July 02, 2013I'm belated in offering my congratulations to the Valley Center History Museum, which in June celebrated its ten-year anniversary. The museum, located on the same county campus that includes the Valley Center Library, is one of Valley Center's crown jewels. This is the place to introduce young children to the glories of local history. They will be awed by the giant California Grizzly that glowers at the entrance in all its nine-foot glory (or is it 12 feet—I don't know, but it's darned big!) If you think someone in your family was one of the original pioneers of the Valley, this is the place to start your search. Bob Lerner, Valley Center's historian, and his fellow volunteers love nothing better than saying, "Why yes, we have a file on that!" and going into their archives to find out the answers to your questions. The museum has lots of cool exhibits. For example, did you know that "Betty Crocker" once lived in Valley Center in a house that is still standing? Did you know that the first airplane flight west of the Mississippi happened in this town? Have you wondered how many stars of the Silver Screen lived in Valley Center? And did I mention that entry to the museum is free? He, he, he, haw, haw! It's not usually my way to comment favorably or unfavorably on other publications, however when I read in the Union-Tribune that Doug Manchester, owner/publisher of the paper, had been awarded the "Nice Guy, 2013" award, I'm afraid I almost lost control of my bodily functions and I definitely giggled out loud for several minutes before I calmed down. I wonder who voted on this award? The hundreds of journalists that Manchester fired both before and after he acquired the North County Times and then shut it down? The thousands of readers of that publication that no longer have a place to find out about local news? I don't know Manchester personally, but I have heard his name mentioned quite a few times over the past year or so and never in a positive context. I guess all that proves is that you don't actually have to be nice in order to be given the "Nice Guy" award.