Monday, October 5, 2009

My Town Monday: Lemon Grove, CA




Yay! It's Monday. Which means another My Town Monday post. And double yay! It's October. Which means Halloween, that uber fun holiday with treats and costumes and jack-o-lanterns.

Today, I bring you a true mummy story from Lemon Grove, a town of about 25,000 people, located roughly 12 1/2 miles southwest of me here in San Diego County.

In the mid-sixties, two male San Diego teens decided they'd like to be the proud owners of a mummy.

Now, I can totally see this happening. This past Saturday evening, we had ten 16 year olds in our living room. I'm sure if, when offering pizza and snacks, I'd said offhandedly, "There's a mummy in the trunk of my car, would anyone like to take him home?", at least a couple of the teens would've stampeded me in an effort to get to the car first.

Back to the story. The two teens take off for Chihuahua, Mexico. They'd heard that local Indians used to bury their dead in the nearby caves where the cold, dry air would naturally mummify the bodies. The teens spend a month poking around these caves. (Hopefully, they grew up to use such persistence for good, like developing an effective swine flu shot.)

Lo and behold, they find, not one, but TWO mummies: a 15 year old girl and an infant girl.

The boys successfully smuggle the mummies across the border and back to San Diego when it suddenly occurs to them that perhaps their parents won't jump up and down with joy when their sons show up at their respective front doors with stolen Mexican mummies.

So, the boys do exactly what you expect them to do. They call a friend and ask if they can stash the mummies in his garage.

And the friend says exactly what you expect him to say. "Sure. My parents'll never notice." (I'm paraphrasing which is totally my right as the mother of a couple of teen boys.)

FOURTEEN years later, the boys' friend's mother decides to clean her garage.

First off, can I interject to say that any woman who only cleans out her garage every fourteen or so years is an automatic friend of mine. Second off, can you just imagine the scenario? You're minding your business in your own garage, rearranging some sprinkler heads or a bucket of bolts or a few rolls of duct tape, when--YOWZER!--you stumble across a couple of mummies!

Anyway, the woman calls the cops because she thinks there's been two murders. The cops realize the corpses are actually mummies. The all-grown-up teens confess. A San Diego museum asks the Mexican government if they can keep the mummies and put them on display.

The Mexican government replies, "Si."

I'm not sure what happened to the infant mummy. But the mummy dubbed "Lemon Grove Girl" is still on display at the Museum of Man in Balboa Park. And she's the only STOLDEN mummy on display in the ENTIRE world.


Here's Lemon Grove Girl, in her curled burial position. She probably died between A.D. 1040 and 1260. You can find her in the Ancient Egypt and Mummies Display at the Museum of Man.

And that, my dear friends, concludes another My Town Monday post from San Diego.

For links to more My Town Monday posts, click here. Also, if you're even mariginally thinking writing a My-Town-Monday post, please do! Join in! We'd love to have you! Leave a comment and we'll link to you.

sources:
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/familyxpeditions/17/mummies.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_Grove,_California
http://www.mummytombs.com/museums/sandiego.man.htm

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17 comments:

Stef said...

That cracks me up! That's what you get when you only clean the garage every 14 years. -YPN

Charles Gramlich said...

What a story. Dat's some crazy stuff.!

kaye said...

Now that was an interesting story!

Kristina P. said...

That story is insane! I love how the Mexican government had no problem with the US displaying stolen mummies of theres.

Cheryl said...

What a funny, interesting story! I can't believe that the mummies are on display. Too cool.

Amy said...

holy crap!
I can't believe that after being stowed for 14 years in some cluttered garage, its condition still looks pretty darn good! (for a mummy.. which isn't say a lot.. haha)

This makes a nice Halloween story :)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Nice Halloween story. Thanks!

Teresa said...

I love this story, Barrie!!! That is so funny about the mom finding the mummy fourteen years later!!

Nina said...

Very interesting, thank you for the story. :)

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Veerrrry interesting! I particularly like the Mexican government's response!

Sarakastic said...

This is why I never clean the garage

Beth said...

To use a well-known and perhaps over-used phrase – truth is stranger than fiction.
My favourite line in this post? “I'm paraphrasing which is totally my right as the mother of a couple of teen boys.”

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Wow--that is crazy! And completely plausible if you've ever known a teenaged boy!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I'm still trying to figure out how they snuck it over the border???

Stacy said...

That is hysterical! I'd never go in the garage again!

Ceci said...

Hi Barrie; I don't know why I suddenly became more interested in this story after 30+ years of first hearing about it, from the family that claimed to have unknowingly stored the mummy. Do you know the address where the mummy was found?

Barrie said...

Ceci, sorry. I don't know the address. :(