I recently trekked to the King Tut exhibition at the California Science Center — how could I not be interested when ancient Egypt and modern Long Beach have so much in common?
Long Beach is, of course, the home of the Walter Pyramid (est. AD 1994).
• And it was Long Beach State that conferred its first honorary doctorate upon actor/comic Steve Martin, author of the ditty, "King Tut."
At the ceremony, author Barbara Kingsley-Wilson wrote in her history of the school, Martin chanted the lyrics from ‘’Tut," including these memorable lines:
“Born in Arizona, moved to Babylonia/Born in Arizona, got a condo made of stone-a, King Tut."
• As for the current LA exhibition, it is spell-binding, well worth the journey up the Harbor Freeway. It just seemed impossible that the artwork on display had been created more than 3,000 years ago. I was fascinated to learn that during his brief reign, Tut (BC 1332?-1323?) showed an interest in sports. The boy pharaoh's tomb included a pair of boomerangs, which were used for hunting.
(There is evidence, however, that Tut was not born in Arizona.)
• Personally, I've always been intrigued by the link between the two empires. After LB's Pyramid opened, some leaks in the structure showed up during a rainstorm.
I was the first reporter to write that the leaks might be related to the fabled Curse of the Pharaohs.
Come of think of it, I believe I was the only reporter to write that.
• Another link between the two empires can be seen in the work of Long Beach candy maker Romeo Garcia, who has introduced chocolates embossed with images of three Long Beach landmarks: the Queen Mary, the Villa Riviera, and, of course, the Pyramid (see photo).
I was disappointed that there was no such replica of the Dunkin’ Donut, the Seventh Street wonder known to earlier historians as the Big Donut. But Garcia is the artist, not me.
• The other day, you may recall, I printed the complaint of a local nextdoor.com contributor who wrote: “What in the cornbread hell is up with all the cats (mainly) and dogs getting out and lost? I've never seen anything like this! Come on people."
The reader may have a point. Cats can be a bit difficult to corral but I was reminded of a photo that my sister, Marilyn Stein, took of a man who had solved the control problem: He had a toy train of cats that he pulled through Manhattan (see photo). No doubt the animals figured it was a parade in their honor.
By the way, at least one Tut cat had its own sarcophagus — in a sort of condo made of stone-a.