San Diego Hysterical Society



Staff of Fortune

by Bertha Orlinski


 The Clan of the Cave Bear was not the only cult in San Diego between the wars. Guido Montezuma and his "Staff of Fortune" also played here.

Guido hold out his Staff of Fortune, (for a buck)
- Montezuma and his Staff of Fortune -

Guido was from the small mountain village of Jamul where the only industry was the export of swings. To get to San Diego he had to wade across several shallow streams and needed to use a beanpole found along the way to steady himself. A curious knot on the end of the pole bore a close resemblance to Pope Leo XIII.

Maybe it was the heat of the day, or maybe it was Guido's lack of sophistication, but midway across the first stream he thought he heard the knot tell him "Guido, with this staff you walk on water and your fortune made."

Upon arriving in San Diego, Guido told everyone he met of the miraculous message of the staff and how he had walked on water to get there. Soon a throng surrounded him, each person seeking to touch this staff that promised fortune. Dollar bills were pressed upon Guido to share the blessing.

For 26 years Guido hung around the fountain in Horton Plaza with his Staff of Fortune, getting a-buck-a-touch. One thousand San Diego businessmen visited him each day, for luck. Guido and his staff would later found the Bank of Jamul.


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