Let’s start the proceedings with a couple of toasts. First, here’s to the ancient Chumash Indians, the name of whose little creekside California hamlet of Humaliwo got boiled down by the tongues of the conquering Spanish into the word Malibu. And here’s to the widow Rhoda May Knight Rindge, or May to her friends. The last owner of the 17,000-acre Rancho Malibu, she battled the burgeoning Los Angeles County to stop its plans for a coastal road through her property. But back in 1919, L.A. got what L.A. wanted, and the Pacific Coast Highway was born as the Roosevelt Highway. Luckily, Rindge did not live to see the banks of her beloved Malibu Creek developed with outlets for Starbucks and Yogasmoga. Nor, indeed, did she live to see the mid-size Chevy Chevelle that took the rancho’s name in 1964.
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