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“Personal touch” is important

I care for a 75-year-old man in my apartment complex, and had a great conversation with him regardin

Posted: March 23, 2010 10:00 p.m.
Updated: March 24, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
I care for a 75-year-old man in my apartment complex, and had a great conversation with him regarding the massage parlors in Santa Clarita after reading your article (“Sheriff’s Department says letter massages facts,” March 17). He had an interesting take on this subject and I thought I’d share it with you.  

“John” (not his real name) is retired from law enforcement and a veteran. He has lived in Santa Clarita since the 1970s, having moved to our apartment building 15 years ago. He is a widower whose wife died 20 years ago. He has children, but he seldom sees them. He has health problems.

After his wife died, and as his friends aged and dwindled, it became harder for him to seek company. He began visiting Asian massage parlors in the San Fernando Valley for company, or as he calls it, for some “personal touch.” As his hobbies became fewer, visits to massage parlors became his sole escape.  

A few years ago, Asian massage parlors opened in Santa Clarita. Since John’s drives to the San Fernando Valley were becoming burdensome, this was a welcome development for him.  

When you become older and human touch becomes less frequent, you celebrate every chance you receive this gift. John has never had any problems with the massage therapists who have cared for him. Whatever extra services requested are mutually agreed upon by both.

My friend supports these massage parlors simply because his other options are to drive down the San Fernando Valley (where so many other criminal possibilities can unfold) or to seek company online or by telephone, requiring girls to visit him in his apartment (posing other possibilities like burglary or robbery).

For John, massage parlors are the safest and most professional. If something serious happens to him in these establishments, he can easily complain to authorities.

He understands these establishments may be tied to money laundering, drugs or human trafficking, as your article uncovered.

Because of this he expects the proper authorities to keep an eye on these businesses like they do so many other businesses (i.e., bars, maid services, restaurants, landscaping, auto shops, etc.).

John’s only request is that he, and others like him, not be vilified and criminalized for seeking such services. To him, visiting massage parlors is like going to the barber shop, where you rest, take a load off, talk, laugh and feel better afterwards, and since you expect the same service next time, you tip.

John has had no negative experiences visiting massage parlors, and he would like to continue to do so.

I hope I’ve related John’s views clearly. I’ve asked him to write to you personally about this, but he instructed me instead to write you.

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