent me a link to a comment written by Baxter Black of Livestock Weekly. Here is his quote:

"Sometimes I think I live in a different country than the one I read about in the newspapers or hear about on the radio and TV.

For instance, I was in Sacramento recently. It is not the same California you read about in the letters to the editor in the San Francisco Chronicle or see on Entertainment Tonight! California is a state (a small country, really) that believes in the work ethic and not in fairy tales. It is profoundly patriotic, enormously productive, and regardless of their political leanings, agree that Hollywood hype and San Francisco politics are bizarre."

I further observed in LA:

Clean streets and well built homes. No vinyl siding or trailer parks. Neatly landscaped lawns.

It was rare to see an obese person.

Everyone we encountered was super nice to us.

Motorists on the freeways opened space for us to change lanes as long as we signaled.

See pictures I took of Los Angeles. The bottom picture is the Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Return here on Sunday, September 3 for a blog update.

Have a good day!



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