Tag: Made Us Smile

The Hawaii State Flag

The Hawaii State Flag

We were intrigued to see the Hawaii flag had the Union Jack in the top right corner (the canton). Especially as we didn’t think Britain had much connection with Hawaii.

We were wrong.

Apparently, in 1793 Captain George Vancouver from Great Britain presented the Union Jack to the conquering King Kamehameha I, who was then uniting the islands into a single state.

It was only in 1816 that Western advisers to the king recommended the addition of red, white, and blue stripes to the Union Jack, thus creating a distinctive national flag for the country. After a brief British occupation of Hawaii in 1843, King Kamehameha III set the number of stripes on the national flag at eight, corresponding to the major islands.

And now today, even after the proclamation of Hawaii as a republic in 1894, the creation of the US territory in 1898, and then the 1959 admittance to the Union as the 50th US state, it’s that same flag you see flying here on all state building and many houses.

Claude Bell’s Dinosaur

Claude Bell’s Dinosaur

Believe it or not inside this giant Apatosaurus is a gift shop. Inside we asked “Why is it here?”. The story of these giant dinosaurs is all about a restaurant that used to stand here in Cabazon.

Back in the 60s, what better way to get families to stop at your restaurant than to have two giant dinosaurs outside? “Dad, dad, let’s stop there to see the T-Rex”. So these dinos are a pretty impressive case study in point-of-sale merchandising.

The owner of the Wheel Inn restaurant was a former sculptor and theme park artist Claude Bell, who created the 46 m long Apatosaurus (Dinny) and the 20 m tall Tyrannosaurus Rex (Mr Rex) over a 22 year period.

His original vision for Dinny was for the dinosaur’s eyes to glow and mouth to spit fire at night, saying, “It’ll scare the dickens out of a lot of people driving up over the pass.” These two features, however, were not added.

Where the Wheel Inn used to be is now a Burger King.

Poets for hire

Poets for hire

Typewriters and young men – it’s an intriguing sight in the age of the smartphone. On getting closer we saw the handwritten sign Poets for Hire.

We agreed four dollars and a missive on the theme of travel. Soon Calvin’s keys were hitting the scrappy bit of paper. The clacking noise of prose, the carriage return swish of each completed line.

Thank you Calvin Sinclair for the poem that acts as a great motivator to travel:

Leaving the nest of the worst monotony and stepping into a beautiful flow
Amazingly surrendering to the mystery of the beauty that surrounds us all – showing off its seductive sights that wrap us up and haunt our nights
For it’s never too late to say goodbye to fear and stress and the same tired days (which replay over and over in a daydream molasses stream)
And reinvent yourself by diving into the wonders and magic of the infinite.

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