VIEWPOINT: The Record Ledger – April Fool’s Edition 1979

By Marlene Hitt (Guest Columnist)

It was obviously different, that April 1, 1979 edition of the Record ledger.  Only after reading the articles could one know how different it was.  The humor was sarcastic, ludicrous in spots, and very funny.

It was announced that day by editor P. S. Horwith that the Queen Mary would be berthed in Hansen Dam. The route of entry was from Long Beach through the Los Angeles River and the flood channel. The move would be made during the next flood.  The Queen Mary would serve as the new Philip Horwith Publishing Empire, for a community meeting center and a bingo parlor.  Horwith noted that “some portage would be necessary to pull it over the dam and into the water.”

“Scoop” Thompson, reporter on scene, said that “the entire Lake View Terrace community was arrested yesterday for driving too slow on Foothill Boulevard…” Then, after arresting all those people, the comment was made, “This is worse than when the cemetery gave way.  What are we going to do with all these bodies?”  It worked out well, because the whole community was out on bail.

And that Bill Bobbit fellow reported that a $10 billion structure had been planned for a sports complex in Sunland-Tujunga for an Olympic site.  When asked why the complex would be placed here, the mayor replied, “Sunland-Tujunga has a geographical advantage over the Colloseum, it is closer to Palmdale and Lancaster.”  The Southern California Transit District then announced that it would increase bus service to the area and even add one more bus.

One dissenter said that he had heard a rumor that someone was going to build an international airport in Big Tujunga Canyon.  He was against it.

Moorewater Underbridge brought the news that a tidal wave had hit Sunland that morning early, April 1, 1:47 a.m. and had improved the area immensely.  The water, coming in from Oxnard, jumped over entire towns to slap down at Foothill and Fenwick, thus rearranging that corner so that future traffic would flow without incident or accident.  A total of 1,847 hamburger palaces were washed away on the tide and 874,984,893 hamburgers floated into Van Nuys.  One child, having grabbed a soggy burger, remarked, “I love the soggy taste but the pickle fell out in Sun Valley.”

Also of importance on April Fool’s Day, 1979, was the announcement that the local councilman repealed the law of gravity.  “In a brilliant stroke of logic, Councilman Rob Bonka announced that he has licked future flooding problems in the Sunland-Tujunga vicinity.”  He ushered in a motion through council to repeal the law of gravity, which passed unanimously.  Bonka reasoned that since water will no longer be able to run downhill, most of S-T will be immune to future floods. Bonka pointed out that the measure may have another desirable effect. With water now running uphill, debris basins and local dams would be flushed out regularly at no expense to taxpayers.

In a dire prediction for the future, the future being the year 1994, it was bemoaned that the Shadow Hills community would have lost its equine-oriented lifestyle, due to Palomine Tower, the newest 50-story high-rise horse keeping complex, located at the corner of Sunland Boulevard and La Canada Way.  These new high-rises would have equine escalators done in rustic style, horse stalls in every apartment, “with bridle trails leading to the elevators in the core of the building.”  The Shadow Hills Garden Club would have some competition as those luxurious gardens bloomed without restrictions.

Well, that’s all folks!  Now that some years have gone by, we can see that the writers and reporters of that April 1 edition were all wrong. Whew!


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