This has been a very busy week and I am heading to Mexico tomorrow. Whew!
But first, we are all going to jump in the car and head south. I am finally going to see the Ramona Pageant. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager. I’m happy to say that THIS is my year.
#288, Attend the Ramona pageant
The most surprising thing about the Ramona pageant was that it is not in the city of Ramona. I mistakenly assumed that it was. It’s actually in Hemet, a couple of hours away. The play is not named for the town of Ramona, but is a story based on the 1884 Helen Hunt Jackson novel, Ramona. I read the novel last year and it was a wonderful peek into rancho life.
Before the play, we met my dad and stepmom in Hemet and had brunch and margaritas.
Hemet is a very hot and flat place and I was a bit concerned about my dad sitting in the hot sun for a three hour outdoor play. We arrived in the crowded parking lot and hopped on the trolley. The trolley drove us about fifteen feet and then dropped us at the entrance.
That was a bit embarrassing. But my dad always looks cool in his fedora and shades.
We squeezed under shade and watched some of the pre-show entertainment.
I also caught a glimpse of some local celebrities.
There is a small Ramona museum on the property and we filed into the crowded space. I overheard a few men debating the year the part of Ramona was played by Raquel Welch. It was 1959, that’s her in the center photo.
There were many Native American artifacts in the museum, and they looked quite like the items I had seen in the Autry Museum just a few days before.
I spotted this interesting fellow and I asked if I could get a closer look at his hat.
He was happy to oblige.
The Ramona pageant, established in 1923, is the longest continuously running outdoor drama in the United States.
We decided it was time to find our seats.
You can click on this panorama shot to get an idea of how large the space is.
I didn’t know how we were going to be able to hear the actors, but they were all miked and the speakers were above us so it worked fine.
Soon mariachis appeared at the hacienda.
There were soldiers and cowboys.
There were dancers and Native Americans in the hills.
There were over 100 players.
The tiny figures on the top left are players too!
It was amazing to see a play on such a grand scale. The actors ran up hills, the horses galloped across the stage, a cannon was fired, and there was lots of good old fashioned Western gun play.
My dad said he thought he was just going to see a play, but he ended up getting to see a WESTERN! Though he came pretty close to overheating, he was saved by a kind docent who was handing out cool, wet neckerchiefs. He wrapped one around his neck and was just fine.
When the play ended, some of the players stood outside so that people could take their photos.
It was a fine day!
#14, Watch one Annenberg Series Lecture each week, 18/52
This week I watched Adam Jahiel’s lecture called The Last Cowboy. It was interesting to hear how his exposure to fine art informed his photography. He said that he didn’t feel committed to the idea of photography until he understood form, function, and shape.
#365, Do a Weekly Photo Shoot, 18/52
This week I took pictures in Little Tokyo. The light was harsh and unforgiving. I thought about what photographer Adam Jahiel’s photography teacher once told him, “It’s your job to make chicken salad out of chicken shit.” While it worked for Adam Jahiel, my skills are not there yet. But I soldiered through anyway.
#211, Listen to a Weekly Podcast, 18/52
Rather than listen to a podcast this week I watched a video about Helen Hunt Jackson. It was interesting to learn more about her life. She was a friend of Emily Dickinson and Abbot Kinney.
#127, Perform a Weekly Random Act of Kindness, 18/52
Sharing doughnuts with people on my Little Tokyo tour is my random act of kindness for the week.
#119, Attempt a new recipe each week, 17/52
I don’t have any new recipes to share this week. I’ll have to catch up next week.
#21, Try a new restaurant each week, 18/52
I went to a few new restaurants this week. Daikokuya in Little Tokyo, Emilio’s in Hemet, and Circa 55 in the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
At Circa 55, we enjoyed sandwiches, cocktails and ice cream cones near the pool.
245 days to go!