Where's Gold to be Found?
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 by Frank Shortt

The California Gold Rush started in around 1849 as Marshall at Sutter’s Mill allowed his secret to leak out. Much has happened since then!

The hardy pioneers of ’49 showed us how ‘men could be men’ as they stayed on course to complete their goals. Sadly to say, some of them ended up pushing a plow and some became paupers even living in hollow trees. As the Gold Rush subsided, the ones with sticktuitevness had already become the forerunners and future leaders of the late, great, state of California. Some of their ideas are downright decadent!

As men of the Far East heard about all the riches being found in California, they too left being tailors, laundrymen, restauranteurs, and businessmen in their respective countries to seek fame and fortune elsewhere. These men knew not what they were biting off. They did not realize that because of their Eastern ways they would be persecuted to the nth degree and not allowed to partake of the riches so afforded by many from other countries. These men persevered, gleaning gold left in the diggings of others. By doing this, some became, quietly, quite wealthy! Some, not finding any gold, became laundrymen in their chosen towns. Some became cooks in the gold fields, even to the point that, competing camps would offer extravagant salaries to lure the cook away from their neighbors. Some even kidnapped the cooks from adjoining camps. Nonetheless, the Asian refugees, by their willingness to accept menial jobs, were able to gain a foothold in their new and adopted land!

Not too much has changed in our day! In this place of instant millionaires men have traversed from afar seeking another gold strike. Now it is technology they seek. Due to lack of trained personnel in the Silicone field, companies have sought out men from all over the globe who are willing to give up their homes abroad and to ‘sell out’ to their particular phase of expertise. As they become geeks, they can be seen riding in Teslas, Benz’, and living in the most expensive parts of the cities of the Bay Area. The gold they sought was the very knowledge they carried with them from afar. Sadly to say, some have returned to their native lands broke and dejected. Other unscrupulous men stole their ideas and sent them packing.

Nothing is new in regards to gold strikes! Men in every century have been lured to other places because of rumors of ‘money hanging on the trees’! The only thing that changes is the venue. We’ve had our Ponce de Leon, our Columbus, our Magellan, and many other adventurers who did not realize at the time that they were opening the way for others to become rich, or not, because of their ‘pluck of the trail’! It is certain that the early explorers, sponsored by different Kingdoms, had no idea of the riches that lay in the land later named America. What if Ponce de Leon would have found the ‘Fountain of Youth’? Instead he has to accept the accolades of being called the ‘Father of Puerto Rico’ (notoriously poverty ridden) and being accredited with naming Florida(besieged constantly by huge winds!) Columbus died in 1506, and is now considered a failure because he did not find a shorter route to the Indies. Magellan and his men were the first Europeans to reach the Philippine Archipelago. He died in the Philippines in the year 1521. All his efforts were considered in vain, except that one of his ships reached Spain with a load of spices that proved much more precious than gold.

Horace Greeley once said, “Go west young man, grow with the land!” Much confusion has arisen as men still try to heed his charge. God only knows where the next ‘gold strike’ will be. Where is that villainous object that has caused so much bloodshed, hatred, and strife among nations? It is my hope that the man who finds the next strike will have sense enough to keep it to himself until he has the time to dispense his great find without causing a panic!

Civilization has steadily moved westward. Men, who have tried to bring Truth, have reached the West Coast of America. Now the only way to carry civilization onward is to go east! God knows we need some civilization in America!

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