Yesterday, I gave a tour of Orange County's endangered Chicano murals to Carol Wells, head of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, and Timothy Drescher, one of the preeminent mural scholars in the United States. Wells got in contact with me at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books after reading my op-ed piece in the Times attacking Fullerton City Councilmember Shawn Nelson for mouthing off about the murals on the Lemon Street pedestrian overpass just north of the AMC 20 Theaters complex. Drescher was interested in visiting all the way from Berkeley after Wells told him about the situation.
It was a splendid (though overcast) afternoon, as I took them from Fullerton to Placentia to Anaheim. Drescher proclaimed all the murals wonderful (he was especially taken with the the massive Placentia effort, which had motifs of various Mexican muralists), scoffed at Nelson's assertion that the Fullerton murals promoted gang violence, and basically served as a much more enthusiastic advocate than any of the Chicano art All-Stars in Los Angeles I predicted wouldn't give a shit about helping their brethren in la naranja. Drescher vows to fire off a letter to the Fullerton City Council and lend his considerable weight to help preserve the Lemon Street murals. Que viva la causa, my ass. For those of you who care, Fullerton will hold a public hearing about the murals at the Maple Community Center May 27 at 7pm.