In this day of political correctness, wokeism and cancel culture, it never ceases to amaze me that statues of our founding fathers are defaced and torn down because some people find them offensive, while statues are erected to memorialize convicted felons. Likewise, names of presidents are removed from schools named after them. School mascots and Major League Baseball team names offend people, so they must be changed.
Yet, right here in our valley we have a high school and county park named after a man whose claim to fame included highway robbery, burglary, horse thief, cattle rustler, philanderer, gunfighter and murderer. His trademark was binding his victims hands’ behind their backs and leaving them face down in the dust. While doing time in San Quentin, he orchestrated four bloody prison breaks that claimed the lives of 20 convicts.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m talking about Vasquez High School, Vasquez Rocks and Vasquez Canyon. All named after the notorious bandido Tiburcio Vasquez, who began his reign of terror and life of crime at the tender age of 15 only to have it culminate at age 39 by hanging for his misdeeds.
What a great role model for our high school teenagers who attend a school named after this man.
With such an impressive resume, maybe we should erect a statue of Tiburcio Vasquez in Hart Park.
Barbara A. Switzer