Dear County Supervisor Ridley-Thomas –
My name is Scott deBeaubien, and I grew up here in Los Angeles. I didn’t spend all my life here, but I’ve recently moved back after living 20 years in other cities (Seattle and Denver). I left as a “Man of the world” and come back as a born again believer in Jesus Christ. I don’t know your status as a believer, but that’s not what I need to talk to you about today.
I just read an article in the Los Angeles Times from 2012 about the closing of “El Fig” Stables on Figueroa and El Segundo Blvd. Here is the article link:
I read that you were prominently involved in the closing of this “Historic” stables and so I needed to talk to you about it. Many years ago, about 30 I believe, I was just a newly reborn person so-to-speak. I had recently been through a drug and alcohol treatment program and I was less than a year clean and sober when I went to work for a horse doctor named Larry Kelly. His practice was in Lomita and Rolling Hills primarily, but we went to “El Fig” on occasion. I have to admit the first time I went there all I saw was the filth, and the decrepit conditions, and the horses that somehow “Survived” amid all that seeming squalor.
But then, the “Doc” changed my vision of that place with a simple statement. He told me: “That’s their Ponderosa Ranch. It’s all they have.” My head did a spin, and I realized he had given me the key to unlock the beauty of that place. You would call that a “Paradigm shift.” That place was an island of hope in the mass of inner city garbage around it. In the neighborhoods around there, even 30 years ago, there were gangs and drugs and prostitution and filth and violence that most folks shudder to think about.
And you must realize that even at that time, El Fig had been there for about 100 years, so there was this “Historic” place where inner city “Cowboys” and “Vaqueros” were born, and where they hung out and had their dreams and had their escape from the reality of the harsh world around them. You see, what Doc did for me was he opened my eyes to see the reality of that place, to look past what our normal eyes would see as poverty, and disease and filth and squalid conditions, when I looked past all that I saw hope.
And Mr. Supervisor, you killed that hope. You helped kill the dream for many young people.
Why did you do that? Why didn’t you see? Those were your people! They looked up to you for help and assistance! You could have turned it around by investing in that place, helping to clean it up and solve the problems, rather than simply saying “We need to burn this place down and put up condominiums” or a strip mall, or a liquor store, whatever it was that got built there. It’s probably still empty today, two years later.
And I am very sad for you. You missed a great opportunity to serve your community. Instead, you chose the wide road of corruption and “Politics.”
I am praying for you even now that your eyes will be opened to what you missed. I cried when Doc Kelly told me what he said to me that day. It changed my heart. I pray the Lord changes your heart today too.
I pray blessings on you and your family today too.
p.s. If you’re ever in the South Bay on a Sunday (or a Friday or Saturday night), please come by and join us for worship at Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach. We love to have sinners like you come and join us. I’m kidding, we’re all sinners. Jesus is in the heart changing business is all I’m really saying. My firm belief is that it’s never too late for any of us. He changes our hearts, and beautiful things start to happen.