The Redpath family may not turn out to be the Newsmakers of the Year for Glendale or Burbank, but at the moment, they certainly look like the bravest bunch around.
The family of four made plans last summer to give up their rented Glendale home, the father resigned from his job as a supervising sound editor for Warner Bros., and they will spend a year traveling through Europe with their two elementary-school-aged children.
When they made the decision the economy wasn’t exactly looking rosy, and in the months since, the stock market has tumbled, companies have laid off hundreds of thousands of workers, and the current and former presidents have raced to cap the damage.
Still, the Redpaths — who include father Bob, mother Brenna and kids Owen and Eleanor — have opted to go forward with their quest. They’ve even started a website where they plan to blog about their adventures over the coming year, complete with a recording of Brenna singing the Who’s “Goin’ Mobile.” The title of the blog is “From Here to Uncertainty.”
In the modern state of things, that would be an understatement.
Most of the economic news in Glendale and Burbank the last few months has been uninspiring, to say the least.
Burbank officials have asked each department to cut 5% of its budget for the coming fiscal year due to an expected $7-million deficit.
Glendale officials have begun reducing their energy usage, even subtracting some of the vehicles from the city fleet, in an effort to bring utility bills down.
The companies announcing mass layoffs in recent months read like a who’s-who of major industry names in Glendale and Burbank: Yahoo, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, the Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. among them. In times like this, most executives would be inclined to cling to what they have at home rather than make plans for an improvised, expensive trip around Europe.
But we salute them for their inspiration at a bleak moment in time. And we imagine their kids are learning a lesson or two about self-reliance in the face of uncertainty.
But then, not everyone in Burbank and Glendale is privileged enough to be an Emmy-nominated sound editor for “ER” and “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” So even as we wish the Redpaths a bon voyage, we want to encourage the less fortunate in town not to lose heart.
Our country is going through a hard time right now, but we’ve been through worse in the past and have always rebounded from it. Recent headlines have cited years in the past for comparison to our present woes — the highest job losses since 1945, the most unemployment claims since 1982. Those dates may induce chills for people who lived through them, but they also serve to remind that 1945 eventually passed, and so did 1982.
The troubles of 2009 will eventually be a memory, too. And if nothing else, we can at least be certain of that.