Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Garrett Burke. Ever hear of him? Garrett Burke is the man who designed the 2005 California quarter as part of the US Mint’s 50 state program. The coin represents all of California to the world – John Muir, the condor and the signature landmark of Yosemite: Half Dome. Muir was born in East Lothian, near Dunbar, Scotland and that town touts the John Muir Birthplace Trust Museum. Mr. Burke is currently writing a book about the quarter dollars that were produced in 2005 – his one being the 31st in the series.
A graphic artist with film industry clients, Burke submitted 15 designs to then Gov. Gray Davis. This is is the one that made the semifinals in the quest for the best design.
The Mint decided to clutter it up a bit by adding a tiny California condor, and flora in the Yosemite Valley as shown below.
The newly elected governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger had to choose. He felt the Mint had made Burke’s image too busy by adding all the plant life and asked them to simplify it. The result was a triangular arrangement with Muir at left, Half Dome at right and a bigger condor at the top. Gone were El Capitan and Bridal Veil fall.
These quarters now seem to be collector items. Check your change for the 2005 CA 25 cent piece. I used to give them out at talks … they are too hard to find now! The quarter program is a windfall for the government. Each costs 7 cents to make, and they sell them for 25! Spurred on by the quarter program, the number of hobby numismatists has soared from 8 million 10 years ago to 140 million today!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “The power of imagination makes us infinite.” – John Muir
*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com