In 1932, Los Angeles won the bid to host the Olympic games.
Probably because they had no other city bidding against them.
This was during the worldwide Great Depression and fewer than half of the participants of the 1928 Summer Olympics returned to compete in 1932.
Even the President skipped the event.
Which is a shame because he missed seeing Kido Shunzo.
Kido was born on 1889 in Miyagi, Japan.
As a talented rider, he was entered in the steeplechase event, a strenuous 20 mile race, that ran through mountains and fields, containing 50 obstacles to pass over.
From the start, Kido took the lead on his beloved horse Kyugun, and held his position.
As he neared his last obstacle and the subsequent gold metal literally around the corner, something happened that would surprise not only the onlookers but generations to come.
Within seconds of his gold medal, Kido dismounted his horse, and moved to the side of the track.
You see, his horse Kyugun, was 19 years old, which in human years is about 79 years.
Kyugun was shaking, his body laced with sweat, and his breath was coming in raspy pants.
His fellow competitors, under similar situations would have whipped their horses to reach their last bit of energy, and win the race.
However, Kido realized that if Kyugun had to jump over one more obstacle, death for his horse would be certain.
The judges and spectators reportedly shed tears as Kido stepped close to his horse and whispered his apology in the horse's ear.
Later Kido would say that in light of the situation that he had put his dear friend in,
"I realized that I am not at all good at riding a horse."
Two years later in 1934, a plague was placed for both man and horse, upon Mount Rubidoux's
Testimonial Peace Tower, a structure that was built as a replica of a noted bridge in Alcantara, Spain.
This plaque reads,
"During the Equestrian Games of the 10th Olympiad
Lt. Col. Shunzo Kido, turned aside from the prize to save his horse.
He heard the low voice of mercy,
not the loud acclaim of glory."
In was in search of this plague, and this mountain of greatness that we left our homes and loved ones on that bright Friday morning.
From the valley of Fontana, to the top of Mount Rubidoux.
Our breakfast that day was made by champions, made for champions, and scarfed down by a few champions.
Another feast made by Genelli & Co.
Waffles, biscuits qnd gravy, yogurt with fruit, eggs....etc.
Emily couldn't tear herself away from the food long enough to take a picture.
It's serious business.
It was also on this morning of greatness that we added champion #7, and our second Emily to the roster.
Complete with our A-list of athletes, we split for the mountain.
Actually, first, Amelia (we changed Emily Genelli's name to Amelia, so we wouldn't get her mixed up with Ms. Emily Keating) had a kid dropped off so she could babysit it for the day.
She was getting him all set up with his stroller and the amenities he would need on the hike and Luke walks up to her and says "So what's his name?"
Amelia looks at him....
and just keeps looking at him.....
and then mumbles "I don't know."
(that was me laughing, not her)
So, for the next little while we debated about what kind of name he looked like he would have, until Jenny piped up and said she thought his name was Macklemore.
But that was the best we had to go with, so Macklemore he became until Jenny said she thought his name was Montgomery.
This sounded more promising until she said she actually thought his name was Claiborne.
Finally after a text from the father of the child about halfway through the day, the truth was revealed.
His name was Claymore.
To the poor confused kid who spend half a day with people calling him by 3 different names that were not his own, to him I say that you will always be Macklemore to me.
Some things stick.
Anyways, we piled into our cars and drove to the mountain, dubbed Mt. Rubydoo by those who had trouble with the pronunciation.
SOMEBODY forgot his jacket and so he was using Macklemore's blankie while it was available.
When you pull into the parking lot, it is a beautiful sight, and a little daunting.
The peak of the mountain is topped with a white cross, and you can see the trail that winds and finds its way to the top.
We were blessed with sunny skies that day, and honestly, it couldn't have been more perfect.
Even in the desert, a cactus blooms.
The view got prettier and prettier the higher we went.
Some of us couldn't wait to get to the top....
So we started running.
Amelia pushed Macklemore all the way to the top! #fontanastrong
We just had to keep our eyes on the cross. Almost there.
I believe I set my personal record for calories burned in one day, and flights of stairs climbed.
When we reached the top, there were people running, jumping, doing just about any type of exercise that you could name, at the top of the mountain where there was a plateau right before the ascent to the cross.
Myles got inspired began to demonstrate some tricep dips.
I hear they're hideously painful.
Then we tried some leg exercises. They were about as successful.
Facing North, wearing North Face.
We made it.
It seems that since we began this journey with a bit of history belonging to Mt. Rubidoux, we shall seem it fitting to end it this way also.
There was another perfect day, other than the one I've been describing to you, dear reader.
That one happened on a certain perfect day in 1909.
A certain Ms. Carrie Jacob's sat in her 4th floor room and watched as the sunset fell over Mt. Rubidoux.
The purples, the oranges, the streaks of white that belonged to the dying sunset held her mesmerized as the giant fireball settled in the western sky.
A a singer/songwriter, she had always had always garnered inspiration from the things that made up her American life, and turned them into something tangible, something that she put her heart into singing.
She grabbed a pen and paper, words landing on the sheet and they poured out of her heart,
"When you come to the end of a perfect day,
And you sit alone with your thought,
While the chimes ring out with a carol gay,
For the joy that the day has brought,
Do you think what the end of a perfect day,
Can mean to a tired heart,
When the sun goes down with a flaming ray,
And the dear hearts have to part?
Well this is the end of a perfect day,
Near the end of a journey, too,
But it leaves a thought that is big and strong,
With a wish that is kind and true,
For mem'ry has painted this perfect day
With colors that never fade,
And we find at the end of a perfect day,
The soul of a friend we've made."
The end of a perfect day.