Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Serra Cross

As I have previously mentioned I have decided to display some of my Ventura, California, specific items in honor of the 150th birthday of the city of my birth. It truly is a magnificent place to visit and the Museum of Ventura County, in both locations, is truly a marvel. I cannot recommend it enough.

So where to start, when discussing a historic city like San Buenaventura, California? I suppose the beginning. Prior to the European incursion the area around Ventura was called, Shisholop, and it was inhabited by what we would now call the Coastal Chumash. 

On March 31, 1782, Father Serra, founded the San Buenaventura Catholic Mission, and life began to change in very drastic ways for the local natives. While gold was not plentiful in Ventura County, there were still plenty of souls to convert and save for the Catholic fathers.

It is said that the first cross on the hill was placed there on the same date of the dedication of the mission in 1782. That may be. In 1875, there are reports of the cross blowing down and being replaced by the cross pictured on this post card that was printed in 1938.

What is interesting is that there was possibly another cross that had been placed after 1782 and before 1875. It is quite possible that the original "Serra Cross" was not replaced in 1875 but that placement was actually a replacement of the first replacement.

In any case, the cross is wonderful. No matter how you feel about religious iconography in public places, when you stand next to it and look up and down the coast, it cannot help make you realize that this was not only a symbolic placement but a continuing place of wonder and beauty. Also, if you want to impress a girl, take her up there on a clear night and show her the anchor, a placement of lights, that can only be seen from the vantage point of the cross. 

It's historic and romantic. Ask any of the hundreds of couples who have been married in the shadow of the Serra Cross. I hear for some it has worked out quite nicely. No doubt to the location of their nuptials.

Again, I don't know what history is, but I do know this is my hometown, it's 150 years old this year, and it's going to be around for a lot longer. No matter if she gets knocked down, she will get up, and everyone will remember, why it's important to rebuild and look forward. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Occupy Ventura 2011

What is history? Is it everything good and bad? And can it be found hanging on a telephone pole? I don't know.