A fun mural from long ago

Over a period of about ten years (1985-95) I made a living painting historical murals. There were more than a hundred murals that we painted across Canada and the USA. One of my favourites was painted in Lompoc California. A friend from California recently was in the town for a wedding and saw it was still there.

The mural called 'TEMPERANCE' was inspired by the prohibition years in the town. A group of mostly ladies enforced the movement. There were no pictures for me to go by but instead there was a vivid description from the archives. These ladies ruled the town, breaking up bars and smashing the liquor they found. One episode described how they had pulled a building off it's foundation, threatened a lynching and generally terrorized the town. One of the fellows they accused was asleep when they knocked on his door and not well dressed when he answered. All of this was recorded in great detail and was a great story to tell visually. This was a fun mural to design and paint. I had well over a hundred feet of wall to tell the story.

I had friends and acquaintances pose for me as I designed. The fellow begging the ladies to stop pulling his building with the rope is none other than COZMIC Ray Renooy - a good friend and sign painter from Winnipeg.

Dan SawatzkyComment