Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Me And The Strange And Unusual History Of Temecula…

…is what led my literary world to come full-circle tonight.

Presented by Dale Garcia of Old Town Temecula Candlelight Walking Tours, This is truly a treasure trove of historical background on the city of Temecula, California, and its surrounding region. Founded in 1859, Temecula is one of the oldest towns in California. It is the only town in California to retain its original Native American name.

We listened to Dale tell us about historical oddities in Temecula’s history, ranging from army battles and Old West bandits, to ghost stories, stories of television, film, and literature in the town, and even UFO stories and a somewhat contrived-but-true connection to the first Godzilla movies. The pilot for the Sci-Fi series “The Invaders” of 1960’s fame was filmed here, and the town was featured in some scenes from the earliest “War of the Worlds” movie. Also, the author of the Perry Mason novels that inspired the TV series lived here for many years.

As to my literary world coming full circle, it has been many years since I have had time to set foot in a public library. Those who really know me well and for a long time might be shocked at that revelation. I’m pretty sure I got my first public library card when I was ten years old. Walking into the Temecula Public Library felt a lot like coming home in a way for me.

The library here is really nice, and what I loved best, besides the books and magazines, was the quiet. The hush of the library is conducive to converting literature into mental visualization, and I hadn’t realized just how much I missed that peaceful, timeless non-interruptive environment. It is a slice of heaven for a literary person.

There is a stunning art installation in the entryway that needs to be seen to be fully-appreciated:

My wife and I both signed up to get our library cards, and that felt really good. For tonight, we just walked the perimeter of the inside of the building to get a sense of what was there. Temecula being wine country, they had a whole rack of books devoted to wine!

The view out the North windows overlooks the sports field for one of the local high schools, and also displays the Santa Ana mountains off in the distance:

And last but not least, there is the view of the Santa Ana mountains to the South at twilight:

Palomar Mountain (The one with the famous observatory) is just a bit East & South of this view.

Yeah…I love our new home.


Dan Stafford

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