Archive for January, 2012


Is it just me or does Cabo Riviera look like a running shoe?

Quanah Parker (ca. 1845 or 1852 – February 23, 1911) was a Comanche chief, a leader in the Native American Church, and the last leader of the powerful Quahadi band before they surrendered their battle of the Great Plains and went to a reservation in Indian Territory. He was the son of Comanche chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, a European American, who had been kidnapped at the age of nine and assimilated into the tribe. Quanah Parker also led his people on the reservation, where he became a wealthy rancher and influential in Comanche and European American society. With seven wives and 25 children, Quanah had numerous descendants. Many people in Texas and Oklahoma claim him as an ancestor.

Quanah Parker’s mother, Cynthia Ann Parker (born ca. 1827), was a member of the large Parker frontier family that settled in east Texas in the 1830s. She was captured in 1836 (at age nine) by Comanches during the raid of Fort Parker near present-day Groesbeck, Texas. Given the Indian name Nadua (Someone Found), she was adopted into the Nocona band of Comanches.

Assimilated into the Comanche, Cynthia Ann Parker later married the warrior Peta Nocona, (also known as Noconie, Tah-con-ne-ah-pe-ah, or Nocona). His father was the renowned chief Iron Jacket, famous among the Comanche for wearing a Spanish coat of mail. He was said to have the power to blow bullets away with his breath.

Nadua and Nocona’s first child was Quanah (Fragrance), born in the Wichita Mountains. The exact birthplace is debated, but Quanah visited what he understood to be his birthplace at Laguna Sabinas (Cedar Lake) in Gaines County, Texas in his later years. They also had another son, Peanuts, and a daughter, Topsana (Prairie Flower). In December 1860, Nadua (Cynthia Ann) and Topsana were captured in the battle of Pease River by Texas Rangers under Lawrence Sullivan Ross. Quanah and his brother, Peanuts, escaped on a horse together, but their father, Peta Nocona, was killed by Sul Ross, who would later become the governor of Texas.

Meanwhile, Nadua (Cynthia Ann) and her mixed-race daughter were reunited with her white family, but after having made her life 24 years with the Comanche, she wanted to return to them and her sons. She was never permitted to do so because her daughter Topsana died of an illness in 1863. Cynthia Ann lost her will to live and starved herself to death in 1870.

Quanah Parker is credited as one of the first important leaders of the Native American Church movement. Parker adopted the peyote religion after having been gored in southern Texas by a bull. Parker was visiting his mother’s brother, John Parker, in Texas where he was attacked, giving him severe wounds. To fight an onset of blood burning fever, a Mexican curandera was summoned and she prepared a strong peyote tea from fresh peyote to heal him. Thereafter, Quanah Parker became involved with peyote, which contains hordenine, mescaline or phenylethylamine alkaloids, and tyramine which act as natural antibiotics when taken in a combined form. Clinical studies indicate that peyocactin, a water-soluble crystalline substance separated from an ethanol extract of the plant, proved an effective antibiotic against 18 strains of penicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, several other bacteria, and a fungus.

Parker taught that the sacred peyote medicine was the sacrament given to the Indian peoples and was to be used with water when taking communion in a traditional Native American Church medicine ceremony. Parker was a proponent of the “half-moon” style of the peyote ceremony. The “cross” ceremony later evolved in Oklahoma because of Caddo influences introduced by John Wilson, a CaddoDelaware religious leader who traveled extensively around the same time as Parker during the early days of the Native American Church movement.

Parker’s most famous teaching regarding the spirituality of the Native American Church:

“The White Man goes into his church and talks about Jesus. The Indian goes into his tipi and talks with Jesus.”

All above text from Wikipedia. The drawing is an original by me.


Way back a hundred blogs or so I spoke about my difficulties in selecting reading materials for our Baja vacation.

I eventually settled on a Dan Simmons novel, “Black Hills”. It could have been a story about the development of dental floss and I would still have bought it and thrown it in my suitcase, that’s how much I like his writing. As it turned out “Black Hills” is a painstakingly researched tale of a young Lakota Sioux boy who is infected with the exuberance of other young braves and rushes to the scene of the slaughter at “Little Big Horn” (or Greasy Grass” as the Sioux refer to it) and is the first to “count coup” over the body of Custer himself. He is assaulted by the spirit of “Yellow Hair” as it leaves Custer’s body and it becomes a part of him for most of the rest of the novel. The boy becomes a man and lives through the onslaught of the European tide that sweeps the buffalo, his people and his culture into oblivion. He survives to become an explosives expert, and is employed by the visionary sculptor who designed the monolithic faces on Mount Rushmore, to blow away the surface rock to get to the harder granite beneath. This Native American’s true name is Paha Sapa, which means “Black Hills” in Lakota, and it is these Black Hills, sacred to his people, that are being profaned with the faces of his conquerors. He begins to hatch a plan of vengeance. The plot runs through historical events from the 1870s to the 1930s and incudes rich and rewarding glimpses of tribal life, fierce battles, Paha Sapa’s assimilation into the “modern world”, the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, and the details involved in the sculpting of the presidents on his beloved Black Hills.  That is tale number one, and I highly recommend it.

 Before I had finished tale numero uno, I found myself in Tecolote Books, one of the very few English language bookstores in the Baja Peninsula, and what should smite me right between the eyes but another Native American tale, this one a non-fiction effort from S.C. Gwynne, entitled “Empire of the Summer Moon”. This rousing tale covers roughly the same time frame as tale number one, but is concerned with the rise of the Comanches, “the most powerful Indian tribe in American history” and how the half-breed Quanah Parker became their most influential chief. The visual appeal of the cover (as seen below) was the grabber that made me purchase the book, but I am glad to report that the first 100 pages have lived up to the compelling cover graphics and then some. I’m still in the midst of this fast-moving rough and ready narrative, so I’ll have to turn in the full book report later. But I did do a sketch of Quanah Parker and the drawing and some Wikipedia biographical material will follow in “Those Amazing Humans, #462, Quanah Parker.

I was in a silly mood when I wrote up this Oprah tribute as Those Amazing Humans #80, back in September of 2010. But I was serious about the burgeoning threat of the Tea Partiers to our body politic, and those sentiments remain the same. At that time I eschewed my more recent tendency to include some “real” information about the Humans I choose as subjects. I will rectify that by including Wikipedia stuff for this go round. The sketch is intentionally stylized and iconic since I was attempting to invoke the wisdom and positive energy that is Ope-Rah. To check out the original text, follow this link:

Oprah Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey; January 29, 1954) is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and was for a time the world’s only black billionaire. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.

Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, claiming to be raped at age nine and becoming pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy.[10] Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime-talk-show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place, she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.

Credited with creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication, she is thought to have popularized and revolutionized the tabloid talk show genre pioneered by Phil Donahue, which a Yale study claims broke 20th century taboos and allowed LGBT people to enter the mainstream. By the mid 1990s, she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality. Though criticized for unleashing confession culture, promoting controversial self-help ideas,and an emotion-centered approach she is often praised for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others. From 2006 to 2008, her support of Barack Obama, by one estimate, delivered over a million votes in the close 2008 Democratic primary race.



Last night we went bar hopping. We only hopped once because we are not as young as we usd to be. From yesterday’s rural goodie grab at the Farmer’s Market at La Canada to the big city elegance of Hotel Guyacara in Todos Santos is a pretty big hop in itself. Here are just a few shots of the luscious interior.

Escher-like Staircase

We were a little more comfortable at La Esquina where a great young band, La Pura Vida was holding forth. We danced our asses off. I have to check to see if mine is sill there on the way to the beach today. Here are two pictures of the pretty percussionista on congas and timbales.



I suppose I might be a little hungover. It doesn’t take much these days. And a little sore. I woke up a couple of times last night with leg cramps, but by golly, it was worth it. Best cure for all these maladies is a good sun bath. I’m outta her for Los Cerritos. Hasta la vista, babies.



But it’s far from just consume, consume, consume. There’s lots of nice people to talk to and beautiful sights to see, as I will attempt to show you in the photos below.

And it's not even Christmas.

Beneath the sheltering palms.

fringeapaticus leafus