Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Will Rogers State Historic Park

It is hard to believe that Will Rogers died before John and I had even entered this world. He has certainly been an American icon. I guess what I mainly knew of him was his rope tricks. We saw a movie in the  park showing rope tricks performed by him. The film was old and a bit grainy but we saw enough to be very impressed with his roping skills. When he threw a rope over the horse the rope went down to the ground and, after the horse galloped through it, the rope came up and tighten around the horse. We also saw Will Rogers do a figure eight, lassoing both rider and horse in pretty much the similar manner. Of course his rope tricks were only a small part of the life of Will Rogers. He was also an entertainer, movie and Broadway star, comedian, philosopher and a radio commentator. He just wasn't America's icon because his influence went around the world. He also was a person of good will and generosity. Being of part Cherokee descent, his concern was always for the common man and human rights for all people. While in the park we took in a guided tour of his house. We saw a stuffed calf in the great room of the house, a gift from a friend who thought Rogers should practice on the calf instead of his friends when they came to visit! I have a picture here of the house.

The grounds are beautiful around the house. The park has 186 acres which was given  by the family for public use as a memorial, a historical monument and a public park. It has the only polo field in Los Angeles. The park also still has Will Roger's barn and riding arenas.

The hills surrounding the house and stables afford some great hiking trails. From the highest one, Inspiration Point, one can view downtown Los Angeles and the ocean off in the distance. It is a very beautiful park and many people were there taking advantage of the sunny day. They were either picnicking, hiking, biking or riding horses in the arenas.

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