Well, it’s been fun, but the time has come for me to pull up stakes and move on. Yes, I’m leaving Commiefornia.
I’m sure this announcement will be welcome news for many readers. Over the years I’ve read the many responses to my writings – as letters to the editor, other columns, and online comments – and can imagine how happy at least some of my critics will be to see me gone. Well, that’s great.
When I returned from my all-expense-paid Luxury Tour of Southeast Asia in 1970, the Army in its infinite wisdom assigned me to the Presidio of San Francisco to finish off my enlistment term of active duty. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! This was paradise!
California was everything I’d hoped it would be based on all the movies I’d seen growing up. As a foreign service brat I’d lived all over the world while growing up, and though I’d seen some really nice regions, nothing seemed to compare to the California of the movies. And lo and behold, here I was, and it lived up to the hype!
In 1974 I moved to SoCal to pursue an acting career, and though it wasn’t as visually stunning as the San Fran area, it made up for that by being the California as portrayed by the Beach Boys in the music they made while I was in high school, as well as the movies I’d seen at the O Club in Tehran. Too cool!
Ten years later, in 1984, I moved to the Santa Clarita Valley. That’s right; 35 years ago, literally half my lifetime. I absolutely love this valley, and will always consider it my home, even after I leave.
But leave I must.
In the fullness of time this state has devolved from being my ideal paradise into a cesspool of corrupt politics, insane social and fiscal policies, out-of-control taxation, outrageous cost of living, an inundation of illegal immigrants and welfare mooches, and a general decline in many ways to a Third-World standard of living (I’m looking at your “poop patrols”, San Fran, as well as the “homeless camps” in so many areas around the state).
On the upside, the climate and physical geography are still really nice. “So, other than that, how’d you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”
My daughter and her family decided they couldn’t afford to live here anymore, as they saw no future here for themselves, so they’re already gone. I’m on my way to join them. I have to say, I’m really looking forward to it!
Destination: Colorado. I know… you’re saying to yourselves: “Why are you going there, Brian? Why not Texas or Utah?”
In all honesty, Colorado definitely was NOT my first choice. It probably wasn’t even on my list. But the family made the decision and already acted, and there are some real upsides.
It’s really physically beautiful. No ocean, but then, the last time I went to a beach was decades ago. I’m not a “beach person.” My son-in-law landed a really good job. And second most importantly to me (after the family issue), though in many ways it reminds me politically of California back two or three decades ago, it hasn’t gone around the bend yet to sheer lunacy. So I can continue my contributions to the culture and political wars in the hope that the state will refrain from turning into Commierado.
Yes, a whole bunch of unsuspecting Dem/socialists out there are about to find out how annoying I can be when I criticize their loony leftism. I can hardly wait!
Not only that, but I’ll be getting my license to carry a concealed handgun as soon as I establish residency. Colorado’s pretty much a “gun state,” which tickles me no end. Open carry is unregulated, and permits for concealed carry must be issued to any law-abiding citizen who requests one. Now there’s “common sense” gun regulation I can love.
So, basically, I’m outta here. I’ll continue to read the online Signal daily. After all, this will always be “home” to me. I may even make the occasional submittal of material for publication, in which case the editors can decide whether to publish, even though by then I’ll be an “out-of-towner.” We’ll see how that plays out.
But for now, adios, Commiefornia!
Brian Baker is a soon-to-be-former Saugus resident.