While I am waiting for the updates to load on my tablet, one last but on my outing to California.
My stepmother, Ella, was gracious to whisk me away for about a day to San Diego. I had never been and always wanted to see it. I heard the beaches were fantastic, and there was a haunted house I wanted to see (primary knowledge of this place came from The History Channel, please do not judge).
The beach, yes they do get sharks down there was the warning I did get, but my were they outstanding! Great sand, surf, cold, but simply lovely. We went to Pacific Beach and I was in love with it.
It reminded me of Surfer’s Paradise in Australia a bit, though not quite as large. Blue water, fine taupe sand…beautiful.
Then we toured around to the old cemetery. It was a mission cemetery and the local historical society did what it could to preserve the old graves. I had never seen such a place before. People would leave coins on some of the graves, or candy. There was a superstition there but we did not know what it was exactly, but I found it fascinating.
Ella explained to me that in California the history behind the missions and the mission trails were an integral part of California history taught in many elementary classes.
Then we came to one my favorite pit stops–a well preserved Victorian home, known as the Whaley House. The pieces inside each room were well kept. There was also a haunted history tour, but only for the evenings. Alas, we would settle for history more so than ghosts. It was still cool.
For me though the theatre upstairs is what caught my attention. It had an old true to form theatre complete with a sloped stage. Yes!! This, this right here is where theatre people get the upstage, downstage…all of that because it literally is up or down. I cannot tell you how often I have had to explain that to an incredulous crew. Here it was!! I felt so vindicated.
When theatre began again in the medieval era, the stages often were set up and torn down hurriedly. They were likewise sloped so the people on the ground could see all of the action going on all over the stage. In time the theatre seats would allow for a non-sloped stage, but not in such a space as this. Hence the slope.
The Victorians of California clearly valued theatre to have such here at all, but sadly the troupe founder passed shortly after they opened the theatre.
It was a pity the founder of the acting troupe did not get to enjoy it’s use more. That was a risk of the era, and the wildness of the West. I do tip my hat off to the ladies who were determined to bring and keep culture in early California even in the heady days of gold rushes and revolutions.