Felicity mayor to hold desert bowling match

FELICITY, Calif. – Not far from Yuma is Felicity, California, a town internationally recognized for its unique monuments and architecture. The New York Times, L.A. Times, and Time Magazine have all featured the small city of 280 people.

“Welcome to Felicity!” That’s how Felicity Mayor Jacques Istel greets everyone who visits his home.

On Friday, he’ll welcome Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls for a game of desert bowling. Everyone is invited to join in on the competition. It costs five dollars to play, and all the proceeds will go to the Yuma Community Food Bank. Games begin at 11 a.m. (MST) in downtown Felicity.

“This is a game that is played on rough ground. In addition to skill, there’s an element of luck,” Mayor Istel added.

This quiet town full of history attracts visitors from all over the country. The Princeton Alumna founded Felicity and named it after his wife.

“We had bought after the Korean War some desert land. Thirty years later, when I sold my company, I told my wife we were going to sit in the desert and think of something to do,” Istel explained.

That he did; Istel began building a monument known as The History In Granite in 1990, and Istel described it as “the history of California, the history of Arizona, and the history of humanity.”

A chapel sits atop what the mayor calls, the hill of prayer. An arm points to it from far below.

“Three dimensional reproduction of Michelangelo’s arm of god painted on the Sistine Chapel. It’s a sundial.” He said.

Then there’s this staircase – a little piece of France’s history.

“Section twelve of the original staircase of the Eiffel Tower.” When asked how he got his hands on that, he said, “by paying too much!”

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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