Hello. My name is Wendy Devine. Thanks for coming by to find out more about who’s the crazy one that’s enchanted enough to design a whole website about the past, present and future of a new city. Well, that would be me. I am a retired grandmother of 4 that needed something to do. Sooo… here it is… my new hobby… that turned into a relentless passion. I am having so much fun and am truly fascinated by what I have learned about the valley that I have lived in for over 50 years.
The Santa Clarita Valley has been my home for almost my entire life. When I moved here in 1966, I was 10 years old. There were 16,000 people, 2 communities, Newhall and Saugus and a 2 lane road, Soledad Canyon, that connected them.
Dillenbeck’s was the only market for miles. They had the greatest butcher shop around. Howard and Phil’s (as in Howard “Buck” McKeon the first Mayor of Santa Clarita) was the place to buy clothes and furniture. BBQ Bills in Newhall was the only “fast food” around at the time. It wasn’t a drive through of course, but you could call them up and order in advance and go pick it up. That was pretty cool for that time. Obviously it was amazing BBQ if I am writing about it 50 years later and it hasn’t been around for 40. I was sorry to see them go by the wayside as so many family businesses did as the valley changed with progress.
I was a Navy brat up until I0, I had moved 15 times around the country following my father who was in nuclear submarines at the time. When he got out of the Navy, we settled in comfortably. It was nice to plant roots, and the quaint little town on the Santa Clara River was a great place to do it! I went to Sulphur Springs Elementary School, Sierra Vista Jr. High, Canyon High School and did a little time at College of the Canyons.
My Dad had just retired from the Navy as a nuclear submariner. It was nice to call one place home again after moving so much with his relocation assignments. Maybe that’s why I never left once we got here after moving 15 times, literally, before I was 10 years old.
Wendy, Johnny and Wesley
My two brothers and myself in 1966. We had just moved back to California and were waiting for our new home to be finished. We got a new puppy and named her “Ginger”. Mom decided it was better to get the puppy BEFORE we moved into our new house. She is a very smart woman!
Growing Up in Saugus
We were celebrating Mom and Dad’s 25th wedding anniversary. They just recently celebrated their 65th! In 1979 my Mom and Dad moved back to their home town, San Diego, CA. My older brother Wes is in Seattle, WA with his wife Bernice and the younger one Johnny is in Riverside, CA with his wife Kathy and daughter Jessica. I am the only one of my family still living in Santa Clarita.
... And Life Went On!
I got married, had two kids, and they each had two kids…. life doesn’t get better than that!
It is all about family to me!
When I got married, we moved into a tiny condo in Bouquet Canyon. I was 19 years old when I bought my first house. We paid $19,000 for it AND it came with the refrigerator… giggle… All of a sudden, it was worth $60,000 and I am a real estate baron! Real estate got into my blood in a big way.
I got my real estate license when I was 22 years old. I bought my first office when I was 28 and spent the next 30 years of my life as the owner and broker of a major real estate franchise in Santa Clarita and Acton. Along the way real estate was very, very good to me and very, very bad to me… but to be honest, I don’t think it was real estate’s fault! All in all, it was a great career. I loved the freedom it gave me to be a good mom to my kids. I retired in 2015 and haven’t looked back.
When Newhall Ranch was introduced back in the late 80’s, I had major plans as a Realtor to set up to a new fancy office over there and work in a brand new beautiful community just like Valencia! giggle… Well… that didn’t happen… but I am still fascinated by the concept of Newhall Ranch and decided to create a website about it instead.
Most of the rest of my time I spend with my family and I love every minute of it. I love just hanging out with my parents, John and Phyllis Cade in Carlsbad, CA. I am so blessed to still have them with me. I am the mother of two amazingly happy and successful kids, Travis (37) in Denver, CO and Tracy (35) in Huntington Beach, CA and the grandmother of 4 adorable little kids, 2 girls and 2 boys all 6 and under. Life is grand!
In case you are interested a few of the pictures splattered around this website are of my own family. They were just too cute not to include them… of course I would say that… don’t all grandmothers?
Then 30 years later!
My Kids, Travis and Tracy
My Dad and Mom
John and Phyllis Cade
Mike and Wendy
The love of my life!
Travis and Stephanie
Rylan and Addison
Tim and Tracy
Kate and Daniel
The love of my life, my husband Mike Devine, is a construction inspector and will retire in a couple of years. When that happens, we will hit the road to anywhere. We have a 37-foot motor home, which comfortably doubles as a home and an office on the road which we plan to spend a LOT of time in. Our first trip will be a light house tour up and down the eastern seaboard.
I know the time for Mike to retire will pass in a flash and I can’t wait to get started. I will take my camera and my computer and Mike will take his fishing poles and we will be blissful nomads on the highway. We can’t wait to get started.
The best thing about working on my website as my hobby is that I can do it anywhere in the world with a computer and a momentary wifi stop. Life doesn’t get much better than that!