(Also for Three-Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "K" is for "Kearney")
I was brought up in Los Angeles. As a kid I got interested in a part of local history that wasn’t covered in school: the Los Angeles Water Wars.
Even when the town was just founded, in 1781, folks could see that this was a great spot for a community. It was practically on the Pacific Ocean, they told themselves, and look – Hollywood was just next door.
The town had an impressive, awe-inspiring name (in Spanish): “The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels.” After some time it became more terse, just Los Angeles, “The Angels.” (“The Lakers” would have sounded a bit lame at that time.)
It was a quiet village. The villagers didn’t have much energy; their idea of a big time was to have two enchiladas for lunch. But the place seemed to have potential, the possibility of a great future.
There was one problem. Water.
There was, of course, plenty of water; they were practically sitting on the Pacific Ocean, after all. But that was that salty stuff; who enjoys drinking that? The fresh variety was in short supply. (It still is.)
One day around 1900 a citizen of the town named Fred Kearney was vacationing two or three hundred miles from L A and he saw something astonishing. In a place named Owens Valley he saw tons of fresh water – millions of gallons of the stuff – all just sort of lying there. It was the runoff of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Kearney thought, the Romans did it, why can’t we? In other words he and some other Angelenos planned to build an aqueduct that would have Owens Valley H2O cascading down to the queen of the angels.
It would be gravity-fed; no pumps needed. We conduit! he cried. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, what went wrong was that the Owens Valley area had quite a number of farmers. (They were manufacturing a marvelous new invention, the orange.)
They weren't willing to cooperate. To keep their water, they were ready to fight, and they did. Thus did the L A Water Wars come into existence. Perhaps the most famous of the wars you never heard of.
As you may have guessed, the acqueductors won.
Reason I tell you all this is that it has to do with the Berownial quiz of the week. The above story, without the puns, should remind you of a famous motion picture.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is: name the movie.
(Also submitted to Sunday Scribblings)