Origins of the Bowers Museum's Bell Rock and Maze Stone

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Photos by Joel Robinson
Bell Rock at Bowers Museum Courtyard
Have you ever been to the old courtyard in Bower's
Museum? If so, did you notice the
large granite boulders placed amongst the landscaping? If you look closely, you'll find that
one of the boulders is called the Bell Rock Its surface is strewn with cupules and the underside is curved like the palm of a hand. The other one, tucked away in some old cactus, is known as the Maze Stone, which has faint carvings of a maze-like pattern on its surface. Both boulders were relocated to Bowers from the Santa Ana Mountains in the 1930s--and this is where our story begins.


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Orange County's Loneliest Boneyard: Holy Cross Cemetery in Anaheim

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Photos by Yesenia Varela
One of the cemetery's antiquated tombstones
You know a cemetery is lonely when the man in charge of it doesn't have a clue about its history. And that's exactly the case with Holy Cross Cemetery in Anaheim, one of the oldest Catholic cemeteries in Orange County--and one of the most overlooked.

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Miguel Suarez Orozco, Pioneering Spanish-Language OC Journalist, Passes Away

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Photo courtesy of Carla Zarate
Que descance en paz, maestro....
If you were a reporter who was covering Latino anything in Orange County from the early 1990s through the middle of last decade, you knew who Miguel Suárez Orozco was even if you never talked to him. He was always the unassuming reporter with a Canon around his neck, a notepad and pen in his hands, and inevitably wearing a sports coat--the epitome of a class act. He was an entertainment reporter and editor for Excelsior, the Spanish-language weekly of the Orange County Register from 1993 until 2008, and before that, a longtime presence in Southern California Spanish-language media.

Last week, Suarez Orozco passed away at 73 years from cancer at his home in Palm Desert.

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"Mystic Arts" Returns to Laguna Beach

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Close up of Dion Wright's Taxonomic Mandala
Anyone familiar with Orange County's 1960s folklore knows that Laguna Beach was the center of Southern California's underground hippie scene.

In fact, that center had a street address: 670 S. Coast Hwy., where, just after the 1967 Summer of Love, a head shop, art gallery, book store and exotic-goods retailer opened its doors. Mystic Arts World, as the place was known, was also essentially a front for the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, the legendary group of surfers and smugglers who for a time operated the nation's largest hashish and LSD network.

Mystic Arts World burned down under mysterious circumstances (some, including artist and Brotherhood cohort Dion Wright, claim it was the work of members of the John Birch Society) some 43 years ago this month. But now, just next door, at 664 S. Coast Hwy., a new Mystic Arts has opened its doors, and the art gallery and exotic-goods store appears to have the Brotherhood's blessing.

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OC Still Losing Young Adults to Cooler, Better Places: Report

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Photo from the Ed Carrrasco Archives
I saw the best minds of my generations getting the hell out of Orange County the moment they turned 18 or realized that Yorba Linda is still among us. Colonies of talented OCers exist across the U.S., with Austin, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Portland being the ones most of the people I know who left now live.

Maybe it's because I'm a coffin dodger now, but I thought that trend had finally finished, that young naranjeros were finally being like us lunatics and deciding to fight in the belly of the OC beast instead of bouncing for progressive paradise. Shows how much I know: U.S. Census figures shows that we've lost over 50,000 residents in the 18-44 age range, making us age at a faster rate than California or the nation. And a bunch of Brave New Urbanists want your ideas to help stop this.

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From Kobe Bryant's Rap Album to Gwen Stefani's Chola, OC's 7 Most Legendary Holy Grails

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Photo by Christopher Victorio
Kobe: tell us how our list tastes. O-kay...
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?

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!

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Will 2014 Be the Year Fullerton High and Canyon High Drop their Offensive Indians and Comanches Nicknames?

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Yesterday, while I was sprawled across the floor in my tiny P.O. Box, nearly passed out from another night of Maker's and Zaya, a news report on KCAL-TV Channel 9 aired about Vallejo High School up north dropping their Apaches nickname and mascot. It's part of a nationwide movement to change the nicknames of sports teams that call themselves after Indian tribes or "Indians" following in the wake of pressure on the Washington Redskins to switch out their hilariously antiquated logo.

The report reminded me: are activists ever going to go after Fullerton High again?

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25 Reasons Why Orange County Will Always Kick LA's Ass

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Photo from the Ed Carrrasco Archives
With honeys like this, who needs LA?
It's been more than a year now since my "50 Reasons Why Orange County is the Worst Effing Place in America" listicle scandalized so many, and I still get crap for it. I'll always stand by it, because everything in it was true. But to the haters, I offer this olive branch: at least we're not Los Angeles.

LA: land of self-important aggrandizers since the days that Iowans were invading the parks of Long Beach and Okies were beating up all the native minorities. Place of perpetually clogged freeways, of eternally vain people who must always look down upon us, their former colony, as a place of no culture, no diversity, and no good places to eat--otherwise known as Silver Lake. Or is it Venice? Or Los Feliz? Or Reseda? It's all one formless, bearded blob of pendejos.

Okay, we kid. We like LA--Thai Town is not without its charms. And I did graduate from UCLA, so there's that. But OC will always kick LA's ass, in matters historical and political, aesthetic and hot chicks, so behold 25 scientific reasons--in no particular order--why we rule and BEAT LA! BEAT LA! BEAT LA! Enjoy, and pass it on!

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OC Register Publishes Image of Fully Exposed Aztec Goddess Breast; Half of Reg's Readers Suffer Coronary in Outrage

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Tig ol' Aztec bitties...
I haven't picked up today's dead-tree edition of the Orange County Register, but their supposedly impenetrable paywall does have an infographic about the Day of the Dead, in order to appear multicultural and shit but also explain basic tenets of OC life to their aging South County audience. It's not bad, but what's most hilarious is that they published an image of a big, beautiful indigenous Mexican breast--dark, thick nipple and all--in the image you see at right.

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Jim Righeimer, Others Sue Costa Mesa Police Union, Others Over DUI Sting Fiasco

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We obviously don't agree with Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer on most anything, especially his efforts to scald the city's public employees raw. But Riggy's harassment at the hands of a private dick employed by the law firm that represented the Costa Mesa Police Association (the cops' union) disgusted us enough to include said dick, Christopher Lanzillo, on our 2012 Scariest People issue. If you'll remember, Lanzillo tailed Righeimer from Skosh Monahan's to his home and called 911 to report Riggy drunk; the cops went to Riggy's home, made him take a sobriety test (he passed)...and all hell broke loose. Righeimer went to the press; the police union fired the law firm that employed Lanzillo (Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir); the law firm said they never asked Lanzillo to follow Righeimer; Lanzillo said he was just doing his duty...trying to entrap Costa Mesa councilmembers (and Skosh Monahan's owner) Gary Monahan and Steve Mensinger with a big-breasted woman. Um, okay...

Well, now Lanzillo's looking like the biggest boob of them all: Righeimer--along with his wife Lene and Mensinger--is suing Lanzillo, his P.I. business, Lackie, et al, and the Costa Mesa Police Association on 15--count 'em, 15--counts.

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