Since I've been in Julian (about 4 years full-time), I have met three artists that focus on dragons. One draws them, one builds them and the third dresses and performs like one. Lately, I've been seeing alot of castles as the focus of artwork by locals too.

Tony DiGiovanna is one artist who builds castles. He builds them partially out of marbles so when he lights them up from the inside, they really glow. The detailing on the windows and doors is incredible on these structures which stand 3-4 feet high.

Another artist named Roger Spillman builds dragons. Some exist sole and others are clustered in groups. Once, he was commissioned to create a huge dragon statue in a shopping center near L.A. but the Japanese owner of the center liked it so much that he took it back to Japan.

One artist was drawn in by the dragon's lure and actually dresses like one. On stilts! Ben performs at Disneyland in his elaborate costume and once did a special performance at the library for Julian locals.

Our native American artisans weave and sew natural skins and items to make many things but one item is called a medicine bag. I was told to keep my magic in it and know how to use it. I keep one piece for every person I have lost. My memories are my magic.

After puma prints were spotted on my property by some Indians crossing it, I opened my door to find a lion-killing spear leaning against it. They just assumed I would need it to face the big cat. Right! The spear itself was a work of art but when I took it to the coffee shop, I quickly removed it from view as I was warned that the feathers were from endangered eagles and carried a $10,000, fine each! And there were four! I returned the spear to its creator.

As ever, waiting for the snow above 4000 ft., SD


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