Hawthorne Happenings June 7, 2018

News for the City of Good Neighbors from Norb Huber

Holly Park Homeowner’s Association Pancake Breakfast
The Holly Park Homeowners will once again be hosting a pancake breakfast fundraiser on Saturday, June 16th at Olivet Lutheran Church, located on Imperial Highway just east of Crenshaw Blvd.  Mark your calendars for this fun event. It’s the day before Fathers Day so take your dad out for breakfast a day early.

John Baker Memorial Cruise Night
Join other Hawthorne Cougar Alums at a very special night at Foster’s Freeze on Hawthorne Blvd.  In memory of John Baker, there will be a cruise night on Saturday, July 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. Come out and get reunited with your HHS friends. Cougartown is alive and well.   

The Less I Know, The Better It Is
I have tried to be non-partisan in my City Clerk’s position and in the writing of this column but I can’t hold back any longer.  Watching sports has been a favorite release for me for many years.  But, now some superstar athletes are telling me that we live in a terrible nation. Our leaders are bad. The cops are racists. The American flag doesn’t represent them. I have trouble rooting for players or teams who I disagree with.  I don’t watch the NFL any longer and now the NBA is getting involved. If America is so bad, then why don’t these billionaires find another country where they can make so much money shooting a basketball through a hoop?  If you don’t wish to be honored at the White House then great.  I would rather have a president concerned more about North Korea than shaking your hand. Just dribble and let me decide who to vote for.   

My Life in the City of Good Neighbors (Part #2)
On Sundays I started teaching a bible class at Trinity Lutheran for the college and career singles group.  I ended up marrying one of my students.   Linda was this beautiful, German girl who was working at the corporate offices of Continental Airlines out behind LAX.  My first extended airplane trip was to fly first class to Hawaii for our honeymoon.  We borrowed money from Linda’s parents for a down payment on a two bedroom house on Eucalyptus in Hawthorne never expecting to end up living there for 38 and one-half years and raising our three kids there. We added on to our house twice and Home Depot became my home away from home.

As our children grew up, youth sports was a big part of our lives.  The friends we made out on the soccer field have lasted for decades. Following five years of teaching and coaching at Trinity, I became the very first varsity Girls’ basketball coach at Leuzinger High School and the next year took over the boys program.  But, God had other plans for me.  The very day that Centinela Valley Union High School District laid me and six other teachers off, I was called to become principal of Good Shepherd Lutheran School on Arbor Vitae Street in Inglewood.  Just a couple of years later we started South Bay Lutheran High School. For several years I was the principal of both schools with the high school serving South Central Los Angeles families looking for a Christian high school for their young adult.   We started a thrift shop on Prairie Avenue to supplement the tuition at the high school. On April 30, 1992, our shop was the only store front in Hawthorne to be completely destroyed by arson during the Rodney King Riots. This senseless act was so paradoxical, to think that our shop was the target of racial violence when the school had the sole purpose of providing a chance for African American teenagers to have success in higher education and life.  Over the years, I started to get involved with the civic activities of my city, first with the Ramona Neighborhood Association.  This is when I began to see the political landscape of Hawthorne.  I wrote a campaign flyer opposing the heavy handed rule of the city council majority at the time.  They didn’t take too kindly to my pointed accusations and one of the council members told me directly from the council dais that he had the right to “jump over the speaker’s podium and punch my lights out”.  That incident kind of bit me and led me to run for the office of City Clerk.  I tried my best not to be like other typical politicians and not get involved with the back biting and nastiness that goes along with being elected. I have served under four mayors with two of them being indicted and one of them never paying the rent to live in his abode. I have seen the city’s operations being shut down with a bombardment of worldwide outrage over one of our police officers defending himself by shooting an attacking dog. The social media craze cast a dark, false shadow over one of the best police departments in the country.  (To be continued.)

Email norb at norbhuber@gmail.com