As was undoubtedly marked on your calendar, San Francisco's patron saint Emperor Norton died last week, January 7, 1880.
But his was not the only January passing worthy of note. Ten days later (and nineteen years earlier), we lost perhaps the most notorious personage ever to grace the streets of our fair city.
We speak, of course, of Countess Lola Montez . Yep, that's the one -- "whatever Lola wants, Lola gets".
You already know Lola's story, of course. You don't? The breathtakingly gorgeous Irish peasant girl with the soul of a grifter and the heart of a despot? How she -- with a few sexy dance steps, a fraudulent back story involving Spanish noble blood and the claim of Lord Byron as her father -- turned Europe upside down and provoked a revolution in Bavaria?
Still doesn't ring a bell, hmm? Well, Lola's whole story is a little too large for this space. She'd already lived about three lifetimes' worth of adventure -- and burned through romances with personalities from King Ludwig the First to Sam Brannan -- before conquering Gold Rush-era San Francisco with her scandalous "Spider Dance".