This is the oldest Pepper Tree in California, at the Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside! It was planted from a pepper seed in 1830 and it has been shedding tree trash all over the place ever since. If you want a tree like this, look no further than your kitchen. Pepper trees are notorious for losing junk and stuff, being a mess, and getting that weird bulbous gnarled trunk. This was suggested to me by Gentlestorms who incidentally sent me a completely awesome fan art of Chateau Grief that wasn’t on DA so I couldn’t show it off. I really really love getting fan arts btw...
The mission was founded in 1798 by the Franciscans who built their entire complex around an water system that they designed. They began work on the mission in 1815, and it is the largest of the California Missions. My big question is ‘Who is San Luis Rey’ which means of course, Saint Louis, King. Meet me in St. Louis! Well it’s Louis IX, who was a Capet, and who lived from 1214 to 1270. He was a Crusader King, and despite not actually being in France for the crusading bit, presided over some serious French high culture…which ended up with him getting made a Saint. He was married to my 26th great-grandmother’s sister, and he died of dysentery, though not on the Oregon Trail. Here’s a book written by one of his knights about him:
He starts the book off with a list of habitual sayings of Louis:
“Fair son, I pray thee, win the love of the people of thy kingdom. For truly, I would rather that a Scot should come out of Scotland and rule the people of the kingdom well and justly, than that thou shouldest govern them ill-advisedly”
Sick burn Scotland.
“See that you be not wittingly guilty of any word or deed whereof—if all the world knew it— you could not acknowledge: So I said; So I did.”
Sick burn Twitter.
“Which would you rather: Be a leper, or have committed a deadly sin?”
Sick burn modern politics - Louis picked the leper, obviously. He got his wish, judging from some of the scathing things people are saying about him online.
“Speak aloud, for your fellows here fancy that you are backbiting them. If your discourse at table be of pleasant matters, then speak aloud, or, if not, then keep silence.”
See, your mom never said it that elegantly, did she?
So Louis was made a saint, and is now a bit of a leper. Very cool. I wonder if he liked pepper trees? He even got painted by El Greco holding a back scratcher. It’s in the Louvre.
Xander could never hope to be this cool.
I also appreciate how you put in the history. I love history and this is just another piece of which I have yet to learn. And I thank you for that, my friend...
...this is the single most important thing I have ever learned about Louis IX, and that part about you being his sister's 28th-great-grandchild is also pretty awesome!