January 27, 2005 - Carlos and the p-ED-estal
There once was a king named Carlos III of Spain, who long ago decided that California, and the natives who lived here, should be colonized. History says that Carlos was a good guy, but recent perspectives have changed. Today, the Spanish government’s treatment of the native population is regarded as cruel and insensitive. During the years of Spanish rule, the natives were exposed to new diseases and were treated like slaves. In the name of religion, much of their heritage and culture was destroyed.
This new interpretation of California history played a part in changing the landscape in Santa Barbara.
In 1995, a statue of King Carlos located in little Storke Placita connecting De La Guerra Plaza to State Street (which today is bordered by Blenders and Super Cuts) was deemed inappropriate. The Statue, which had been subject to dress-up, urination, and other degradation during its 10-year reign at the site, was removed.
One of our most dedicated subscriber reports,
“King Carlos wore hats, masks, bags, signs, etc., and elements of bodily functions were smeared upon him, but he stood firm.”
For a couple of years, the pedestal and fountain that supported the statue remained as a testament to the political correctness movement of the early 1990’s.
There had been plans to put up another statue on the existing pedestal, but in the end, the whole thing was taken down and a sandstone compass was put on the ground where the pedestal had been.
Yesterday’s Wednesday Where Is It (WWII) picture was taken of the compass. There is nothing ultra-cool about the compass itself – it is round and points in all four major directions. But what is cool, is that around the compass, in the actual direction they are located, are the names and distances-away of Santa Barbara’s sister cities – Toba, Japan; WeiHai, China; Dingle, Ireland; Yalta, Ukraine; Palma De Mallorca, Spain; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Cuzco, Peru. The dedicated staff of edhat.com looked at the sister city situation a bit further. On the official City of Santa Barbara website, Cuzco is not listed, but San Juan, Philippines is. Maybe a DNA test is needed.
Actually the whole sister city situation reeks of impropriety. Shouldn’t your sister’s sister be your sister (or yourself)?
But that’s not the way it works with cities - Puerto Vallarta and Santa Barbara are sisters; Santa Barbara and Yalta are sisters; and Puerto Vallarta and Hyde Park, Illinois are sisters; but, Santa Barbara and Hyde Park are not sisters; and neither are Yalta and Puerto Vallarta. Hmm.
And not all sisters are treated equally. Bud Bottoms, sculptor and father of famous actors, created the Dolphin Statue in front of the wharf that is shown in all the postcards. He also made similar fountains for our sisters in Toba, Yalta, and Puerto Vallarta. Our other sisters got none.
If you were wondering about the King Carlos statue, it found a home behind some orange trees on the corner of East Canon Perdido and Anacapa.
Winners winners everywhere, but only one set of tickets to give away. There were 24 winners yesterday. Because 24 is the number of hours in a day (we figured that out from the TV show), and the dog was sleeping, we assigned an hour to each of our winners and spun the globe next to our desk. We stuck our finger into the spinning sphere to see where it stopped. Our finger ended up somewhere near New Orleans. At that moment, the time in Louisiana was 1:30 AM. That rounds to 1 which was the number assigned to Omirideu, who is the winner of the festival movie ticket 4-pack!
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