The content on this website was created by Web site’s founder, Kevin Roderick, a journalist and the author of the book ”The San Fernando Valley: America’s Suburb” . In this website he provided links to articles on the secession question from newspapers around the country.
It’s the only site like it on the Valley’s past. We don’t make any profit from this website.
About Kevin Roderick
For anyone who thinks of the Valley as the last refuge of ditzy mall rats, Mr. Roderick, an unabashed Valley fan, provides ample evidence to the contrary.
Kevin spent his boyhood in Northridge. His family lived in a ranch-style house on a half-acre that not long before had belonged to a commercial walnut orchard. A pair of towering trees offered shade during the blazing summers, served as second base for a thousand pickup baseball games and kept the kitchen (and the squirrels) stocked with walnuts. Every yard on the street had at least one relic of the old grove, and many grew lemons and oranges too. Kevin and his buddies pursued the contented Valley life of baby boomer kids. They caught tadpoles in the local creek, swiped pomegranates from the neighbors’ trees and invaded construction sites to scavenge scrap wood for tree houses. Passage of the seasons was marked by the annual Northridge Stampede equestrian parade, opening day of Little League and the highlight of any year, the San Fernando Valley Fair at Devonshire Downs.
In Los Angeles, the Valley was “over the hill,” a place one visited. If you lived there, though, it—not L.A.—was your home town. Kevin’s favorite haunts were those of many teenagers at the time: the canyons and hills encircling the Valley, the Northridge Skateland roller rink, and cruising to see and be seen on Van Nuys Boulevard. Even then, stories of the Valley’s past as a ranching domain and a haven for movie stars captured his interest. It suggested a deeper, richer body of lore than typically associated with “the suburbs,” as the Valley was dismissed.
After an Army tour in Germany, Kevin studied journalism and political science at Cal State University Northridge and served as managing editor of the campus newspaper, the Sundial. After school he was hired as a reporter at the Los Angeles Times. His first beat was the Valley, where he again was fascinated by the stories he heard about the area’s history and the past you could explore just by driving around with your eyes open. His career took him away to be a writer roaming California and the West and a senior editor of the Times. But the stories of his home town always waited to be uncovered and told.
Kevin is currently a Contributing Writer for Los Angeles magazine and the editor of L.A. Observed, a website he created that reports and comments on local media, politics and culture. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Smithsonian and L.A. Architect. Kevin also is the author of a book on Wilshire Boulevard and its importance in the evolution of Los Angeles.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. He still attends the San Fernando Valley Fair most years, prefers Cupid’s Hot Dogs and laments the end of Cruise Night on the Boulevard.