"Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one. "
~John Lennon

Monday, June 18, 2012


Sometimes I wonder if California will ever again have the beauty and friendliness it had when I was growing up there. Growing up in the orange groves of Riverside area was freedom and wonderful scents, not the crowded place it is now. The orange groves are long gone as homes and strip malls took their place. In high school it took us about a half hour to drive over to Newport Beach where we would pour on baby oil and work on a tan that ended up as a sunburn. My four grandchildren are being raised in southern California and have no idea how natural and beautiful it was. I see the education they are receiving there. Why would someone choose teaching as a profession? I'm not picking on California; I see changes in other states as well. But I have the connection to California with both daughters still living there and raising their children there. The poor California kids have competition to look good but not so much with exercising their brains. Many other states had bad reputations regarding children's test scores; California used to be the envy of those states. People used to say it was because California had so many wealthy people that the school system and teachers were superior. I didn't grow up with an understanding of money, my family was very poor. 

People came from all over the country to vacation in California, lots still do, but the cost has become a deterrent for regular folk. I am trying to say a lot in a condensed version. Because I was raised in California, I am grateful for so much. But man, has it changed there. Bursting at the seams with no more room to grow. The people who have been receiving the less than stellar educations are now running the place and surprise surprise, they can shout and preach, but there are no good plans to revive the education system, or save the coastline, or get people working and off welfare, or restore the tourism to aid the economy, or train children to choose to join clubs instead of gangs. What is the incentive for children to want to learn? What do they have to look forward to? What causes them to stretch their limitations as they see them? Who are their examples? Why should they care?

After I saw this photo, I felt better about the traffic in California.

The longest traffic jam in the world -- recorded in China.

Its length is 260 kilometers [and that's 161 MILES, folks!]


Rock Chef said...

I guess a place can be too successful, over extending themselves - when the boom ends, they suffer more than places that had once been backwaters.

That traffic jam is amazing! Guess the environmentalists are right - a bigger road DOES just fill up with cars!

DJan said...

I spent some of my life growing up in Fairfield, in the valley, and it was beautiful. I think part of our problem is the massive overpopulation that is happening everywhere. There are four times more people living in the same area I lived in growing up.

BTW, the first paragraph is very small type and I had to squint to read it! But I did. :-)

Stephen Hayes said...

I grew up in the Santa Clara Valley, filled with vast orchards at the time. The valley was so famous for its fruit that my grandparents migrated from Portugal to work the canneries. Now this has all been asphalted over and turned into the Silicone Valley. Why? This was one of the most fertile spots on Earth. You can grow microchips anywhere.

Happy Frog and I said...

I enjoyed this post and particularly the fact that you have asked a lot of important questions in your last paragraph that I think are valid to ask anywhere in the world, not that I have the answers unfortunately.

The photo is incredible, I've never seen anything like that before, in terms of the sheer scale.

Joanna Jenkins said...

As soo as I saw thew photo in my sidebar I thought FOR SURE it was California! Our traffic is insane and now they will be closing the exit and entrance ramps on the 405 freeway in both directions at Wilshire Blvd. for a whole year due to freeway expansion. Big Sigh-- the nightmare traffic will just get worse.

As for our education system-- we've emailed about this a bit. What a sad state of affairs on so many levels. To say the public schools in Los Angeles are underfunded and run by less than smart (I'm trying to be nice) people is an understatement. Oy.

xo jj

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I can't even believe there could be a traffic jam that long. That is INSANE!

I'm sorry that CA has lost so much of what you remember about it. :(

Brian Miller said...

i enjoyed my trips to cali...was mostly northern...pleasant hill, san jose, san fran...but traffic is a beast....dont know that i could live there...

R. J. said...

I can relate to what you're saying and I try not to think too much about all of those questions--too depressing. Best of times, worst of times sort of thing. I always worry that the world is going to H...in a hand basket, whatever that is. I always want to know what is happening in the world, but then I regret that I know because I can't fix anything so I worry for the future.

Heidrun Khokhar said...

It's all over the developed world. Instead of less cars there are more. We are not just running education into the ground. We are making futures almost impossible because greed for profit has never been worse!
By the way the less people are educated the more they might be controlled. Perhaps that's the plan?

Anonymous said...

We are on the road a lot right now, coming to our daughter's in the bay area. Trust me, the tourists are all here! Every state, you see cars and travel vehicles with licenses from all over the united states. Hotels are booked with tourists. Rates keep going higher, but it stops no one. Disneyland has again raised their prices, but they still have capacity crowds. Same thing with the hotels around Disneyland. San Francisco's tourist dollars are increasing each year.

Unknown said...

The Chinese Traffic Jam photo is fake. It's a heavily photoshopped image of the 405 in Los Angeles. Proof here: http://www.bricoleurbanism.org/whimsicality/when-photoshop-is-so-good-its-bad/