The security fencing at the Pacoima Wash is still in need of improvement. People including the unhoused, are still entering the wash area. (SFVS/S.Smith)

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  1. This wash was a constant reminder of my childhood living on Griswold in the 60’s – 70’s. Our friends lived on Eighth Street while we were from the Griswold side. For school, play or just to get to one another’s houses quickly we always used this route. While we knew of the dangers using this as a short cut, parents lectured us on not crossing there many times, but kids being kids, we used it anyway. There were either two ways to get to the other side; one was to walk slowly along the north part of the stream, which was very slippery with the moss that grew on the concrete. That meant having to have someone else with you to hold hands with as you balanced yourself. The second way was to jump the flowing stream of water while facing south, then jumping once more going north, and climbing up the rocky wash toward Eight Street. Many times on the return the water in the basin was increased making the jumps more of a challenge when crossing. In fact, during our years using that short cut, one friend actually slipped in some shallow water, but the currant was strong and the floor of the channel was extremely slippery. Our friend got carried away and was ,rescued by the fire department, where if made headlines) as they got her somewhere in Arleta. She was bruised and very sore, but she worked hard at keeping her head out of the water. Since the neighborhood kids reached driving age, there was no use for the wash anymore. That is until the next generation of kids used it. The sad part is the fact that the family of young Elias has lived in the front house my father rented out, and his mother was born just two years before my family moved from the area. Since the grandparents of young Elias were just beginning their family, they most likely had no need to pay attention with the use of this shortcut by the neighborhood kids. This story was very emotional for my family as well.

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