Waiting in line at the Valley Center library, the gentleman in front of me was checking out books on Amsterdam, and a few other cities. He told the librarian that Valley Center just didn't have "that urban ambience" he was yearning for....I casually mention that if he really wanted urban ambience, he could go stand in the casino parking lot. That didn't go over well. I guess ambience is a relative term. I spoke of concrete and exhaust fumes. Perhaps he wanted something beyond the high school's production of "Oliver".

Culture? The library sits isolated in acres of open fields, surrounded by agri-culture. Well, we don't have the art museums of a large city or the artistic performances supported by high ticket prices. We do have public radio and a small history museum with a very large stuffed grizzly bear (a former resident of the Wild Animal Park, meant to represent the last California grizzly bear killed in Guejito Valley). And you can watch the light filter through the oak trees in a never-ending kaliedescope of color and sky. No city dweller can lay claim to the family of acorn woodpeckers with their raucous calls and colorful flights of black, white and red, or the midnight chorus of great horned owls calling to each other across the valley.

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