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Soul of the city

Dear Editor:
Any organization or community which celebrates the new and untried while ignoring and suppressing the goodness of its past would seem to be running contrary to its best cultural interests.
The Library at Alexandria was burned in 30 BC by the conquering Romans to essentially destroy remembrances of the local soul and fabric; that act has become a symbol of “knowledge and culture destroyed”.
Currently, Downey is celebrating becoming an All-America City, adding a new sister city, adding a new billboard sign along the Santa Ana Freeway, some art in public places, downtown housing, and questionable use permits for attractions which cater to those who cause trouble to the extent that many peaceful residents will no longer walk in the downtown after dark.
All the while, the city threw Paramount Chevrolet, Spires and Arthur’s under the bus for signage noncomformities and then threw the Civic Light Opera under a train — NOT the Starlight Express. We are left to wonder what will be next to be suppressed and disappear for our own good.
Lawrence Christon’s article, “The Soul of the City” (6/26/13), seems like a very timely piece and sets me to recall that Phileas Fogg on his “Around the World in Eighty Days” journey wanted to tear apart the wooden ship and feed her to her own boiler fire.
Surely, I hope that we’re not tearing this fine city of Downey apart to feed her to her own destruction, but our priority trades seems quite sub-optimal as we trade our heritage of gold for hern from Mars (apologies to the late, great Red Skelton).
Hugh Hoskins
Downey

Dear Editor:
Lawrence Christon asks what we think of when we think Downey. Well, let’s see: I recall Johnnie’s Broiler (gone), the Meralta Theater (gone), the Avenue Theater (gone), good-paying aerospace jobs (gone), and the Civic Light Opera (gone).
At least we still have McDonald’s.
Darrell Schwier
Downey

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Published: July 4, 2013 – Volume 12 – Issue 12



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