Not long ago, my family and I lived in Melody Acres - between Tampa and Corbin Boulevards, North of Hatteras, South of Topham. It felt so much like living out in the country, I'd almost forget we were so close to the 101 Freeway.
One neighbor's rooster crowed every morning; horses clip-clopped down the street many evenings as the sun set. We had our share of mules, pigs, sheep, rabbits, peacocks and emus in the neighborhood.
My daughter and her friends climbed trees, sold lemonade, built forts, dug mud holes, mischievously picked neighbors' lemons. It was as Norman Rockwell as you can get in L.A. county these days.
Each late October, Melody Acres' Neighborhood Association holds a block party where neighbors bring pot-luck dishes, a local band plays on a hay-strewn stage and children line up for pony rides.
One year, an elderly neighbor named Alice came by to see if she would win the longest enduring resident of Melody Acres contest. Considering my age and that I lived there only a few years at the time, she had me beat; Alice moved to Melody Acres in the 1930s as an eighteen year old bride. Her little cottage still sits almost below the Ventura Freeway - a freeway that didn't exist when she first arrived.
We only left Melody Acres in order to buy our own home, otherwise I wouldn't have moved. It was a great place for my daughter to be a child and grow up.
Yes, country living still exists in the valley: Tapia Farms, Pierce college's cow dotted rolling hills, Chatsworth and Sun valley's horse trails and, of course, Melody Acres pot-holed streets.
*The Valley's rural enough to have an online site for Valley horse owners.
Y'all come back now! Ya Hear?