Cvn winter 2015

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GREAT CARE is Growing in the Good Land

The new Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital will open in early 2015, with features including: • An expanded Emergency Department with 20 private rooms • 52 private patient rooms for medical, surgical and intensive care • A Healing Arts Program featuring 280 pieces created by Central Coast artists • Four hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers in the new Ridley-Tree Center for Wound Management within the hospital • Seven surgical suites to support services that include the award-winning Cottage Center for Orthopedics and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Program for restorative and reconstructive procedures It will be a hospital distinctly Goleta, and decidedly Cottage. The new hospital will provide an expanded, modern facility and advanced technologies to support the personal touch and excellence in care that is already a trademark of Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital. Great care is growing in the Good Land.


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Carp. Pay. Diem.

Member FDIC


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“the perfect place to stay...”

Enjoy a wealth of activities … the “World’s Safest Beach” is right outside your door! Downtown is only a short, pleasant stroll. Oceanfront Two Bedroom Condos with Patio or Balcony • Elevator • BBQ Deck • Laundry • Free WiFi • Privacy • Views • Gated Secure Parking 4975 SANDYLAND ROAD • CARPINTERIA, CA 93013

Vacation Rentals 805-684-3570 800-964-8540 Weekly & Monthly Rentals


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gary goldberg Realtor | Broker | Attorney

Now enjoying my 21st year of serving Carpinteria and Santa Barbara as an estate and beach property specialist with over $500,000,000 sold since 2000.

REAL ESTATE SALES PROPERTY MANAGEMENT VACATION RENTALS gary goldberg, Owner & Broker 1086 Coast Village Road Santa Barbara, California 93108

805.455.8910 | BRE #: 01172139 Email:

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Whether you’re buying, selling or vacationing in the Carpinteria or Santa Barbara area, Gary Goldberg provides in-depth assistance for all real estate needs. Gary’s brokerage, locally owned and operated, Coastal Properties has been assisting sellers, buyers and vacationers in the area for nearly 21 years. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable agents specialize in all aspects of real estate, from residential and commercial sales to land development, property management, leasing and vacation rentals. Gary will carefully guide you throughout your search. We invite you to stop in and experience the friendly, professional and confidential service our company provides.

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Best Western Plus Carpinteria Inn 4

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Kenyon McIntyre, Inc. General Contractor

DEDICATED PARTNERSHIP • EXPERT CRAFTSMANSHIP New Home Construction Custom Cabinets New Industrial Building

Residential Remodels Finish Woodwork Tenant Improvements

Building Carpinteria & Beyond since 1978

805.684.3836 •

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Safety and Environmental Protection are always Venoco’s Top Priorities VENOCO, INC.

We are proud to be a part of the Carpinteria Community!

Oil companies have operated in the Carpinteria area for decades and have brought jobs, revenue and many other economic benefits to the community. Venoco was founded in Carpinteria more than 20 years ago, and has owned and operated facilities in this community for 15 years. Venoco is a conscientious environmental steward and has contributed greatly to the economic vitality of Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County and California. In 2013, more than $4.8 million in property taxes were paid to the County of Santa Barbara and nearly $6 million were paid to the State. California received more than $32 million in royalties from Venoco operations alone. These royalties help pay for transportation, education and other statesupported local programs. The company has won numerous awards for safety excellence, superior maintenance practices and strict environmental protections. We value our strong reputation as a responsible operator and a respected community partner.

PHOTO: Michael Grant Edwards

6267 Carpinteria Avenue • Carpinteria, CA 93013 • (805) 745-2100 •

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All 100% non-smoking studio suites, 400 to 430 sq. ft. Free wireless hi-speed internet, fitness room and plenty of free parking Outdoor heated pool & whirlpool spa

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Fine Body Products, Candles, Robes, Loungewear, Jewelry and Purses Unique Gifts From Over Twenty Countries

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“Experience the

Artful Life!”

quilting • Knitting needleworK • arts and gifts

A whimsical store with everything you’ll need for quilting, knitting, needlework, inspired gifts and more… Hours: M-s • 10 to 5 sun. • 11 to 4

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CARP features



There’s little left of the original Casa Blanca, the beachside Moorish enclave, but its story remains rock solid – roaring ’20s Hollywood glamour, unrequited love …


Trying to strike a delicate balance between development and preservation, the 50-year-old Carpinteria Valley Association has been a noisy force in protecting a quiet town.


The Star Pine Road lifestyle includes a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast, thanks to 99-year-old Barbara McCurry, who whips up waffles for neighbors and friends.


Fosters Freeze, The Spot, and The Palms serve comfort and a sense of identity in addition to their favored menu items.


Real gems. String together designing, knotting and weaving, glass blowing, and sculpting along with other finely honed skills and you have Jewelers on Exhibit.

78 Q&A: DR. W IL L IAM O T T O , D V M

When working with animals, it’s the humans you have to watch out for. Dr. Otto’s very busy veterinary practice was in large part due to his way with pet owners.


Move over mistletoe, Poinsettias are the preferred Christmas foliage. Lots and lots of those big, showy red plants are shipped from Carpinteria right after Thanksgiving.


Yes, you have seen her on TV! From the regional Backyard Barbecue contest to appearing on the Today show with Giada De Laurentiis, L.J. Washington’s recipes are gaining quite a following.


What, no Dalmatian? Take a peek inside Fire Station #1. Check out that kitchen. See where the firefighters bunk.



Latin cuisine and American favorites are two ways to explain Señor Frog’s restaurant loyal customer following. Family run, family friendly, and great plates at a great place.


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MAG departments

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THE LINDEN AVENUE LATE SHOW Glenn Dubock captures the competing colors of twilight in winter. The photo was taken from the railroad crossing on Linden Avenue looking toward Linden Field. He used a Nikon D800 with 400mm lens, with a 6 second exposure.


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G DeborAh Murphy

Broker/Property Manager/Notary Sales • property Management • Vacation rentals

DRE #00580025 805.689.9696 or 805.684.4101 • 5441 Carpinteria Ave. Carpinteria, CA 93013


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A LITTLE FOOD, A LITTLE HISTORY, A LOT OF CARPINTERIANS Welcome to Carpinteria Magazine! This is our 17 th edition and the biggest winter issue yet. It must be all the food-related stories filling the pages. Serving up a starring role is L.J. Washington, an amateur competitive cook whose chops include a spot on television’s Today show. On Star Pine Road, Barbara McCurry, aka The Waffle Lady, created a neighborhood tradition with her Saturday morning, open-invitation breakfasts. Head downtown in our Past Portraits feature and savor the histories of three Carpinteria institutions: The Palms, The Spot, and Fosters Freeze. Our dining feature gives a tip of the sombrero to Señor Frog’s restaurant, a longtime locals’ favorite for meals from south and north of the border. Stay hungry, my friends. The holiday season is upon us! In ChatterBox, we go on a holiday lights tour and march in the annual Holiday Spirit Parade, slated for December 13th this year. Want to guess Carpinteria’s major Christmas export? No, not tamales. It’s Poinsettias; the flashy red plants grown in our foothills are shipped all over after Thanksgiving. Dig a little deeper and discover the glamorous history of “the big white castle” on the beach, Casa Blanca. Get to know five local “gems” who share their amazing skills and creativity in crafting custom jewelry. Add a little mystery to your read with the fiction excerpt from “Death at Carp High.” Then move your feet to the beat in our La Vida feature. Who knew there was so much dancing going on around town? Carpinteria isn’t the wonderful place it is by happenstance. We can thank the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District for keeping us safe, the Carpinteria Valley Association for protecting our open spaces, and professionals like Dr. William Otto, DVM for helping to keep all of the community healthy. Turn the pages for a glimpse of the good things they do in our community. With 2015 marking the Carpinteria’s 50 th anniversary of cityhood, Carpinteria Magazine will join in the year-long jubilee celebration by publishing a special feature in its spring edition. Where were you 50 years ago? Do you remember a special story or have a never-before published photo of Carpinteria in the mid-1960s? We would love to know more. See our call for photos on page 102. It takes a lot of talented people to assemble this publication. Amy Orozco has been editor since issue number one, and Kristyn Whittenton designs the entire magazine in-house at the Coastal View News office. On page 110, get to know a little more about them and all the remarkable contributors who make this project possible. Finally, as we head into the holidays, please remember to shop local and patronize the merchants that contribute so much to our nonprofits and schools throughout the year. Carpinteria is fortunate to have a strong, thriving business community. Let’s continue to support it! Watch for our next issue in May 2015.

CARPINTERIA MAGAZINE WINTER2015 EDITOR Amy Marie Orozco PRODUCTION & DESIGN Kristyn Whittenton WRITERS Lea Boyd James Claffey Fran Davis Kim Drain Peter Dugré Jeremy Gold Alonzo Orozco Amy Marie Orozco Emily Parker Dan Terry PHOTOGRAPHERS Fran Collin Joel Conroy Glenn Dubock Chuck Graham Zeke Hart Brian Hopkins David Powdrell Annette Samarin Madeleine Vite CONTRIBUTORS Carpinteria Valley Museum of History Matt Drain KEYT News Channel 3 Andres Nuño Louise Orozco Joe Rice Wendy Rockwell PRODUCTION SUPPORT Darrell Baasch David Levine Rockwell Printing SALES Dan Terry,, (805) 684-4428 ON THE WEB

Michael VanStry, Publisher RMG Ventures, LLC Michael VanStry, President Gary L. Dobbins, Vice President 4856 Carpinteria Avenue, Carpinteria, California 93013 Tel: (805) 684-4428 Email:

All articles, photographs and artwork appearing in this publication are the copyrighted intellectual property of RMG Ventures, LLC. RMG Ventures, LLC aggressively protects its intellectual property rights. No part of this publication may be reproduced or copied in any form without the express written permission of the publisher. ©2014 RMG Ventures, LLC.


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where shelter and nature converge

Lighting by Maurice Connolly

3823 Santa Claus Lane • Carpinteria • 805-684-0300 • WINTER2015 15

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Old Fashioned Flavor for over 63 Years Tania Arroyo, Manager Nathaniel Avila, Ass’t Manager

Family Owned & Operated

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Dreams. DelivereD. Your Local Real Estate Expert Results for Buyers & Sellers

M A K E T H E M OV E ! Yolanda van Wingerden

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Living Butter Lettuce Living 3 In 1 Lettuce

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To learn more visit Sustainably grown in state-of-the-art greenhouses right here in Carpinteria.

It’s a family tradition at Hollandia Produce, LP

PO BOX 1327 CARPINTERIA, CA 93013 805.684.4146

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Farm to Table • Chef’s Seasonal Specials Sustainable Meats & Seafood Extensive Wine List

Turning Your Dreams into an Address!

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When you become a member of the Carpinteria Arts Center, inspirational things happen. Your membership will enable the Arts Center to present exhibitions of today’s artists, design innovative art classes for people of all ages, and create cultural and educational programs that bring the community together to explore the arts.


inspired. Join the Arts Center today!

Go to our website, and click on the membership button to get started. Gallery Hours: Thursday - Monday, 10am - 4pm 855 Linden Avenue Downtown Carpinteria 805.684.7789



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Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner • Catering

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Chatter Box

Golden Girls

Jane Bianchin, Bonnie Milne, and Martha Hickey, pictured below, have experienced many firsts together within the span of their decades-long friendship. Now, the “Three Musketeers” can add one more to their list of accomplishments. They are the first women to don the official gold jacket of the Carpinteria Lions Club and embrace their standing as active members. The local nonprofit, established in 1927, traditionally has been a men’s-only club. And the women, by Milne’s account, liked it that way. “It wasn’t something on my bucket list,” Milne explains about the prospect of ever joining her husband’s social group.

times, the three agree that it has been a very positive experience. “The men have been lovely to us,” Hickey exclaims. “The food is fabulous and they treat us very well.” Inviting these women in particular to become members was a natural and welcome progression for the club explains Lions President Gene Wanek. “The ladies were already very much a part of the Lions family,” he says. “Their husbands were highly respected members in the club, and the community, and they had not only attended many events, but helped out with the execution of them as well.” As members, the threesome will attend weekly meetings, follow the established protocol, and assist with club-sponsored events – if they have any free time, that is. All are deeply involved in the community and volunteer at several local organizations (together, of course). They also walk together, lunch together, and travel together, destinations include far-off locales and the occasional NASCAR pit stop. Now that they have broken through the gold-ceiling, is there a bit of advice they would pass on to future members? “For working women, this is a great networking opportunity,” Hickey says. Since the induction of Bianchin, Milne, and Hickey, a fourth woman, Barbara Hurd, has also joined the Lions. While the three remain unfazed by their status as history-makers, it is their spirit of giving and a life well-lived that will stand as a legacy for many more to follow. – Kim Drain

° ° ° maTT Drain

“To tell you the truth, we really liked having that one night to ourselves,” Hickey agrees, referring to the weekly Lions meetings. However, years went by, children grew up and out, and the three friends saw a way to honor their husbands and continue the good work they began with the Lions years ago. As the friends reminisce about local businesses that have come and gone, friends and family who have moved away, and adventures they have shared, one thing became clear: Change is inevitable. Even in Carpinteria. Asked how fellow Lions were handling the changing

Banish Beach Blight

Sometimes, Tina Culver says, she doesn’t notice the dolphins passing by just a few yards offshore. The walks she takes along the beach between Palm Avenue and the staircase at Jelly Bowl have become all about the trash, which she and her regular companions, Pamela Enticknap and Jeri and Jamaica Jones, pick up and sort with a dedication verging on obsession. “You walk on the beach occasionally and see one or two pieces of trash,” Culver said, “but you walk it every day and you start to realize how much there is.” Boxes full of trash. A carport full. Yards and yards of


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fishing line strung with soda cans, red Solo cups, shiny chip bags, cigarette butts, and children’s plastic shovels like colorful leis awaiting a graduation ceremony at the landfill. Sorted refuse discovered in the sand has all but taken over Culver ’s home, but that doesn’t bother her as much as the nagging sense that her encroaching collection should be used to raise awareness and responsibility on the part of careless beach goers.

Pacific garbage patch is what it’s all about. This gyre of tiny, clustered plastic bits occupies a chunk of the Pacific Ocean that, some estimate, is larger than Texas. Though awareness of the giant, marine dump has grown, once garbage is out of sight, it tends to be out of mind. Changing the collective mindset toward beach stewardship is a big task, and an oft frustrating one, but Culver has witnessed some progress. Since Carpinteria’s bag ban went into effect a couple years ago, for example, she rarely crosses paths with plastic grocery bags on the beach. If everyone just packed out everything they packed in, maybe Culver could get back to watching the dolphins. – Lea Boyd

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Holidays Lights

Parents and kids sing “Frosty the Snowman” and “Jingle Bells” as they sip hot chocolate and nibble Christmas cookies, but this is no ordinary caroling party. It’s the 10th annual Holiday Lights Trolley Tour, showcasing some of the best-lit houses in town. The Trolley Tour—a fundraiser for Canalino School— has grown from needing two trolleys the first few years to now using four trolleys. The event seems to have

Jamaica Jones

“It’s not trash always—though there’s a lot of trash. It’s just people walking off without turning around and looking at what they’re leaving,” she said. “I’m trying to get people to pay attention and pick up after themselves and others.” Culver and her garbage gathering companions call their project Banish Beach Blight. The collection effort began a few years ago when the walking friends simply started picking up what had been left behind in the sand along the high tide line. The sorting started months later and drew attention to problem items such as hundreds of clear plastic straw wrappers from children’s juice boxes, perfectly good beach toys that no one cared enough about to bring home, and shiny bits of snack wrappers. Strung up, the garbage is strangely beautiful—the bright packaging designed to attract the eye in the grocery store serves a similar purpose in the Banish Beach Blight effort. Culver aims to keep this garbage-with-a-purpose in the public eye. A couple years ago, the ladies drove an electric vehicle adorned with a summer ’s worth of beach trash in the Carpinteria Independence Parade. Last summer, strands of the garbage art were hung at a kiosk near the entrance of Carpinteria State Beach to serve as a reminder to visitors—pick up your trash when you leave. The goal, Culver says, is global. Keeping Carpinteriaborn trash from joining its international kin in the Great


inspired neighbors to get into the holiday spirit and more elaborately decorate their houses and yards with lights of all colors, shapes and sizes. “We go through all the cute neighborhoods in town,” says long-time organizer Toni Thompson, who passed off the reigns this year to Nikki Yamaoka. “People really get into the decorating. It is a really festive way to kick off the holiday season.” “The community has embraced this as an annual event. For sure people are starting to catch on and get really WINTER2015 23

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C hatter Box excited,” Thompson says. “Camino Trillado [between El Carro Lane and Ogan Road] really went crazy two years ago. It’s a pretty festive street in general. They had Santa and elves handing out candy. It was wonderful.” Yamaoka adds that along the route, there is often some good-natured caroling competition between trolleys. Trolleys will run from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6. Tickets cost $12 per person and each tour is about 30 minutes long, ending with what Thompson describes as the “mind boggling” and “Disneyland-type finale” of the Blum family’s house in Seacoast Village. (Yes, that Blum of Blum & Sons Electric, Inc.) The Canalino campus acts as the pick-up and drop-off point for the trolley route. While people wait, they can enjoy Christmas music from the school band, free hot chocolate and coffee courtesy of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and baked goods from Canalino families in the “winter wonderland” decorated cafeteria. “I love the feeling of the whole trolley ride,” Thompson said. “Looking around at the kids’ faces — honestly, they love it.” There are a lot of moving parts to organize and coordinate, but as Canalino’s second largest fundraiser after the annual Jog-a-Thon, the Trolley Tour is worth the effort, Yamaoka notes. One hundred percent of the tour proceeds go directly to the school. Last year, the money paid for science enrichment activities for the students. With recent budget cuts to education it’s up to the Parents of Canalino to pay for enrichment, such as field trips, art classes, technology, music, and P.E. teachers. Being able to give away the money is the best part. “It’s a lot of work every year, but it’s worth it,” Yamaoka says. “Deciding how to spend the money for our kids is pretty amazing.” – Emily ParkEr

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Parade Lineups

When it comes to Carpinteria’s parades, locals typically fall into one of two categories: in it or at it. And each comes with its own rules of engagement. Those in it find themselves rushing to the staging area, deftly maneuvering through military grade Jeeps, fire engines, trash trucks, a convoy of FFA tractors, and adorably sequined little girls. Oftentimes, multiple commitments require some participants to double back through the parade corridor. Those who choose to strictly observe the march through the heart of downtown Carpinteria, line Linden Avenue. The onlookers gath-

er most densely around the announcers’ booth for the signature commentary from Peter Bie and Nilo Fanucchi. As per tradition, the parade kicks off with the American Flag respectfully presented by a decorated unit of veterans, young and old. The crowd stands as the Color Guard is accompanied by the sounds of Great Highland bagpipes and drums of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department Pipe and Drum Corps. Veterans have opened the way since 1961, when the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) revitalized Carpinteria’s sense of community by sponsoring the town’s first Loyalty Day Parade. Since


then the Loyalty Day Parade has split off into two separate but equally festive events: the Independence Parade on the weekend before the Fourth of July and the Holiday Spirit Parade in mid-December. “We are very careful with the timing of these events,” explains Mike Lazaro, who is responsible for the management of the parades. “With all of the quality community events in this area we want to be sure not to step on anyone’s toes and have made sure to tie each respective parade into partner events.” While the Independence Parade is preceded by the annual classic car show, Rods and Roses, the Holiday Spirit Parade feeds directly into the Hospice Tree Lighting and the Lions Club Festival of Trees. Instead of competing, the parades and the events both benefit from the other. “It’s really the goal of these parades to be something the people of Carpinteria can enjoy as well as highlight the many outstanding organizations and individuals making up our community,” remarks Melinda Bie, the parades on site organizer. Both parades share many similarities, with one major exception, a visit from the Jolly Old Elf himself. The Holiday Parade features a Saint Nick drive-by appearance in a signature red Corvette tacking back and forth down


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Linden Avenue on a pre-Christmas mission. Thanks to countless individuals and an outstandingly supportive community, Carpinteria parades continue to grow into grander events each year and with 2015 being the city’s 50th anniversary, we can be sure to expect the parades to be dynamite! – DAN TERRY

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2nd Generation Farmer

Rodney Chow likes to say his 5-acre Bright Springs Ranch “was named for the occasion.” The occasion was the adoption of his first granddaughter, found abandoned in a marketplace on a bright spring day in China. That was 18 years ago. The 85-year-old Chow came to farming after retiring from a career as a civil engineer, but crop cultivation runs in the family. His father grew pears in the Sacramento Delta until the 1929 crash put him out of business. Chow pursues his second calling with zest, growing fruit, produce and flowers on his Foothill Road ranch to sell at Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta farmers markets. Around 600 Gala and Fuji apple trees make up his orchard, along with Angelino plums and Wonderful pomegranates. “I planted the first 70 trees by myself,”


he says, adding with some chagrin, “and now I can only plant about three.” Raising a variety of crops, especially fruit trees, means a constant and furious battle with gophers, which gnaw the roots, and Chow has to replant new trees every year. He is philosophical about plant survival, however. “Trees are like children in a family,” he says, “some grow stronger than others.” A cover crop of bush beans and favas spread out in long green lines between the fruit trees. After harvest, the

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C hatter Box beans are plowed under to add nitrogen to the soil. All are watered using a drip system, the most efficient and economical use of the valley’s drought-scarce water. Chow likes to point out several of his latest experiments: rows of vibrant green Romano beans, Napa cabbage and dusky watermelons warming in the sun alongside the dahlias he sells as cut flowers. Dozens of potted azaleas lined up in shade houses are testimonials to Chow’s floral success, but he is constantly experimenting with new plants, especially those he can propagate from seed. He points out camellia flowers grown from seed, along with camellia sinensis (tea) and, unexpectedly, coffee! “Ten percent germination for the coffee beans,” he announces, clearly enjoying the thrill of successful propagation. One plant he’d like to propagate and sell is a warmweather rhododendron. Several healthy-looking specimens put out bright orange blooms in his shade houses, and he explains that they are not frost-dependent, originating in warmer climates like New Guinea and New Zealand. They’re not commercially grown here, he adds, and are mostly the purview of hobbyists. Several tall trees flourish near the house where the farmer lives with his wife Joy: Cypress, pine, jacaranda and ash trees the Chows planted from seeds. Like the trees, the Chows have taken root in the valley’s soil. “I’ll continue doing this as long as I can walk,” he says.

Upon losing their home to the Tea Fire in 2008, the two ended up renting in Carpinteria. After a short stint in Santa Barbara, Mara searched for a place where he could develop his hobby into a business. “I was passing by and saw the big ‘for rent’ sign, and one day saw this space and I said this was it,” says Mara. Initially building a lab on site, Mara then opened a studio to showcase his work in December of 2013. Amidst the popping of the garage’s air hose and the clanging of beer bottles being carted to the liquor store, the shop has become an oasis off the main drag. “It [the noise] really doesn’t bother… I like the fact that I’m a little bit away from the front … it gives the feeling of cozy … a little island,” says Mara. Inside, various types of pottery are neatly arranged on shelves gleaming with vibrant hues of teals, purples and

– FRAN DAvis

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Ceramics on the Avenue

Set back on the main thoroughfare through town, Miri Mara Ceramics is a visual sensation of bright colors and shapes. Miri Mara methodically churns out bowls and vases of all types and sizes at its Carpinteria Avenue location between a longtime, established mechanic shop and a recently renovated taqueria/liquor store. Born the son of an Albanian father and Italian mother, Fatmir “Miri” Mara has created a studio and workshop which appears to be a hidden gem for those with the decorative eye. Dedicating the majority of his life to the high- end fashion design world of Milan, Mara called it quits at the end of the 1990s. He and partner, Rick Perkins, decided to move close to Perkins’ hometown of Santa Barbara, landing in Montecito. With the advent of a new decade, Mara picked up a new hobby. “I started to take some classes … and I discovered ceramics, and started a new passion,” Mara explains his coursework at Santa Barbara City College.


peaches all the way to the ceiling of the old warehouse. But the owner, with some well-placed orchid plants and lamps, has created a tranquil, airy surrounding that evokes a feeling of serenity. Frosted white glass windows located behind the sales desk mask the adjacent auto yard of chassis and parts. However, the door to Mara’s workshop, where an array of molds, unfinished figures and paint brushes are strewn across tables and shelves, remains open for public view, a testament to the long labor that goes into his work. “It takes four days per piece,” confirms Mara of his mechanical process, derived from 1930s African culture. Meanwhile, he describes his bowls as having a more Japanese-like characteristic. Mara’s figures are priced anywhere from $200 to $500. When motoring through town, look out for Miri Mara Ceramics, where there’s more than meets the eye. ◆ – ALONZO OROZCO


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“La Carpinteria” by John Wullbrandt

women’s clothing • artisan jewelry • handbags accessories • local art • Hudson Jeans BB Dakota • Hanky Panky • Angie • Tulle Capri Blue Candles • Tees by Tina 919 LINDEN AVE. • DOWNTOWN CARPINTERIA 566-0400 • MONDAY-SATURDAY 10-6 • SUNDAY 10-5

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays • 12 - 5 pm APPOINTMENTS: (805) 896-2933 • Next to Carpinteria Valley Museum of History

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One day is not enough!

World’s Safest Beach & Tide Pools • Hiking & Biking Trails • Harbor Seal Rookery America’s Largest Cymbidium Orchid Farm • First Class Restaurants & Casual Beach Dining Unique Owner-Run Shops • Award Winning Craft Beer & Wine Tasting Farmers Market & Artisan Fair • Historical Museum • Family Style Hospitality First Fridays • Hand-made Sweets • And So Much More!

Photos by David Powdrell



Explore Carpinteria!



A quaint California beach town with breathtaking ocean & mountain views...

CHAMBER of Commerce


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The Palms Tradition since 1912

Hungry Locals & Travelers Enjoy Family-Style Good Times

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Palace thPoint e on


This tale of the roaring ’20s stars an eccentric millionaire who hosts lavish parties at his opulent mansion, mustering all his glitter and glamour to win a fickle heart. It’s “The Great Gatsby” Carpinteria-style— the history of “Casa Blanca” and its original owner, Albert Isham. Intrigue and mystery have long surrounded the property on Sand Point, where a gate at the entrance of the driveway keeps out the curious. Bits and pieces of the existing homes are visible from the beach at Santa Claus Lane, from where sunbathers muse on the fanciful white minarets, domes, and arches sprouting up from behind a rocky seawall like a scene from “Arabian Nights.” These Moorish style structures, however, represent the second generation of fantastic buildings on the property. Constructed in the early 1990s, the exotic homes mimic the appearance Isham’s pool house, the crown jewel in his estate, set far enough from the tide to survive the beating of waves that toppled most of the original structures. Isham’s story, woven with threads of documented fact

and colorful legend, is a tragic one. Despite wealth and prestige, he allegedly died in his prime by self-medicating a broken heart. His extravagance in the 1920s followed by his dramatic plunge mirrors the entire country’s plummet into the Great Depression. And his home’s sorry fate, battered by wave-tossed boulders and swept away by ocean currents, stokes the allure of the Casa Blanca lore. Born in Chicago in 1894, Isham graduated with honors from Harvard University and began his post-graduate studies there before enlisting in the Army during World War I. He quickly rose to the position of Captain and then, after the close of the war, left the military in 1919 and moved to the Santa Barbara area. A man of sophisticated taste, Isham boasted a significant art collection, spent his recreational hours yachting and horseback riding and enjoyed membership to well heeled Santa Barbara clubs. He purchased seven acres of land on Sand Point in 1927 and hired George Washington Smith,


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one of the best known architects in the U.S., to design an elaborate home on the property. According to a family history, Isham “loved the sea, and it was for this reason he built his home at Sandyland, looking out over the Pacific.” Smith, who also designed the Lobero Theater and Casa del Herrero in Santa Barbara, incorporated into the home’s design ideas Isham picked up on far-flung travels. The pool house, according to legend, was built to woo Isham’s lady love. A Coastal View News article from 1997, identifies the object of his affection as Billie Dove, the Hollywood “it girl” at the time, whose long list of male admirers included Howard Hughes. “As the story goes, when Albert asked for Dove’s hand in marriage, she said she’d consider it if he built her an indoor pool,” states the article. The natatorium that resulted could not have been grander. A retractable roof, intricate tile work, exotic flourishes, showers and dressing rooms and even a single lane bowling alley sprung from Smith’s drawings and Isham’s seemingly limitless resources. At that point, construction throughout Carpinteria had reached a fever pitch. The anticipation of an oil boom and the growing popularity of local beaches were buoyed by a nationwide sense of endless abundance. The expansive Cerca del Mar clubhouse at the mouth of Carpinteria Creek and the immense theater building on the Coast Highway (now Carpinteria Avenue) were both projects born of this exuberant era. On Dec. 30, 1927, the Carpinteria Herald published an editorial urging development and community growth. “That Carpinteria is on the verge of a great boom is recognized by one familiar with impending conditions … The stage seems to be set for a year of unprecedented activity in Carpinteria. Outside influences are certain to aid us much, but the real effort must be put forth by ourselves—it is our work and our future that is being molded. In 1928 let us see every man in Carpinteria and the valley with his shoulder to the wheel.”

Printed on the same page, under the headline “Many projects started during the past year,” was a single sentence that fails to adequately describe the castle being constructed on the Isham property: “Albert K. Isham has done considerable building on his property at Sandyland during the past year, adding greatly to the attractiveness of that beautiful section.” Just a few years after his home was completed, 38-year-old Isham died a bachelor. Alcoholism, it is rumored, put an abrupt halt to his fastpaced life, and the pool house never achieved its romantic goal. Nonetheless, Isham’s short history at Casa Blanca, between its completion in 1928 and his death in 1931, generated decades worth of colorful stories. Whether dropped by actress Billie Dove or left behind after his love committed suicide, as other accounts tell it, Isham continued to play host at his seaside playground. Hollywood elites were common guests at Casa Blanca, which served as a popular stopover for celebrities making their way north to William Randolph Hearst’s “castle” in San Simeon. Isham supposedly required the Hollywood starlets arriving at his home to sign a release freeing him of liability during their stay. Evening activities centered around the pool house, where “legend has it that Isham once drove his Duesenberg into the water, a champagne-sipping starlet on each fender,” stated a 1994 Los Angeles Times Magazine article. Another tale has party guests at Casa Blanca debating who was responsible for starting World War I. After failing to reach a conclusion, someone suggested simply calling up Kaiser Wilhelm and asking him. Party guests toasted the wise idea then called the Netherlands, where the exiled former German leader lived. A butler answered the phone and told the caller that the Kaiser was otherwise occupied but would happily take their call a couple hours later. By then partygoers had moved on to other topics and long forgotten the follow-up call. On paper, Isham’s father inherited the seaside estate after his son’s tragic death, but the real heir to most of Casa Blanca would be the sea. The Santa Barbara breakwater, completed in 1929, blocked the movement of sand down the coast, and the Sandyland area in Carpinteria suffered the worst of sand-scouring storms. UCSB geology professor Ed Keller wrote, “Seven years after completion of the harbor and breakwater, there had been substantial retreat, or erosion, of the coast. Houses eroded into the sea, and property damage, by today’s standards, would be many millions of dollars, as the beach eroded back about 250 feet.” Isham’s fabulous estate fell victim to relentless salt water attacks. A 1939 Carpinteria Herald story reports on a particularly devastating January storm. “… at Sandy-


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OPPOSITE PAGE, Casa Blanca’s distinctive architecture intrigues sunbathers, surfers, and kayakers. THIS PAGE, TOP, the housing complex’s design takes advantage of the expansive ocean views. THIS PAGE, ABOVE, a lion statue stands sentry at the high-visibility property. THIS PAGE, RIGHT, palm trees punctuate a Casa Blanca minaret. WINTER2015 33

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land and Sandyland Dunes, the havoc that reached a dangerous point a year ago when one or two houses were undermined, was carried still farther this time and four other fine pieces of property were ruined, including the Isham property which was thought to be out of danger. … Attempts were made to bulwark against the sea, but these went for naught as the heavy swells pounded against the sand and carried it away, leaving only huge piles of boulders.” In the following years, efforts were made to restore and preserve what was left of the Isham estate. Music Academy of the West founder Marguerite Longstreth owned the property for decades, constructing a new main house, guesthouse and other buildings. She donated it to the University of Southern California in 1969, but won a court battle to reclaim it in 1972 when the school failed to fulfill her wish to operate it as a creative retreat for composers and writers. Winter storms of 1977 and 1978 again ravaged the estate, when “boulders were thrown by waves into the


OPPOSITE PAGE, the pool house, or natatorium, is one of the few remaining pieces of the original Casa Blanca. It was designated Santa Barbara County Historical Landmark number 28 in 1990. THIS PAGE, TOP, the pool house has the original retractable roof Albert Isham had installed. THIS PAGE, MIDDLE, a January 1939 storm battered the Casa Blanca property. THIS PAGE, BOTTOM, intricate tile work and statuary are used on the grounds. WINTER2015 35

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main house and the entire grounds were inundated at times,” reported the Herald. Next a Bakersfield oil man and his wife, Robert and Ruth Ann Montgomery, purchased the estate and announced plans to return the “complete shambles,” as they described it, to its former glory. Some work was completed, but in the 1980s the Montgomerys defaulted on their loan, and the property reverted to the bank. Developer Frank Serena purchased the estate for about $3.3 million in 1988 and submitted plans to demolish five of seven existing structures on property. The county allowed for the property’s subdivision, signing off on plans for eight luxury homes overlooking the ocean. The elegant pool house has remained the jewel of Sand Point. Designated Santa Barbara County Historical Landmark number 28 in 1990, it is now a shared facility of the homeowners association. Though tormented into an early grave, Isham might know some peace if he could see his pool house approaching 90 and still as magnificent as the days when it crawled with champagne-sipping starlets and rang with laughter ignorant of what would come. ◆

TOP, exotic tiles complement the Moorish architecture. MIDDLE, a close up of the door handles highlights the intricate metal work. BOTTOM, sunset evokes an Arabian Nights feel to the residential complex.


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50 Years Defending the Small

Beach Town


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There’s an aging gang of pencil pushers that puts fear in the hearts of any land baron with eyes on developing Carpinteria. The Carpinteria Valley Association—part NIMBY support group, part grassroots powerhouse—has been dogging developers for 50 years, and a few of its core members have been around long enough to remember all the would-be projects pitched for Carpinteria that might have irredeemably changed the little city by the sea’s complexion, character and curb appeal. Wearing its reputation for standing up to developers as a badge of honor, CVA has become a gatekeeper for development plans entering the city sphere. “A lot of the time, developers ask to meet with us before they go to the city,” says Anna Carrillo, a CVA member and officer since the early 1970s.

In 2013, John Wismer, who had his eyes on building a resort at Thunderbowl (the east end of Carpinteria Avenue that had historically been used as a car racing track), approached CVA seeking an opinion about his conceptual design for a multi-story, multi-building resort. He met with CVA, but his resort vision never got off the ground. “We told him in a very nice way the opposition he might face, including the opposition he would face from us,” comments Mike Wondolowski, current CVA president

The creation of the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve would not have been possible without the Carpinteria Valley Association. This slice of Bluffs overlooks the county beach toward Rincon Point. WINTER2015 39

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and planning process wonk who considers lack of public participation in municipal policy a cardinal sin. Wismer never pursued his large scale resort. He never said it was because CVA made him flinch, but he stood before the group of volunteers, not the city council. CVA thinks the most appropriate style resort for the eastern end of Carpinteria Avenue would be an eco-resort, the type of place that merges the environment and lodging. Cabins, not the Bacara. The all-volunteer organization was not always so influential, but its record of sending architects back to the drawing board after pulling apart plans and shrinking visions of what fits in Carpinteria has garnered its status as the squeaky wheel that finds lubrication only in the guarantee that Carpinteria stays small. Carrillo and Vera Bensen, who is an original member, current board member, and was longtime president of CVA until June 2014, recall when city leaders were far more amenable to big business and proposals to develop Carpinteria with a Costco, a marina and an oil refinery, to name a few of the pitches that may have stuck without CVA’s opposition. Hubble Oil wanted to install a refinery on the bluffs in 1968, an action that would have cemented


TOP, before it became Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park with protected status, this fragile ecosystem was envisioned as a marina by real estate developers. ABOVE, Carpinteria Valley Association board members in front of the Bluffs Acknowledgement Marker. Members include, from left in front, president and communications director Mike Wondolowski, Roxy Lapidus, and treasurer and secretary Anna Carrillo. In rear, from left, are Vera Bensen, vice-president Jim Taylor, and Gail Marshall.


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Carpinteria’s identity as a full-service oil town. And, Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park once appealed to developers as a fine place for a marina. The organization was founded in 1964, the year before Carpinteria became a city. Lois Sidenberg and Campbell Grant, founding members of CVA (originally known as Carpinteria/Summerland Protective Improvement Association), worked to ensure community involvement during the transition from county to city rule. According to a letter by Sidenberg to the Carpinteria Herald in 1988, “(CVA) was fill the need for a citizens group concerned with preserving and protecting the valley’s agricultural aspects, its beauty and natural resources, its quality and rural residential character.” It came down to drawing clear lines between what was urban and what was to be left rural. Wondolowski reinforced the importance of setting that boundary as a nonstarter when proposing any development in the valley. “We want to avoid that incremental creep,” he says. Protecting the boundary and avoiding suburban inroads into rural Carpinteria by yanking on the ears of Carpinteria and Santa Barbara County representatives has been a major part of CVA’s history. Given the makeup of the current slow-growth Carpinteria City Council, it could be easy to assume the deck has always been stacked in slow-growthers’ favor. Prior to 1990, however, city councils and planning commissions resembled Chevron board rooms, according to former mayor and CVA member Donna Jordan, who along with Brad Stein and Mike Ledbetter, ascended to City Council seats to gain a majority in 1990. All three were backed by CVA. The political pivot in 1990 helped put the brakes on decades of overtures to develop what is now known as Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve. The council then faced a proposal to build 300 condos, a hotel, shopping center and gas station on the 52-acre bluffs property. Maneuvering at the California Coastal Commission stalled that project until it could be beaten back. Eventually, the Carpinteria Citizens for the Bluffs, a group spawned by CVA members like Ted Rhodes and Arturo Tello, helped to raise the $3.9 million needed to publicly acquire the bluffs and preserve it in perpetuity. Stein still sits on the city council and Al Clark, a former CVA member, has since been seated. In its 50 years, CVA appears to be an army that has succeeded in carving out its territory. The salt marsh and bluffs are protected forever. A primary goal has been to maintain Carpinteria’s status as “a classic California small beach town,” according to Wondolowski, as opposed to the Orange County densely populated urban area it might have been. And while keeping Carpinteria sleepy is the objective, the volunteer watchdogs at CVA, given to reading the fine print of every planning document that crosses city and county desks, are unlikely to close their eyes any time soon. “It’s just going to get harder and harder,” Wondolowski says. ◆

From the grill, from the sea, from the garden— join us for Northern and Southern regional Italian cuisine using local ingredients in our family’s tradition.

Delighting Customers Since 2007 2013 Certificate of Excellence Winner from Trip Advisor

Weekdays: Lunch 11am–3pm; Dinner 5–9pm Weekends: Lunch 12–3pm; Dinner 5–9:30pm Closed Tuesday Business Meeting Family Parties and Catering

666 Linden Ave., Downtown Carpinteria 805 684-0720 • Follow us on Facebook at Giannfranco’s Trattoria WINTER2015 41

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E C N DA r e v Fe PHOTOS BY JOEL CON ROY STORY BY AMY OROZ CO Carp’s got rhythm. And lots of it. From a watering hole’s dance floor to the ballet studio’s barre, Carpinterians are moving their feet to all sorts of beats. Favor the innuendo of the tango? There’s a place for you and your partner. Rather jazz it up with more contemporary moves? Gotcha covered. Want your workout done to a Latin beat? Right this way! Grab your boots, slippers, or tie up your tennies. Heck, go barefoot if you prefer. There’s a floor in town waiting for you. B-Y-O-Partner!

STUDIO B Now point your toes Studio B instructor Chanel Pepper helps position back-bending Amanda Grace, in pink T-shirt, as she holds onto the ankles of Sophie Morales.

Trapeze Artists Caton Pettine, front, practices aerial maneuvers. Instructor Chanel Pepper adjusts an upside down Madison Tobin’s leg into correct alignment.

Headstand. Jackknife. Your turn. As classmates look on, Caton Pettine takes to the mat for a show of acrobatic finesse. WINTER2015 43

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Curtis studio of danCe At the Barre Students at the Curtis Studio of Dance have the opportunity to study ballet, tap, jazz, and acrobatic among other dance styles.

Dancing Queen Eryn Orsburn gives 100 percent attention to the day’s lesson.

Practice, Practice, Practice Dancers rehearse a special number. Performances by Curtis Studio dancers are a hallmark of Carpinteria community events, such as parades and First Fridays. 44

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The Palms Hug Your Partner, Round and Round It’s country dance night at The Palms, and you’re invited. Don’t know the steps? Don’t worry, you will by the end of the night.

The Thursday Night Lineup Cowboy boots are recommended, not required. Beer optional. Live music keeps the dance floor full and everyone on their toes.

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The gym nexT door Put Your Right Foot In

Elements of hip-hop, samba, and merengue, among other dance steps are incorporated into Zumba’s choreography. The one-hour classes are offered throughout the week at a variety of times.

Belled Bottoms

The stronger the shake, the louder the jingle. Belly dancing-inspired belts spice up the typical gym wear in a Zumba class.


Cyndi Macias, owner of the Gym Next Door, leads a Saturday morning Zumba class. Inspired by the beat of Latin music, Zumba is a dance-based fitness program. 46

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Nutbelly pizzeria aNd deli Buenos Aires ballroom by night Dare we say it … It takes two to tango! Yulia Mulata and Peter G. Smith perform the worldwide popular dance that originated in Argentina and Uruguay. On special Wednesday nights, Linden Avenue’s Nutbelly Pizzeria & Deli turns into a hideaway for tango lovers. A defining characteristic of tango is the embrace, either open or close. ◆

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“Go ahead ask me what I like!” nutritious foods, yummy treats, colorful collars, handsome leashes, playful toys (yes!), a silky flea-free coat


a feel good, warm refreshing bath self served by YOU in the wonderful Ark tub

Dog Heaven!

“Indulge all my buddies and feline friends too.” aRK Has all tHE GoodIEs!

Provisions for All Pets CasItas Plaza • 805.684.1731 1090 CasItas Pass Road Mon-FRI 10-7 • sat 10-5 • sun 12-5


Have you taken a stellar shot around town? We want to see it.

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Pining for Waffles B y Peter Dugré • Ph ot os By Bri a n h o Pk i n s


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ll it takes is a few minutes to mix up some waffle batter and crisp it inside a hot iron. Even less time is needed to eat a golden-brown, square-patterned breakfast treat. For the Waffle Lady of Star Pine Road, the time put into opening her doors to neighbors to share waffles and smiles adds up to barely a pinch. Barbara McCurry will turn 99 on Jan. 12, and as traditions go, her first-Saturday-of-the-month waffle parties are new to her at just 10 years. “It started with a neighbor across the street, and then everyone I knew started coming,” McCurry, a natural storyteller, says. The tight-knit Star Pine Road community came to rely on waffles, at first a weekly Saturday tradition, as a way to catch up and keep up with neighborhood happenings. “What’s nice is that it brings neighbors together. Some had even had a falling out, but they talked again here,” McCurry says from her well-lit but spatially challenged kitchen-dining room, appointed in cream-colored wood cabinetry and polished wooden floors and decorated in a mixture of recent pictures of four young great-granddaughters and other dog-eared family photos dating all the way back to the 1940s. “That’s the way I looked,” she says of the brunette in a field of California poppies with her OPPOSITE PAGE, Barbara McCurry serves her specialty dish at the monthly, open-invitation waffle breakfast for neighbors and friends she hosts in her cozy kitchen. THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT, included in McCurry’s good old fashioned hospitality are the made-from-scratch waffles. There’s no such thing as a waffle breakfast without syrup. The family recipe for waffles is passed down to great-granddaughter Quinlyn Winneguth. WINTER2015 51

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young family in the 1940s. Her little dog Max licks at a knuckle if it drops below seat level. Her waffle recipe is simple; it starts with Bisquick. “I sort of made it up. I add a little of this and that—millet flour, buttermilk, eggs, a pinch of soda, things like that,” she says. “I don’t measure. I just dump it all in.” And the result is light and fluffy waffles that go down easy with pure maple syrup, boysenberry syrup and butter or margarine on top. She always serves the waffles with coffee and orange and apple juice. McCurry’s grandson Will Winneguth holds the record for eating seven of the breakfast treats. McCurry first came to Carpinteria to camp with family in the early 1930s when she was 16 years old. “You could stay all summer for 50 cents a night, and sometimes we’d run away when they’d come to collect,” she says. Local girls and campers had rivalries, since the local boys would pay their attention to the out-of-town girls visiting for the summer, she recalls. She carried on the tradition by bringing her family here to camp before eventually relocating to Carpinteria, first on La Mirada and then to Star Pine Road in 2004. The Waffle Lady dialed back her Saturday morning gatherings to once a month at the direction of her children. She still sings in the choir at Carpinteria Community Church, but stopped playing golf last year. “On the inside, I still feel the same as I did when I was 50 or 60,” she says. ◆

TOP, high five grandma! Great-granddaughter Amelia Winneguth, Quinlyn’s younger sister, enjoys the social aspects of the neighborhood waffle breakfast as much as the meal itself. ABOVE, a pinch of this, a bit of that. McCurry says she doesn’t follow a recipe to create her popular waffles, but rather makes it up as she goes along.


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…simply fine wines at great prices!

Wines from “A” to “Z” (Albariño to Zinfandel)

NEW ARRIVALS EVERY DAY Stop in and take advantage of our bountiful selection! 4193-1 Carpinteria Ave.

684-7440 M-F 10-6pm Sat 10-5pm

Since the Summer of ’58…Carpinteria’s Favorite Burger!

“…worth the drive.” –LA Times



55 Years at Carpinteria’s Hottest Corner Burgers • Fries • Chili • Hot Dogs • Rings Shakes • Cones • Mexican Food, too! Swing by for a Breakfast Burrito from 7-10am All Summer long… Memorial Day thru Labor Day

389 Linden Ave. 2 Blocks from the Beach To Go 684-6311 WINTER2015 53

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Past Portraits STORY BY L E A BOYD

Restaurants come and restaurants go. They rise and fall with changing trends; they burn out their owners with long hours of physical work. Some, however, develop a recipe that continues to satisfy decade after decade. Three such Carpinteria restaurants are The Palms, The Spot and Fosters Freeze. If you’re under the age of 50, you can’t remember a time before these eateries. They hosted milestone celebrations, witnessed hundreds of


romances bloom, and watched children become parents then grandparents. Bring your own memories along with these Past Portraits , and take a bite of Carpinteria history hot off the grill. The Palms, Fosters Freeze and The Spot are some of Carpinteria history’s most memorable characters. As popular today as when they arrived on the scene decades ago, the trio continues to create memories.

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T H E PA L M S Bill Anderson collected his first impressions of Friday nights at The Palms on Saturday mornings. His grandparents Augusta and Beata Anderson, who bought the restaurant when young Bill could hardly see over the bar, occasionally brought him in early, when evidence of a raucous night before included splintered pool sticks and blood on the floor—the kind of images that linger in a boy’s memory. “It was a wild education growing up in this business,” Bill says. Nearly 50 years ago, when Bill was using clues to piece together the night scene at The Palms, the building’s facade was the wall that now separates the dining room from the cocktail lounge, and Estelle’s Beauty Shoppe rented a space occupied by the bar today. The “cook your own steak” concept hadn’t been introduced, and only a couple dozen meals were served most nights. Tunes churned out from an old jukebox, which offered little competition against the high-volume Friday and Saturday night bar crowd. Filterless cigarettes dangled from the lips of customers, servers, and cooks, leaving smoke so thick, “you really couldn’t see across the room,” Bill recalls from later years logging first-hand experiences on the floor. The wait staff matched the environment. A fleet of flinty women, many of whom were raising families on the tips they brought home, collected orders and delivered meals. “I remember those tough, old waitresses—mean,

totally loyal, chain-smoking, but they were sweet, too,” Bill says. Reminiscing with Bill about those rougher, tougher days of The Palms, a longtime customer once said nostalgically, “It wasn’t a Friday night in here unless someone came flying over my table.” The restaurant bears the stamp of three Anderson generations. Augusta and Beata passed it down to their son Ken Anderson and his wife, Sue, in 1968. Bill and his brother Todd took over when their parents retired in 1990. Of course, by the time the Anderson family entered the scene, The Palms already owned a thick chapter of Carpinteria history. A 1912 Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce publication describes the brand new 18-room hotel on the corner of Linden Avenue and 7 th Street as follows: “Everything in the building is arranged for comfort and convenience. The rooms are perfectly ventilated, contain hot and cold water which comes from an artesian well on the grounds, and are fitted for all modern conveniences. The hotel will be open to the public in a short time. The block is of brick and is surrounded on two sides with stately palm trees.” In its century-plus lifespan, The Palms has undergone significant changes. The original upstairs hotel rooms are now offices and restaurant staff housing. Almost all of the original palm trees, designated a historical landmark in 1977, have been removed. And the restaurant has expanded as far as the sidewalks will allow. Patrons of The Palms need not worry about more change anytime soon though. Bill promises that the reasonable prices, 1970s décor and throwback feel of The Palms aren’t going anywhere. From left, Todd and Bill Anderson, owners of The Palms, started collecting memories of the downtown hotspot when they were kids and their grandparents bought the restaurant.


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courtesy of the Palms

Construction of The Palms Hotel in 1912 dramatically changed the landscape of downtown Carpinteria. Boasting “modern conveniences,� the 18-room lodge served motorists as well as visitors arriving by train.

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Raising an icy cold soft drink to the popular burger joint are some of the Carpinteria High School students who likely worked and patronized the stand in the 1960s.


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FOSTERS FREEZE Longtime Carpinterians allude to the old days like proud scholars of ancient history. There were the years before the freeway cut through town, fond memories of citrus groves predating Casitas Plaza, and the stories about the old Fosters Freeze—a small, wooden building where customers walked up and leaned against a narrow counter to order through a dark window. After a short wait at one of the picnic tables in front, a brown paper bag hot with blossoming grease stains emerged, or maybe spiral staircases of soft serve ice cream or sweating Pepsi cups filled with something sweet and cold. This was the Fosters of the 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s, a place where you sat facing Carpinteria Avenue and when your friends motored by, you lifted a hand to greet their honking horn. “It was a scene,” remembers Laura Pettit. “You could watch everyone cruising.” Laura, who owns the restaurant now with her brothers Jim, Doug, and Joshua Pettit, grew up in Santa Barbara while her father, Dave Pettit, commuted to work daily at the Carpinteria franchise. Dave managed the restaurant for 11 years under owner Frank Zanier, before purchasing the restaurant in 1975. In those years, Carpinteria High School football games were played at what is now Carpinteria Middle School, and Fosters served as a hub of downtown activity. Dave’s second wife, Kim Pettit, worked at the restaurant and remembers Fosters as part of a cruising loop that included The Spot on Linden Avenue and the A&W on the corner of Holly and Carpinteria avenues. “You’d see who was in the parking lot, and then you’d pull over,” she recalls. Three employees could run the little, walk-up burger joint, one on the register, one cooking and one bagging food and making shakes. In the early days, cheeseburgers were 55 cents, hot dogs 45 cents, and a large soda 25 cents. Soft serve ice cream reigned at Fosters, and still does, Laura says. The machine often worked so hard that it needed breaks occasionally to freeze the ice cream to the ideal consistency. Too soft and the swirl of vanilla, chocolate or half-and-half would fall into the famous chocolate dip. Masters of the signature dip cones could produce a curlicue on top then preserve it with a thin layer of chocolate before passing it through the window. A cop ran a football pool out of the back of the shack, and sometimes the walk-in freezer served as storage for a friend who bagged a deer on a hunting excursion.

Laura recalls that periodically a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department bus full of prisoners would pull into the back parking lot to pick up Fosters meals for all the men on board. Each inmate got two cheeseburgers, an order of fries and a medium Pepsi. “No girls were allowed to go out with the food,” Laura says. In the mid-1980s, Dave remodeled Fosters into a modern restaurant complete with indoor seating. With the transformation, the era of the walk-up Fosters became another addition to the list of topics for reminiscing old-timers. Laura Pettit watched her father, Dave, head off to work at the Carpinteria Fosters Freeze every day when she was a little girl. Since Dave passed away in 2012, Laura and her brothers Jim, Doug, and Joshua have operated the eatery.

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THE SPOT Burger patties sizzled on a jammed griddle, and malts—in any one of 13 flavors—flew out the pick-up window even faster than most 1967 summer nights at The Spot. On this evening, Aug. 29, while the final episode of “The Fugitive” was breaking television viewing records around the country, droves of young Carpinterians huddled around a small, black and white screen on the patio of the tiny burger joint on Linden Avenue. “I never saw it so packed,” Susan DeBus recalls. Two police cars parked along the back driveway, and the officers joined the edge-of-their-seats crowd to catch the conclusion to the hit series. Teens close to the box took turns holding the antenna whenever the image blurred. DeBus remembers the night clearly, though the hundreds of other evenings she spent at The Spot are now a mishmash of happy memories marked by the smell of

cooking burgers. Her parents, Al and Lorraine DeBus, owned the eatery for about a decade, starting in the early 1960s when Susan was 13. During the busy summers—Memorial Day to Labor Day—The Spot opened at 11 a.m. and closed at 11 p.m. Al was there every day until close; and every other day, he arrived at 5 a.m. to prep the fresh-cut French fries. Carpinteria High School students made up the staff roster as well as the clientele. Lorraine taught the girls to take orders and make malts, while Al schooled the boys in cooking. During the DeBus era, Spot employees all wore collared white shirts covered in big, red polka dots. Despite the long hours of back-aching work, Susan says her parents, who have since passed away, never complained and never fought. “I don’t even think they ever got sick during those years,” she says.

Kind-hearted Al extended credit to anyone who wanted it and made sure his employees did their homework during slow times in the afternoon. After the jukebox went dark and closing time neared, Al would ask any lingering teens, “Is your mom or dad coming to get you, or am I driving you home?” Al and Lorraine had purchased The Spot from its original owners, Garnet and Cecil Hendrickson. Prior to the Hendricksons, the little restaurant had been called Sheri’s Café, but when they bought it in 1958, Garnet told Cecil, “It’s just such a tiny, little place, let’s call it The Spot,” reported a 2002 Coastal View News article. The DeBuses, Suan recalls, always planned to improve the property. At their landlord’s insistence of a very short lease, however, Al and Lorraine decided investing their hard-earned dollars would be foolhardy and sold the business in 1970 or 1971. The next owners with staying power were Ted and Della Barajas, who acquired The Spot for $15,000 in 1976, according to a 1988 Carpinteria Herald article. Under Ted’s management, The Spot garnered the praise of noteworthy food critic Julia Child. The Barajas added Mexican food to the formerly all-American menu, and satisfied customers for 22 years. Jesse and Theresa Bustillos now own the little restaurant that holds a big place in Carpinteria history. ◆ Jesse Bustillos, current owner of The Spot, stands at the ordering window during a rare moment without a line down the sidewalk.


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Named for its petite size, The Spot’s minimal square footage remains the same as when this photo was taken in its early days. Prices are still reasonable, but the 10 cent sno cones and 40 cent malts are a thing of the past.

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Picture Perfect

Cre e k a n d Ca m pfi re S m ok e per feCt Spot. p er feCt weather. muSt b e C arpinteria, where the average winter tem per atur eS fluCtuate fr om the mid-50S to the high-60S . feb ru ary 1949 Stil l hol dS f irSt p la C e for the valley’ S C oldeS t day at 20 degreeS. on the other Side of the reCord Settin g ther m om eter iS Ju ly 1937 f or the hotteSt day at 108 degreeS. photo b y gl en n d ubo C k


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Jewelers on By Peter DugrĂŠ


Ph otos By Joel Con roy Is there value in the story behind your necklace? Is there a difference between a silver bracelet with a sapphire setting selected at a department store and one bought closer to home and created by a person with whom you can make eye-contact and shake hands? Your jewelry can tell a story, the story of the craftsperson who made it and has spent a lifetime refining skills and pouring passion into accessorizing clients with unique earrings, necklaces, homemade beads, or whatever jewel sets the maker apart. Five locals share with Carpinteria Magazine their unbelievable skills and creativity in crafting custom jewelry. Read on for the stories behind their crafts. WINTER2015 65

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Calla Gold Jewelry When the jewelry store offerings fall short of customers’ visions of the perfect ring, necklace or bracelet, personal jeweler Calla Gold is a phone call or email away. She prides herself on turning clients’ ideas into one-of-a-kind jewelry. “I believe there is a jewelry designer in each one of us. I encourage participation in the design process with my clients,” she says. Often she’ll try to match pieces of jewelry to clients’ anecdotes. “I’m often inspired by the stories from my clients, the maverick grandmother who owned the diamond we are redesigning, the late in life diploma we are celebrating, the family of birthstones I’m challenged to artfully arrange to celebrate the most important part of someone’s life.” In addition to turning clients ideas for wedding bands or neck bling into reality, Gold is always inspired to create her own unique pieces. Find her work at


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Bil y Rebs The jeweler responsible for the fine rings, necklaces and bracelets that fill the cases at Sandcastle Time in Carpinteria started off as a sculptor nearly 50 years ago. “I did some art shows and realized when looking at the jewelry table, [jewelry] is like sculpture but it’s a lot smaller and easier to carry around,” Billy Rebs says. “I just scaled it down a bit.” He now does about everything in jewelry from repairing and resetting fine pieces to carving patterns into wax to cast original pieces. Early on he got a break doing skulls. EZ Rider magazine in 1973 featured a skull carved by Rebs, and he’s cast hundreds since and still does. He owned stores in Camarillo and Oxnard for decades but has since moved his retail online to an Etsy site and to Sandcastle Time. Rebs gets back to the roots of jewelry making each year when he visits an Indian Reservation outside of Tucson and helps to make Western jewelry while there. “Out there, we’re beating silver out on the stump of the tree,” he says of the more rustic practice. Visit him at

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Martin E. Fowler Design A regular in Carpinteria Arts Center shows, jeweler Martin Fowler has an eye for top grade gemstones, which he incorporates in his organically flowing jewelry. Decades ago, Fowler was infatuated with a plum agate found in a small shop, so much so that he began a career in jewelry under the tutelage of the shop owner. “I love stones of all types, especially agates and jaspers,” he says. Working the special gems and jewels into his jewelry is always satisfying. “There’s something very special about the accomplishment of a finished piece, which not only fulfills my need to create, but thrills the new owner of one of my babies,” he says. Fowler has become fascinated with reticulation of silver, which is a an arduous, time-consuming process of heating and reheating silver while intermittently treating it with acid until it appears “almost like topography from 30,000 feet,” he says. Fowler has taught in the SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning for over 25 years.


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Zoe Iverson If there’s such a thing as making something from less than scratch, Zoe Iverson does it. The jeweler begins the process of crafting her delicate bracelets and necklaces with a propane torch in a community glass workshop in Goleta. She melts glass rods into beads, assembling the jewelry in her Carpinteria home studio. “I love the color. The glass itself is inspirational for me… There are endless possibilities for mixing and creating new designs, shapes and textures,” Iverson says. “Taking the beads I have made and working them into a piece of jewelry is the final joy.” She has worked with glass since taking art classes in college and increased her skills as a maker of stained glass and fused glass. Also an accomplished assemblage artist, Iverson’s work can be found at Carpinteria Arts Center, 855 Linden Ave.

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SDY Jewellery Jewellery isn’t a typo. Sara Dapra-Young, an Austrian-born, English-educated transplant to Carpinteria, uses her initials and the British spelling of jewellery in her company name, SDY Jewellery. She studies and reinterprets weaving, braiding, and knotting in her work in order to improvise fresh looking jewelry from ancient crafting techniques. “There’s nothing that hasn’t been done before. I choose different elements of ancient techniques and come up with something unique,” she says. Her braided and woven bands of silk and chains are fashioned with dipped pendants. Dapra-Young collects acorns and other found natural objects and dips them in silver and gold as charms for the woven bands. “No two pieces are ever exactly the same,” she says. She studied at London College of Fashion and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in accessories design and product development for the fashion industry followed by a postgraduate degree in art history from Goldsmiths University in London. Her handmade jewelry can be found at Hawthorn on Santa Claus Lane, K. Frank and Encanto on State Street, and Antoinette in Montecito. ◆


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Moment in Time

Ch e a p Fl i gh t s , gre at s e at s photo by glenn Dubock Camera: Nikon D800 with 80-400mm lens Caught at thunderbowl overlooking rincon point in July 2014.


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Moment in Time

A WA l k on t h e W e t S i de Photo by Glenn dubock nikon d800 camera with 24mm lens Captured at the tar Pits parking lot in Carpinteria State Beach in March 2014.


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Dr. William Otto Veterinarian I n t e rvI e w by A m y O r OzcO PH Ot OS by A n n e t t e SAmArIn William Otto, DVM, was caring for dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and a variety of classroom pets, among other furry friends and family members, even before he bought Carpinteria Veterinary Hospital from Dr. George Law, DVM, and wife, Helen, in 1983. Befitting his profession, the animal doc grew up on a small farm outside of Cincinnati. He visited California during his college years at Ohio State University, where he also attended veterinary school, and decided he wanted to live in the Golden State. “I was looking for temporary work, and Dr. Law said he didn’t have work right now, but I spent the day with him. He said, ‘Why don’t you stop by the house tonight and have dinner with my wife and me?’” Otto recalls. “And, at the end of the evening, they said, ‘We’d like you to buy our practice.’” Thirty years later Otto was in the same situation but on the other side of the table. “It’s not who offered the most money; it was getting the right people who I felt comfortable with,” he says referring to the new owners, veterinarians Laura Putnam and Justin Fischer. “When I hired Laura over eight years ago,

TOP, Carpinteria Veterinary Hospital on Walnut Avenue provides services for companion animals, or pets, such as dogs and cats. BOTTOM, healing hands. Dr. Otto examines Allegra, a beautiful brown Weimaraner. 78

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Known for his special way with animals, both pets and their humans, Dr. William Otto, DVM, has practiced in Carpinteria since 1983. WINTER2015 79

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within the first year I said to myself ‘that’s who I want to take over my practice.’” Now semi-retired, he’s been tending to his furry charges, along with their owners, two days a week since January. Full retirement is likely within the next year.

You’re known as a veterinarian who’s good with humans.

I think that’s very important. You can’t just treat the pets, you have to know and understand the needs of the pet owners and help them in any way you can.

is that taught in vet school?

I don’t know if that’s taught in vet school. I think it is part of what I am and what is important to me. That’s what I’ve tried to instill in my employees: You’re not just treating the pet, the owners have needs as well.

whY did You become a vet?

I decided to be vet when I was about 10 years old. I always had lots of animals around, and I became friendly with and always admired my vet growing up. Actually worked for him in the summer when I was in high school to get the experience and to get firsthand knowledge of what it is like. You can love pets and not be cut out for medicine, and the other way around. I loved animals, but I also did very well in school. I liked science. There’s nothing like the reward of helping animals get well and repair broken limbs and things like that through the years. It’s been quite rewarding. My first week of practice after graduation, I was presented with a cat that had had its ankle completely torn apart, just hanging by a couple of tendons and skin. I said, “Oh my God, which one of you vets is going to repair that?” And they go, “Well, you’re a vet, you are. It’s your case.” And I did. It was successful. The cat ran around and did well. It was incredibly, incredibly rewarding.

a tYpical visit to dr. otto’s?

Wounds, skin problems, accidents, surgery …

an atYpical visit?

After all these years I’ve kind of seen it all. [Laughs.] The most atypical is when they come in for themselves. They make an appointment for their pet, but when in actuality they want to discuss their own medication and medical problems. THIS PAGE, FROM TOP, Andrea Snable assists with examining Teddy, a very cute corgi. Dr. Otto checks Teddy’s ear. Snable comforts Teddy, while Dr. Otto gives a thorough check up. OPPOSITE PAGE, in addition to working with animals Wendy Cowan helps out at the front reception area. 80

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Do they unDerstanD they are D oing that?

Oh yeah. They’re straight up and honest about it. They’ll come in and say “I told the front desk that I have a problem with ‘Jones’ here but really I want to talk to you.”

how often Does that occur?

It’ll happen a couple times a year.

Do you finD that flattering?

It is flattering. It’s sad also because they’re not getting what they need from their physician. I think people are becoming savvier and demanding more information from their physicians instead of “Oh, OK, I’ll take this …” Some of the funniest ones are the people who literally remove clothing to show me their lesions. Pretty much disrobe in front of me.

what Do you Do?

I ask questions like “Your pet has ringworm. Do you have any lesions?” “Oh yeah!” and off comes the blouse. An entire jumpsuit came off once. The staff usually has to run out of the exam room because they can’t contain themselves.

DiD it ever cross your minD that maybe they were coming on to you?

No, not at all. Given that kind of situation, they were very sincere. A 70-year-old lifts her sweater to show me the bites on her chest, with no bra on. No, she’s not coming on to me. [Laughs.]

what other changes treatment of animals?






In the past, people would dump animals on the front porch of the hospital. They would tie dogs and say we can’t keep them. They are much more likely, particularly in California, to find a home [for them] and there are so many more organizations available that will take in lost and unwanted pets people just can’t keep any more and find good homes for them. Really, pets aren’t throwaways, at least in our community. People are recognizing that it is not OK to treat animals cruelly. Even my sensitivities have changed. When I was young I understood and accepted how pigs are raised in confinement. A few years ago I visited a farm in New Zealand. I couldn’t even stay in the barn I was so aghast at how they were being housed. It just offended me and I had to get out of there. In general, I think people recognize, yes, we eat animals. They are part of our food, but that doesn’t mean you have to raise them in conditions that are unacceptable or inhumane.

is human fooD really baD for animals?

Human food, per se, is not horrible for animals. People sometimes don’t use common sense. A 7-pound dog is given three or four slices of bacon for breakfast. That’s inappropriate. A couple of thumbnails, fine. People who want to cook for their pets, I’m totally on board with that. But it has to be a balanced diet. My gosh, bits of this and that from the table, unless they have a real medical issue, it’s usually fine.

what Do you say to or D o for a grieving pet owner?

I think I’m at an advantage, because for many of these people I have known them for years, so I know about their pet’s life and what their pet has meant to them. I know all the little quirks that the pet has. So when you’re with a pet owner who is grieving or is dealing with putting their pet to sleep, it’s knowing what their need is. It’s knowing what that pet was to them, and honoring that in their time when they have to let go. It’s not always easy to be there emotionally all the time. One thing I always tell my employees, “This may be our third euthanasia today, but it’s our client’s only euthanasia. And we have to be there for them.”

is every Day an emotional rollercoaster?

There are days when it is emotionally too much when you face serious illnesses and death with pets and also, as we talked about before, the emotional needs of their families. It’s hard to be there all the time; it’s emotionally draining for us.

grieving over the loss of a pe t useD to be laugheD at. now hallmark sells carD s …

Absolutely. People will sometimes apologize for crying during the euthanasia. I tell them I’d be worried if they weren’t emotionally distraught over their pet. WINTER2015 81

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Do their personalities m atCh?

Yes, many times. Sometimes they are attracted to a like personality, and sometimes when you live with a quiet and very even person, then the pet becomes quieter over time. And vice versa. Or they get crazy because they’re living with craziness all the time. Sometimes people rescue dogs that are supposedly out of control, but a year later, they’re 80 percent better. And two years later, they’ve taken on the demeanor of the new pet owner.

your thoughts on phenomena like Dog whisperers?

Cats. are they really finiCky?

They are. The attitude I had when I was younger was “well, they’re not going to starve.” Well, actually, that’s not true. Some cats do get into trouble because you’re not giving them things they like. They can be that finicky and it can result in some medical problems. Once I had a dog in the hospital, and the wife said, “Oh, she will not eat unless you feed her with a fork,” and I said, “Oh yeah, she will.” And by day three of her not eating anything of the cooked food that the owner had brought, I was in there with a fork and she was gobbling her food.

a ny famous pets in Carpinteria?

Famous pets? [Laughs] One of the Marleys [of “Marley and Me”] of which there were multiple Marleys, lives in Carpinteria.

Do Dogs really resemble their owners?

Let’s just say there’s a resemblance in many families. A dog that comes in with its hair wild all over, and sure enough the owner ’s hair is the same way. I have a wonderful, wonderful client and we were talking about this topic and she said, “Oh does that really happen?” And I looked at her and I said, “You know, have you ever looked at your pets and you?” Because she had a round face, and her dogs were Pekinese, Boxers, and a Persian cat. And she started howling and saying “I bet people are saying that, ‘oh, look at those.’”

I have seen times that it is pretty hard to deny what they have said and what they have said the pet is telling them. Because it is so right on and they have not been given any cues.

what’s the best thing we Can D o for our pets?

Give them more time and attention. That’s the root of a lot of behavioral problems with dogs. They are not getting enough exercise or mental stimulation. Even when they are old. Go different places to walk, not the same small world of around the block. We enrich their lives with time, stimulation, and attention.

woulD you like to aDD anything?

It’s been a great ride. It’s been a wonderful career and I’ve had a great life. And though I’m close to complete retirement, I certainly will miss it. I won’t miss the stress. But I don’t have that now as I’m no longer the owner. I kind of smile now when they’re dealing with personnel issues, client issues, building issues, equipment issues, because I don’t have to worry about that anymore.

anD Carpinteria?

Carpinteria is an amazing small town. The community has been very good to me. Supportive of the business, me personally, interested in my life, our employees’ lives. There’s a real love shown by the community. ◆ ABOVE, what big teeth you have! Part of the doctor’s visit for Heidi, a shiny and sleek Doberman mix, includes an oral exam.


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Potted for the



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S T ORY BY A M Y OROZ CO PH OT OS BY JOE L CON ROY The Poinsettia, an icon of the Santa Claus, snowcapped version of Christmas, is native to Mexico. It made its way to the United States in 1828 when Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico and an amateur botanist, sent cuttings to his home in South Carolina. Poinsettia production in Carpinteria dates back at least 25 years. The yearly process begins when Westland Orchids Inc. plants rooted cuttings in July. The resulting 16-inch to 18-inch high plants are shipped right after Thanksgiving and throughout December to supermarkets and local wholesalers, according to Jerry Van Wingerden, owner, and David Van Wingerden, marketing director, of Westland Orchids Inc. Known as the Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima is not a flower. The showy five-pointed starburst of holiday cheer is a bract, or modified leaves. Though most Poinsettias grown at Westland Orchids Inc. are red in addition to a small amount of white ones, with more than 100 varieties, Poinsettias come in white, burgundy, purple, pink, speckled and marbled among others. Contrary to popular belief, Poinsettias are not poisonous. The Christmas-Poinsettia relationship dates to the 16th Century, when the legend began of an angel that inspired a Mexican peasant girl, with no means to give Jesus a birthday gift, to gather weeds for the church altar. From those leaves a beautiful crimson Poinsettia, or Flor de Noche Buena, as it’s known in Mexico, sprouted. The Poinsettia’s popularity in the United States is credited to the then Los Angeles-based Ecke family. German immigrant Albert Ecke began selling the plant in the Los Angeles area in the early 1900s. His son, Paul, developed a grafting technique, and his grandson, Paul Jr., sent free plants to television stations to display on air from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Paul Jr. also promoted the plants on “The Tonight Show” and “Bob Hope’s Christmas Special.” According to the 2013 Santa Barbara County Agricultural

Production Report, 235,000 square feet of greenhouse space in the county were used to grow Poinsettias, and the county estimates a $921,743 value on the seasonal plant. The report doesn’t include Carpinteria specific stats. Given the Poinsettia’s cultural status, it’s probably no surprise there is a National Poinsettia Day, and there’s been one since the late 1800s. The date, Dec. 12, marks the anniversary of Poinsett’s death in 1851. Dec. 12 is also Our Lady of Guadalupe Day, a day celebrated by many Carpinterians, with plentiful Poinsettias used as decorations. ◆ OPPOSITE PAGE, flashy Poinsettias decorate Shepard Mesa for the holidays. THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT, Westland Orchids Inc. commercially grows Poinsettias and begins shipping right after Thanksgiving. Packaged and ready to spread cheer, the festive plant is a common sight at farmers markets, grocery stores, and retail nurseries. Christmas dinnerware and postage stamp are evidence of the Poinsettia’s popularity.

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Culinary Contender:

home Chef Cooks the Competition S t ory by Pe t er D u gr é Ph ot oS by Fran Co llin

Carpinterian Lajaune “L.J.” Washington has a $1,500 Kenmore grill gathering dust in her yard. The champion cook prefers to grill on the $20 cheapy she picked up at Rite-Aid in preparation for a barbecue competition two years ago. The more sophisticated Kenmore was her trophy for winning that KEYT-sponsored contest. “Sometimes people ask me what I’m doing with that big grill. I think I just like knowing it’s there,” Washington says. In addition to a “big grill,” her competitive cooking has gained her a trip to New York City for a spot on the Today Show and entry into the World Food Championship, an exclusive battle of competitive cooks that is held in the open air in Las Vegas and filmed for reality television. Cooking was part of life when Washington grew up in New Orleans. Her mom, grandma and aunts always had something simmering. “When somebody said they were cooking a pot of gumbo or red beans and rice, people changed their plans, and said, ‘we’ll be there.’ It was so special,” she says. Ebullient and extroverted, Washington wants to feed people and get to know their taste buds. She first landed in Santa Barbara as a traveling nurse six years ago and OPPOSITE PAGE, L.J. Washington tempts the taste buds with her award winning Boyfriend Burger, which landed her a national television appearance on The Today Show. THIS PAGE, TOP, The Boyfriend Burger gets all grilled up for his dinner date. THIS PAGE, LEFT, sweet potato strips, an essential ingredient to the Boyfriend Burger, are fried in cooking oil. WINTER2015 87

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never left. Coworkers in the Medical ICU at Cottage Hospital applauded her decision to stay and to continue to share Creole cooking. “People had never heard of Jambalaya,” she says. “I was on a cloud. I was like a tour guide.” Her competitive cooking career began spontaneously when she got an itch to join a sandwich-making competition sponsored by UCSB, Whole Foods, and the Santa Barbara Independent. She went toe-to-toe with Santa Barbara sandwich joints Three Pickles and Savoy in the finals before taking the crown with a Pork Sloppy Joe that won her distinction as a good cook. The flavor in her dishes typically draws on influences from the French Quarter. “We’d go there and walk around just for the smells,” she says. And from the Creole roots she adapts and creates dishes. “My goal is to try and

get out of my comfort zone and try different types of cuisine and infuse them with New Orleans Creole to make something completely different.” She won the barbecue competition on her little grill—the first time she had barbecued—with red curry ribs. Her sauce was a feat of reverse engineering. A red curry soup from Vons inspired her to recreate it at home. She figured out how to build the same flavor through trial and error. Then when it came time to make a rub for the ribs, she thickened the sauce and developed a smokier taste that could translate to barbecue. She also had to figure out how to slow cook the ribs on the grill; YouTube proved a valuable resource. Washington’s Today Show experience was born of an effective gimmick and TV-worthy personality, as determined by the shows producers. Through a competitive cook’s Facebook group in early 2013, she had heard the Today Show was accepting applications for a Father ’s Day Burger Battle. She threw her “Boyfriend Burger” into the ring. “The name was something to get attention. I said, ‘This burger ’s so good it’ll make your boyfriend put a ring on your finger within an hour,’” she says. Weeks flew by after she applied. She tried to put it out of mind, but still, she’d stay awake after working her night shift as an intensive care unit nurse to watch

THIS PAGE, TOP, the Boyfriend Burger made Washington’s appearance on the Today show, and trip to New York City for filming, possible. Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis was one of the Today show judges. THIS PAGE, LEFT, Washington breaks open her famous Triple Chocolate Chip cookie, made with white, milk and semisweet chocolate chips. She recently started L.J.’s Southern Belle Cookies (, 713-8512293) specializing in cookies and creole pralines. OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP, grilled to perfection. The Goat Cheese, Blueberry Basil and Prosciutto Grilled Cheese Sandwich is ready for consumption. A squirt of citrus seasons the sandwich. Slices of KerryGold Dubliner Irish Cheese are ready for duty. Goat cheese is a finishing touch to the much-more-than-a-sandwich meal. 88

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the Today Show and hope for news. She vocalized her frustration one morning and within 15 minutes her phone rang, a call from New York. “I thought it must be a bill collector. Then I thought, oh wait it could be the Today Show,” she says. Multiple conversations with producers landed her a spot along with two other contestants. Her flight and lodging in New York would be covered, and her hospital managers accommodated the time off. Giada De Laurentiis was the television chef in charge the day of the show. She chose a spicier burger over Washington’s as the best, but gravitated toward the “Boyfriend Burger” creator after the show. “We were chatting like old girlfriends,” Washington says. “It got me so excited.” The national television experience hardly touched a nerve for Washington. “I’m fearless when it comes to TV. I guess that’s why I’m an ICU nurse. I like it when it’s tense, and I can adjust on the spot.” She followed up her spot on national television by applying to enter the World Food Championship, a three-day event in Las Vegas that was filmed for FYI channel. Washington didn’t know what to expect, but she wasn’t ready to entrust her fate to chance. She filled her suitcase with her favorite pots and pans and cooking accoutrement. She was to compete in the sandwich competition and was to prepare a shrimp po’ boy. She pre-ordered her Gulf shrimp from and packed it on dry ice. The competition was in open air in Old Town Las Vegas. “It was a really grand thing; pretty incredible.” Her preparation paid off. She placed in the top 10 of 31 cooks and advanced to the second round. In round two, everyone was given the secret ingredient of fish for their sandwich. She finished seventh so she was left off out of the final round, in which the purse prize was $300,000 and the $50,000 top prize was at stake. This fall she’ll re-enter the World Food Championship. “I get this itch and get so excited I just want to do something else,” she says. The allure of cooking and being on TV has her looking forward to another go at the top prize. If she had it her way, she’d be able to land a spot on local TV interviewing chefs about food and filming demonstrations. She wants to communicate through cooking. “I like talking. I like talking to people—even shy people; I’m drawn to them,” she says. ◆



TOP, Washington with KEYT newscaster Alan Rose at Santa Barbara’s Leadbetter Beach for the station’s backyard barbecue summer feature in 2012. MIDDLE, Washington smokes the competition on TV hill at KEYT’s season ending cook-off with her Thai Coconut Red Curry BBQ Pork Loin Ribs. BOTTOM, snagging first place in the KEYT barbecue competition fueled Washington’s competitive cooking side.



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A House



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oots at the ready for when alarm sounds. Check. Fire pole for a faster path to the big, shiny red truck. Check. Dalmatian dog to ride on aforementioned truck. Uh, no. Rescued kitten from tree incident recorded in log book. Get real, would ya? Children wild with excitement seeing firemen hanging off the back of a hook and ladder. Different era, pal. Fire fighting and a fire fighter ’s workday have changed dramatically since the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District was established in 1934. An independent fire protection district covering 40 square miles ranging from Ortega Ridge to Rincon Creek, CSFPD firefighters respond to about 2,000 alarms a year. There are two stations in the district. Station #1 is on Walnut Avenue in downtown Carpinteria, and Station #2 is on Lillie Avenue in Summerland. Let’s take a look inside Station #1.

When There’s Not a Second to Spare OPPOSITE PAGE, ready for battle. Firefighters’ boots aren’t kept next to their bed because they may have been contaminated from hazardous materials on a previous call.

Jackets Required, Tie Optional THIS PAGE, TOP, protective gear all lined up and awaiting action.

Taking the Easy Way Out THIS PAGE, BOTTOM, Captain Arnold Brooks slides down the fire pole at Carpinteria Station 61 [say six-one, not sixty-one]. The pole is 20 feet in length.

After the Accident BELOW, most likely used in a car fire, this hose is waiting to be put back in service.

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Protecting Carpinteria Wildlife TOP, no Dalmatian, but Ziggy the kitty has spots. From left are C Shift personnel Captain Arnold Brooks, Paramedic Johan Nilsson, and Engineer Raul Pantoja.

PT Roll Along LEFT, MIDDLE AND BOTTOM, Nilsson demonstrates conditioning exercises. Firefighters spend one hour a day on PT, or physical training.

Proud to Serve Carpinteria

ABOVE, Fire Engine 61 is a 2009 Pierce Arrow and serves Carpinteria. 94

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Keeping ‘em Clean BELOW, clean and well lighted bathroom. Facilities are modest and resemble those of a college dormitory.

After a Hard Day’s Night RIGHT, rotating shifts allow for personnel to have their own bedroom, and bed, while on duty.

Chow Men LEFT, Nilsson, foreground, and Pantoja rustle up breakfast after PT. Cooking and eating together, known as “chow,” is a tradition in American fire service, though nowadays it is common for personnel to fend for themselves. Firefighters pay for their own food.

What’s In Your Locker? ABOVE, for favored kitchen utensils or special snacks, each firefighter has his own cubbyhole in the kitchen.

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Inspecting the Truck

TOP, after a crew switch, Nilsson per forms a daily equipment inspection.


ABOVE, the jaws of life is an extraction tool used in automobile wrecks. It can cut metal, pry it open, and lift it up.

Computer Check

LEFT, Captain Brooks checks the status of the Mobile Data Computer. The captain navigates on calls. The computer provides information on a victim’s status, a map to the incident, and the location of fire hydrants. 96

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Fire Pit ABOVE, the Firefighters Association barbecue has made the rounds to many Carpinteria picnics and outdoor celebrations.

Who’s on First? TOP RIGHT, Captain Wally Burquez, of the A Shift, mans the staffing status board. There is an electronic version of it, as well.

Hoses for Dummies RIGHT, once used for training purposes such as repelling, the Hose Tower now houses hoses and training dummies. Various hoses have specific functions, for example, wildland fires. â—† WINTER2015 97

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A Tale ofTwo

Cuisines Señor Frog’s Restaurant BY JA M E S CL A FFE Y PH OT OS BY A N N E T T E S A M AR IN


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ecorated with red-tiled roofs, exposed wooden beams, and eye-catching murals, Señor Frog’s restaurant is a slice of romantic Old Mexico in the heart of Carpinteria. But beyond the menu of Latin and American cuisine is a fascinating story of a restaurant that has endured over the years, thanks to a hardworking chef and his loyal family. The family member most Carpinterians associate with Señor Frog’s is co-owner, Gloria Tejeda. For the 30-plus years of Señor Frog’s life she has been the heart and soul of the dining room, greeting and acknowledging customers as they enter. There’s a sense of warmth and intimacy to the restaurant, and she prides herself on making sure everyone is treated like family at Señor Frog’s. While Gloria has always been the star in the front of the house, her husband, Jesse Tejeda, took charge in the kitchen. Gloria speaks lovingly of her husband, who worked as the head chef for most of Señor Frog’s history. Although he has recently retired, Jesse was the back of the house stalwart whose extraordinary talent inspired the restaurant’s birth. The story of Jesse’s cooking education and evolution into restaurant owner starts in Michoacán, Mexico. There, according to Gloria, he was a 15-year-old working at a café when Robert O’Dell, owner of the Biltmore Hotel in Montecito, saw this young man making breakfast and liked the consistency of his cooking and his work ethic. So much so that O’Dell helped the young chef move to the United States and get his Green Card, whisking him away from his homeland to an upscale hotel restaurant on America’s Riviera. After working at the Biltmore, where his expertise was in French cuisine, Jesse continued to expand his culinary talent at other local eateries, including the Somerset Restaurant, the Sheraton, the Reindeer Room on Santa Claus Lane, and even a stint in Las Vegas. Sometimes, however, his talent was out of step with his workplace to comic effect. For instance, Gloria recalls how when Jesse tried to bring his haute cuisine skills to the hustle-andbustle of large-scale banquet dining in Las Vegas, the chef looked annoyed at him and said, “[Explicative!] Put it on a plate and serve it!” That was the last straw. After seeing Jesse disillusioned by the lack of interest in his culinary skills in Las Vegas, and watching him struggle with the relentless hours and demanding schedule of a busy chef, Gloria asked him, “You’re so talented, why not open a place of your own?” Jesse replied, “When?” Gloria said, “Right now!” And in that moment Jesse’s dream of a place of his own was born. The first version of Señor Frog’s opened at Shepard Place Shops in the early 1980s with a more functional atmosphere, but when the restaurant re-opened at the downtown Linden Avenue

OPPOSITE, a Senor Frog’s sangria, house-made from scratch, pairs perfectly with the restaurant’s fine Latin cuisine or their classic American fare. TOP, Gloria Tejada is the face of Senor Frog’s. She and her chef husband, Jesse, opened the Carpinteria landmark eatery in the early 1980s. BOTTOM, take two soft corn tortillas and fill with roasted chicken or shrimp. Cover with a creamy verde tomatillo sauce and jack cheese. Then you have Enchiladas Suiza. They’ll make it extra spicy, upon request. Add rice and beans on the side. WINTER2015 99

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location, more than 10 years ago, the new décor and total makeover gave the restaurant a more upscale, elegant ambiance. From the beginning, the Tejeda family has worked together to make Señor Frog’s a success. Even now, Gloria says everyone pitches in to make the business run smoothly. Lately, there’s been a shortage of dishwashers, and Gloria smiles and says, “I’m the dishwasher!” It is this investment in people and commitment to family that underlines what the restaurant means to the Tejedas. The food at Señor Frog’s is Carpinteria casual, with splashes of red, yellow, and green. From aromatic fajitas and homemade posolé to their famous hamburgers, the food reflects Jesse’s passion for classic fare made well. According to Gloria, fresh ingredients and sauces are a big part of the restaurant’s longevity. Never ones to rest on their laurels, the Tejedas continually are improving the dining experience. Now, customers can relax in the cozy ambiance of the full bar, where signature margaritas are made from scratch—always with freshsqueezed lime juice—and there’s a tapas menu. As time-consuming as the restaurant is, there is life beyond Señor Frog’s doors. A member of the Chamber of Commerce and a real estate broker of some 23 years standing, Gloria also is involved with the Carpinteria First Friday committee, the downtown advisory board, Carpinteria Beautiful, and the Alzheimer ’s Support Group. She is a staunch supporter of and donor to local schools and other nonprofit causes. Both daughters, Lisa and Christina, attended Carpinteria High

TOP, burger with a bite. The Jalapeño Smoked Bacon Burger is a popular menu item. Pepper jack cheese along with tomato, lettuce, and onion are added between the bun. MIDDLE, Gorgonzola Chicken Salad. Here’s what’s in it: mixed greens, candied walnuts, Granny Smith apples, Gorgonzola crumbles, and diced tomatoes tossed in a vinaigrette dressing. BOTTOM, the Coconut Shrimp entree includes the special cilantro lime rice. The shrimp are battered in a sweet coconut breading and served with a creamy dipping sauce. 100

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School. The family takes immense pride in their community, which is why Gloria hopes Señor Frog’s will go on transporting her customers to the heart of Mexico while remaining firmly in the center of her beloved downtown Carpinteria. ◆ CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT, bartending professional John Rickman mixes a White Sangria, one of the many signature specialties on the drinks menu. The shot heard ‘round the world. Packed with vitamin C, Lime Shots add an extra punch of tequila fun. Shaken not stirred. The Classic Margarita is a longtime bar favorite. Who’s in the mood for some light refreshment? A Coronarita, or two, will do the trick. WINTER2015 101

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Pacific Village Carpinteria

A Senior CAre Home Beautiful 4 Bedroom Home • Organic Vegetable Garden • Lovely Neigborhood

Contact Cathy miller 805.729.8347 or 805.220.6234 License Facility # 425801797

Writing YOur WOrds With MY pen

Amy Marie Orozco 805.284.2622

Show Us Your Story The City of Carpinteria turns 50 in October and Carpinteria Magazine is celebrating

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Call for Photos

Have a special snapshot from the last 50 years? Maybe it’d be perfect for our Summer 2015 issue, where we’ll be showcasing the community’s collective history. Email or bring your photos on a Thursday or Friday afternoon for scanning at the Coastal View News office. Be sure to tell us when the photo was taken, where, who is in it, and what they are doing! 102

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Death at Carp High BY JE RE M Y GOLD

In “Death at Carp High,” Carpinterian Jeremy Gold tells the tale of Jake Brown and his best friend, Dean, who head out to catch some waves before school one morning when they find a body floating in the surf. This set them on a course never meant to be taught in high school. Applying lessons they’ve learned from a short lifetime of TV detective shows, they set out to track down the murderer. In the midst of the mystery, Jake’s cute cross-country teammate asks him to Morp – Prom spelled backwards—where the girls invite the boys to the dance. Suddenly, Jake’s life is on a track he’d only dreamed of. Now, all he has to do is stay alive to realize his dream. Dean and I sat on Santa Claus Lane beach gazing out at the ocean. What swell there’d been had subsided since that morning and we didn’t see any logs, dead seals, or couches floating in the water. Or bodies. For no particular reason, I glanced to the right, looking at the long row of houses stretching to the north—and thinking about all the people that lived in them. It wasn’t inconceivable that someone could have seen something the night before. Most likely, though, they would have notified the cops had they’d seen a body being dragged and pushed into the surf, right? But obviously that hadn’t happened because the cops hadn’t come and recovered the body. Instead, it had floated all the way south to Tar Pits. Therefore, nobody had seen anything and nobody had called the cops, right? Not quite. What if someone hadn’t necessarily seen the body being dragged to the ocean but saw something suspicious, nonetheless? Someone could have conceivably seen the killer walking back to his car after he had already

chucked Mr. Johnson in the water. Or heard a shot and seen someone heaving a gun out into the surf. Or…something like that. “We should knock on some doors up the beach and see if anyone saw anything,” I said. “I figure we only need to hit up the first few houses at this end.” Anyone living farther up the beach would have been too far away to have seen anything. Dean agreed. After talking about how to approach people without giving away what we were actually doing, we decided to pretend that my surfboard had been stolen the night before and ask if anybody had seen anything suspicious. Chances were slim but you never knew. We walked up Padaro Road to the first house. It was a big, wooden, two-story, gray beach-style looking house. Had my real-estate conscious parents been there, they would have commented that it was worth millions. We stopped at the front door and I rang the bell. We were in luck. A few seconds later, an older woman answered the door. She was our parents’ age and looked genuinely happy to see us. She was wearing a pink Death At Carp

High poster.indd


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sweat suit—the kind of sweat suit you didn’t actually sweat in. I remembered my mom saying they were designed for lounging. Dean and I were too young to “lounge”—we “chilled”—but understood the concept. I introduced us and explained why we were there. Thespians that we were, we had no trouble acting distraught. “Distraught” was one the words on vocab list number two this semester. It means seriously bummed out. Cordially—and a bit surprisingly—she cheerily invited us in and then offered us iced tea. I didn’t drink iced tea but said “Sure, that would be nice.” We followed her through a very neat and clean living room—through lots of chrome and gray and black leather—through wide French doors, and out to the back deck. The view was spectacular. The whole Pacific Ocean spread out in front of us. I would have loved owning this house. I would have done my homework on the deck and thrown huge parties on the weekends. With lots of girlfriends. Regrettably, I was little short of cash that week and the house wasn’t for sale. Dean and I sat down around a glass-topped, wrought iron table and waited while our hostess fetched the iced tea. While she was gone, we gazed across the ocean and dreamt of being rich and popular. The view was truly spectacular. Mrs. Galtees—that was her name—came back a few minutes later pushing a stainless steel and glass cart, a trolley I think they’re called, laden with a substantial plate of cookies, three empty glasses, and two full pitchers. One was filled with milk. I assumed the other with the ice cubes was the iced tea. How nice. Mrs. Galtees was turning out to be quite the hostess. She looked excited. Or at least enthusiastic. “I thought you might like milk with your cookies, boys,” she said, halting the trolley between Dean and me. “Wow, that was very considerate of you, but you shouldn’t have gone to all the trouble,” I said politely—something I never would have said to my mom. “Oh, it’s no trouble at all. I adore young people.” OK. That was cool. Maybe a little creepy. Assuming she hadn’t spiked the drinks or cookies,

though…it was cool. Without asking, Mrs. Galtees poured us each a tall glass of milk. I could tell by its light color that it was skim milk. Yuck. What was up with skim milk anyway? It was milk that had had all the life sucked out of it. “Insipid” came to mind. Insipid meant kind of tasteless and bland. We’d learned the definition of the word last week. In my mind, skim milk and tea were little more than mildly flavored waters lacking any semblance of texture. I didn’t like skim milk and I only tolerated tea. I picked up one of the chocolate chip cookies. They obviously weren’t homemade but they did have chocolate chips in them and I figured they would mask the insipid taste of the skim milk. “Do you boys live in Carpinteria?” she asked, pouring herself a glass of iced tea. She looked intently at us, like she really wanted to know. Like she was really concerned for our well-being. “Yeah, and we both go to Carp High,” contributed Dean, sincerely. Oddly, he was looking at her as if he really wanted her to know. Then again, maybe he was just acting. And didn’t really care. I wasn’t sure which and it wasn’t all that important. “You have a really nice place here. I bet you go walking on the beach all the time,” I neatly interjected. “Yes,” she answered. “Bob and I bought and remodeled this house fifteen years ago. We used to take long walks on the beach every day. Since he passed away two years ago, I’m afraid I don’t get out as much as I used to.” Dean and I nodded sympathetically. I didn’t know exactly how to respond to the news of her husband’s passing—and apparently, neither did Dean. It had been two years, however. By now, she should have been over the grief, right? She didn’t look too bummed out to me. She looked like she was enjoying herself. “Well, even if you don’t get out as much as you used to, you still have an awesome view of things, especially with that nice telescope. You probably get a nice view of the islands with that thing,” I commented between bites of cookie. A white, three-foot long telescope mounted on a wooden tripod stood just inside the French doors. “Yes, it’s a wonderful telescope. I love looking at all the boats as they sail up and down the channel. Bob bought that telescope for me for my birthday several years ago. I miss Bob.” OK…maybe she was still a little bummed. In case you aren’t familiar with the central coast of California, the islands I was referring to were the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. The closest one taking up most


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of the view was Santa Cruz. The body of water between the islands and the mainland was aptly called the Santa Barbara Channel. I was more interested, though, in what Mrs. Galtees might have seen on the beach last night— with her telescope. “I don’t suppose you might have been star-gazing last night and just happened to have had your telescope pointed down the beach? Maybe you spotted something suspicious? A car or a truck or something?” I asked. “I’d only had my board for a few weeks. It was practically new. My dad gave it to me for my birthday.” It had already been established that Mrs. Galtees knew the significance of birthday gifts. “Well…as a matter of fact…I was outside last night. I like to sit out here on the deck before bed and have a glass of wine. Usually, the stretch of road between here and the business district is deserted. Last night, however, I did happen to notice a large pickup truck. It was dark, but the moon was up. It was the kind of truck that had the really big tires with the really big tread. I think it was red, too, although I couldn’t swear to it.” Dude! Major clue! Mrs. Galtees hadn’t seen the driver or anyone else connected with the truck and couldn’t offer up anything else of value—like having seen someone dragging a body down to the beach or heard the loud sound of gunfire. She’d said she hadn’t been concerned. “Couples stroll on the beach under the moonlight all the time. Sometimes…they do more than just stroll,” Mrs. Galtees said, looking at us knowingly, with a twinkle in her eye. I could tell by the look on Dean’s face that he had understood the double meaning, as well. We both might have been just a little scandalized. We ate a few more cookies to be polite, until finally, under the pretense of having to do homework, Dean and I excused ourselves—much to the chagrin of our hostess. “Chagrin” was on last week’s English vocab list, too. Chagrin means disappointed. Mrs. Galtees was definitely chagrined to see us leave. I’m convinced she would have cooked us dinner and invited us to stay the night for a “slumber party” had we not had that darned homework due the next day. Ah…the responsibilities of high school students. We were impatient to log on to my computer, eager to Google and Facebook Mr. Johnson. “Dude, I think Mrs. Galtees wanted to shag our young bones,” Dean said, walking back to the V-car. “You think?” I asked, as if Dean was crazy to even

suggest there might have been a question as to her intentions. “She wasn’t bad looking.” “No. But she had to have been in her forties. At least.” “Which isn’t necessarily over-the-hill.” “You mean which isn’t necessarily too old to still get it on.” “Exactly. Would you have done her?” Dean grinned. “Well…” “Why not, dude. You might have gained some important experience.” “There is that,” I replied. “And at your stage, you need all the experience you can get.” “And you don’t?” “But I have a girlfriend,” Dean said. “So a little extracurricular learning with Mrs. Galtees would be cheating on Lily, right?” “Well, yeah! How could it not be?” “Because, it would just be sex. And nothing else.” “And you don’t think Lily would see that as cheating. Dude, girls think differently than boys. There’s no such thing as just sex for sex’s sake.” “What?” “I mean,” Dean clarified, “that with girls, love and sex are integrally connected. They can’t have one without the other. With boys, on the other hand, we can have sex with one person but still love somebody else.” “You’re saying then, that you could have stayed behind, done it with Mrs. Galtees, and not had a guilty conscience.” “I’m not saying I wouldn’t have felt a little guilty. I’m just saying…” When Dean didn’t complete the sentence after ten seconds, I said, “that it wouldn’t have…compromised… your relationship with Lily.” “Exactly! Doing it with Mrs. Galtees wouldn’t have diminished my…uh…” Dean paused, searching for the right word. “Affection…for Lily.” “Affection, eh? Nothing stronger?” “All I know is that I like her a lot. It’s not like we’re going to get married or anything like that.” “So there’s nothing preventing you from going back and seeing Mrs. Galtees.” “I have a girlfriend. You’re the one that should go see her.” “You think?” “Dude! She’d be ecstatic to see you and all over your bony ass!” We finally reached the V-car and drove home. ◆

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Seascape Realty Buying or selling a home with us is like a walk on the beach!

BEAUTIFUL BEACH FRONT HOME…situated on .51 acres, half of which the home sits on. The 2nd lot is used for privacy, but is a buildable lot if a second home was needed. The 3500 sq. ft home has 3 bedroom, 3.5 baths and a wonderful office that overlooks the beach. There is an elevator, lovely large kitchen and much more! Offered at $11,795,000. Please call Jackie Williams at (805) 680-5066

VINTAGE HOME WITH CHARACTER…This charming 3 bedroom, one bath home has been tastefully and thoughtfully remodeled. Featuring: Natural pine vaulted ceiling and lovely fireplace in the living room, kitchen with 8’x 4.5’ Rainforest granite island, bathroom has corrugated metal wainscoting and beautiful Italian tile. The outdoor eating area sits on a flagstone patio. OFFERED AT $629,000 Please call Shirley Kimberlin at 805-886-0228

OCTOBER AVOS COASTAL RANCH... A lovely combination of residential estate and working ranch, this Carpinteria foothills 10.86 acre ocean and mountain view property features a luxurious private guest house, spacious office, rustic two-story wood barn with employee studio apartment, and a spectacular hilltop building site ready for a custom home. Offered at $3,495,000 Please call Lynn Z. Gates at 805-705-4942

GORGEOUS VISTA DE SANTA BARBARA MOBILE HOME ... 2010 Silvercrest 3 bedroom, 2 bath, Brazilian granite counter tops, cherrywood cabinets, upgraded carpet, recessed lighting, crown molding and more. Wonderful mountain views, Trex decking and 10x12 shed with built-in shelves and electricity. Offered at $274,900. Please call Nancy Branigan at (805) 886-7593

COZY FAMILY HOME NEAR DOWNTOWN SB ... Three bedroom, two and one half baths on a quiet, tree-lined street one block from Harding School. Wood-burning brick fireplace in the living room. Walk-in closet in the primary bedroom. Large private back yard. Brick patio with privacy fence in the front yard. 2 car garage. Offered at $615,000. Please call Diana Porter at (805) 637-9690.


4915-C Carpinteria Ave. Carpinteria • 805.684.4161 106

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Successfully Serving Carpinteria Real Estate for 25 years The Farm

Significant & Beautiful 35 acre Farm with 19,000 + sq. ft. corporate office/packing building, water well and Agriculture water meter. Panoramic mountain views with peaks of the ocean.

Selling price, $8,900,000

CAROLYN WOOD-FRIEDMAN Realtor Associate CalBRE# 01080272

Commercial Condo

Prime location in-town and a short distance to the beach, shopping and dining. Exquisitely remodeled with custom features though out. A rare find.

Selling price, $895,000

Santa Monica Gardens

Spacious four bedroom, 2 bath home in desirable Carpinteria neighborhood. Newly remodeled.

Selling price, $949,000

Cell: (805) 886-3838 1482 East Valley Road • Montecito, CA 93108

Sotheby’s International Realty and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered (or unregistered) service marks used with permission. Operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Real estate agents affiliated with Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. are independent contractor sales associates and are not employees of Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc.

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Luxury Montecito condominium Lease price $5900/month

1312 Montecito Place, Santa Barbara Listed for $876,000



Yolanda Van Wingerden 805-570-4965

On the Sand at Sand Point Road, Carpinteria

BRE: 01908887

Shepard Mesa, Carpinteria

Looking to vacation in Carpinteria?

This 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath, beach front cottage sits right on the sand in beautiful Carpinteria. This home is approximately 75 years old and has all the charm and character of a rustic, California beach house. This cozy cottage is a comfortable place for your vacation. You can sit on the front porch and enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of the ocean.

Luxury family condo just a short walk to Carpinteria beach and steps way from the Carpinteria Salt Marsh and Nature Preserve. This spacious condo sleeps up to six people with a spacious family room located upstairs.

This charming 2 bedroom, 1 1/4 bath vacation property is located one block back from Carpinteria’s Worlds Safest Beach. This craftsman style condo has hardwood floors, fireplace and vaulted ceilings.

The Beachcomber is located right across the street from Carpinteria Beach, where you can swim or just relax. At night you can enjoy the beautiful sunsets. The downstairs apartments with patios are available for weekly rentals.

805.684.4101 5441 Carpinteria Ave. Carpinteria, CA 93013 108

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luxury rEAl ESTATE PrOPErTy MANAGEMENT VACATION rENTAlS Gary GoldberG Realtor | Broker | Attorney (805) 455-8910 | BRE: 01172139 1086 Coast Village Road Santa Barbara, California 93108

MOntECItO Offered at $3,375,000


MOntECItO Offered at $5,998,500

BEaUtIFUL BEaCHFROnt Offered at $3,795,000


Santa BaRBaRa RIVIERa Offered at $1,376,000

Whether you’re buying, selling or vacationing in the Carpinteria or Santa Barbara area, I provide in-depth assistance for all your real estate needs.

CaRpIntERIa Offered at $3,925,000


RInCOn pOInt Offered at $2,995,000

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lea boyd








The New Yorker

Coastal View News office

Canalino’s Holiday Lights Trolley Tour

What do you mean?

Pogo stick, circa 1987

It’s all the same on a Tofurky


Oxford American

The Bluffs

Turkey gumbo

9 years old

Three years in Louisiana from my wife



Carpinteria Magazine

Rincon Beach

I like to experience something new every year.

Never believed. But I did get in trouble in 4th grade for telling a classmate that “Santa isn’t real.”

Donations and help that came in to help my pitbull that got hit by a car this summer.


digitaldesignsb .com


Farmers market

Easter with friends in St. Ynez Valley, grandkids hunting eggs in the tall green grass

Never did

A little wooden penguin named Settembrini

One then the other


At work or at the gym!

Thanksgiving when my entire family is together. Every year, my dad insists on playing charades, and he writes the clues.

When I saw the movie, “Bad Santa.”

The cards my kids have made for me over the years.



A skateboard when I was 9 years old


Ultimate Warrior Wrestling Buddy

I’m a thigh guy


Rusty teapot

Women or bird?

My wife


info@ chuckgraham



james claffey writer


joel conroy



fran davis writer


kim drain



glenn dubock

DEEP Magazine

The Palms

Rolling Stone Magazine

4th Beach

Rum balls

5 or 6. I had an older brother.


First driveway on the left

Hanging red glass ornaments on manzanita branches in lieu of a pine tree.

Don’t remember ever believing in him.

Photo District News

Carpinteria Marsh

Nothing stands out

8 or 10 years old



peter dugré writer


jeremy gold

When buzzed Uncle Dropping off some homemade Glen showed up and gave my baked holiday brother a bicycle goodies in the and had nothing neighborhood. for me.



chuck graham

photographer 1



4 6

5 9




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14 17











4th Beach

Opening one Christmas gift on Christmas Eve (Spoiler alert, it’s pajamas)

Older siblings crushed those dreams at a young age.

A little brown bear



Sports Illustrated


Jay’s Christmas Evey Birthday Party /Long Beach Boat Parade

5 years old




Mad Magazine

Linden Ave.

Laughing and being loud with family

8 years old

Roach clip. My parents thought it was a barrette.



Simple Living

Pacific Health Foods

Making apple pies with Grandma

12 years old

Engagement ring



Tangerines and college football followed up with a hearty Thanksgiving dinner with my family

Whoa... you mean... he’s... not real??

The Styrofoam church. Really, folks… a Styrofoam church?

Are we talking about my wife or the bird?



Any one of our great restaurants here in Carp!

Baking Russian Easter Bread (Kulich) and decorating eggs with my daughters.

My parents didn’t tell us Santa was real.

White Tara necklace



Pacific Coast Sportfishing

Most any beach

Christmas longjohns!

Wait ... What!?

My ukulele

All of the above


Cowgirl Magazine

The Palms

Finding a party to enjoy at Halloween

Haven’t stopped believing

Unconditional love from my dog Hank


Whatever is laying around to read works for me

Stroll down Linden to the beach

Watching “A Christmas Story” everytime it’s on tv. I can’t help myself

Haven’t stopped. My husband and I are Santa now!

Every Christmas watching the kids open their gifts, love it!




brian 10 hopkins



alonzo orozco writer


amy orozco



emily parker writer

david 14 powdrell

Surfer’s Journal


annette 15 samarin



dan terry writer

madeleine 17 vite photographer

kristyn 18 whittenton designer

Anywhere near the ocean

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Final Frame

Courtesy of Wendy roCkWell

Wh en t h e y We re t h e Wa rde l l gi rl s Circa 1960. When everyone went to the beach, when the beach store was still there, and Elvis played on transistor radios. That’s how Wendy Wardell Rockwell, far left, remembers this time capsule photo taken on the Rincon before the freeway was built. Self described “beach rats,” during the summer she and her sisters lived down at Main Beach. All the Wardell girls graduated from Carpinteria High School. From left are Wendy, class of 1966, Cherry Wardell Dehnke, 1965, Twosy Wardell Lewis, 1963, and Sunny Wardell Sinclair, 1961. Wendy recalls Sunny as the “beauty” and prom queen. Graduating mid-year, Twosy was the Salutatorian of her class. Cherry worked for Hazel’s Salon, behind where Vons is now. Many Carpinterians may know Wendy as Carpinteria High School’s counseling secretary and registrar, a position she held for 19 years. The Wardell sisters grew up in the old Higgins mansion on Carpinteria Avenue as did their mother, Mary Higgins Wardell, who served as the school superintendent’s secretary for 27 years and also graduated from Carpinteria High School.


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Season A family owned nurser y in Carpinteria since 1978 Phalaenopsis Cymbidiums Tillandsias Succulents Foliage Plants Decorative moss Curly willow Arrangements Pots, Baskets, Tins

inspiration grown locally

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC M o n d a y- Fr i d a y 8 - 5 • S a t u r d a y 1 0 - 5 W i n t e r H o u r s : M o n d a y- Fr i d a y 8 - 4 : 3 0 • S a t u r d a y 1 0 - 3 3 5 0 4 V i a Re a l • C a r p i n t e r i a • C A 9 3 0 1 3 Fr o m t h e 1 0 1 Fr e e w a y N. o r S. - E x i t a t S a n t a C l a u s La n e

w e s t e r l a y o r c h i d s. c o m • 8 0 5 . 6 8 4 . 5 4 1 1

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