As we commemorate this magazine’s third anniversary with our yearly history issue, I’ve been reflecting on what the past can tell us during these troubled times. Aside from the old saying that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, why look to bygone days when the world in front of us has more than enough problems of its own? Part of the appeal, I think, is that we can draw strength and inspiration from the pioneering figures who came before us, like those in this issue’s feature article about the amazing aviation innovations that have taken place right in our own backyard. From Amelia Earhart’s urge to explore the skies to the real-life versions of Rosie the Riveter (including the Lockheed employee in our cover photo) who built planes on the home front during World War II, their courage and determination are a tonic that can fortify us to face our own current obstacles.
But, of course, there’s also a strong element of nostalgia in our fascination with history. Confronted by grim headlines and an uncertain future, who could blame us for retreating, at least briefly, into happier moments? We may not know what our neighborhood’s beloved Halloween traditions will look like this year, but we can bring you Patrick Curtis’ hilarious memories of Toluca Lake trick-or-treating in the 1940s, when mischievous local children visited the homes of entertainment luminaries like Bob Hope, Don “Red” Barry and even Dracula himself, Bela Lugosi. We hope the thrills and chills help put you in a festive mood, whatever the season brings.
We’re not just staring in the rear-view mirror, though — we’re also looking to the locals who are making history today. With most of the usual events and gatherings we cover in our Out & About section still on hold (our team keeps joking we should change the name to In & Around), we’re focusing on the people behind the scenes in our neighborhood. Since it’s harder to meet up in person these days, think of this as a virtual way to get acquainted with more of your neighbors. From LGBTQ+ pride and diverse leadership to autism awareness and community cleanups, they’re working to build a more inclusive, secure and beautiful future for all of us.
For so many local businesses, this is a perilous point in history. Now more than ever, I urge you to show your support to our advertisers, who help make this community what it is and without whom this publication would not be possible. Let’s all do what we can to keep our neighborhood thriving into the next generation.