Remembering Norton and the age of emperorsBy: Robin Enos and John Downs
One of the first rules I learned as a traveling door to door salesman many years ago has been my “credo lo” these many years. This rule has led me to many of my successes and guided me around many of the pitfalls that life throws in our path. It is a rule that all technicians of successful graft are fully aware. Simply stated it says: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with B.S.” With that in mind I harken back to the 19th century where in San Francisco a homeless destitute man named Joshua Abraham Norton, with no foreseeable job prospects, declared himself to be emperor of the United States and protector of Mexico. One would think the citizenry of the city by the bay would have run the old man out of town but no, they decided he was insane. But he may be a crazy guy, never the least, he’s our crazy guy. San Francisco took him into her bosom, he was saluted by law officers as he passed by, he and his two dogs, Bummer and Lazarus, we fed at lunch counters and ultimately Norton dollars were printed for him to spend as he wished. His Reign lasted from 1859 until his death in 1880. During his term he issued a number of proclamations calling for the building of a bridge from San Francisco to Oakland via Yerba Buena Island. He also called for a tunnel. Does the Bay Bridge and the Bart tunnel ring a bell? There is even a movement to have the Bay Bridge renamed the Emperor Norton Bridge. So was he crazy? Like a fox maybe. Having said all this I would like to think that our community is at least as progressive as the city by the bay was nearly 120 years ago. With that in mind, I would like to issue the following proclamation:
At the peremptory request of two or three members of our community, including myself and no noticeable dissent from a majority of the local citizenry I, T. Time Traveler, a citizen of this city for over 70 years proclaim myself emperor of Newcastle and protector of Auburn: and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested do hereby order and direct the appointment of the Portuguese Pirate, my radio co-host on the Newcastle Television Show airing on AM950 and FM104.5 KAHI radio at 10 a.m. Saturdays to the position of my aid-de-camp. And
WHEREAS we decree that the Auburn City Council and city treasurer raise sufficient funds to allow for purchase of uniforms appropriate to our present station. And
WHEREAS we further decree that a Christmas event shall be held on Thursday, Dec. 13 in Newcastle’s Marshall Square at 6 to 9 p.m. in downtown Newcastle. And
WHEREAS we order that the event be referred to as the Holiday Knights with music featuring the talents of the Newcastle Elementary School Choir & Band. And
WHEREAS there shall be food and other local vendors. And
WHEREAS the event has grown so large we order the conscription of all the local volunteers we can get to call or text Pixie Dufour at 916-745-9816.
Given under our royal hand and seal at Auburn this Dec. 2, 2018 the year of our Lord.
Thank You to Nigel and The Bloody Parrot for covering for me when I went into a meltdown. I’d also like to thank Mr. Turner my wire-haired terrier dog for staying by my side as I gathered my wits about me. Though I have noticed him avoiding me since then; curious. Anyway, I’m back and ready to deal with the issues at hand. So, I hear the Time Traveler wants us to become royalty. I should have known something like this might happen. This might very well be the first time I’m going to agree with the old goat. But for that to happen I do believe we’re going to need a little “nudge factor” to get Auburn dignitaries to come to a positive and unanimous vote in our favor. In other words, I just hope Parolee’s-R-Us, the gumshoe agency I hired has uncovered a plethora of scoundrelisms by Auburn’s mayor and city council members that will keep them from giving us any tsuris on this. Before any of this can happen, I need a different title. I don’t want to be “aid-de-camp” as it sounds like I’m the outhouse sanitation engineer. It somehow doesn’t resonate with my royal status loud enough. So how about “Portuguese Pirate; Plenipotentiarian of the Empire of Newcastle.” Who would have thought a poor Portugee from humble beginnings would rise to royal status? WOW, I must stop before I faint, the excitement is overwhelming.
To all our fans out there, we will soon have a web page. Our fan club president, Meriwether Blume is working on it and hopes to have it up and running soon. It will have for your viewing and listening pleasure our recorded radio shows from the past four years, a hand full of TV shows from our time on Auburn Community Television and all our past Auburn Journal columns.
If you missed this week’s radio show (Dec. 1) you can podcast it at kahi.com. Our guest was Dave Yancey. Dave and his wife Monika will be driving their 1935 Auburn Coupe´ 851 to all the towns and cities named Auburn in these here United States. Be sure to listen to this fascinating show. And a little reminder, Jennifer Montgomery our District 5 Supervisor for Placer County will be our Dec. 8 guest.
“Being desirous of allaying the dissensions of party strife now existing within our realm, I do hereby dissolve and abolish the Democratic and Republican parties, and also do hereby decree the disfranchisement and imprisonment, for not more than 10, nor less than five years to all persons leading to any violation of this, our imperial decree.” —Emperor Norton