Paul Bunyan has an axe to grind. He and his ilk don’t rule the far north of California anymore. Like comedian Rodney Dangerfield, this American folk hero “don’t get no respect.” Tearing down a swath of timber in a mighty swing is ecologically unsound and politically incorrect. A giant blue ox ploughing through the wilderness certainly has to be folklore’s answer to clear cutting.
Muscle Beach, Venice, California (c)2015 Russell Johnson
OK, it doesn’t have a white-gloved falsetto mouse in a diaper and it is not as antiseptically acceptable but Venice Beach, in Los Angeles, does have adventures and cartoon-like characters that rival those of Disneyland…unless you are a six year old.
And it is free.
Father Kelly Blesses the Olives – Photo: Russell Johnson
There is a wee bit of Pat O’Brian, Bing Crosby and Spencer Tracy in Fr. Kelly, a cinema-ready Irish priest with a lilt in his voice and, if we are to believe his sermon last weekend, a fondness for olives and the gin Martinis into which they are dropped.
Certainly none of the evil Father Merrin, played by Max Von Sydow in The Exorcist.
Father Michael Kelly blessed the olives, exorcised them from bitterness, offered the cure Saturday at Mission San Francisco Solano in the town of Sonoma, the northernmost of California’s missions.
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