The Masque of Zorro

Friday Night - Sunday Afternoon
April 28-30, 2000

Out of the night
When the full moon is bright
Comes a horseman known as Zorro.
This bold renegade carves a "Z" with his blade - 
A "Z" that stands for Zorro.
Zorro, the fox so cunning and free
Zorro, who makes the sign of the "Z"!

Hearst Hacienda Lodge, Fort Hunter Liggett, Jolon
Mission San Antonio de Padua

For our first ever weekend event, GBACG traveled back to Old California when an earlier caped crusader championed the downtrodden masses. Zorro was created by writer Johnston McCulley in 1919 for his serialized novel The Curse of Capistrano. Within a year, Douglas Fairbanks Sr. turned it into the smash hit The Mark of Zorro. The rest is history.

Above William and David Solomon reveal Zorro's dual roles: the privileged gentleman, Don Diego and master swordsman, El Zorro.

On the right, Senoritas Lorraine Carson and Jessica Koeppel grace the Spanish arches of Hearst Hacienda. Their handsome Caballero is Will Francis.

The Hacienda was built in 1929 for newspaper magnet William Randolph Hearst by Julia Morgan. Designed in Spanish Colonial Revival style, reminiscent of an early California hacienda, it was originally built to house some of his ranch workers but, was also used as a hunting lodge and party site for guests including Clark Gable, Spenser Tracey, and Leslie Howard. Our Hollywood-inspired weekend was a perfect match to this setting.

The weekend began with a cocktail party Friday night where Hollywood notables from the teens and twenties and thirties mixed drinks, deals, and wit.

Saturday many of us set off in varied directions to explore the surrounding area. We gathered Saturday night for the Zorro Banquet. In a flower-scented garden, under a full moon, we enjoyed the music of a traditional Spanish harp.

Event organizers Karen Tully and Kevin Roche chose their costumes from two different Zorro films. Karen's evening gown is a copy of the dress worn by the Alcalde's wife (Gayl Sondergaard) in the1940 film The Mark of Zorro starrimg Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell. Kevin's dashing British Naval uniform was worn by Don Diego's twin brother Ramon (calling himself Bunny Wigglesworth) when Bunny arrives for a visit in the hilarious 1981 film, Zorro, the Gay Blade. George Hamilton played both Diego and Bunny is this wild version of the Zorro tale.

A short distance separates the Hacienda and Mission San Antonio de Padua. On Sunday, we walked along a path surrounded by glowing wildflowers under a bright California sun. 

The mission was founded by Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan Padre, in1771. It is the third of the California Missions and is still an active parish church. An extensive museum documents the history of the mission and its buildings. Above, our group gathers in front of the Mission church on Sunday afternoon.

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