I’ve been watching a lot of Parks and Recreation lately. Of course you do not need to know this information at all. But after reading about Charles Lummis (a man with many talents who also had a strong interest in women and drink) I couldn’t help but think of the character of Ron Swanson. Back in 1884 Lummis journeyed on foot from Cincinnati to Los Angeles (a total of 148 days) to take a job with the Los Angeles Times, dispatching reports along the way. Basically he live-tweeted his way across the country. During his adventure he broke his arm (he had to reset it himself by jumping out of a tree) and survived the harsh winter outdoors in New Mexico. If only our our own twitters can be as interesting. Anyway, because he was a man’s man, Lummis built his own home with his own hands. Over a twelve-year period between 1898 and 1910, Lummis worked on creating his distinctive El Alisal “castle” along the Arroyo Seco just off the 110 Freeway using granite river rock, concrete and old Sante Fe Railroad poles. After all, every man’s home is his castle. The home, a blend of mission architecture and arts & crafts, is furnished with hand-crafted wooden furniture, which I’m sure would have met Ron Swanson’s approval. Not only was Lummis a journalist, but he was also an artist, photographer, author, and Indian rights activist. After he died, he was cremated and his remains were put into the walls of the house. Today the Lummis Home & Gardens is home of the Historical Society of Southern California, which the government-hating, libertarian government official known as Ron Swanson would not toast a big glass of scotch to and most likely try to shut down. But fortunately this odd little house museum is here to stay.