Cover: “Historical Potpourri” might be as apt a term as any to describe this issue of the Journal. Readers with a taste for miscellany will, we hope, find in these pages substance to enlighten, to compel the attention, and to titillate the interest.
Father Serra and the Soldiers brings us more than a step closer in understanding and appreciation of the famous Franciscan Friar. Fray Junipero seems to stand out, in the brilliant light of James Moriarty’s solid scholarship, as a very “human” human being. It is refreshing and satisfying thus to venture, with the author, inside the Serra Mystique and to find, as Mr. Moriarty finds, not just a candidate for sainthood but “a man of the late Renaissance and a true exemplar of his time.” The emphasis, significantly, is on man.
From enlightenment on the character of Father Serra, we move ahead in time three quarters of a century to another kind of “light”?the old Point Loma Light, Ashley Thomas McDermott’s fascination with this landmark of San Diego’s “romantic period” has resulted in an account that is fast-paced, reportorial, and lucid with the scintillation of authenticity that could only have come from its having been written, in large part, “on the spot.”
William Evans gives us a kind of light, too?in this case, a light-hearted, warmly appealing introduction to James Edward Friend, artfully accomplished through the medium of his canine alter ego, “Bum.” Without ever saying so?indeed, precisely because he does not indulge in any such editorial pronouncement?Mr. Evans leaves us with the feeling that we have seen a unique example of the complete intertwining of two destinies. A man?a dog; two different species, two different forms?yet neither, somehow, would ever seem really to have “existed” if it had not been for the other.
All in all, an issue to remind us of the uniquely varied and colorful history of our town.