Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Mar. 1: Charles Fletcher Lummis, American character


Charles Fletcher Lummis (1829-1928) American journalist, historian, ethnographer, archaeologist, poet, L.A. City Librarian, and Southwest Museum founder. It's not often I get to celebrate a personal hero, and this month I'll celebrate two (Joseph Campbell comes up on the 26th). I have been to El Alisal, the house Lummis built on the edge of Arroyo Seco in northeast L.A.; I have traipsed the places he traipsed in New Mexico; and own and have read hard copies of a half-dozen of his works (and countless books and articles online) plus three biographies. He edited a booster-ish SoCal mag called Land of Sunshine (later called Out West), which helped create an influx of easterners coming west. Books like Some Strange Corners of Our CountryThe Land of Poco Tiempo, and Flowers Of Our Lost Romance helped romanticize the Spanish era; and A Tramp Across the Continent, an account of his walk from Ohio to L.A. and the hardships along the way, made both his legend and his career.


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