What Do You Mean “Traffic Gate?”
When I first came to Hidden Hills in 1979, I was quite excited about living “behind gates.” The only experience I had behind gates was when I was a child under the age of 10. It was summer and my older brother and I were anxious to get out and have the run of the neighborhood. That’s when my mother, Warden Mildred, decided that Polio was moving at an epidemic speed and we were not allowed out the front gate of the house in West Los Angeles for the entire summer. So I lived behind gates, with the key word being lived. I knew at least one kid who didn’t make it and my mother once again proved to be right.
Now I was taking my second trip behind gates and was looking forward to it. It seemed special. One night while I was still living in Woodland Hills and rebuilding my house in Hidden Hills, I received a call from a neighbor-to-be telling me my barn was on fire. I dropped the phone, jumped in my car and headed to Hidden Hills. When I got to the main gate on Long Valley, the gates were open because the fire engine was ahead of me.
My property was on the corner of Long Valley and Clear Valley roads, and the fire was almost out when I got there. I stayed awhile and then left the same way I came. I noticed that the gate was open and no guard was around. The next day I stopped by the Admin building to find out what happened to the guard and the gate. Out of nowhere, the lady in the building hit me with the most awful and dream killing news: “We do not have security gates here; we have traffic gates! We control traffic during the day and when traffic ceases around 5 or 6 p.m. we open the gates and let the residents, and others, come in. On Friday and Saturday nights we keep the gates down until 11 or 12 p.m. and then open them.”
After the shock wore off, I began questioning life because not only did we not have security gates we didn’t even have Starbucks! (This was before they were in existence, but I needed something).
Fast forward 3 to 5 years or thereabouts (my memory is starting to take after my hair), the city decided we needed full time gates. My dream was revived, but not quite yet. Turns out that we had residents who were opposed to full-time gates. I tried to argue with them by saying that the property would go up in value, but they wouldn’t listen. Obviously listening is overrated to them. They threatened to drive through the gates if they were there all the time. In fact some of these __________ (You fill in the blank) actually did drive through the gates and break them. But after they were fined they found peace in their life and stopped the behavior.
All residents were given a window sticker so the guard would see them and open the gate. The sticker had the ubiquitous Hidden Hills horseman on horse back with the words “Hidden Hills” around the circular sticker. Please remember that my memory hasn’t improved since I commented on it earlier. I could be only 97% accurate in this report.
At the time of the installation of full-time gates we had only the front gate and the back gate. Next came the Burbank gate, which went in because of the development on the east side of our fair city that was breaking ground in the 1990’s. I believe the Burbank gate went in before the turn of the century, but it could have been on this side of the century as well.
Next came automation with a black stripe on your car’s side window that would activate and open the gate. No more button pushing for the guards! At least not for the residents. That happened, I believe, in 2006 and around the end of the first decade of the 21st century (remember the first century was year 1 to 99) we really became the aristocrats with transponders opening the gates for us. Take that Bell Canyon!!
What’s next for the gates? Will we be able to open them with our Apple watch? Will we be able to let guests in who email us there on the flight path and will reach the gates in 74 seconds? Do we just handle this with are handheld whatever? Could life be any better than this?
Stay focused because I am going to tell you about our Out Of This World baseball team in my next report from the View!
Roger Schlesinger is second generation born and raised in Southern California. He attended Beverly Hills High School with two other Hidden Hills residents and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts from U.C.L.A in Economics and M.B.A from U.S.C. in Finance. Roger became a stock broker, a commercial rehab developer and finally a realtor-turned-mortgage broker by accident. He was on the Business Channel for most of the 1990s, and radio since 1997. In 2000, he went onto the Hugh Hewitt show nationwide for 14 years discussing mortgages and finance as the MortgageMinuteGuy. Today, Roger can still be found on local radio, working in mortgages, writing books or reminiscing about Hidden Hills for “Roger’s View.”