Posts Tagged ‘Jotham Bixby’

Behind the Music: The Life and Times of the Knolls Ranger

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Fact:  The Knolls Ranger, local super-hero and pastry aficionado from the  Bixby Knolls region of upper Long Beach, is as old as the hills.  Actually, with a birthdate of Oct. 1st, 1881 he is older than our nearest hill (Signal Hill) by 43 years!  But who’s counting?

We are!  And our crack team of recreational historians have been working ’round the clock; subsiding on only the ranger’s famous sarsparilla, pouring through family photo albums, interviewing dotty old relatives stinking in resting homes across this great nation, and all in an effort to bring you a definitive history of the life and times of our man, the Knolls Ranger.

That’s right, never before has the entire story of the pod-person vigilante been so thoroughly laid out, the mythos questioned, the facts laid bare.  What lies before you is nothing short of the entire story, good and ill, in riveting bullet point form!  So get those mice ready blog-o-philes, and start scrolling southward because this is it.  The Knolls Ranger:  The Untold Story

13.75 Million years Ago

Our tale begins.  The big bang creates a hot, dense, rapidly expanding universe.  Nerds Sheldon and Leonard move next door to aspiring actress Penny.  Energy cools and is converted into sub-atomic particles.  Protons, netutrons and ranger-trons form and bind.  Yes, ranger-trons.  In an exciting bout of scientific derring-do physicists at the Geneva hadron collider now believe that a third building block of life, the ranger block, was created side by side with protrons and neutrons during that fateful day of big banging.  But this discreet particle laid dormant in a dwarf star for millions of years before hurtling towards earth and creating two beings with it’s unique composition:  Bixby super-hero, The Knolls Ranger and TV actor, Ernest Borgnine.  Proving once and for all that atomically speaking The Knolls Ranger is unlike any other being on this planet.  Except for Ernie B.

1881 AD

As legend has it, the Knolls Ranger arose from the chance devouring of a pregnant abuelita woman by an alien bean-pod in the Rancho’s of yester-year.  But new DNA tests reveal the ranger’s true father to be none other than Papa Long Beach himself, Jotham Bixby.  This revelation illustrates just how deep the ranger’s Bixby blood runs but doesn’t immediately account for his super-powers of photo-synthesis.  Is the pod person persona little more than a cheap parlor trick?  A tall tale?  A well-spun yarn?  Or was Jotham Bixby himself the bean pod?!  Were Lewellyn Bixby and Benjamin Flint and the entire Flint & Bixby Co. a secret coven of space veggies?!  We may never get a definitive answer on this, but we do know KR drops leaves in autumn, and that ain’t no parlor trick.

1890′s

Everyone knows that after his time with the Bixbys the ranger went on to live with the Tongva indians in the Puvungna village in what is now Cal State Long Beach.  But what many people don’t realize is that he also took this opportunity to invent peanut butter.  If we type it it must be true!

1926

In the lord’s year of 1926 a traveling snake charmer traded the ranger new literature for his prized PB and some of those Rancho Los Cerritos Lima Beans.  Amongst the books was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.  Immediately falling in love with the glamour of the east, KR bid his tribe adieu, sent one last prayer to Chinigchinix, and headed off to Yale to get a college education, “Like Gatsby”  When Yale turned him down, the ranger found himself at Dartmouth, where he attended classes in Political Science with a high five enthusiast named Cinco Martinez.  The two formed a fast friendship which persists to this day.

1949

Hot on the heels of collegiate carousing (only root beer folks, don’t worry), the Ranger returned to his Tongva tribe and his LB life and fell in with a trio of track-home building developers named Boyar, Taper, and Weingart.  They convinced the son of Jotham and his Bixby bud Cinco to build the Lakewood City Center under the pretense that our boys would be constructing homes for returning WWII soldiers.  When the shoe dropped that our heroes had unintentionally developed the world’s first mall and effectively driven all the business out of the Bixby area the ranger swore he would do right by the community from then onward.

1954

As the story goes the ranger was driven out of town by a torch and pitchfork wielding populace, real Mary Shelly chic, after his and Cinco’s Lakewood transgression only to freeze in a fruit crate stored at the Long Beach Ice Company and awake 60 years later from cryogenic stasis to a public desperate for a hero.  But what about the Bixby Belle?  You know the Dooley doll come to life by magical LA river slime?  The other great protector of Bixby and the ranger’s better half!  How could she have come to be if the Knolls Ranger was already on ice at this time?  Unless…  Unless it was Cinco disguised as the Knolls Ranger who froze himself for all those years!  Leaving the Ranger time to master Tai Chi, fly to the moon, battle his arch nemesis Dr. Illiterate on that desert isle and hone the skills he would need to be the cities protector in cognito!  Yes, the ranger was in disguise for 60 years traversing the globe with his gal, keeping Bixby bandits at bay from a distance, and becoming the worldly fellow he is today!  Or so these ancient Masonic texts we found buried at the Long Beach Historical Society tell us.

September 2009

A certain ranger arrives on the scene.  Spreading fun and silliness wherever he goes.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

The Best of 2010, A Ranger’s Year-In-Review

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

My Senitments Precisely

As the ball dropped behind Dick Clark  and citizens made kissy faces in the dark, the Knolls Ranger decided to look back and remember the super year that just was.  From shipwrecked 16 year olds to precognitive cephalopods, 2010 was a veritable hootenanny of local, state, and world excitement!  But don’t take my word for it, cast your mind back through the fog of time and recall these rip-roaring dates of revelry for the Ranger’s 2010 Year-In Review!

Jan. 4th : The tallest man made structure to date, the Burj Khalifa opens in Dubai, of The United Arab Emirates.  Upon opening, area man, “Jack” climbs up the building and brings back a golden egg laying goose and singing harp.

The Towering Burj Khalifa of Dubai

Jan. 3oth: Boy Scout Greg Rielly of troop 29, turns into a majestic soaring eagle.  But this stunning transformation had nothing to do with Voodoo brouhaha and the casting of chicken bones, and everything to do with community activation.   Thanks for the Muskogee Myrtles Greg!

Tree Planting

Feb. 3rd.  The Long Beach Police Department ends their exhaustive six month long search for a new chief of police after former LAPD second-in-command Jim McDonnell successfully beats out other contestants in a televised program called, So You Think You Can Chief. The program called for the police officers to perform weekly choreographed dance numbers and eat icky looking insects, among other things.

LBPD Cheif of Police Jim Mcdonnell

Feb. 12th, The 2010 winter Olympics kick off in Vancouver and Whistler.  Canadian sports commentators Bob & Doug McKenzie report, “It’s a beauty, eh.”

Take off Hoser

Feb. 26th, After double parking my beloved horse Chromium on an impacted Long Beach street, she runs off and crosses the Bering Strait.  Marking her the First Horse Owned By A Pod Person Super-hero to Successfully Cross The Bering Strait from the Pacific Coast.  Take that Silver!

Dear Chromium, you will be missed

April 9th, Local troupe Alive Theatre debuts their uncompromising vision of civic inaction with Eugene Ionesco’s A Hell of a Mess at 3838 Atlantic.  Venue holder Paul Forman, inspired by the theatrics, announces his upcoming one-man-show, Paul’s Way.

A precursor to Paul Forman's One-Man-Show

April 14 – Ash from erupting volcano’s beneath the ice cap Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, halts air traffic in northern and western Europe.  Which is good news for my buddy Dale who’s in the train business.

Money Time Dale!  Yee-ha!  Git 'er Done!  Etc...

April 29th, City Mobility Coordinator Charles Gandy, members of the bike community, DJ Neon Hunter, and the Ranger IPA guys meet up at the Factory Gastro-bar to discuss making Long Beach the most bike-friendly city in the US and drink brewskies.  In an unprecedented and shocking move that gets some hate mail, I turn in my regular duds for a decidedly PG-13 wardrobe that resembles a beer keg. Heaven’s to Betsy!

Controversial Costume with Another Ranger

May 4th, A new world record is set for art sold at an auction when a Pablo Picasso piece entitled, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, sells for $106.5 million.  It seems an exorbitant price for a single painting but any struggling Non-profit organization that expresses dismay probably lacks culture and just doesn’t “get it.”

Picasso painting worth more than GDP of Malyasia

May 5th, The First Annual Long Beach Bicycle Tour attracts thousands who bike and huff across all thirty miles of scenic bike routes, city streets, and historical landmarks.  Here’s to hoping that 2012′s First Annual Unicycle Tour is as well attended.

The First annual Bike Tour

May 7th, The Neanderthal Genome Project announces that they have successfully sequenced enough of the genome to suggest that man and neanderthal interbred.  Neanderthal Civil Rights activists rejoice in a series of funny TV commercials for a car insurance company.

Man and Neandrethal, unlikely Bed-fellows?  Not According to Science

May 19th, The Bixby Knolls Strollers continue their monthly morning community treks from It’s a Grind Coffeehouse (4245 Atlantic Ave) to the far reaches of Bixby Knolls and Cal Heights.  On this morning the Knolls Ranger accompanied them and shared stories of his days on the Rancho photo-synthesizing alongside Jotham and Llewellyn.

A Morning Bixby Stroll Club

June 11th-July 10th, Paul the octopus from the Oberhausen sea life center gained notoriety for successfully predicting the winning team for each of Germany’s seven matches in the 2010 world cup.  In addition to football outcomes, the cephalapod was able to accurately predict lotto numbers, keno numbers, and that Oedipus Rex would eventually kill his father and marry his mother.

Paul the oracle octopus predicts a win for Germany

July 20th, The 5th Annual Bixby Knolls Dragster Expo & Car Show drew huge crowds and featured over 200 classic and vintage rods.  There was music and merriment and beer gardens, oh, my!  Mark your calendars for July 9th, 2011.  When once again the tranquil North Long Beach night will roar with the sounds of motor engines.  Hot diggity!

The 5th Annual Bixby Dragster Show & Car Expo

August 7th, Council Members, Congresswomen, RDA folk, neighbors, and the ranger drink coco and shop at the brand new Marshalls Department store!  I auction off a handbag!

Ladies and Gentlemen of Bixby Knolls, get your shop on

August 25th, The BKBIA office gets a surprise letter from another local do-gooder who refers to himself simply as the Naples Superhero.  Mystery man-o-Naples, we still want to meet up with you!
The Naples Hero

Sep. 3rd, Due to an influx of microscopic krill to our shores, record numbers of blue whales show up off the coast of Long Beach.  The Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises shuttle tourists out to see the behemoths and gain evidence about their migratory patterns.  As of press time the whales declined to make any statements one way or the other regarding the Long Beach breakwater.

Bring on the Blue Whales

Sep. 10th, Greggory Moore heads to Burning Man.  Wears funny clothes.

Hehehe

Sep. 14th, Hollywood Photographer Peter Tangen, (responsible for the Hellboy, Spiderman, and Batman movie posters) begins to create stylized photo poster images of real life super-heroes (like the Knolls Ranger) the world over.  Subjects include Vancouver’s Thanotos, New York’s NYX, and San Fransisco’s Motor Mouth.

San Fransisco Hero, Motor Mouth

Sep. 18th, Long Beach Harbor Board Commissioner Mario Cordero is nominated to the Federal Maritime Commission by US President Barack Obama.  Which I’ll warrant is slightly more auspicious than my nomination to Homecoming King.

Mario Cordero

October 17th, I turn 129 years old in human years and my party at Vangie Ogg Photography and Pixie Toys (3930 Atlantic avenue) was the talk of the town! The yummy cake was courtesy of Alsace Lorraine Bakery.

D'aaaaw, too cute

December 2nd, GFA-41, an arsenic based strain of rod-shaped bacterium is discovered in CA’s Mono lake, thus showing that life is possible without phosphorous.  Everyone from NASA scientists to the casual man-on-the-street was excited by this new expansive view on what makes life and the possibilities of encountering it in space.  Everyone, I should say, except for the chemical compound Phosphorous himself, who grew very depressed and didn’t leave his room for a week.

Arsenic Bacteria in Mono Lake

And that, in essence was 2010.   Only time will tell what 2011 holds, but this ranger for one is excited.