I don't really care for McDonald's, but I do care for murals. I remember seeing a McDonald's-themed mural in Huntington Beach off Edinger Avenue and Edwards Street years ago but never really gave it any thought, figuring it was a bunch of corporate spinning. Of course, the truth was more fascinating: as reported a couple of years back by my pal, local historian Chris Epting, the mural was actually painted in 1992 by a McDonald's manager named Saeed Danosian who happened to be an art instructor on the side and who had recently passed away.
It was a beloved piece of Surf City quirkiness–and now it's gone, painted over after it was vandalized by vegans as seen above.
Epting has the full story in his latest Huntington Beach Independent column, and is pretty peeved about it–and if you know Chris, you'll know he's one of the most pleasant guys around.
“As for the vandals, you can see from the photo Patterson took that it was a group of vegans making a 'statement,'” Epting wrote. “Never mind that their statement was at the expense of everyone else, that it ruined a precious piece of art and that it was flat-out vicious. Not to condemn all vegans, of course, but the militant fringe within any group needs to be called out for what it usually is: gutless, fly-by-night cowards.”
The vandalism was such that McDonald's had to paint it over completely–no amount of restoration could save Danosian's work. They do hope to paint another mural in memory of the mural over it. And the Gunkist memories continue…