Born and raised in the San Roque neighborhood of Santa Barbara, product of northside public schools (Peabody and La Colina) and Bishop Diego High School, I've seen a lot of things change.
The fire this week sort of brought me back home again. Sometimes I need to touch base with the comforts of home to know who I am and where I belong.
I was trying to write a script this morning but I couldn't seem to focus. So I got in the car, drove down to State Street and went to the post office to check the mail. I ran into local vaquero and Jedlicka's store owner Si Jenkins. "How's your house Si?" I asked. "Oh, fine" he said.
I Happened to know that the fire was right up the road from his home.
"Josiah came over and sprayed water on the roof and the yard to knock down the embers that were blowing around."
"Did you get your horses out?"
"Oh yeah, yeah."
He made it sound like they'd moved away a month ago and he was forwarding their mail. The fact is he must have moved his horses before doing anything else that night because it was only a matter of an hour or two after the first alarm that the fire was racing his way. Catherine Remak reported on the radio that traffic was stopped on Foothill near mission canyon that night by a woman riding her horse out of the hills to safety. Losing a horse in a fire would truly be awful.
I asked Si to say hello to Karen and stepped out of the Post Office. I remembered when Irene Davis Bakery was next door and my mother would sometimes stop inside. I remember the smell of baking bread and cinnamon in the air outside. Stepping inside we were greeted by the smell of fresh coffee. I used to ask my mother for one of the free donut holes that sat on a little white china plate next to the big silver coffee urn.
I tucked the approximately 80 catalogs in the mail under my arm and walked from the post office down along the little row of shops. I passed where Jim Rankin's Toy Store used to be. When I was a kid that was where you got all the toys baby boomers remember from Mattel and Whammo. Remember "Creeple People?" I really wanted a Thing Maker.
Just down at the end of the arcade of shops I walked in to the Farmer Boy Restaurant.
One of the original tenants in what used to be the a little shopping center at the edge of town, the Farmer Boy is a 50 year old coffee shop. Nothing fancy. Don't look for any nouveau cuisine. (hit the link for pictures, details and customer comments). "Awful Good Food" is the slogan painted on the side of the building.
You can't get a latte. On the other hand, you can get a cinnamon roll instead of toast with your bacon and eggs.
This is a locals hangout. Last December 7, I sat at the counter and had breakfast with Danny Ramirez of "Danny's Custom Styling". Danny lived just 2 doors down from us when he opened his barber shop in 1960. Both he and my dad were WWII Vets raising young kids in the suburbs.
I said, "Happy Pearl Harbor Day Danny."
He told me that just after Pearl Harbor he'd gone with friends in Santa Barbara to enlist in the Navy. He served on a destroyer in the Pacific and that's where he learned to cut hair. Guys were lined up for haircuts from the ships barber so they could pass inspection. Danny set up shop with scissors so that his shipmates could get cleaned up in time for inspection.
We talked about my brothers and his kids and grand kids and then shook hands and went off to work.
Now I'm back home. And it's time to get back to work.
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Quote of the day:
"I have a lot of depth, a lot of layers."
Ashley Dupre - Eliot Spitzer Prostitute
A lot of layers? Priceless!
The Production Room was founded in 1995 as one of the first full time digital commercial recording facilties on the central coast of California. We started with 4 stereo tracks, 16 mb of ram and a 250 mb hard drive. A lot has happened since then. Today we're focusing on ways to serve clients who are creating web based media content. This includes strategic planning to integrate the benefits of traditional media, web design and IT solutions into new programs produced especially for on-line consumers. Join in the conversation. Throw rocks at glass houses. Share your vision of the future. This is the most progressive time in the media arts since Johannes Gutenburg invented movable type!