Unicorns evidently originated
The first known references
to them occur in Greek writings dating from 400 BC. However,
legends concerning this creature abound throughout the world,
from China (where the first Unicorn is supposed to have occurred
in 2697 BC) to America (the first European explorers to set foot
in Florida reported that the natives wore Unicorn horns around
their necks). As late as the 17th Century such "horns"
were among the prized possessions of Kings, Dukes, and even Popes.
One can be reasonably sure
that such beasts do not exist today, but one must not be so hasty
to ridicule the possibility of their existence at one time.
None other than Julius Caesar,
during his conquest of modern day France, actually saw one, and
wrote of it in his otherwise historically verifiable accounts
of his exploits in that region. He described a huge beast in
the form of a stag, from the middle of whose brow a single horn
A Unicorn was sighted at Mount
Sinai in the 14th Century, and references may be found to this
fabulous beast in many Syrian writings, as well as the Bible
But who today would believe
Another reader requested something
on "our country's mystical beginnings". This is a great
topic, and one that needs a column all to itself.
For those of you unaware of
our country having had "mystical" beginnings, take
out a dollar bill some time and look at it. Notice the eye on
the pyramid. Ever wonder about that?
Well, it was a well known symbol
of a group that originated in Germany called the "Perfektibilisten",
a name later changed to the "Illuminati". Their leader
was an ex Jesuit named Adam Weisshaupt, who was a dead ringer
for (and is rumored in some circles to have actually replaced)
The date Weisshaupt founded
this secret society?
But we shall return to this
one later. This same reader had some awfully nice (and probably
undeserved) things to say about this column which false modesty
prohibits me from reprinting. They were inspiring though, and
I would welcome further ideas from that corner.
Another reader went on at length
about how much they enjoyed the store itself, with its relaxed
atmosphere (I obviously was not in at the time) and terrific
bargains. This reader went on to request a column on California
folklore. Their reason for mentioning it was that they personally
did not know of any, but felt sure there must be some.
That is going to take at least
three columns. For starters, did you know that the Queen Mary
in Long Beach is currently haunted? Or that somewhere between
Los Angeles and Yuma is a hill, lost since 1837, that contains
as much hidden gold as the famous "Lost Dutchman" mine?
And for Halloween, Michael
and I plan to take you all on a "tour" of local Haunted