This Rivas Cultural Services acquisition was commissioned by the life artist Bubba Ray Robison, who intends to wear the hat once and sell it for $4000. The hat was purchased for $10, pins and all, from a "17% off" case at the antique store in downtown Goleta. The underside of the white felt is inscribed with the name "LUGO" in faded black magic marker.
Tags: the life artist bubba ray robison, lake cachuma, lake cachuma pins, lugo, goleta antiques
Cruising downtown Goleta last week, I happened into the antique store on Hollister. For sale in the display case immediately to the left of the front entrance is a copy of the 1966 local classic Goleta: The Good Land, by Walter Tompkins, in its original cellophane, for $175!
Would the Santa Barbara Man About Goleta shell out 2000 Mexican pesos for the bona fide piece of the local historical record? Or would he bid on the already-open $5.99 copy currently for sale on ebay? The answer, as regular readers will already have guessed, is none of the above. In lieu of paying anything at all, I went straight to the Goleta Library history section and checked the sucker out for three weeks, free of charge.
To show my unbridled enthusiasm for Goleta: The Good Land, which I'm only one third through yet, here are a few highlights through the 1870s:
1833 - the first baby born in Santa Barbara to American parents pops out.
1840s - Juan "Flaco" Brown, the Californian Paul Revere, covered the 630 miles from L.A. to Monterey on horseback in four (4) days to warn of an American attack on Mexican installations, a record Tompkins claims had never been equaled.
1859 - The only simoon ever recorded in North America hit Goleta, causing the temperature to rise to 133 degrees Fahrenheit and birds to drop dead in midair.
1862 - The Reverend Thomas Starr King, for whom the storied local nursery school of which the Santa Barbara Man About Goleta is a proud graduate is named, married Col. Hollister and wife Annie, for whom Glen Annie is named.
1860s - The first saloon is at Hollister and Fairview, causing this budding village to be known as Whiskey Flats, in contrast to the other budding village at Hollister and Patterson called Old Goleta, which was populated exclusively with abstainers.
And my favorite, from the 1870s - Ellwood Cooper, for whom all the many Ellwoods around town are named, was himself named after an English writer who read for the blind poet Milton. In a letter to a relative, Cooper advised:
"The people who have come here are rather above the average, and most have means. There are very few squatters. In fact, that class cannot get on here. This is no place for poor people, and I would discourage all such from coming."
Goleta has been economically out of reach of the lower classes since at least the 1870s! Talk about no nacos!
Browsing at the Goleta Library the other day, your Santa Barbara Man About Goleta came across a DVD of Peril and perseverance: a history of disasters in Santa Barbara. The documentary was produced by the City of Santa Barbara for CityTV Channel 18, and promised, "fires, floods, earthquakes, landslides, toxic spills, and even tsunamis", not to mention wild stories by real-life old-timers and a little disaster preparedness on the side.
Ever wonder why Santa Barbara is in love with Spanish architecture? The answer's in the film! Every wonder how many gallons of water per person per day you should squirrel away in preparation for The Big One? The answer's one (1), and it's also in the film! Do you know Chris Zwicke? Well his wife Christy is the host of the documentary!
At the very least this is a worthwhile hour of locally produced infotainment that anyone who knows anyone who was bummed about our recent fires should check out. At its best, it's an important piece of the historical record, collecting local people's reactions to our area's history of natural disaster in a nicely watchable little hour.
"Peril and perseverance" is currently available, right now, at the Goleta and Montecito branches of the Santa Barbara Public Library. The Carpenteria, Downtown and Eastside branch copies are currently checked out, but you can reserve a copy online for 50 cents.
Tags: chris zwicke, christy zwicke, peril and perseverance, natural disasters, santa barbara
In Santa Barbara and Goleta, there are Mexican restaurants that last less than six months that no one bothers to keep track of, and there are Mexican restaurants that have been around for years that everyone knows. And then there's El Rincón Bohemio, which has been around since 1989, seemingly without customers.
Have you ever even heard of anyone going to El Rincón Bohemio? Do you have the slightest idea where either of its two locations is? Can you believe there's a Mexican restaurant in Santa Barbara called "The Bohemian Corner" that isn't overrun with ladies of leisure lunching in $2000 wannabe Frida Kahlo skirts?
Of course not! It's inconceivable! Why, the Santa Barbara Man About Goleta himself just discovered the downtown Goleta location last week! It's on Pine Avenue, one block off Hollister, hiding in plain sight in a building I don't have the architectural vocabulary to describe properly, but that resembles a hobbit house built into a hill. The other one is rumored to be buried somewhere in the El Mercado center on upper State Street.
In the heart of Mexican Goleta, a deserted-looking building in an empty parking lot, El Rincón Bohemio is a summarily Mexican joint. The food is delicious, the portions are enormous and many of the beverages listed are unavailable. Before I could ask if the management was concerned that a restaurant that was impeccably decorated yet starkly devoid of customers might be considered suspicious, in a front-for-Mexican-drug-trafficking-money sort of way, the young woman behind the counter blurted out that I shouldn't be alarmed at being the only customer because the nice old lady who owns the restaurant makes good money renting out the back patio for events (no music) and catering fine Mexican dining for 500 people (she's done this twice (in almost 20 years!)).
Tags: el rincón bohemio, mexican restaurants, fronts for drug money, Downtown Goleta
Rivas Cultural Services received a remarkable inquiry last week when Charles Moreno requested recommendations as to how to brush up on his Spanish in preparation for hosting two Mexican professional soccer teams. Señor Moreno is the grandson of Mexican immigrants and enjoys tequila and beer. Rivas Cultural Services is half great-grandson of Mexican immigrants and half other stuff, or only 50% as Mexican as Sr. Moreno and 50% more removed from the fatherland.
The culturist suggested Sr. Moreno incorporate the Mexican telenovela of his choosing into his weekly television regimen and loaned him the Lonely Planet guidebook series Mexican Spanish Phrasebook. The handy little paperback was donated to Rivas Cultural Services by the celebrated Mexicanist and life artist Bubba Ray Robison, a Texan.
In discussing his Spanish study, Sr. Moreno claimed to be unfamiliar with the word habitación as used in the book in reference to asking for a room and was surprised to find that the word cuarto was not used. Rivas Cultural Services assured the short and dark Sr. Moreno that the latent Spanish speaker in him must have at one time been cognizant of the words habitación (hotel room) and recámara (bedroom) as well as the more general cuarto (room). Sr. Moreno replied, "Simón, güero."
Pleased with his progress and dedicating himself anew to reacquiring his ancestral tongue, Sr. Moreno requested a soccer-specific assignment, whereupon Rivas Cultural Services advised Sr. Moreno to investigate the differences between a gol, a golazo and a golazote.