Saturday, March 28, 2020

California Screaming

From Charles Coulombe at Crisis:
This is a sad development in a place that has traditionally been the land of opportunity. Compare the hacks who rule from Sacramento to St. Junipero Serra and his gallant Franciscans, Spanish soldiers, and Mexican settlers who pioneered El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma with its chain of 21 missions—to say nothing of the countless Indian souls saved thereby. Short as it was, the mission era in California history laid deep foundations that were not undone by the American conquest. They even gave rise to a Romantic literature of sorts, as embodied by Zorro and Ramona, as well as the Mission and Monterey Revivals in architecture.

Shortly after American annexation, the Gold Rush of 1849 brought thousands of would-be gold barons from all over the nation—and the world. When the dust had settled, San Francisco’s Barbary Coast was a city as proud as any in the East. In the years following the Civil War, hordes of Easterners and Midwesterners came out in search of good weather, health, and El Dorado. This would continue into the 1960s, and my family and I were in the last wave. Dreams dreamt in more established states could come to fruition out here. So it was that the cult-spawning center of the country, which had shifted from New England to the Midwest after the Civil War, moved to Southern California in the 1890s. So it was that Pentecostalism, Theosophy, the Great I AM, and literally dozens of others were either born or prospered out here. But more mundane—if more successful—visionaries also came: Missouri’s Dr. Hubert Eaton, founder of the Forest Lawn chain of user-friendly cemeteries; Chicago’s Walt Disney; and rural Illinois’s own Ronald Reagan. Such men made as much of the raw clay of California as their intellect and drive allowed. (Read more.)

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