Do Not Go To Calico Ghost TownFebruary 21, 2008
My friend Patrick & I went on another road trip last weekend, this time to the Eastern borders of Southern California. Originally, we were going to break into the abandoned water park on the way to Vegas, but it turns out you have to have balls to do that, since it’s guarded by dogs & men with guns, and I’m not sure we met the minimum ball requirement. So instead we went to Calico Ghost Town, a crappy ass themed old timey western experience.
It was not awesome. The place had been an actual silver mining town in the 1880s, but disappeared to near nothing a half century later. Eventually Walter Knott, of SoCal theme park Knott’s Berry Farm purchased the place & had it very very very cheaply restored to its former shabby condition.
I do! I do enjoy music & gunfights! The highlight of the trip was the fact that it was “Civil War Days” at Knotts Ghost Town, in honor of President’s Day Weekend. I know, I know, what does the Civil War have to do with a mining town founded fifteen years after the end of the civil war? Moreover, what does the Civil War have to do with any city in Southern California? Your guess is as good as mine, but nonetheless, there were about 50 people dressed up as Rebels & Yankees, all staging a giant mock war. It was, without a doubt, the whitest thing I’ve ever been to. Now, normally (according to the official list, at least), I generally am into stuff white people like, but I was not at all into civil war re-enacting. I would have sooner gone to a Ren Faire or Trek Convention, or a Ren Faire AT a Trek Convention than knowingly attended a Civil War re-enactment.
However. In that, I was definitely in the minority. Calico was crazy busy, with a metric assload of my white kin there to see the South prevail at last. And hey, speaking of minorities, Patrick & I immediately made a bet that the first one of us to spot an African-American would win five dollars.
I won. Yes, that’s right. There was a black person at the ghost town. Yes, that’s right. He was a Civil War re-enactor. Yes, that’s right. He was fighting for the South. I’m not sure what promises his recruiter made, but this ugly display of re-enactor’s Stockholm Syndrome was good for a crisp Lincoln from my wager with Patrick. And hey, speaking of Lincoln, guess who Patrick & I ran into on the outskirts of Calico?
Heavy is the head that wears the fake crown. Ficticious Lincoln was resting up for his big afternoon of freeing the slaves & signing autographs. We didn’t stick around, so I’m not sure who they were planning on having play the role of “the slaves,” but my money is on a certain Confederate soldier, once the battle ends. Patrick wasn’t a fan of fake Lincoln, and lamented the fact that Calico didn’t spring for a Robot Lincoln like they have at Disneyland.
Please note: all photos taken by Patrick.