Guest-hosting Hugh Hewitt’s radio program this week, I’ve been staying with friends in Orange County, and, having fallen in love with the place, took along my camera this morning when I went up to the hills for my daily jobble (half jog, half hobble).
1. Looking northwest. In the near distance, some of the tens of thousands of homes that have sprung up in Orange; in the middle distance, John Wayne Airport and downtown Irvine; in the far distance, haze (which is burning off even as I type), beneath which lies the ordinarily sparkling Pacific.
2. Looking southeast. What do you see? New homes a-building.
3. A bank of homes along my jobbling trail. Not to everyone’s taste, perhaps, but most certainly to mine.
Why do I love Orange County? Partly, of course, because of the utterly irresistible Mediterranean climate–creamy skies, sparkling sunshine, and ocean breezes all the year around. But also because the place is so utterly alive. There’s growth–growth everywhere. Rambling through the hills this morning, for instance, I suddenly realized that two sounds were inescapable: hammering and the distant laughter of children. Homes going up and families being started. And the place seems proof of the contention of my friend and Hoover colleague, John Cogan, that conservative politics, ethnic comity, and economic growth all go together. The conservative politics of Orange Country are of course well-known. I wasn’t so sure about ethnic comity until mass this morning. At St. John Neumann’s, I saw not only plain bread white people but Japanese, Chinese, Fillipinos, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Indians. And people of all descriptions lingered in the parking lot afterwards for a friendly chat. Life–that’s what I love about Orange.