Saturday, September 06, 2008

Sad Eye Joe, missions, Fr. O'Sullivan, etc.

Remember my Aug. 8th post about woodcarver Andy Anderson? Well, the original head he carved for Knott's Berry Farm's famous "Sad Eye Joe" is in the lower right of today's first photo. Carver Agustin Rodiles has spent the past week carving a duplicate "backup" head for ol' Joe, and the results are impressive. The original Joe was carved in 1940 or 1941.
As you may have surmised, I'm back from my vacation. I picked up one very cool piece of O.C. history on my trek through Central California, but it really deserves its own post.
The only other bloggable item I discovered was the black and white photo inset above. A larger version was displayed at the Santa Ines Mission (at the edge of Solvang.) The caption reads,
"Photo of Miss Mamie Goulet [later Mrs. Mamie Goulet Abbott], taken July 30, 1919 by Fr. O'Sullivan of Mission San Juan Capistrano. Miss Goulet came to Old Mission Santa Ines in 1904 from Minnesota responding to a plea for help from her uncle, Fr. Buckler, who had been given the task of Mission restoration. Upon arrival in October 1904, she described the state of the Mission as appalling. But for the next twenty years she worked alongside her uncle to repair and restore the Old Mission..."
Mamie Goulet Abbott later wrote a book, Santa Ines Hermosa: The Journal of the Padre's Niece. I'm not sure if the photo above was taken at Capistrano or Santa Ines, as the columns don't exactly match the photos I have from either.
It's taking my brain longer than the rest of me to come back from vacation. So it may take me a little while to ramp this blog back up to something resembling full speed. Thanks for your patience.


colony rabble said...

Welcome home my friend! Hope you brought beans.

outsidetheberm said...

Good to have you back.

Believe the new carving of Sad Eye Joe would create yet a third head. Thought the 'original' Anderson head was in their museum. The second is in the jail on the old Joe figure - so what is the plan for a third? Hmmm...

Now then, don't keep us waiting - what's the cool piece you found on your journey?!

Chris Jepsen said...

Yes, I brought pinquito beans for you, Colony Rabble. I also found something for you at Phoenix Used Books.

Outsidetheberm: Yes, I'd also count this as the third Joe head. Agustin is using the one from the museum (nominally the original) as his model.

Shasha said...

I just came across your site and would like to inform you that Agustin Rodiles, Master Woodcarver has passed. He died last night February 26, 2009 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Agustin had just recently retired from Knotts Berry Farm. Thought you might like to know this.

Chris Jepsen said...

What a shame. He was clearly a very talented man. Thanks for the note.

Lourdes said...
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Christ is Risen said...


I was very interested in your article about Andy Anderson and Sad Eye Joe (whom I remember VERY WELL from my earliest childhood, going to Knotts' Berry Farm and watching all the tourists. I also remember, and was afraid of, that little demon in the glass case at KBF.
I grew up in Midway City, and the family at the end of our block included Mr. Anderson and an elderly couple and a lady who my mom said was Mr. Anderson's sister. Mr. Anderson had a gun making shop setup in his garage, which attracted my little brother who would stand and watch Mr. Anderson's exquisite craftmanship for hours.
More interesting to me, out in an additional building on their 2 lot property was a miniature diorama of Western falsefront buildings, a street, all peopled by wood carvings, and detail right down to the small feedsacks with lettering, the tiny saddles and bridles, baskets the women carried -- you get the idea. I used to sneak into that building and just spend time looking at every little bit of that perhaps 7 feet of small size wonderful humankind humorously rendered.

Is it possible that our Mr. Anderson is that famed Herbert (Andy) Anderson? Andy is what my dad called Mr. Anderson, but that would be a common nickname for Anderson.

If you know where the Andersons made their home in Orange County in the 40s and 50s, I'd surely appreciate knowing. Those Andersons were among the kindest and warmest of the many good folks in Midway City. Almost every kid I have stayed in contact with remembers Midway City as the perfect place for kids to grow up; and some of them either never left, or moved back to live there and raise their kids in that same place.

Thanks so much,
Mary (Foster) Goshert