In the Neighborhood: Miriam Hernandez shares her family's deep roots in Santa Paula

SANTA PAULA, Calif. (KABC) -- Follow along with ABC7's own Miriam Hernandez, who has deep roots in her hometown of Santa Paula.

Fresh air, orchards and adventures - Hernandez said she feels so lucky to have grown up in Santa Paula.

Hernandez recalls hanging out with her best friend Laura Mason and her over-the-top aviation family.

Mason's dad Sam, a Lockheed test pilot, could also do loops in a helicopter. Her nephew Sammy is currently a highly talented aerobatic superstar and a dad, so humble.

Kids ruled back then, where Hernandez lived near the packing plant.

Hernandez said she is so grateful to have grown up on North Ojai Street.

"Seven kids in the house. Over here is where my grandfather Huerta lived. Over here, the church where my grandfather Hernandez once pastored, and way over here, this historic house where my grandmother and my aunts Julia and Beatrice Huerta lived," Hernandes recalled.

It is a house that Hernandez's mother's family has lived in for more than 100 years. Hernandez's frugal aunts lived there, invested in little properties, then gave them away.

They donated two properties, worth half a million dollars together, to a hospital, said Angela Preciado, Hernandez's cousin.

At just 12 years old, Hernandez worked at the Santa Paula Chronicle. She got her own byline and $3 a week.

Today, publisher Peggy Kelly keeps Santa Paulans pushing forward.

"Everything is possible in Santa Paula," Kelly said.
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