Desert Folly

by Pasadena Adjacent

“The English word ‘fool’ is derived from ‘folies,’ a mid-1600s Portuguese dance where one twirls until dizzy and loses control of all senses”
Frank Escher

Lucy: patented by James V. Lafferty, Margate New Jersey 1881

In the year 1513 Pope Leo X, on the occasion of his coronation was presented with a “white elephant.” The pachyderm became the pontiff’s favorite pet and was buried in a tomb designed by Raphael. By the mid-18th century, Europeans had come to regard the elephant as a fabled creature. Not always so in the States where the terms “white elephant” and “folly” took on negative connotations. Need I remind you of Thomas Edison in his quest to prove alternating current over direct current? Poor Topsy. Then again it’s worth noting that the Romans killed off an entire subspecies of North African elephants for the purpose of entertainment. Poor Loxodonta Africana.

On to Claude K. Bell, who started his career making figures of gold miners and minuteman at Knott’s Berry Farm. He had been highly influenced by a childhood visit to see the supersized elephant Lucy. It resulted in a two decades long folly beginning in 1964 with Bell’s purchase of 76 acres in the desert community of Cabazon. From here the 67 year old Bell would embark upon his $300,000 creation of Dinny and Rex. For those who take interest in arcane information, Dinny is not a Brontosaurus. He’s actually a Apatosaurus with a Camarasaurus head. A classic case of artistic license.

“The virtue of a folly is that it provides the freedom to explore without rules.” Ada Louise Huxtable

Claude Bell died in September, 1988, at the age of 91. He had dreamed of a giant woolly mammoth and saber-tooth tiger to join his prehistoric menagerie but it was not to be. What has come to be is the Seven Day Theorist pursuit and purchase of dinasour themed road side attractions. We’re putting evolutionists on notice: We’re taking the dinosaurs back,” said Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, a Christian group who’ve built a $25-million Creationist Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

“Primordial soup, to the zoo, to you, is evolution true?”

creationist Folly-ers