I came to higher education later in life and found myself with classmates at Cal State Los Angeles and USC much younger than I. I emerged from Cal State with a degree in Journalism and from USC with a Masters in Public Administration. After graduation, I taught classes part-time at these universities.
Professionally, I am a peace officer; that is, I spent 35 years as a deputy in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, retiring at last with the rank of chief.
I now enjoy writing columns for The Friday Flyer. I write about wildlife, travel and our community restaurants. I am fortunate to live in a place that has not quite driven out all of its wild inhabitants. I call these and all wildlife I encounter my wild, wild pets. It is far more interesting to watch wild creatures doing what they do in their natural habitat than watching them do nothing in a cage.
My travel stories stem from journeys to various parts of the world. With my wife, Dorothy, and most treasured critic of things I write, I have shared great travel adventures and I chronicle them for myself and my community newspaper.
We have lived in Canyon Lake for 30 years. Over the years, I have written publicity for the Travel Club and the Fine Arts Guild. I am currently a member of the board of directors for the Chamber of Commerce.
I am now a contributing author with a new publishing company, Reader Publishing Group (readerpublishing.com). I have begun many novels over the years and only recently completed one. I have just learned that my first novel will publish this month.
We have two sons. Mark, his wife, Jill, and our grandson, Daniel, are missionaries in Romania. In a rare visit they will be with us during these holidays. Our younger son, Jeff, his wife Becky and our grandsons Kenny and Zach, live in Simi Valley. Jeff is an executive with Farmers Insurance. We will all be together this year at Christmas. Needless to say, this will be our best Christmas gift of all.
In spite of the seemingly neverending political conflicts, Canyon Lake remains for us a wonderful place to live. Merry Christmas, Canyon Lake, we are looking forward to a more tranquil New Year.
A white Christmas for the Cable family
Dreaming of a “White Christmas” is all most of us who were born and raised in Los Angeles County could do all our lives. Bing Crosby’s timeless song, stories about Frosty the Snowman, Jack Frost, the Night before Christmas were as close as we could get to a snowy Christmas Eve. We made do with cotton snow under a tree glittering with tinsel icicles; and so it remained until about 10 years ago when we were able to make the dream come true.
At that time, we still owned our apple ranch in the western High Sierras just south of Sequoia National Park. Buckhorn ranch is located about 5,000 feet up a mountain and enjoys all four seasons. This meant snow in the wintertime – often lots of it. It took some planning, but we decided we would have Christmas in our cabin and, at last, have that white Christmas we’d been dreaming about all our lives.
Our son, Mark, daughter-in-law, Jill, and grandson, Daniel, were serving their church as missionaries in Romania and could not be with us. However, our son, Jeff, daughter-in-law, Becky, and grandsons, Kenny, 7, and Zach, 3, were not so far away. Plans were made, supplies gathered, wrapped presents boxed up and off we went two days before Christmas.
This was to be as old-fashioned a Christmas as we could make it. This meant trudging into the woods to find and cut a tree. It meant making a colorful paper chain and a garland of popcorn and cranberries. Other ornaments made by the kids were already in good supply.
It was Christmas Eve day when we set out to find just the right tree in our woods. Armed with a saw, a hatchet and two helpers, Jeff set out for the woods, searching for just the right conifer. The kids were eager to help. Their first choice was a gnarly old 40-foot Coulter pine with an 18-inch diameter trunk. Another was a spindly 10-footer that had been thrashed by buck deer knocking the velvet off their horns during the recent rutting season. The search went on.
Then they found it, standing alone at the edge of the pasture. After a quick vote by the grandsons (it was unanimous), their dad cut it down and trimmed the lower trunk to fit in a bucket used as a base. Each kid got to wield the hatchet in the trimming process. In the interest of fingers, this activity was limited.
Then the boys dragged the tree down the hill through the snow to the cabin. This involved lots of horseplay on the way, but they eventually made it to the cabin door.
All but a few of the decorations for the tree were handmade: colored paper garland, popcorn-cranberry strings, paper ornaments. Some light strings were added and we were ready.
Christmas Eve saw us gathered after dinner in the cabin living room. The young tree hunters had their cup of hot chocolate with a marshmallow floating in it; adults shared a bottle of wine. Each kid got to pick one wrapped gift from under the tree to open before bedtime. Then it was time to settle down for the night and wait for Santa.
It didn’t snow during the night but there was a blizzard of ribbons, bows and wrapping paper swirling through the cabin next morning. After breakfast, it was out in the snow to play until the turkey was ready at dinner time. We packed up and headed home the next day, satisfied that we had made Bing’s dream come true – at least for us.
I keep watching the sky here in Canyon Lake every Christmas Eve. Seems kind of futile, but, hey, you never know.