Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Miguel

I enjoy seeing a man with a beard. Perhaps Maria del Rosario Guillen did, too. Maybe she found Michael Claringbud White, in the portrait here, to be quite the charmer; a bit of an adventurer, great with telling tales. He may have been one of those folks who came to a new place, for a new life, and after some adventures found a place that felt right for him. Perhaps it was because he spoke with her mother, Eulalia Pérez de Guillen de Mariné, with affection and respect? Or perhaps it was because he made her heart skip a beat. Who knows. How do you explain love?

Whatever the reason Maria del Rosario and he married, and then lived in an ever growing home built to provide comforts to the ever expanding family. The adobe section of the home still exists on the San Marino High School Campus.

There are serious efforts afoot to make sure that this bit of history remains intact. It was on the site that the oral history of Don Miguel and Doña Eulalia were taken down by Thomas Savage for H.H. Bancroft. You can read them online and in print.

Reading their memories and thoughts gives insight to local history that would otherwise remain hidden. The perspectives of two people who came to our valley in the early 19th century - formed by two very different cultures and experiences. Between them lifetimes that include sailing, whaling, praying, cooking, and both of them watching those who were in and out of powerful positions. Sharing time together in the valley and in the warmth of the sun on the front porch. Maybe even sharing a glass of lemonade or a little aguardiente?

Today is his birthday. I wonder if Doña Eulalia would have cooked something special for him. In any case, feliz cumpleaños Miguel.

If you'd like to learn more about the Miguel Blanco Adobe, check out

To view their oral histories:
California All the Way Back to 1828;query=toc;layout=;loc=25
Una vieja y sus recuerdos dictados

There are more sites.

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