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Letters to the Editor: ‘I think of Griffith Park as my best friend, always there, patiently waiting’

Griffith Park
Some of the trails of Griffith Park after a rainy morning in March.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: In 1989 I decided to study boxing. The first thing my stable mates told me was this: “Ruth, boxers run. We meet at the ranger station in Griifth Park at 6 a.m.” (“Our guide to Griffith Park. How to safely explore its wild, classic and hidden gems,” Sept. 4)

I am embarrassed to say how many years I had been living in Los Angeles, almost literally around the corner from the park, but never set foot in it. Running? That was something athletic types did; I was a 40-year-old woman who had come to understand the joy of exercise late in life.

Within a matter of months, the park and its inhabitants became my close friends. After running countless 5K and 10K races and completing 13 marathons, now I find it embarrassing that I had ignored the beauty of the park and all the activities that take place there.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended all of our lives. But Griffith Park remains, its existence a testimony to its myriad and enduring contributions. I think of Griffith Park as my best friend, always there, patiently waiting and available for unlimited nourishment and comfort.

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Ruth Kramer Ziony, Los Feliz

..

To the editor: Griffith Park’s history and very existence are a classic California story of beating the odds. The life of Griffith J. Griffith is another example.

Having shot his wife and spent time in San Quentin for the deed, he nevertheless returned to Los Angeles to add to his gift of 3,000-plus acres by providing funding for the Griffith Observatory and the Greek Theatre. Now we enjoy a city park with extraordinary features far beyond its natural beauty.

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Over the years much has been added for the enjoyment of the “plain people” he wanted to benefit from his gift.

There have been several efforts to exploit the park for commercial purposes that have met with resistance. But we should not treat the park as an untouchable, sacred protectorate that cannot be improved. Not everyone can or wants to hike the trails.

We should all enjoy the park and remain open to outside-the-box ideas.

William Bergmann, Hollywood


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