Three things I learned today that I simply cannot keep to myself.
1. Bishop, California is the MULE CAPITAL of the world. Since my #1 daughter and her husband and children will be teaching and living at Deep Spring College for the months of May and June, and since Bishop is the only large town, or any town, nearby (It has more feet above sea level, 4150, than it has residents) and not all that nearby, it seemed like a good idea to learn something about Bishop. And I learned that it is the MULE CAPITAL of the WORLD. This seems a bit hubristic on Bishop’s part, given that Mexico has the #1 mule population worldwide, with 3, 280,00 and the USA ranks a lowly #26, with a mere 28,000 mules. But that hasn’t stopped Bishop from hosting the Annual Mule Days.and I dearly hope that my grandchildren will have to opportunity to participate.
2. I also learned today, from Boris the Guatemalan painter, that bananas are considered bad luck on a boat. I never knew this, and now I will be careful never to bring bananas on a boat. I even checked with Snopes.com, and yes, this is a ‘true’ superstition. That is, people believe it, based on absolutely no true facts.
3. The Mayans came as far north as Georgia, USA. (Before it was Georgia, USA.) This was discovered because the Mayans liked to paint themselves blue with a very special blue dye only available at this one spot in Georgia. I was told this item by Boris; but unlike the Mule Days and the Banana Superstition, it is not verifiable or universally agreed upon. Far from it. In northeastern Georgia there is a place with ancient mounds called the Kenimer Site, and one guy, an architect, claims that Mayans once inhabited the site. Another website talks about a petroglyph in Georgia that looks very Mayan. Another website is scathing about the architect's fact-checking. There appears to be no consensus, and absolutely no one mentions the blue dye posited by Boris.