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In The Pipeline: Love of children behind McDonald's mural

July 21, 2010|By Chris Epting

Do you know what inspired the mural?

On the car radio in a parking lot off Edinger Avenue near Edwards Street, Rod Stewart is singing "Every Picture Tells a Story."

So it seemed fitting to investigate the history of a mural I've seen many times in the 11 years we've lived in Huntington Beach.

It covers a large wall facing the McDonald's that's next to George's (a good place for Mexican food). Have you seen it? It depicts all of the most iconic McDonald's characters, from Ronald to Grimace to the Hamburglar, all hanging out in Huntington Beach.

The detail of the mural always interested me because of how accurate little touches are, like the old wooden H.B. sign that used to be near the pier. Recently, I examined the signature in the painting's upper left border: "Danosians '92."

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A bit of research revealed the following bio on Wikipedia: "Saeed Danosian (Born Nov. 1, 1954, Tehran, Iran) was a contemporary Iranian artist, scholar and philanthropist based in Orange County, Calif.

"He pursued a program in interior design at the Bel Art Academy in Rome in the mid-70s, and from 1979 to 1985 studied further at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, earning his baccalaureate degree in set design for the theater in 1983 and his master's degree in set design and art direction in 1985. In addition to his areas of major concentration, his studies included film and television, costume design, art history and music. He worked in the area of set design at both the Burgtheater and Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera).

"He died in Irvine, Calif., on Dec. 21, 2008, at the age of 54 from a sudden aortic dissection. He is buried in Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona del Mar, Calif."

Could this fascinating man have been the one who painted the mural? As it turned out, yes. Over the next several weeks, I was able to track down his wife, Yeganeh. I asked her about her husband, and her words were so eloquent and heartfelt that I'd like to present them here, essentially unedited.

After reading, them, you may never look at the mural the same way again. I know I won't.

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