A reduction in size and changes in parking and traffic management
have already began to yield positive results at the Orange Coast
College swap meet. I think everybody will notice more changes in the
next two months or so, but we will never be able to change some
community members' minds about our swap meet. They are the hard-core
ones who try to hide their hatred behind parking, traffic, trash and
other superficial issues. These people are willing to put up with
traffic and noise on Bear Street or Bristol Street or 17th Street,
and motorcycle racing at the fair grounds, etc. They love to enjoy
some of the OCC Performing Arts programs or community education that
the swap meet revenue helps to support, but they don't like the way
OCC gets revenue to support these programs.
Our hard-line critics don't like Mexicans, and that's the bottom
line. I know because I have spoken to many of them and when they say
"we don't need that element in our community" I know they are not
referring to Norwegians or Scotsmen.
Our swap meet serves many different members of our local and
extended community. People who like the swap meet really love it, and
people who do not like it really hate it. That's life. Orange Coast
College gives more to Costa Mesa and the surrounding communities than
any other community organization and it does many of these things
with revenue it earns from the swap meet. No organization is more
concerned about this community than OCC.
OCC is determined to do everything required to be a good neighbor.
Respectable members of our community need to know how much the
college gives back to the community and what really is motivating our
critics. All the residents of our community benefit from the OCC swap
meet and we all need it to continue.
I can sympathize with the people of Costa Mesa who live around the
swap meet, but I think they have made it a bigger problem than it
really is. My son and I have operated at the swap meet for the last
six or seven years and we never noticed what all the complaints are
And yet I don't deny it. It could possibly be happening but, by
and large, most of the swap meet people who work there are pretty
conscientious about cleaning up the mess after it's over with. We do.
In our case, we're selling clothing that's brand new, but maybe had a
fault or two and allowed poor people in the area to have some decent
clothing for a change.
I'm awfully sorry if some of the swap meet people got out of hand
and did something wrong, because I thought it was an excellent swap
meet and well controlled, both by the police and by the people who
ran the swap meet. Parking, yeah, it was a problem, but I never saw
it as an insurmountable problem.
I feel that they should have it. I seldom ever go, but I know
people that do. I think people go as families and I enjoyed it the
few times I ever went and I think everybody does. As long as it's
carefully handled and properly regulated, it should be all right.
MRS. EARL SCHAFER
I do think we should continue the OCC swap meet and that we should
all live and let live.