They just wanted life in Santa Rosa to get back to normal, or at least something close to it. It was January 1920, the start of the sixteenth month of the Spanish Flu in Sonoma County. As there was no vaccine – or even antibiotics to treat the deadly cases of pneumonia which often resulted – all our ancestors could do was quarantine the sick, plus declaring a community lockdown whenever there was a local outbreak, banning public gatherings of any kind and requiring facemasks.
Adding to the sour mood in Santa Rosa was the Rose Carnival was cancelled for 1920 – the third year in a row. Preparing for the Carnival was normally a major pastime in town that kept people busy for months, forming committees and subcommittees on everything from building floats to deciding what to feed members of the band afterwards.
So there was considerable excitement when it was announced there would be a “Burbank pageant” here and it would involve a small army of performers and workers, starting with original costumes for 250 dancers. Heck, this even could be a bigger shindig than the Carnivals!
There were a few teensy problems: There was very little time to prepare as it was scheduled for only five weeks away, not the Carnival’s usual five months. Rehearsals were impossible for most of January because Santa Rosa was under lockdown until the 26th. And also, no one knew what a “Burbank pageant” was.
The newspapers were able to report the pageant was going to be held on Luther Burbank’s March 7 birthday and called “The Sun Worshipers.“ The theme was supposedly inspired by a Burbank remark that all life on earth requires sunlight. That’s not completely true and it’s doubtful Luther ever said anything so banal, but let’s not quibble.
It was very clear from the start this would be a high school production (this was when the high school was on Humboldt Street, and the year before the building burned down). The performance would be on the lawn of the next door Annex – which later became Santa Rosa Junior High – and have seating for up to 5,000.
Producing this spectacular were the heads of the English and Ag departments. Costumes were designed by the head of the Domestic Arts Dept. Freda Hodge, wife of the boys’ gym teacher, wrote the script; the girls’ gym teacher, Zilpha Dempsey, did the choreography. Should you be looking for a new password, something with “Zilpha” in it would be pretty secure.
Much was made of the announcement that Fred Carlyle of UC/Berkeley would direct the show. He was technically a dramatic coach but was admired as a jack-of-all-trades when it came to anything in the theater – dance instructor, chorus director, what have you.1
Another outsider to be involved was Madame Francisca Zarad, although she would only sing a bit before the real show began and then return at the end to lead the audience in the “Star Spangled Banner.” Zarad made a career 1917-1922 doing recitals in small American cities like Santa Rosa (Kent, PA, you should at least have a Wikipedia page!) where she was touted as “the famous Paris soprano” and/or a star of the Chicago or Vienna Grand Opera Houses, although there’s somehow no sign she ever sang at any of those places. And why such an acclaimed artiste was not asked to make a single recording will always be a mystery.
Then everything came to an unexpected halt when Santa Rosa went on lockdown again, this time for two weeks starting February 11. “The Sun Worshipers“ was rescheduled for May 1. Rehearsals continued when restrictions were lifted in Santa Rosa, amid news that several motion picture companies were planning to film the pageant for newsreels and possibly stock footage. Who knows? Perhaps in some silent movie there’s a shot of your winsome grandmother prancing about in an odd looking costume.
Which brings us to the storyline. The Press Democrat printed a synopsis before the performance and a review of the show afterward, but they don’t quite agree. From those articles and others (all transcribed below) and the photos, here’s my best guess of what the audience saw:
The stage set is large and dramatic, a fan portraying radiant sunbeams which seems to be built out of palm tree stalks. (Most of the known photos from the pageant follows this text.) Mme. Zarad comes onstage and sings two numbers plus an encore, all having some passing mention of the sun.2
Here comes Sol, the sun god! He takes his throne center stage wearing something on his head that looks like the Pope’s hat or a giant insect wing, but is probably supposed to be a beam of light. He is played by 16 year-old Joe Dearing, who would become a nationally known journalist and something of a Bay Area celebrity.3
On either side of Sol are bare-chested young men who appear to be wearing bronzer on their faces – it’s probably gold-colored, but the photos are black and white and their makeup isn’t mentioned in the newspaper descriptions. (I strongly doubt it’s supposed to be blackface but there’s so much in this show that makes no sense whatsoever I wouldn’t swear to it.) At either end of the stage are boys dressed as Roman soldiers with spears, although one is holding a pennant with a Christian cross because.
The show begins! We’ll see three cultures that worshiped the sun, sort of. The first are the ancient Egyptians.
(RIGHT: Egyptian sun dancer as envisioned in the April 30, 1920 Press Democrat. The actual performers looked nothing like this.)
At the first of the two performances that day, the Press Democrat reported “some three thousand people sat in the warm sunshine and watched several hundred students gambol on the green lawn in flimsy clothing.” Not hardly. Except for bare arms, the Egyptian dancers are swaddled heavier than baby Moses in the bullrushes. They also have wide colorful sashes tied around their waists like 18th century pirates. Arrrgh!
This may be a good time to point out that the high school really did have a history department, and one of those teachers was involved with this thing. Her job was handling publicity.
Sol is worshiped by dancers “with typically Egyptian gestures, both angular and sinuous.” The highlight of this segment is the “Dance of the Rising Sun” by the Egyptian princess. It is performed by Lillian Rinner, who has been “taking special training for the part in Berkeley.” She is 44 years old, so the gamboling is being done by several hundred students but starring mom.
The sun god grows weary of this and waves the Egyptians off. Here come the Greeks!
“The maidens of ancient Greece worship him in the dance,” which is performed to “Dance of the Hours” from the Victorian opera, “La Gioconda.” Gentle Reader will surely recognize this as the same tune used in the immortal parody, “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh.” (Honestly, I am not making any of this up.)
(RIGHT: Let’s mashup thousands of years of history: Closeup of the Grecian tableau, with “elves” wearing crinoline party dresses in front of a bearded Roman guard holding a medieval Christian pennant.)
Several girls pile on stage and sit in front of the sun god. Three are wearing classical Greek women’s clothing; the rest are dressed in contemporary ruffled and tiered dresses, many with bows in their hair, as if they were waylaid en route to a birthday party.
The storyline is that we’re looking at Terra, the goddess of the earth (that was the name of the Roman goddess, not Greek) and Ceres, the goddess of agriculture (again, the Roman name) and the girls are elves (it’s well known that the Greeks were actually Irish). The goddess of rain, Flo (huh?), shows up and the dancers run away. I very much doubt anyone in the audience understood what the hell was supposed to be going on – or cared.
Now comes the Native American segment. The tribe is hungry because the harvest was poor. The chief offers his daughter in sacrifice as she performs the “Knife Dance” before the sun god. The synopsis continues:
|But lo! Sol awakens! He has heard the wailing cry! He sees the girl about to plunge the knife in her breast at his feet – he rises to appeal! He smiles. The daughter is saved and there will now be plenty in the fields and the entire tribe rejoice in dance.|
That was just profoundly awful.
Thus far the pageant consisted of fuzzy G-rated allegories about ancient cultures. To jump from that to a melodramatic tableau about human sacrifice – complete with a “Knife Dance” – was a jolt; to make it about an oppressed people was beyond the pale, feeding the worst racist tropes of Indians as savages.
Why didn’t Fred Carlyle or someone from the high school insist this part be revised or yanked entirely? Likely because they ignorantly assumed Indians and their culture no longer existed except (maybe) on remote reservations. This blind spot can still be seen today on social media – periodically someone in the Facebook groups will ask when the Indians around here were “wiped out”.
Making this all the more galling is that the Pomos of Sonoma County have always been renowned for their dancing. Had the pageant invited them to take part, it surely would have transformed that otherwise silly and forgettable show into something noteworthy.
The final segment is called, “The Endowment,” and features a boy supposed to be young Luther Burbank. The sun god has hidden his face and the boy’s plants aren’t growing, although the goddesses and their elves try to help. The “Spirit of Agricultural Science” appears and performs “The Dance of Human Aspiration.” The dancer is 37 year-old Agatha Leifrinck and the photo shows a scruffy-looking man standing to the side of the stage watching her. He is not mentioned in any description of the show.
(RIGHT: Did this guy just wander in from the street?)
Sol wakes up and smiles, handing Science his Wand of Knowledge. She passes the wand to the boy, who waves it over his plants, which perk right up and perform the Flower Dance. Everybody on stage plus “a big chorus of picked voices from the town” join in singing a hymn to the sun god.
The big finale involved dozens of boys and girls in flower and vegetable costumes; there were twenty kids just playing the wilted plants. There were fifteen poppies, eight corn, plus tomatoes, lilies and daisies. Clarence Felciano, who would become Santa Rosa’s top mid-century architect, portrayed a spud.
They didn’t know it at the time, of course, but the flu pandemic was over. On Friday nights the high school annex building became the “community social center” again, with free movies, refreshments and dance music. Schools reopened in August (they had started a month earlier in rural districts since those schools closed during fruit picking season). There was a county fair that set attendance records. Life resumed, but the facemasks weren’t likely thrown out, instead tucked away in the back of a drawer because you can never tell.
1 Between 1920-1940, Fred Carlyle was frequently involved in high school and community theater productions throughout the Bay Area. The 1920 show in Santa Rosa appears to be his first.
|2 The first of Mme. Zarad’s numbers was identified as “An Involution to the Sun God.” According to an item in a 1913 New York paper, that was another name for “Far Off I Hear a Lover’s Flute,” a 1909 setting of a Zuni tribal melody. Part of the lyrics (which were written by a non-Indian) was, “I see the shrunken Mother Moon/Go forth to meet the Day.” Her encore was the maudlin ballad “The Little Grey Home in the West,” which was inexplicably popular for decades.|
|3 Joseph A. Dearing became an acclaimed photojournalist before and during WWII, best known for the famous portrait of General MacArthur after the Battle of Bataan. After the war he became a popular figure in the Bay Area known as “Uncle Joe,” the rod & gun columnist for the San Francisco Call-Bulletin. He was married to Margaret Hahmann of Santa Rosa in 1936 (she’s buried in the Rural Cemetery) and when he died in 1995, “Uncle Joe” was carved on his tombstone in Winters.|
Fred Carlyle dramatic coach from the University of California will give a course of aesthetic, barefoot, Russian ballet and fancy dancing in Santa Rosa and classes are under formation at the present time. Mr. Carlyle will assist with the Burbank Pageant at the high school.
– Santa Rosa Republican, January 10 1920
ORGANIZE STAFF FOR PAGEANT TO HONOR BURBANK
Fred Carlyle Secured as Coach for Production of “The Sun Worshipers” by Schools of City to Honor Scientist.
At last the dream of a Burbank pageant is to come true. The question has often been asked here “why don’t Santa Rosa [sic], the home of Luther Burbank, arrange some fitting pageant representative of his great work?” “The Sun Worshipers,“ with its elaborate combination of rich setting, graceful costumed dancing, and fine symbolism, is the answer to the question.
Very practical evidence that the pageant is to prove more than a dream is to be found in the work of Richard Warner Borst, director of production. Through his efforts the various parts of the pageant are being rapidly assembled, solo dancers have been secured for the leading parts and Fred Carlyle of Berkeley has been induced to assist with the chorus dancing. The symbolic dance of the sun worshipers, in particular, is rapidly evolving into a performance of great beauty and variety.
The following staff is working on the pageant…
– Press Democrat, January 23 1920
The Walrus Said
March 6th. [ed. note: the date was wrong]
That’s a date for Santa Rosans to remember. Know why?
It’s Burbank Day, and on that day there will be a pageant at the High School in honor of the “man who made Santa Rosa famous.”
This pageant is called The Sun Worshippers, and is based on a saying of Mr. Burbank’s that the sun is the source of all life. The pageant will be a pretentious affair, with 250 dancers giving Greek, Egyptian and Indian national dances, which will be coached by Fred Carlyle of the University of California, Miss Zilpha Dempsey, Miss Mildred Turner, and Victor Hodge of the high school faculty. R. W. Borst of the English department of the high school and Charles L. Hampton of the Agricultural department will have general charge of the production.
Plans have been made to seat 5,000 people on the high school lawn to witness the production.
Of the pageant itself, I’ll have more to tell you later, but in the meantime don’t forget that date — it’s important — March 6th.
– Press Democrat, January 29 1920
COACH PERFECTS PAGEANT DANCES
Nearly 150 Dancers to Be Seen in Burbank Honor Event Here on March 6.
Dances for the Burbank Pageant to be held on the grounds of the high school March 6, are fast being put in shape under the direction of Fred Carlyle. of the University of California, Miss Zilpha Dempsey, Miss Mildred Turner and Victor Hodge of the high school faculty.
There will be three dances, each containing about 48 dancers. These are the Indian dance, which begins with the braves in deep dejection owing to the lack of attention paid their country by the Sun God, and changing to a big pow-wow when he smiles on them.
The Greek dance will be a regular Greek aesthetic dance, done to the Dance of the Hours from La Gioconda. It will contain the same number of dancers.
The third of the big dances is the Egyptian dance, with typically Egyptian gestures, both angular and sinuous.
The King’s favorite in the Egyptian dance will be Miss Lillian Rinner, who is taking special training for the part in Berkeley.
There will also be a Sunbeam dance with 25 dancers. Each of these will be dressed in a different shade of yellow, ranging from the daintiest of creamy yellow to the deepest orange.
Mrs. J. Leifrinck will dance for the Spirit of Science, a dance that she has originated, portraying the religious evolution of the mind of man from earliest times to the present. Miss Lolis May Alden will accompany Mrs. Leifrinck.
The part of the chief’s daughter in the Indian dance will be taken by Miss Virginia Pomeroy.
The finale will contain a big chorus of picked voices from the town to be trained by Miss Lydia Walker.
– Press Democrat, February 6 1920
MOVIE MEN COMING HERE TO FILM THE BURBANK PAGEANT
Much Interest is Being Taken in the Coming May Day Fiesta in Santa Rosa, Which Will Compliment Luther Burbank and Will Be in Every Detail a Spectacular and a Pleasing Production – Frank Carlyle, U. C. Dramatic Coach, to Direct the Presentation
Widespread interest is bring aroused in the Burbank Pageant. “Sun Worshippers,” which is to be staged in Santa Rosa, the home of the famous horticultural scientist, on May Day.
No less than five different moving picture concerns have stated that they will send artists and big cameras to take pictures of the various scenes depicted in the Pageant, which will be sent broadcast throughout the land and shown to hundreds of thousands of people in many moving picture houses. One of the big concerns having its movies here will be the International News Service.
Charles L. Hampton, director of vocational agricultural course in the Santa Rosa High School, and manager of the Burbank Pageant, stated Wednesday that the interest taken in the coming Pageant in the Bay Cities is keen. From him the news of the coming of the movie men was ascertained. The entire direction of the Pageant has been entrusted to Fred Carlyle, the well known dramatic coach of the University of California. Mention of Mr. Carlyle’s name and his recognized talent counts for success in every detail.
Mr. Hampton is sending out to the press of the state the following preliminary announcement concerning the coming Pageant which will be read with interest:
Santa Rosa is planning to honor her most prominent citizen – Luther Burbank — with a great celebration May 1, 2:30 p. m., Saturday. An elaborate open air pageant entitled “The Sunworshippers” will be produced under the direction of Fred Carlyle, dramatic coach for the University of California. Over 250 group and solo dancers will undertake an allegorical dramatization of the four great historical epochs of the worshipers of the Sun. The last act will portray Burbank’s creative endowment through the aid of the sun, which is so often quoted by this great plant specialist as the source of all plant and animal life. The coming event is being given wide publicity. Elaborate preparations are being made to welcome the thousands of people who will journey from different parts of the state to visit the home of Luther Burbank.
– Press Democrat, February 26 1920
Mme. Francisca Zarad Is Coming March 10
The recital for the benefit of the Luther Burbank Pageant being prepared by the high school students to be given in this city May Day, which had to be postponed when the ban was placed on public gatherings in Santa Rosa last month, will be held at the high school annex March 10.
Mme. Francisca Zarad, the famous Paris soprano, will be here on that occasion to render numerous selections and is sure to prove a delight to the music lovers as well as the general public, os she is in a class all of her own as a vocalist of international reputation.
– Press Democrat, March 2 1920
REHEARSALS ON FOR THE FIESTA
Frank Carlyle Resumes Instruction of Young People Who Will Be Featured in the “Sun Worshipers.”
Frank Carlyle, dramatic coach of the University of California. who is to direct the pageant “Sun Worshippers,” which is intended particularly to honor the creative genius of Luther Burbank, is this week actively resuming rehearsals of the dances and other artistic work in connection with the coming May Day presentation in Santa Rosa. Carlyle can be relied upon to present a finished production and one that will add fame to the many gorgeous fiestas that have been given in the City of Roses.
But for the ban which was placed by the health department on all gatherings during the late prevailing sickness, the pageant would have taken place next Saturday, Mr. Burbank’s birthday following on the next day. But rehearsing had to be put off and then it was determined to hold the pageant on May Day. And now rehearsals will be once more in full swing and will continue until the day of triumph.
– Press Democrat, March 4 1920
SYNOPSIS GIVEN OF GREAT ‘SUN WORSHIPERS’ PAGEANT
Not only is the coming May Day pageant “Sun Worshipers” attracting much interest here but assurance is given that hundreds of visitors will come to Santa Rosa to view the gorgeous spectacle and to enjoy the compliment it bestows upon Santa Rosa’s most distinguished citizen, Luther Burbank.
Manager Charles Hampton yesterday that the daily rehearsals being held have developed so much enthusiasm and interest among the performers that the presentation will doubtless be unique, highly pleasing and successful.
The special features, which will include the singing of Madame Zarad, the notable dancing of Mrs. Agatha Liefrinck and Miss Virginia Pomeroy, will be especially notworthy, [sic] standing out prominently from the otherwise elaborate program of song, dance and action. The staging and costuming will be dazzling and great throngs of people will be given a rare treat.
Here is a synopsis of the action marking the pageant “Sun Worshipers.”
I. Opening Song—Mme. Francesca Zarad.
II. Sol, the Sun God, takes his throne in state.
III. The maidens of ancient Egypt worship him in the dance.
IV. The Sun God’s favorite dances before him on the “Dance of the Rising Sun.”
V. The maidens of ancient Greece worship him in the dance.
VI. Ceres, goddess of the harvest and Terra, goddess of the earth, approach the sun god and kneels at his feet. Enter Fro (god of rain).
VII. The women of American Indian Tribes enter and worship the sun-god in a dance.
VIII. Hungry Indian children appeal to Sol that he shine upon tho faded earth.
IX. Indian braves, led by their chief, appeal to the sun-god to shine upon the earth.
X. The chief’s daughter, in the “Knife Dance” dances before the sun-god. She offers herself as a sacrifice to him for her people’s sake. But he saves her life through shining forth.
XI. Sol has again hidden his face. The farmer, tolling amidst his faded plants and flowers, despairs because of Sol’s unfriendliness.
XII. The Spirit of Agricultural Science worships Sol in “The Dance of Human Aspiration.” Sol awakes. He presents Science with the Wand of Knowledge. Science endows Farmer with the Wand of Knowledge.
XIII. He waves the wand above his faded crops and all growing things are revived. Other lovely flowers and plants now appear (Burbank Creations)
XIV. The Flower Dance.
XV. Plants and flowers now joyous in sunlight sing, praises to their Lord the Sun.
– Press Democrat, April 24 1920
2 PERFORMANCES WILL BE GIVEN OF SUN WORSHIPERS
Net Proceeds From Brilliant May Day Spectacle to Be Used as Nucleus for Fund to Build Burbank Memorial Building.
Interest in the coming Burbank pageant to be staged here next Saturday on the grounds of the High School, increases daily.
On Saturday two important announcements were made hy manager Chas. Hampton. They follow:
First, in addition to the afternoon performance on May Day there will also be a night production of the pageant which will begin at 8 o’clock. The hour of the afternoon performance will be 2:30 o’clock.
Second, it is intended that whatever remains of the proceeds after the actual expenses of production have heen paid, shall form the nucleus of a fund to provide for the erection here of a Luther Burbank Memorial Agricultural Building.
Both these announcements will doubtless call forth hearty approval. Many people, who have learned of the merits of the pageant and who found is possible [sic] to be present in the afternoon had expressed regret that a second production could not be given at night. Hence on Saturday Manager Hampton, after conferring with a number of people, decided to repeat the effort on Saturday night, the stage and settings being illuminated properly for the performance.
Unanimous approbation is given the suggestion that the erection of a Burbank Memorial Agricultural Building would be a fitting tribute and form a most acceptable unit for Santa Rosa’s educational department.
Next Tuesday evening in the music room of the Annex under the direction of Miss Lydia Walker there will he a rehearsal of the final chorus “Hymn to the Sun,” and everybody who can assist by singing is asked to attend Tuesday night and help swell the volume of sound in Troyer’s hum of praise [sic].
Those who respond to the call are asked to be on hand at half past seven o’clock.
A full rehearsal of the “Sun Worshipers” was held Saturday under the direction of Director Carlyle, and it was pronounced a success. Those who have witnessed the rehearsal of the pageant declare that it will be worth going many miles to see.
– Press Democrat, April 25 1920
FINE TRIBUTE TENDERED TO BURBANK IN COLORFUL FETE, “SUN WORSHIPERS”
Luther Burbank. Santa Rosa’s world famed plant breeder and horticulturist, was paid due honor by the students of the Santa Rosa schools Saturday — May Day – when they presented the beautiful and dramatic pageant “The Sun Worshipers” on the lawn in front of the Annex at the high school grounds.
The setting was one long to be remembered and one which many of the easterners who recall weather conditions in their home states marveled over as some three thousand people sat in the warm sunshine and watched several hundred students gambol on the green lawn in flimsy clothing.
In addition to the marvelous display of the pageant itself, was the presence of Madam Francisca Zarad, the famous Parisian soprano, who delighted all with her charming personality and gracious manners. She sang for the pure joy of honoring Luther Burbank and aiding the students in giving their honors to the great man who sat smiling in the audience before them, enjoying it as much as anyone present.
“The great dynamo, the Sun, is the source of all life, motion, warmth: iho producer of all food and clothing. No wonder the ancients were inspired to worship the sun.” declared Mr. Burbank in an address recently. The statement was used as the basis for the pageant plot worked out by Mrs. V. N. Hodge, wife of Victor Hodge of the high school faculty, which resulted in the delightful program Saturday afternoon and evening.
The performance was to have been given March 7 in honor of the birthday anniversary of the noted Santa Rosan, hut had to be postponed owing to the influenza ban at that time.
Madame Zarad was heartily applauded for her songs. She was in magnificent voice and delighted all with her work. She first rendered “An Involution to the Sun God,” followed by “Sunrise, Sunset” and replied to an encore with “The Little Grey Home in the West.” At the close of the program she sang “America” and led the vast audience in the “Star Spangled Banner.” At its conclusion she called for a rising tribute to Mr. Burbank who had been taken to her side on the platform before the final song. This was given with hearty good will by all.
A synopsis of the plot follows:
SOL. the God of Sun, mounts his throne in state to review the separate, distinctive historical worshipers who have courted him in dance supplication and song.
THE EGYPTIANS were the first to recognize the power of SOL so their fairest maidens dance to him. To gain favor in the God’s eyes, the Egyptian King sends his favorite dancer to woo Sol – but the God soon tires of her and her chorus.
THE GRECIANS then flit before him and they place the Godess “Terra” with her little elves of the Earth (Calcium, Potasium, Sulphur, Magnesium, Iron), together with “Ceres,” Godess of Agriculture, and her helping elves near the Sun’s power for the Grecians recognize their importance. But “Flo,” the wild God of Rain, dispels the maidens with his storm as he bounds into his place in the worship.
THE INDIANS are mourning! Their harvest are too light. [sic] The Chief is in despair when his wailing children ask for foods, [sic] so he offers his own daughter in sacrifice to bring help to his people. But lo! Sol awakens! He has heard the wailing cry! He sees the girl about to plunge the knife in her breast at his feet – he rises to appeal! He smiles. The daughter is saved and there will now be plenty in the fields and the entire tribe rejoice in dance.
THE ENDOWMENT A farmer boy, impersonating Luther Burbank, is toiling with his withering plants. He despairs for their life. Mother Terra in pity for him sends out her little elves to sprinkle the salts of the earth at their feet. No avail. Mother Ceres, too, commands her little helpers lo brace and help the plants. No results. Then Flo scatters his rain drops, they drink deeply but again they droop! Ah! The Spirit of Science shows the farmer the light, the need to recognize the power of the Sun, Sol. He hopes, he prays, he perceives. Sol smiles, the plants revive. Science leads him to the throne, he adores and for his devotion Science awards him with the Wand of Knowledge which he now wields and with which he concieves and improves the wonderful Creations of Plant Life (Burbank Creations.) In praise the Flower Dance is given, then lift up their voices in the homage hymn to their Lord the Sun.
The cast follows:
– Press Democrat, May 2 1920
Erstwhile “Sun God” Now Tiller of Soil
Joe Dearing, who impersonated the Sun God in the Burbank pageant Saturday, took again to the practical side of life Monday, when he continued his agricultural work on his seven acres of land near here. Director Chas. Hampton accompanied him Monday afternoon to the place where he is to plant tomatoes and pumpkins. He has already planted his corn.
– Press Democrat, May 4 1920