November 16th, 2008

Coat of Arms

Myrtle The Turtle

Cabazonia Adventure part II:

Myrtle The Turtle
{Joshua Tree, CA. 11/11/XLIII}

Warlock Blackthorne with Myrtle the TurtleAfter departing Cabazonia, we decided to seek the elusive fabled giant turtle named Myrtle, said to roam the outskirts of Joshua Tree. Entering the blackened expanse at night of Joshua Tree National Park can be quite a "mystical" experience, as it were, as rock formations assume phantom shapes rising from the earth, likened shadowy beasts and winged demons. Of note, "Devil's Horn" and "Skull Rock", obviously named after their resemblance of such, and one which I facetiously dubbed "Goth Rock" for its resemblance to an elongated cathedralesque structure.

Joshua trees, of the genus Yucca brevifolia, are an interesting breed of fauna, which are plentiful therein, resembling something one might find in a Dr. Seuss illustration, yet at night, with passing headlights, sometimes resemble everything from hydras, to lurching ghouls, and perhaps even "skinwalkers" {amerind lycanthropic shaman infused with "evil spirits"}.

Time for my close-up, Mr. Demille...

So, after traveling through the hellish landscape for a time, emerging from the western entrance of the park, searching through the darkness, she was spotted! Luckily, in a moment of repose, we managed to snap these shots with the mysteriously delightful lady, who sports red lipstick and nail polish, with enchanting green eyes; and with her history as a float in the "Joshua Tree Turtle Days Parade", at which point she was eventually donated to the Joshua The Chamber. To quote a source:

Al Makin - Mr. Turtle plaque

"Myrtle the Turtle" started out as a concept in 1957, by Willis Keys and his wife, Guin. She suggested they enter a float in the next turtle race parade and asked Willis if he would build some kind of turtle on wheels that could be pulled by the two of them.

Willis began to brainstorm! Guin drew the turtle’s original motif. From there, Willis started by cutting ribs of plywood, steel rods were bent and placed over the ribs and the shell was then covered with chicken wire. Guin drew the pattern of a turtle shell while the plaster was still wet. The legs and head were formed out of chicken wire, plastered, dried and mounted onto the shell so they would move a bit. Guin painted the turtle.

They entered Myrtle in the Turtle Days Parade in Joshua Tree. Willis believes "Myrtle" was actually the second turtle float entered in any of Joshua Tree’s turtle race parades. He states, "The first turtle was quite a bit smaller, had wheels, and was pulled by a cord. "The first turtle float entry was thought to have been back in the 1946 time period.

When Willis dismantled "Myrtle" from the scooter he asked the Joshua Tree Chamber if they wanted her. The chamber agreed and this is how she became a permanent resident of Joshua Tree.

She was then adopted by Howard Pierce, restored, and changed into her present-day form. One of Myrtle’s plaques records a dedication to Turtle Island and "Al Mackin, known as Mr. Turtle." The second plaque states "Donated to the Community of Joshua Tree by Howard Pierce."

Her shell features a collage of pentagons and trapezoids, making her extra special. Myrtle's "cousin" decided to migrate to the lizard kingdom of Cabazonia, now residing by Mr. Rex. The adventure is concluded for now. Back to The Haunted Noctuary! ∞