Santa Barbara a success!!

This is my Last day in Santa Barbara. Dimmie joined me for a week and we camped on the bluffs above the breakers at El Capitan State Beach north of Goleta. We had an event at the Book Den on Sunday 5/4. We visited Driggs friends, Hunter and Corey, and Jackson friends Max, Maria, three-year-old Joy, and dog Zoe.

Speaking of friends, I feel I’ve added to my cadre of friends—a group I hold almost as dear as family. I met Gail Steinbeck for wine and snacks at Pierre LaFont Wine Bistro in Montecito. She knew everyone in the bar (and heartily greeted them all) and I felt like I had known her forever. We really hit it off. She is a wonderful, high-energy women who as it turns out, is producing films these days. Gail hinted that perhaps we would work together in the future. She also helped me get my books into Chaucer’s bookstore on State Street.

And from from another dear friend. Marty Brisbois had this to say, “Read your blog re: water unawareness in LA. You must remember, most of the residents are transplants to our state. We natives are well aware that we live in a desert. We’ve got to EDUCATE. Start with the kids. Think about that YA version of STRAW. Carl Haisson has done a great job with HOOT and FLUSH.”

Good points all, Marty. And you know I’m a big believer in education. My statement was prompted by my observation that there are no signs anywhere in SoCal that I have observed in three weeks of visiting (and I have been on college campuses, in RV parks, and in State Park—as well as in stores and libraries) that urge volunteer conservation of water. I even witnessed an LA RV Park watering grass at 2 pm on a 92 degree day. MY thought is that if we are going to cope with a drier future, conservation has to become as institutionalized and automatic as our now customary bans on public smoking. I’ve been informed that there is an upscale neighborhood in Santa Barbara County that is about to run out of water yet people continue to water their estates with no concern for the fines. Perhaps consequences have to get tougher.

Living in an Airstream has given me an idea. When Dimmie and I are “primitive” camping (no power or water at the site) we are aware of every drop that goes in (and out of) our trailer. We are physically involved with both ends of the process. When we rely on our solar panel charging our batteries, we are given only so much electricity each day. Charging a device like an iPad in the morning might mean no juice left over for reading by trailer lights at night. This is a form of self-imposed rationing but boy dies it cause us to be conservative in our use. Perhaps there is a real-world application.

On to Albuquerque with a stop in Flagstaff at Mountain Sports where Lisa Lamberson, the General Manager tells me they want to carry Straw.

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Gail’s husband, Thomas Steinbeck, and me at Pierre LaFont’s in October, 2009.

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