Sunday, April 3, 2011
This is my painting from yesterday at the Audubon Center at Ernest Debs Park. Ernest Debs was a former Los Angeles County Supervisor from 1958 through 1974. Coincidentally, these are the same years I was a child. L. A. County supervisors have enormous power. There are only five of them in a county that encompasses over 4,000 square miles (or 10,000 square kilometers) and close to 10 million people. A few of the functions county supervisors oversee are flood control, beaches, criminal prosecutions, jails, hospitals, museums, the board of health, emergency communication and disaster relief. The Board of Supervisors passes ordinances with the force of laws. Although we elect them, we tend not to pay much attention to our county supervisors. Only once ever was an incumbent defeated. The names of the supervisors are somewhat familiar to us, but if they didn't have things named for them, they would pass into obscurity in a short time.
We remember Ernie Debs because he had a park named for him, although the land for the park was set aside before Ernie's time. Debs was famous briefly in the 1960s when he launched a law enforcement campaign against the counter-culture that was thriving at music clubs on the Sunset Strip - an unincorporated (hence county) section of Sunset Boulevard adjacent to Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Ernest Debs also signed and presented a proclamation naming Louise Huebner the official witch of Los Angeles County. This is true. Louise's husband was Mentor Huebner, a film industry illustrator and fine artist. Here's a view of Los Angeles painted by Mentor Huebner.