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Saint Junípero Serra in Orange County (Excerpt) - San Juan Capistrano Visitor Series Part 5

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The following is a short excerpt from my forthcoming book detailing Saint Junípero Serra's time in Orange County and Mission San Juan Capistrano. I'm currently in the editing process with the assistance of some wonderful scholars, including Dr. Rose Marie Beebe, Dr. Robert Senkewicz, Dr. David Rex Galindo, Rev. William Krekelberg and Chris Jepson of the Orange County Historical Society. The footnotes have been removed for formatting reasons. More information is forthcoming.
Serra’s Third Time in Orange County – The Founding of Mission San Juan Capistrano – c. October 26 - December 5, 1776        Serra departed from San Diego on October 25th with Corporal Nicolás Beltrán, ten leather-jacket soldiers, some Baja California Indians, and Father Gregorio Amurrió to reestablish Mission San Juan Capistrano. When they arrived a couple of days later, they found the cross still standing from the year before. Father Amurrió pointed out the spot where the bells had been buried and Beltrán o…

My Story with Phil Brigandi

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Tired but accomplished - the team which led the bus tour following the Portolá Expedition's route through Orange County in the years 1769-1770. From left to right: Paul Spitzerri, Chris Jepsen, Stephanie George, Phil Brigandi and Eric Plunkett (author of this blog). Our friend and colleague, Phil Brigandi, died on December 12th, 2019. This is my story with Phil.

I met Phil Brigandi at an Orange County Historical Society meeting on April 12th, 2012. I had known about Phil for long before meeting him. He was a hard guy to avoid. Phil seemed to have written or spoken about every historical topic I was interested in and started researching myself. Even after seven years of friendship, I’m still only scratching the surface of the breadth of history Phil knew and wrote about. But the Phil I knew was a kindred spirit. He saw what I saw in the backcountry. He didn’t just see the chaparral and grass covered hills dotted with occasional oaks (which he likened in beauty to “acquired taste”), …