From Kobe Bryant's Rap Album to Gwen Stefani's Chola, OC's 7 Most Legendary Holy Grails
Our cover story this week is my examination of one of Orange County's most infamous legends: the Indian massacre at Black Star Canyon that all of us know about but that most likely didn't happen, and definitely not how we've heard it. It's a story that took months of research, and made me delve into beaucoup archives, so OC history is swimming in me right now, you know?
Photo by Christopher Victorio Kobe: tell us how our list tastes. O-kay...
I was never able to find definitive primary-source proof that the Black Star Canyon slaughter ever happened, which got me thinking: what other OC holy grails are there, artifacts or incidents that might or might have happened or treasures that exist but haven't seen the light of day due to its explosive content? There's actually quite of few of them floating around Orange County, and the following are just the most prominent. Enjoy, and pass it on!
7. The Gun that Gave Trabuco Canyon Its Name
Bowers Museum Blog Not the trabuco, but found in Trabuco
Every student of OC history knows that we got the name Trabuco that's affixed to a canyon, hills, creek, high school, streets, and numerous other local landmarks to a sap of a Spanish soldier. According to the diaries of Franciscan father Juan Crespí, who accompanied the Portolà expedition that marked the first European excursion through Orange County, an unnamed soldier (himself a holy grail) lost his trabuco (a blunderbuss, which is an old-timey rifle) in what's now Trabuco Canyon, and his fellow troops named the canyon in his (dis) honor.
In August, the Bowers Museum Blog ran a fascinating blog post regarding the gun. The museum's archivists thought the trabuco mystery solved when they came in possession of the above gun, found in Trabuco Canyon. But a closer examination revealed it to NOT be the blunderbuss in question. Hmm...
6. The Full Identity of Gwen Stefani's Chola
In 2005, Anaheim's own Gwen Stefani made waves with her video for "Luxurious," which had her dressed up as a chola out of Westside Anaheim down to the eyeliner and flannel. Stefani told the press she got the inspiration for the fashion from a chola named Mercedes back when she was a student at Loara High School. Okay...but what was Mercedes' last name? Who did she roll with? Did she end up dropping out of high school, or did she grow out of it. Most importantly: did Gwen ever track her down and kick over a couple of thou in royalties for stealing her bit?
5. The Location of Angels Stadium's Indian Burial Ground
Remember how people used to bring this old saw up every time your Anaheim Angels blew it. Now that they're owned by Arte Moreno, we can at least blame the living for the Halos' mediocrity. But...given we know next-to-nothing about the Gabrieleños that populated OC north of modern-day Lake Forest, and given Angels Stadium IS near the Santa Ana River, and given that rivers played a special significance in the lives of Southern California's indigenous, and given that my uncle once told me they found arrowheads when he was setting concrete in the construction of the then-Anaheim Arena, one wonders...