Images, served up, back-to-back, or better yet? With historical, maybe hysterical to some, perspective.
Dates and the archive methods I use to curate images on the side-project vary. There are at least three years between those two images. Maybe more years, I never claimed accuracy.
In talking with one volunteer docent, a gentlemen I worked with briefly as a Villa Finale guide, I got caught up on histories. Mostly verbal histories, more stories than facts, and the way the landscape was changed and moulded by immigrants, the Spanish, and so forth.
At the old San Juan parking lot, at the southern end of the park, there was a small placard; however, there have been — intervening years — updates and improvements.
“They had to dig 29 feet to get to solid rock.
“You’ve seen Father Garcia, right?”
The one on the news, especially with the pope thing?
“Yes, his archdiocese paid 15 million to get that redone.”
New parking lot with the original entrance to the San Juan compound, there’s a Christian Cross. That cross rises out of a circular patch of cactus, an earthly version of a crown of thorns, be my first guess. That afternoon I was there, most recently, a lizard was atop one the cross’s cross arms. He is faintly visibly as a speck on the right arm. Just up there, sunning himself. He cocked one beady lizard eye at me as I held up my phone to grab an image.
Part of the understanding I have is that I always approach as a tourist, with a tourist eye, and tourist sense of wonder. I’ve found that cross, and now that it’s the entrance, properly, to the old mission’s grounds?
More curious. I overheard a large tour group, and their guide was explaining history and myth.
“Father (something vaguely Latin) was upset with the way things were going for his parish. He erected that cross out of his own funds, and he planted the cactus underneath it. He strongly believed in a separation of Church and State.”