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August 25,2000

The Ventura County Star

75 Reasons We Love Ventura County
Ojai: Ventura County's Own Shangri-la attracts artists, nature-lovers, others

By Bruce McLean

But there's nothing mythical about it. it's all very real. And it's easy to see why it has served as an inspiration for artists and writers, as well as a golfer or two.

"There is an atmosphere here, an environment, that is lighter. There is that beautiful space," said Patricia Fry, an Ojai-based author who penned "The Ojai Valley, An Illustrated History."

Fry's family moved to Ojai from Ventura when she was six months old and moved back and forth several times between the two cities.

But she's there permanently now, writing from a room that looks out at several area mountain peaks.

Once in a while, she forgets to appreciate her good fortune.

"When you live in a town, you often start taking it for granted. I walk a lot along Shelf Road. A lot of time on my walks I say to myself, 'I'm on a mini-vacation.' It prompts me to look around and take everything in and realize it's special," Fry said.

The Ojai Valley: An Illustrated History

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