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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               
Wednesday, December 12 2001

California state of mind - 2

Santa Barbara, after all my world travels*, remains the most beautiful city I've ever seen. A hundred miles west (yes, west; I always find that incredible) of Los Angeles on California's South Coast, it has remained about the same size for the past 30 years, just under 100,000 in the city limits and as many again and more in the contiguous suburbs. That, too, considering the explosive growth of the state as a whole, is also remarkable, though neither the city nor its engulfing county of the same name have any big-employer industries, and that by design. It's an expensive place to live, ranking with Beverly Hills and Palm Springs as an enclave of the rich and famous. So living here almost requires independent means, at least a trade that can be successfully plied just about anywhere. President Reagan made his summer White House at a ranch out of town, and Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch is another nearby major enclave; Actor Fess Parker (the "Davy Crockett" of my generation's childhood) developed a gorgeous beach resort hotel while I was living here, 1968-72.

The area's campus of the University of California is literally on the beach, so its idyllic setting has always carried the reputation of being the "surfer" UC campus. It's also a major employer in the area and leading factor in the economy. We arrived in the peak years of the Vietnam War, when campuses, especially on the "left coast," were seething, and the one at Santa Barbara in the lead of the ferment.

Santa Barbara may have California's most ideal climate (unless you prefer the hotter temperatures of Palm Springs). Its distance from the Los Angeles basin keeps it relatively smog-free, and year-round short-sleeve weather prevails, yet summer days are seldom insufferably hot. The view from the beach to the peaks of the coast mountain just behind the city, and from high elevations like the courthouse tower, are breath-taking. The scenery may have been the major star in the 1970's TV lawyer show starring Arthur Hill, the name of which now escapes me.

*But I haven't been everywhere or even in most of the world's most beautiful places. Have never seen the French Riviera or Italy's Tuscany, or Rio de Janeiro, for starters.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

More classifieds. Real or fake? Enjoy either way.

Free puppies: 1/2 cocker spaniel 1/2 sneaky neighbor's dog
German shepherd. 85 lbs. neutered. speaks German. Free.
Full-sized mattress. 20-yr warranty. like new. Slight urine smell.
Free 1 can of pork & beans with purchase of 3 br 2 bth home.
For sale: Lee Majors (6 million dollar man) $50

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Advent thought for the day

MOTHER'S COVERS

When you were small, and just a touch away,
I covered you with blankets against the cool night air.
But now that you are tall, and out of my reach,
I fold my hands and cover you with prayer.

From the Dec. 11 entry in Daily Vitamins for Spiritual Growth, vol. 3
by Anthony M. Coniaris

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