Lombardi Ranch still intact but not unscathed

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with FastAppraisals4u

 I pulled up to Lombardi Ranch today not certain as to what I would encounter.   A couple of days after the aftermath of the Buckweed fire.  It burned a dozen or more homes and structures in it's path including Mr Lombardi's childhood home and what was to be his daughters home. 

I stepped out of my car just as Mr Lombardi was pulling out on a tractor.  I introduced myself and shared with him the fact that my daughters and I had just a week or two earlier visited his farm and bought pumpkins and enjoyed the whole experience of being there.  It is the experience of being there with those you love your kids as they light up with all the wonderment and endless possibilities many of us lose as adults..

I had to fight back tears as I was overwhelmed with emotions at the thought that my kids might never enjoy this experience again.  Another Icon of days gone past like the Drive-in movies that I used to go to with my family.  I share that drive-in experience with my kids but they don't get it, I cant blame them, but some of you out there might know what I mean.

Mr Lombardi was gracious enough to take time out to share his thoughts and to allow me to photograph the farm in the aftermath of the Buckweed Fire as there was a whole lot of clean-up to do.  Mr Lombardi was able to share some insight as to the future of Lombardi Ranch.  He's thinking he may want to retire.  He wants to pass the torch on to his kids.  He would rather have them take care of the storefronts and all the other attractions and just focus on growing the crops.  That's what he wants to do "retire" some folks would call that work.  This part of town is still somewhat rural yet close enough to enjoy the "city"  Although I didn't grow up on a farm or in the Midwest.  I was raised in Southern California but with Midwest values.  Those like when a farmer needs help, the neighboring farmers come to help.  You take care of each other.

In our struggle to make a living to impress our neighbors who in some cases you don't even like.  We don't have time for our neighbors anymore it's a dog eat dog struggle, survival of the fittest!  Some of us don't even know our neighbors even after years of living within a rocks throw from each other.

This farm represents more than a weekend of pumpkin hunting and rides.  It represents the values of hard work, family, neighbors, and community.  It is my hope that should the reins get handed down, that the Lombardi family knows it's more than pumpkins that draws families to this ranch each year. It's the experience of families doing something together in an era of electronic devices and other distractions which don't always bring us together. 

I would hate to add the Lombardi ranch experience to the drive in, and other stories I bore my kids with.

I would like to extend my hand in gratitude to the Lombardi family for the years of joy they have brought upon families here in the city of Santa Clarita.  I also would like the family to know that I will assist in any way in helping them prepare for next years crop should the need arise?.  I can help in so many different ways, how about you neighbor?  

10/31/2007 update:  The Buckweed Fire burned Approx 38,300 acres at a cost of $7.4 million to suppress.  The origin of the fire was traced back to a local child playing with matches. 

10/31/2007 The Daily News in coordination with Valleynews.com included this blog in their newspaper page A6 titled "It's more than pumpkins that draw ranch visitors"

See before and after photos of Lombardi Ranch by clicking on Lombardi Ranch before fire photos and  Lombardi Ranch After fire Photos 

 

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Anonymous
Charlyn Ripley
I was a first time visitor to Lomabardi Ranch Sunday 10/21/07. I arrived around 1:00pm. On the way down Sierra Hwy I saw a small brush fire, I did not think much of it, it seemed far enough away. It was extremely windy but I was enjoying the farm it was awesome i was thinking I will come here again. I got to go through the Sunflowers my nephew got to have his face painted.  We were then going over to the pyramid of hay were I have his picture with the fire now moving closer. We then started looking at the pumpkins while searching for our pumpkins we were notified that everyone must leave the fire was coming closer.  I was very upset to learn that the ranch had burned and that it may not open. I send my deepest symphathy.
Oct 24, 2007 02:03 PM #1
Rainer
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Pablo Santibanez
FastAppraisals4u - Santa Clarita, CA

Hi Charlyn,

Mr Lombardi told me they would be opening again in the next few days but limiting things to just selling pumpkins. I will be uploading the most recent photos of the fire damage. Thanks for sharing your experience there

Oct 24, 2007 02:38 PM #2
Anonymous
Shannon
I was just online emailing Lombardi to extend our full support whether it be a donation or better yet get our hands dirty to help rebuild whatever they need at the ranch.  we were just there on saturday and everytime i look at the pumpkin i want to cry.  my daughter rode her first horse here (she is almost 2).  it is a family tradition in a time where traditions are often overlooked by faster moving things like disneyland, etc.  this time to be outside and take our time at the farm is so important.  i believe the ranch is a landmark to our community and we should all do what we can.  i feel terrible Mr. Lombardi and his family lost their homes.  I'm relieved to hear not all is lost on the Ranch. 
Oct 24, 2007 04:53 PM #3
Rainer
35,499
Pablo Santibanez
FastAppraisals4u - Santa Clarita, CA
Thanks Shannon, I couldn't have said it better!
Oct 24, 2007 08:11 PM #4
Anonymous
Rosanna
I was born and raised in Santa Clarita, my family has lived there since it's beginning and most of them still do.  We no longer live in California but we make a special trip every year just to still take our children to Lombardi's.  It was a tradition we experienced when we lived there and we have gone out of our way to pass it on to our children.  Telling my son's that we are going to Lombardi's is like telling them we are going to Disneyland.  They love it.  I hope that the family knows how much their hard work means to us and our kids.  I pray we still get to make a special trip to Lombardi's next year.  This year we went the weekend before the fire and we are so grateful we did.  They had a wonderful set up this year that was better than I have ever seen, I so sad others missed it.
Oct 25, 2007 03:35 AM #5
Rainer
35,499
Pablo Santibanez
FastAppraisals4u - Santa Clarita, CA

Thanks Rosanna,

It's people like you, Shannon, and Charlyn sharing your experiences that will hopefully inspire the Lombardi family to press on.  The more people sharing similar sentiments will let the family know that it is more than just picking a pumpkin there, it's the family experience, memories made there we all cherish.  The Lombardy family matters and what they are doing matters.  Thank you so much for sharing your experience.  My girls also equate the trip to Lombardy Ranch up there with "Disneyland"  Take care

Oct 25, 2007 03:57 AM #6
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