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L.A.: Love It or Leave It

February 23, 1986

Carol Schmidt's indictment of urban living sounds like the sour grapes of a country mouse. You can take the girl out of the country, but . . . well, you get the picture. Schmidt would be equally discontent in Washington, New York or Dallas. Yet her pen lashing of Los Angeles stings one who hates to see this lovely metropolis overflow its basin with ingrates. After reading Schmidt's decision to trade overcrowded Los Angeles for her rural, native Michigan, I can only hand her her country-mouse apron and say, "Good luck and good riddance."

She yearns to return to a 20-acre, $30,000 farm in Michigan, bemoaning Los Angeles real estate values pushed beyond her budget by the influx of people. Since arriving in L.A. 16 years ago, hasn't she been one of those people? I, too, wish I could reclaim my great-grandfather's rural Los Angeles farm. Unfortunately, I cannot, as it houses a whole city of people who, like Schmidt, came in search of the good life and stayed. If she and all the rest of her ilk had stayed in their hometowns instead of invading mine, I could probably afford a house on Mt. Washington, where Schmidt lives and suffers, or even a house in the neighborhood where I grew up.

. . . She and her fellow immigrants crowd and then criticize our freeways. They flock here to benefit from our superior educational system, to enjoy our weather and cultural advantages, then they deplete our natural resources and befoul our air before pronouncing paradise despoiled and taking their leave.

Well, I applaud Schmidt's decision to get out of this "insane asylum" she helped make insane. She was part of the problem, now she can be part of the solution. But I think it only sporting that she take a couple of million people with her.

MARGARET PALMER

Redondo Beach

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