I made the San Fernando Valley my home,

Just like Bing sang it in a song in the Forties;

Roy sang it too and so did Frank,

They all had hits and sang riding to the bank.


I arrived in a car in nineteen sixty-one,

with a husband and baby–(a one year old son).

and a crib and an ironing board tied to the roof,

We were a sight to see and slightly uncouth.


We rented a duplex on Screenland drive,

In Burbank, close to Hollywood Way,

I walked wit the baby up the street,

to visit bookstores and shops every day.


We were poor as church-mice but happy to be

in the land of golden opportunity–

No one had food stamps or welfare checks,

We got by on our own and did what it takes.

We ate a lot of homemade soup,

In a pot that would last a week

And watched Soupy Sales on a little tv

and visited Knotts Berry Farm–it was free.


That was the start of a brand new life,

I wrote poems on a small Smith-Corona,

a portable typewriter–not electric,I wasn’t ready to be selective.


But I sold some poems and then got a job,,

Downtown L.A. at Hollywood and Vine;

It took three buses to get to work,

I didn’t drive and I went berserk,


Back In Ohio in sixty three,

to await the birth of a son,

What was I thinking? That things would get better?

We didn’t fool anyone.


December found us driving back West

Now with an infant and toddler,

We rented an apartment near Warner Brothers,

I went to work for Weber Aircraft.

Years have gone by but through it all

The San Fernando Valley was home;

I  knew every street from east to west

From north to south, on my own.

I could tell you what streets didnt go through,

ere the shops were the best,

I knew where our favorite restaurants were,

And the best DMV for your test.


And now I have left my valley behind,

thought I know in my heart there can be

none quite as fine as this very first one

In the San Fernando valley

Sandra Lee Smith

Originally posted April 14, 2010

Updated August 22, 2018




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