February 13, 2012

Diary of a Crazy Artist: On Killing Monday

Consider the murder last year of Monday, the 5-year-old swan who lived in the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts, killed in what evidence suggests was a party — feathers found among empty beer cans and trash.

From SFGate last year:

The swan, a 5-year-old named Monday, was killed six months after her 19-year-old mother, Friday, was stolen, leaving only Monday’s sister, 13-year-old Blanche, Hagerty (the caretaker of the swans) said. Blanche is now the only swan that graces a lagoon designed with the birds in mind.

The original sketches for the Palace of Fine Arts, which was designed by Bernard Maybeck and built in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific Exposition, included two Mute Swans swimming in the lagoon, Hagerty said.

“Maybeck loved the Mute Swans and felt they were an integral part,” she added. “This was really a senseless and hideous thing.”

The swans slept on the grass and under trees near the artificial lagoon in what is a largely unprotected area, Hagerty said. The Mute Swans, named so because they are less vocal than other swan species, can live up to 40 years.

After I read about this last year, on some Mondays this is all I can think about. Needless to say, Monday’s killer was never caught.


Comments (1)

  • Hagerty is family friend (in fact I shared a name with her first Swan for the Palace) and those swans are close to my heart. I sometimes still think of Monday too, but then a much happier story comes to mind about when Hagerty and my Mom and my younger brother and I went to pick up Stella the Fella in the North Bay. The farm was a child’s paradise and we ran around like it was our own private zoo. The breeders had so many other birds including chicks that lived in their house with them. My 11 year old self saw this as the equivalent to a live action Disney movie. We put Stella in the back of my mom minivan and drove back to The City. Unfortunately the mamamobile was unequipped for swan transportation and the bird shat all over the car leaving the adults horrified but my brother and I giggling at the idea of swan poop. Anyway the release of Stella into the Palace was phenomenal and inspirational and it just felt so RIGHT to have swans in that lake. Hagerty has had so much love for these birds over the years despite numerous acts of violence seen in the lake ( http://tinyurl.com/swanviolence ). Anyway I just thought I would share the story as those swans are so San Francisco and I thought there should be a happy story up here too.

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