Harlan Pedersen


sailing, travel, California


Sixty miles east of Los Angeles, along the Santa Ana River near the community of Robidoux, lies the little Flabob Airport. Because of its difficult approach, it's a challenge to pilots in training and a good place to land for Sunday lunch, particularly on a clear winter's day with the snow-capped San Bernardinos off to the north. One-half mile off the departing end of the Flabob runway, one views a familiar Southern California sight; the inevitable encroachment of more housing tracts. As one of those pilots in training on a bright Sunday morning, I found my curosity aroused when my attention focused on the middle of one of these tracts. There, and only clearly evident from the air, stood a cleared field of about 40 acres with farm buildings in the very center, defying the urban onslaught. The next excursion to and departure from Flabob had me hold to a 500 ft. elevation for a better look at the old structures in the field, which appeared to be a large house, barn and accessory buildings looking somewhat out of place, for they were built of red bricks, unheard of for old ranches in this part of the world.