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Cassity: Costa Mesa is a blessed (and better) place

July 05, 2012|By Chuck Cassity
  • Chuck Cassity
Chuck Cassity

Editor's note: Longtime Costa Mesa resident Chuck Cassity has agreed to write a twice-monthly column for the Daily Pilot. This is his first.

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In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth. Oh, wait a minute. That goes back several billion years too far. Let me start again.

In the beginning God created a tabletop mesa near — but not on — the sea, several miles long and wide in the very best part of what would become Southern California.

It was nearly flat, perfectly situated for the thousands of homes and flourishing businesses and the broad, paved streets that would follow.

It was blessed with pleasant, onshore Mediterranean breezes, a land rich with deep, black soil, ablaze with natural grasses and wildflowers and just bursting with potential for what would follow.

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And this is what followed:

First to inhabit this area were the Lukup. These were a hardy bunch of Native Americans who made a living here harvesting shellfish and small game animals. They hung out around this little piece of paradise from about 1,500 B.C. until the mid-1750s.

That's when some Spanish padres decided that this area was a target-rich environment for potential converts to Christ. They came in droves and began proselytizing 24-7.

They built a chain of missions up and down the coast and planted vineyards at key locations. The converting thing was hard work, so having a little fruit of the vine while kicking back in the evening was a good thing, even for a padre.

Later, shepherds found the area prime for grazing their cattle, sheep and goats. Then the pioneers started to arrive, followed by farmers and merchants and bankers. The community of Goat Hill happened, then Harper. People came in droves looking for a better life for themselves and their families.

A hundred years or so later, the area morphed into the bright, bustling city of Costa Mesa, which brings us to the modern day.

We, the Costa Mesa residents, are the recipients of all the groundwork that has gone on before. I believe ours is a truly blessed place. Very near the ocean but not troubled by being situated directly on it (no fighting for parking spots with those pesky out-of-towners), we have arguably the best climate in all of SoCal. Close access to freeways, rail and airports gives us a competitive advantage over most other area cities.

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