A reader invites the Reader to Scripps Ranch

Plus some info for the nerdy hiker

Robert Dingeman: "The people who live in apartments are different. They don’t have children.”
  • Robert Dingeman: "The people who live in apartments are different. They don’t have children.”
  • Image by Matthew Suárez

Scripps Ranch was a real ranch

Re: “Once upon a time: Scripps Ranch,” cover story.

 "In the great Cedar Fire, none — repeat, none — of the eucalyptus trees torched."

"In the great Cedar Fire, none — repeat, none — of the eucalyptus trees torched."

Your article is a collection of sarcastic comments that only slash and burn. God forbid you write something positive that would skew the picture you paint of a boring, pretentious, exclusive, and self-serving neighborhood.

My husband and I have lived in Scripps Ranch for 45 years. We passed over Encinitas, Clairemont, O.B., and Alpine to live in Scripps Ranch. We picked out our lot and watched the house in which we still live being built. Our children grew up here and we are now grandparents. We remember the Little Bear Store with its wooden boardwalk where Vons off of Scripps Ranch Boulevard is now located.

Yep, we are old-timers. Yes, once upon a time Scripps Ranch was a real ranch with real cows and real deer and real rattlesnakes. We old-timers remember when there were real tree frogs everywhere, too. I don’t know what kind of “ranch” you expected to find, but I never thought a cowboy and cowgirl lifestyle on horseback riding the range is what I should experience living here. I certainly don’t feel like I am disappointing anyone that I am not Annie Oakley.

Don’t get me started on “Community activism” that you claim is only “white bread and white picket fences.” I cannot recount all the ways that our neighbors work to help our community and its citizens and communities and people everywhere. One example is that our grandson’s Scripps Ranch Boy Scout Troop recently collected and organized two truckloads of donations for disaster victims and the homeless. In addition, the boys and their families donated over 200 dollars to help Scouts in Northern California replace uniforms and materials that were lost in the wildfires. Our grandson gave his own money as well as the rest of the family contributing to the cause.

Have you looked around to see how many families have adopted abused and abandoned pets and given them loving homes — dogs and cats and birds that would otherwise have suffered and been killed? Our neighbors adopted an abused puppy without a tail and only one eye and a broken pelvis. The dog is now a sweet, lively, and loving animal. Designer clothes, designer pets, and a designer lifestyle are not the norms we encounter living here. By the way, how many white picket fences do you see in Scripps Ranch?

Bob Dingeman may literally scurry about in a walker, but figuratively he walks TALL. He is “Mr. Scripps Ranch.” His life of dedication and service is an inspiration. His impact on our community is profound. He still quietly spearheads the “obsession which we have with schools, real estate and traffic issues in our Anytown, Anystate.” We are blessed to have men and women step up and take the reins and work diligently to establish and preserve a way of life that strives to bring out the best in people.

Your comment that “mass media labels such as ‘soccer mom’ come to hideous fruition” in Scripps Ranch is not only an ugly expression of bumper sticker mentality, it also is naïve. The powerful primordial force of parent boosters everywhere diminishes the claim to fame of “soccer moms” in Scripps Ranch. Anyway, what is so hideous about enthusiastically supporting your child in an endeavor?

Our neighborhood has changed, and it is now filling up with young families and young children, which is a delight. Instead of being ostracized because we are old and ridiculed for scurrying around, we are always part of the scene. The Scripps Ranch that I know is inclusive. We enjoy potlucks, block parties, progressive dinners, Neighborhood Watch activities, civic events, and the vast selection of eclectic clubs and organizations available to residents and their friends. If you attend these events, you would see a rich cultural, vocational, and personal diversity. In our block, eight families speak a language other than English: Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, Swedish, Norwegian, and Tswana.

We don’t have an “HOA Babbittry” to deal with. The drought has crisp-fried once-green yards because of water conservation measures, but the landscaping police aren’t out and about ticketing houses and arresting families who have wrecked visions of curb appeal.

My husband mountain bikes, and we hike a lot. In our dotage we get out and walk the trails that are open and inviting everywhere in Scripps Ranch. I look askance at “big yellow machines that, by the 1990s, had — to a chorus of silence — graded, plowed, and flattened the place to make it safe for tract homes.” Our daughter and her friends visit us often to ride the GREAT trails around Scripps Ranch.

Moss Gropen, you can join them any time you want and they will take you on as much as a 17-mile-or-more ride on different single tracks through forests and canyons around Scripps Ranch.

  • Svea Carroll
  • Scripps Ranch

For the nerdy hiker

Your November 30 article on Carlsbad Oaks and North Business Park trails [“Gaze at oaks from your business park,” Roam-O-Rama] identifies various species of flora by both vernacular and scientific names. Vernaculars, such as scrub oak, are patently descriptive, but the Latin scientific binomials tend to be gibberish, even to many botanists.

Quercus dumosa was thought to be the most widely distributed scrub oak.

Quercus dumosa was thought to be the most widely distributed scrub oak.

And so for the curious or just plain nerdy hiker: inland scrub oak, Quercus berberidifolia, barberry-leafy oak; desert scrub oak, Quercus [c]ornelius-mulleri, Cornelius Muller’s oak; scrub oak, Quercus dumosa, bramble-bushy oak; coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia, field-leafy oak; Indian fig cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica, Indian-fig paddle cactus, from the ancient Greek city Opus; caster [sic] bean, Ricinus communis, common castor oil plant; black mustard, Brassica nigra, black cabbage; tocolote (or Maltese star thistle), Centaurea melitensis, Maltese Centaur plant, so-named for Chiron’s use of a flower of this genus to heal wounds.

  • E. N. Genovese
  • San Diego

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Take that, Moss Gropen, for your unwarranted snarky piece on Scripps Ranch. If you still live there, better wear shades and a hat when you visit the five and dime.

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