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A Falling Out With the Natives

October 16, 1988

Regarding Paul Ciotti's article, "Fall in L.A.: A Season of Discontent" (Oct. 6): As an endangered species, the California native, I have had to stand helplessly by, not unlike the Indians when the settlers arrived, and see my state and my way of life virtually destroyed. And to add insult to injury, I have had to listen to the people who have done the destroying complain about what they had to leave "back home."

These people Ciotti interviewed--did someone hold a gun to their heads and tell them they had to move to California? No, more likely either their companies transferred them or they came on their own to reap some of the California gold. Ah, but how can this be? If they are so worried about values and traditions, how could they leave the sections of the country that are, they feel, the only places where these things exist? Can it be they left hearth and home and relatives and friends and traditions for money ? Or maybe to get away from the repression that often exists in small towns? Did the freedom of California appeal to them more than their precious trees?

Ahhh . . . trees. There was a time in the California of old that we had groves of trees that lost their leaves, but this was before the trees were destroyed to build houses for those who migrated West. We could even walk on desolate beaches and do things like drive from one county to another to see relatives for--can you believe it--family get-togethers without spending hours on traffic-snarled freeways trapped among the out-of-state license plates, hoping not to get shot at. And no, I am not a senior citizen; it was not that many years ago.

GAIL FRAHM PERKINS

Costa Mesa

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