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Piece of Mind: In praise of our zippy number

July 13, 2011|By Carol Cormaci
  • Shelby Gish, 13, left, Roxanne Sevigny, 13, in back, and Lexi Lorenz, 14, are all junior varsity cheerleaders with La Canada High School and they are lifting Lauren Gmelich to demonstrate a cheer formation at a cheerleading camp in La Canada Flintridge at Memorial Park on Thursday, June 30, 2011. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Shelby Gish, 13, left, Roxanne Sevigny, 13, in back, and…

On July 1, 1963 a new mail coding system, the Zoning Improvement Plan, was launched by U.S. Postmaster General J. Edward Day. La Cañada, approximately 15 years before it was incorporated as the city of La Cañada Flintridge, was assigned the ZIP code 91011.

Upon incorporation, Flintridge gave up its 91103 ZIP and joined the rest of us in 91011-land. And so we’ve remained, one happy family for all these years.

My memory is fuzzy on the subject, since I was a kid at the time, but I seem to recall that there was a flurry of chatter around here that summer of 1963 centering on the belief that we were the only town in the nation with consecutive numbers in its ZIP.

People who like to study quirky little things like this might appreciate the fact that we did a little research this week with help from Richard Maher, spokesman with the U.S. Postal Service. He discovered for us that there are actually four active ZIP codes today that run in numerical sequence. They are:

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12345 — Schenectady, New York

23456 — Virginia Beach, Virginia

45678 — Scottown, Ohio

91011 — Us!

So we’re a small group. But our ZIP Code is especially unique in that it affords us the opportunity to give a nod to our ZIP this year over the weekend of Sept. 10. In fact, there’s a committee headed up by Todd Andrews that’s charged with organizing a 9-10-11 event here, with the city, civic organizations, facilities like the Community Center and Y, businesses, and venues such as Descanso Gardens all coordinating their efforts to celebrate life in the 91011.

I had a visit the other day from Councilmember Laura Olhasso, who clued me in on some of the activities the committee is organizing — with the caveat that it is all still very much in the planning stages, so there may be additions or subtractions to what I’ve learned so far.

But I think it’s safe to say it will be cool event, one that will let us pause to recognize the fact that we live in a one-of-a-kind place. Spread out over Sept. 9 through 11 there will be music, opportunities to volunteer your time to pitch in and do civic-minded work, special offerings at local businesses and more, all in the 91011.

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