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John Boston | The Nostalgia of An Armpit in Old D-Town Newhall

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18.01.2020

Maybe 50 years from now, I’ll get my official card as a Newhall old-timer, which allows discounts, like free drinking water at Hart Park and no waiting for a counter seat at the Way Station.

Year 47.

Still no beef stew and biscuits.

I still smile and shake my head at the nostalgia painted around my boyhood home.

Truth? Until recently and since the bona fide 5-star Southern Hotel burned down in 1888, our rural version of Rodeo Drive or Champs-Elysees has been quite the armpit.

Back when, Downtown Newhall’s fashion district, operated by “Uncle” Milt Diamond, sold both kinds of shirts: “Poly” AND “Ester.” The few eateries could somehow manage to ruin a French fry and the closest thing to scenery on our main drag was a ceramic pot in front of Howdy Cleaners overflowing with cigarette butts, 96.5% of a dead tree and a few yellowed pamphlets from the Tony & Susan Alamo Foundation warning that if you didn’t join their church, wide-eyed congregants would kill your cat.

Personally, I never felt threatened by the Alamos.

Didn’t own a cat.

Well. An indoor one that you had to feed or pet.

D-Town Newhall was an aesthetic-free zone. No park. No statue. No shade. No benches. No art. The soul of the community could best be described by our two signs: “Tires” and “Eat.”

About once a decade, since the late 1880s, the local captains........

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