Maybe in a few years I'll look back at this and reflect.
Newhall Memorial Rededication Ceremony
The car was at the memorial rededication ceremony at the Newhall office for the four officers that lost their lives in 1970, although this event is 47 years old it resonates through law enforcement training to this day. I drove down the night before and parked the car in my parents garage, that morning I rolled the car out and met up with Ron who was also taking his car. The two cars were invited as they are the same year as the cars the officers were driving that night.
Once there the cars were placed and we proceeded to clean the cars up and get them dressed in their show goods, (remove the "Not In Service" signs and put the reproduction CHP plates on), initially they were going to place both cars in the driveway reminiscent of the way the cars were that night. Because of lack of space they chose to place my car up next to the seating area.
The ceremony was nice, they talked little about the Newhall Incident and the impact it has had. The families were recognized and the supporters thanked for helping build the new memorial. Prior to the ceremony I had mentioned we were taking the cars down the street to where the incident happened so we could take some pictures. After the ceremony I was greeted by one of the family members asking how long we'd have the cars there, I told them as long as there were people there.
We drove down the street a couple miles to the location that has gone through some changes since 1970. The road that was there in 1970 was now a frontage road and when we got there we found the property fenced off including the road. At first I stopped and stared at the gate thing now what, then I realized the gate wasn't locked so I got out and opened the gate. Previously I had taken an aerial photograph of the incident taken in 1970 and superimposed it over the current aerial and was able to accurately place the two cars in the same location the cars were that night. The cars were pointed at the curb where a driveway once was then the family stated to show up.
I showed them the photographs and indicated the cars were very close to where the cars were, pointed out the various landmark locations of the 1970 items often referred to. When I swept my arm in a circle around me in front of the cars indicating that this was the spot where the action was they got quiet and looked at each other, till now they only knew the business location but nothing that specific. I feel that meant a lot to them, other family gathered and I let them have their moment.
The time came and we took the cars back to the office where the seating had been cleaned up so were able to get pictures of the cars by the new memorial and in front of the office.
Not far from here is an area known to have lots of California Poppies so we set out to see if we could locate an area that we could get pictures of the cars with a poppy background, after some driving we basically gave up, on the way back we stopped at a road cut where there were some on the embankment but hardly noticeable. A beautiful ending to an emotional day.