Genesis and the Stetson

Why Stetsons are so important to Mexicans and why Gustavo looks stupid in one . . . Gustavo dates a second cousin, likes it. . . . Mexican dances and French rolls . . . Gustavo goes through puberty, showers once a month. . . . His one plagiarism scandal.

Henry Head, creepy OC founder/KKK member
Henry Head, creepy OC founder/KKK member

Errata & Miscellany

• Some of the halls where El Cargadero has held its dances: UFCW Hall in Buena Park, Laborers Union, Local 652 off Chestnut and Grand avenues in Santa Ana, St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Anaheim.

• How embarrassing: I repeat the sentence “We’ve skipped surfing and skateboarding here, but only because they’re not real sports” in the same paragraph on page 160.

• Rick Reilly: Please don’t sue me for plagiarizing you in eighth grade.

• Forgot to mention the 605 freeway (a mile of it, anyway) in my list of Orange County freeways.


The Beaner-Bashing Capital of America

California Coalition for Immigration Reform Nuremburg rally . . . History of the Yost Theater, where Gustavo will read next Thursday . . . Lynching of Francisco Torres, burning of Chinatown by Santa Ana residents . . . Mendez vs. Westminster . . . Mulkey vs. Reitman . . . Little Saigon. . . Minuteman Project . . . Why Mexican-hating is the county religion.

Errata & Miscellany

• I haven’t been to a meeting of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR) in a couple of years, but I’ve always made sure to keep moles on the inside to inform me of their looniness.

• CCIR didn’t technically birth the Minuteman Project, but founder Jim Gilchrist said he got his inspiration from attending the group’s meetings. If head witch Barbara Coe isn’t the Minuteman Project’s mother, she’s at least the godmother.

• Both Jim Sleeper and Charles D. Swanner are cavalier in their descriptions of Modesta Avila, but you can forgive Swanner. He and his brothers owned the Swanner Ranch, where San Juan Capistrano officials recently booted out 84-year-old Ignacio Lujano after nearly 40 years of service. According to Lujano’s son, the Swanner family will pay him a small stipend for the rest of his years.

• Some of the men who hanged Francisco Torres belonged to a lynching gang called the Vigilantes. The only recorded instance of their existence in the Orange County history books is in Adelina Pleasants’ 1931, three-volume History of Orange County, California. In a section about the history of Orange written by Margaret Gardner, she briefly mentions the Vigilantes’ role in the death of Torres and the murder of a Mexican for suspected horse stealing. “No apology is needed for the Vigilantes,” Gardner wrote, describing them as a “great group of men.” “The application of their methods among us now would be both wicked and foolish. Situated as they were, in a small community too far from the seat of government for the due administration of justice, among men of great strength of character and high standards of honor, it was wise and right.”

• An Orange County pioneer Ku Klux Klan connection: the Emma Sansom tree at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art. Read our Navel Gazing blog’s Notes From the Banana Republic category ( for more info.

• Barbara Coe has told two separate origin myths about her emergence as an anti-immigrant warrior, but the one I included is the only time I’ve ever heard her tell this version. For a more thorough investigation, read Navel Gazing’s Illegals! Illegals! Illegals! category.


My Mexican Awakening

How disgraced Anaheim school trustee Harald Martin inspired Gustavo . . . His Aztlanista days at MEChA de Chapman University . . . Funny girlfriend stories . . . Gustavo returns to Mexico, isn’t impressed.

Errata & Miscellany

• “Wab” is a word unique to Orange County and is used by Mexicans and others to make fun of less-assimilated Mexicans. Etymology unknown.

Orange County Business Journal is the finest Orange County publication outside of the Weekly. Editor Rick Reiff is God.

• On page 203, it should read, “the stench of pubescent sweat wafted,” not, “the stench of pubescent wafted.”

• Yvette Cabrera no longer writes about Latino issues for the Register. Can anyone tell me what her role is?

• Don’t build the 241 Toll Road extension! Save Trestles!


The “Real” Real Orange County Reel, or: About Those Stupid Television Shows, Why Orange County is “Hip,” and What’s Really Real and What’s Somewhat Real—For Real!

The Real Housewives of Orange County . . . Laguna Beach: The Real OC ?. . . The O.C. . . . “Surfer Joe” . . . Zack de la Rocha . . . Arrested Development and why it’s the greatest chronicler of OC.

Errata & Miscellany

• My new litmus test to see if you’re an Orange County jerk: if your license-plate frame reads, “Fletcher Jones Newport Beach.”

• I finally got into Coto de Caza this year gracias to Register columnist Frank Mickadeit, who used to live in the area. Coto de Caza is scary.

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