Friday, November 22, 2019

Temecula Journal: Native Americans, Spaniards and CVS

 Temecula Street (photo: Francis Levy)
Every place has lots of history or it wouldn’t exist, but a city in California 58 miles north of San Diego and 85 miles southeast of LA, by the name of Temecula, gives itself away by virtue of its name. Situated in the heart of California wine country Temecula has both Native American (the Pechango Band of Luiseno Indians  have lived in the region for more than l0,000 years) and Spanish roots, with missionaries introducing Christianity to the local tribal culture. By the mid-l9th century Temecula’s Magee store was the stop off point for the Butterfield Overland Mail a stagecoach line which ran from St. Louis to San Francisco. Who would have dreamt that one day an itinerant traveler getting into town after l0 would be disappointed to find all the restaurants closed with the exception of a Subway and that yes Temecula had something called a CVS open 24 hours a day and that the vista of the town could be seen from the Embassy Suites, a part of the Hilton Hotel chain that provides the comfort of cloned environments! Under the cloak of darkness Temecula is none other than a series of shuttered storefronts. The sleeping empires of chains with their magical logos are greater than that of the Aztecs. But still there's the exotic name constantly inserting its own history. Who cares about Temecula? Though there's an Old Town, many of the major thoroughfares look like your typical Route #1. Yet there are the ghosts that lurk behind the brand lettering which cry to be ambushed by the archeologist of lost cities seeking to unearth another truth. By the way, there is a Temecula Valley International Film Festival.

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