Herb Caen--50-Year Prophet of 'The City'

It was sad to read about Herb Caen's declining love for San Francisco. Finally he has had to acknowledge the drastic changes that have turned his beloved city into something not nearly as wonderful or desirable as it once was.

Longtime residents of Los Angeles have very similar feelings regarding this once fine and beautiful city. They say that time changes everything but these changes certainly shouldn't have been this bad.

For a great many years, Los Angeles, like San Francisco, was a beautiful, classy city. A high level of quality was maintained in our societies because there were strong controls over environment, immigration and morals. Somewhere along the way our government officials lost control.

Great journalists like Herb Caen, The Times' Jack Smith, and many others frequently used their columns to warn their readers about this fast developing condition but the responsible people failed to take heed. They, like the rest of us longtime residents are ashamed of the messy legacy we are leaving to our children. And it is an even greater shame our younger generation never had an opportunity to see these cities when they were so beautiful.

CLARENCE W. HAYWARD

Los Angeles

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