Tradition in the West

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

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Tradition in the West is the eighth article of the series American Impressions by Miss Conan Doyle written by Mary Conan Doyle, the first daughter of Arthur Conan Doyle, in the Los Angeles Evening Express on 9 june 1920.

Tradition in the West

Los Angeles Evening Express
(9 june 1920, p. 7)

[Miss Doyle, daughter of the distinguished English novelist, has consented to write a series of articles for the Evening Express during her sojourn in Southern California. The eighth appears herewith.]

Nothing appeals to the English heart more strongly than that word "tradition." Because we of the north live by it and have our being deep rooted in the past.

It almost amounts to this: That we can't quite judge of what a country is till we know what it has been!

California was just a pretty picture to me till I went to San Gabriel and saw the "Mission Play," then it came to life and I began to understand what things meant.

Tradition is a country's experience, it is all that goes to make personality. Evidently the line of growth is much the same everywhere, for old Californian ideals and old English ones are very much alike, the only difference arising from the outcome of conditions.

You had your great romantic pioneer time some 150 years ago, while England's "wild and woolly" days were considerably more remote than that.

We, at home, have always associated California with romance, rapidly acquired fortunes, beauty and violence.

It was true of the past and is still true, only in a different guise. The fortunes are not won by the bronzed, swarthy men, riding the ranches, or digging the goldfields, but by sleek, smooth-headed, well got-up young men posing before the camera. The beauty is no longer Spanish, but American, and the violence not the knife, but the word! Only romance continues unchanged through all the ages — the link between us, of today, and the cave dwellers of earliest history. It's a wonderful old world.