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How'd they do that?


Wondering at McGroarty.

Well, it's Sunland Tujunga; you knew someone would think of something. A police chopper buzzed in the air all afternoon, looking for a bad man in the Tujunga Wash; LAPD shut down Foothill, which flow-wise is a lot like Big Sur park rangers shutting down PCH. It was as though the City itself were laying one final roadblock for the community to shrug off.

But three hundred people and maybe more made it through the maze of traffic to the McGroarty Arts Center anyway for a final bluegrass, hot dog, burger and country honk celebration today, to pay their tributes to...themselves, largely, for beating the siting of a big box Home Depot store in their community.

Themselves. On this celebratatory day, the No2HomeDepot campaign leaders and local leaders alike pointed to one fact in particular over and over: that what was possible was only possible because of the special nature of the Sunland Tujunga community.

Going forward, one senses that the story will be told again. Going forward, the narrative of how it was done will be of at least some and perhaps enormous value to many groups nationwide. But whether or not the story of how Sunland Tujunga beat Home Depot will be told for politics or art, there is now a very good story out there, ready for other activist groups who might be looking for a blueprint for beating a global beheamoth when it decides to bully your backyard.

As some partygoes wandered onto the terrace of the McGroarty Center to revisit some of the voluminous press clips, others stuck to the music and the food and their day in the sun, fully aware of the fact that the real story was not to be found in the clips, but in the community itself.