Jim Gallivan and his wife, Mickey, are integral to documenting and saving Pomona history, and Jim has an interest in the 19th century pseudo-science of phrenology. Thus I was delighted, but not entirely surprised, when Jim sent me the above mock-Victorian photo in response to my column last week about my little flea problem at home.
His note began:
“The timing of your article on the ‘flea invasion’ was interesting. At the summer Phillips Mansion event of the Historical Society of Pomona Valley, my daughter Britney and I presented a lively Victorian flea circus. I believe that was about three weeks ago. (And one of our fleas is missing.)”
Hmm, maybe I have it. Jim goes on to slyly reference my role as grand marshal of the 2007 Pomona Christmas Parade:
“However, one trait of the Pulex irritans is that they take on the owner’s traits. Seeing how one of the features of our circus is a parade and we even have have a car, single-flea powered, I was wondering if you might be able to spare one of your talented fleas to lead the parade and wave.
“If it could be supplied with an appropriate hat it would be all the better. It will take a while to train but having good stock is important. As Mark Twain said a flea can be taught most anything a congressman can.”
Jim, you’re welcome to one of my fleas. In fact, purely to make things simpler for you, feel free to take several so that you can do auditions and pick the best for your purposes. No, I insist.