Viva La, Y’all!

(It’s that time of year again, and if you didn’t read this before, here’s what all the Viva Las!!! are all about…)

It’s Fiesta again in Santa Barbara, and if you don’t know about our fair city’s yearly celebration, let me fill you in:  It’s a five-day-all-you-can-drink non-stop party with sombreros.  There’s a parade (filled with horses), lots of alcohol (mostly tequila and cervesa (beer), but hey, in a pinch even Baily’s Irish Cream will do) and so much Spanish-style dancing in colorful costumes you’ll think you wandered on to the set of “Zorro.”

Today’s Fiesta, also called “Old Spanish Days,” was originally started by the local Poole-Verhelle Dancers in 1922.  Dancing for personal enjoyment and community entertainment eventually evolved into big tourist business known as La Fiesta.  Here’s a photo of that original group:

Fiesta-1923

My grandfather is supposed to be somewhere in that photo.  But for the life of me, I don’t see him anywhere – maybe he was behind the camera taking the picture.  You can see him (and my grandmother) in this photo below, all dressed up in their finest.

Bobbie & nanie Fiesta

And going back one more generation – before Fiesta became commercialized and was simply a helluva great fandango – here’s my great-grandfather.

Great-grandfather fiesta

If you’re a certain type of local, however, Fiesta time in Santa Barbara is when you abandon the town to the tourists and take off to Hawaii.  My dad and uncle always took ten days off on the dates when Fiesta would fall.  They had their own business – an ironworks/welding shop – and they’d hurry like hell to finish up their jobs, sometimes working right up to the night before Fiesta Pequena at the Mission kicked off that year’s big party.  How they managed to get all of their work done in time for their getaway was always a Fiesta miracle, and involved long hours of work, much yelling, swearing, and both brothers threatening each other with martyrdom: “I’m not going on vacation!!!” “NO, I’m not going!!!” Although their parents’ generation had started Fiesta, the two brothers hated that time of the year in their hometown. Maybe this photo had something to do with it:

Dad Fiesta

That must have been the one and only time the brothers dressed up in costumes.  Too bad because they were awfully cute hombrecitos.

In spite of the dislike the two brothers had for Old Spanish Days craziness, the love for Fiesta still beats strongly in the younger generation.  My kids always stop their own lives to return like spawning salmon to their hometown, and the sweet sounds of mariachis, and cascarones crunching against people’s heads.  If you don’t know what a cascarone is, come to Santa Barbara this weekend and we’ll show you.

Not me, of course.

I’m getting the hell out of here before the tourists take over.

(If you enjoyed reading this post and you’d like to read more by Darlene Craviotto…) 

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(Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes iBooks Store)

Searching for the Garcias

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(This is the 3rd post of the CALIFORNIO series. You can read the 1st post HERE, and the 2nd post HERE.)

“We come from the dirt, we go back to the dirt.”

That was the phrase my father was fond of saying.  He used it often, and he did it to remind us of who we were, and what our family was all about.  No pretensions.  No highfaluting ways.  We were humble, hard-working people with common wants and needs, and no lofty sense of importance.  We were the peasants working the land.  As a matter of fact, this was my father’s favorite family photo and one that was the basis of his dust-to-dust philosophy:

DusttoDustOrig

The man behind the team of horses was my father’s grandfather, the son of an Italian immigrant, and a man who worked the land to feed his family.  My father always liked to point out that the land being toiled wasn’t ours; it was leased.  He also liked to point out how skinny the dog was, and that it was a sign of how poor we were.

What my dad forgot to mention was the grocery and grain store his grandfather co-owned with his cousin (supplied by those crops on that leased land) or the property his great-grandmother owned, acres of land high above Santa Barbara, on the Mesa.  These facts were missing from his dust-to-dust scenario. I learned the truth, however, in the yellowed papers of our family’s history that my uncle had handed off to me.

As I read those papers, I learned more about my father’s great-grandmother Rosa Garcia.

“When Rosa got married she had all this land,” that distant cousin had reminisced many years ago, and I was now finally reading about it.  “Every time they could get a dollar and a quarter together they would buy another acre. They had these cows and chickens and they used to plant their own vegetables, and Rosa used to go to town; she’d make cheese and butter, and bring eggs to trade for coffee, sugar, and flour. They raised their own pigs for lard and they raised their own beef.  And when they could spare a little, in between they would buy another acre.”

Rosa Garcia had owned land.

But she was a Garcia, and my dad had never mentioned the Garcias at all, or talked about the land his great-grandmother had worked so hard to own.  That family name always was missing in our conversation until Pam, the cousin-I-didn’t-even-know-I-had, friended me on Facebook.  Now, I was faced with an entire list of Garcia names that Pam had sent me, and here was this new-found cousin telling me I was related to all of them.

And what did I do with that list of Garcia names Pam sent me?

I ignored it. Forgot about it.  Put it out of my  mind completely.

Voices From The Past

Why do you want to go digging in the past? I could hear my father’s voice ringing out loudly inside my head.  These were people I never knew, names I’d never even heard of before.  Besides, I didn’t need to be reminded that we “came from the dirt, we go back to the dirt.”  I didn’t want to face more people behind ploughs with starving dogs, working dawn to dust.  Even Rosa had to scrimp and save, raising and growing their own food, to buy another acre for her family.  She had buried two husbands, but the one remaining constant in her life was the land she had worked so hard to own.  We were farmers, carpenters, and iron workers; okay, I got it.  Just plain working folks. The history books are never filled with our kind of people.  Those Garcia names would only mean something to the people who inhabited their world, their time, and that time was over.  The most I could hope for would be names on a headstone; there wouldn’t even be any photos of these people, or any real record of who they were, or how they had lived.  They were simply anonymous names who lived anonymous lives.

But I was wrong.

It took me almost a year before I went back to my private messages on Facebook and took a closer look at those Garcia names that came before Rosa.  And when I did what I learned surprised me and made me want to learn even more.

There were six names on the Garcia list that Pam had sent me.  The last name was Rosa’s and since I was 100% sure we were “parientes” (kin), I looked at the other five names on the list.  The first two had lived in Spain – in Alpera, Albacete, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. Quite a mouthful. Google was kind enough to show me where in Spain that mouthful is located (150 km. from Valencia and the coast overlooking the Mediterranean).  But the other names – Hilarion, Carlos Maria, and Felipe Santiago – only connected us to a generation, and not to where they lived.  I wrote Pam and asked her, and she wrote back immediately.

California, she told me.

Names On A LIst

I didn’t have all of their birth dates, or the dates they died; I didn’t know who they married, or how many children they had, but each one of the three men had lived here in California. Hilarion, who was Rosa’s father, was baptized in Santa Barbara; Carlos Maria, Rosa’s grandfather, was baptized at the Mission in Carmel and died at the Mission San Gabirel, and Felipe Santiago Garcia, Rosa’s great-grandfather, was buried at San Carlos Mission in Monterey.  They were three men with roots here in California.  But who were they, and how would I ever learn anything about them?

When in doubt, turn to Google.

I wasn’t expecting to find any of their names listed there on the Internet, but I started with the first name, Felipe Santiago Garcia, since he seemed to be the first of the Garcias to be connected to California.  I typed out his name and a rush of data suddenly appeared, 3 million and 30 results, to be precise.

I didn’t know where to start.

I clicked from one site to the next, skipping through the entries like a kid in a candy store.  I got lost momentarily by another man named Felipe Garcia, but who turned out to be a Romero, and not my grandfather five times removed. But I corrected that misstep and found my way back to Felipe Santiago, our Felipe, as I read and re-read a night long series of websites, genealogical listings, and yes, even California history.   I compared dates and locations, and the information pointed to one name, one man called Felipe Santiago Garcia, who had a past and a history, and a rich connection to California. Felipe was a soldier – un soldado de cuera – a special soldier of Spain that was sent from Nueva España (Mexico) to Alta California in 1774.

The Garcias were the first Europeans to settle in California – the first of the California Spanish.

(NEXT WEEK: Following Felipe – the beginnings of an untold story.)

ROSALOGO

Facebook Friends & Cousins

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(This is the 2nd post of the CALIFORNIO series. You can read the 1st post HERE.)

“Tell me again: How are we related?”

The wonderful (and frightening) part about the Internet is that strangers often meet with the click of a cursor. The stranger I had recently started exchanging emails with had found me through Facebook (of course). Her name wasn’t familiar, nor was the face on her profile.  But it was a friendly face so I took a chance and made her my Facebook friend.

It turned out we were  cousins.

Her last name was one that I hadn’t recognized, but then she told me about her father.

“He was a Gonzales,” she emailed me.

That name I knew.

Throughout the years, my uncle had mentioned once or twice that his grandfather’s sister, Bridget, had been a very smart woman. “There was a rumor that her parents sent her to live with a wealthy doctor in Hayward, and she went to the university there,” he would tell us.  When we asked him for more information, he’d just shrug.  “She came back home to Santa Barbara, married a Gonzales, and ended up having eight kids.”

That story always intrigued me. A woman in the 1850s who attended a university near Hayward?  That had to be the University of California at Berkeley, a prestigious school, and Bridget would have attended it back in the days when not many women went to college. I was impressed.  And here was this woman named Pam who I had just friended on Facebook whose father was Bridget’s grandson.

So we started exchanging emails.

We talked a little about Bridget, and of course Pam never knew her or knew anything about the rumor of her attending Cal Berkeley.  We did figure out that we were “double cousins.” Bridget’s brother, Frederico Craviotto had married Bridget’s husband’s sister, Mary Gonzales.  So the Craviotto brother and sister had married a Gonzales sister and brother.  Our heads were spinning at how that would look on a family tree.  But clearly, we were definitely cousins.

We shared what little information we had about both sets of our great-great-grandparents.  It wasn’t much: Antonio Craviotto was an immigrant from Italy, and Jose Antonio Gonzales was an immigrant from Chile.  Both sides were made up of hard-working folks who had lived in Santa Barbara and that was all we knew about them.  I shared with Pam the one photo of Bridget that my uncle had once shown me; an old woman with white hair wearing glasses, she lived well into her 80s and looked like she came from sturdy stock. With thick legs, and strong shoulders, she looked like a woman who could give birth to eight children and still be around to talk about it.

Brigida Craviotto

More than this photo and my uncle’s intriguing story, we didn’t know anything else about  Bridget Craviotto Gonzales.

Time passed and we continued to exchange emails.  Our lives were much more interesting than the Gonzales/Craviotto bloodlines. We talked about our children, our husbands, our careers.  Pam was a university professor and I told her I was a professional screenwriter.  When my book came out she read it, and we talked about that and screenwriting. After awhile, our emails thinned out and then, one day she sent me a list of names.

“You should write about these people,” she emailed me.

It was a list of six names, all of them with the surname of “Garcia.”

I wrote her back and asked who these people were.

“Our family,” she explained.  “Great, great grandparents and beyond.”

I looked closer at the names and at the dates attached to them.  The last one dated back to 1720 and La Mancha, Spain.  But the other names before it had lived in California, most of them in Santa Barbara.  It was a list of names I had never known before.

“How did you get this list?” I wrote her back, immediately.

She told me that a friend of hers – someone who did genealogy – had offered to trace the family bloodlines.  That list of six names is what she had found.  Although there wasn’t a Gonzales listed, the Garcia side was our other side of the family.  The last name on the list was Rosa Garcia, and that name Rosa was one that sounded familiar.

It took me days to sort through my office papers: through drawers, filing cabinets,, and long-ago forgotten personal papers. But the search was successful and I found what I had been looking for – a link to Rosa.

Six months earlier, my uncle had passed away.  He had spent a lot of his later years researching our family bloodlines.  He didn’t often share what he had learned, or maybe I wasn’t around or when I was I just wasn’t listening.  But a few years earlier he had given me a handful of papers that one of our cousins had sent to him.  Yellowed copies from a typewriter, they were 35 years old, and I barely glanced at them when my uncle had first shared them with me.  I only skimmed through those old pages, enough to see that they were part of a transcription of an oral history. Someone had used a tape recorder to share memories and names of people I had never heard of before.  I had tossed the papers into a cabinet and forgot all about them until Pam’s list of Garcias found me on Facebook.

This time I looked closer.

When I did, that’s when I found Rosa.

A Woman Named Rosa

“It’s too bad you never got to meet your great-great grandmother,” began the yellowed papers my uncle had given me. “Her name was Rosa,” our cousin’s grandfather had spoken more than thirty-five years ago, and the tape had recorded it.

I quickly checked my uncle’s notes scrawled across the borders of the transcript.  There was my grandfather’s name, and the name of his parents.  And yes, there was Rosa’s name.  The words spoken were about a woman we shared in common – Rosa Garcia.

In my imagination, I tried to picture Rosa as I read the words on that yellowed paper.

“As a little boy I would interpret for her when Rosa would go into town to the bank.  She only spoke Spanish so I would speak for her in English,” he said.  “I used to take her to get her interest, for her money in the bank.  She had five accounts in five different banks because she was so afraid something would happen to her money; she didn’t trust it to be in just one.  I’d go out to her ranch in the morning and there’d she be, waiting for me.  She had a round oak kitchen table and it was full of pink beans.  She had these five bunches – one bunch of beans for each bank.  And she knew exactly how much she had in each bank account.  She got three or four percent and each bean represented that amount and each pile had exactly that amount of beans.  She stayed up all night figuring out how much money she was going to have in interest. And each pile was for one of her children.”

One of those five children was my grandfather’s mother.  Rosa Garcia and I were definitely related – My grandfather was her grandson, and I was her great-great granddaughter.

I decided to take a closer look at Pam’s list of Garcias.

(NEXT WEEK:  A list of names, forgotten on Facebook, until a Google search begins an adventure. The 3rd post in the CALIFORNIO series: Searching for the Garcias.)

ROSALOGO

Californio

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(This week’s blog begins a multi-part web series – a look behind-the-scenes as I start writing the book, Californio.)

They called my father a spic.

I haven’t heard the word used in years.  Now, other words have taken its place – more descriptive perhaps, but just as derogatory.  What I knew it to mean was the color brown – a skin darker than the all-powerful color of white.  Of course no skins are really white or brown, but for some reason the darker the skin tone, the greater the insults.

I never thought of my father as dark.  His hair was jet black, that’s true, and his eyes were the deepest of browns.  I knew him only as a working man – an iron worker and welder who toiled outside under the sun on most days when he wasn’t in the shop, running the business. The sun darkened him, I thought.  It didn’t have more meaning to me than that.

But to other people that deep pigment meant something else.  I learned what that something was through my father’s own perception of what “being brown” meant to him.  From the story he told about being a young soldier in a bar while another soldier spit that spic word in his direction, to the fights he almost got into until he learned he could always just say, “I’m Italian.”

Bloodlines

My father wasn’t lying when he’d use “Italian” as a reason for turning his back on being brown.  His grandfather’s father was an Italian immigrant – the owner of my father’s name, a name that had come from thousands of miles away, from Genoa.  A name that I now own as my father’s blue-eyed, once-blonde-haired daughter.

Dad&Me

My father loved holding me as a baby because people would ask him, “Who’s baby is that?”  He’d always answer them proudly (knowing they were only questioning him because I was blonde and he wasn’t), “She’s mine!”

When I was old enough to hear these stories, and to notice a different language, other than English, that was spoken between my grandparents, I only assumed that what made our family what it was came from being Italian.  My grandmother, Nanie, had an accent, and so did Bobbie, my grandfather.  I was too little to know what Italian sounded like, or to notice that my grandmother spoke a different language with her sisters and sheep-herding brother than she did with her own husband.  All I really understood was that my father didn’t like it. “Ma, speak English!” he’d tell her, and she’d shush him and keep speaking in words to her siblings that I didn’t understand.  Until Bobbie would “Tsk!” in disgust and shake his head, barking a word – foreign again – and Nanie would go silent.

I was in kindergarten when I learned Nanie was French Basque. That our family wasn’t only Italian, we were Basque too.  I listened closer to those strange words that she spoke and realized they were different than the other ones she used with my grandfather.  Both were languages that my father never spoke at all.  Not with his parents.  Not with me.  Not with absolutely anyone in this world. It would be a few years later that I learned my grandparents weren’t speaking Italian at all.

It was Spanish.

Family Secrets

Every family has its share of secrets and I guess that was ours, that my grandparents spoke exclusively in Spanish to each other, throwing the odd slang word at us every now and then, whether we knew what it meant or not.  In spite of my father’s protestations, we were told to wipe our “colinos” and that girls had “chi-chis” but boys didn’t.  Someone was either a “cabron” or a “pendejo” when they were acting silly, or a “boboso” if they weren’t too smart.  We were told “cholos” lived down the street and not to play with them, but we were also instructed never to use that word “cholo” because it could cause a fight if someone heard you call them that.  “Vino” was wine, “Tia Marquesa” was what we called our old aunt, and “Quieres cafe?” were always the words my grandmother asked my grandfather when it was time for coffee and dessert.    We never questioned why they spoke in Spanish, or why our table had frijoles or salsa at all of our barbecues.  Our special Christmas enchiladas (made of cheese, onions, and chopped hard boiled eggs) didn’t seem out of place, nor did the chile rellenos my Nanie would sometimes make along with empaniditas, tamales, and homemade tortillas – flour, never corn.   It just seemed normal to us; it was family, our family.  And when I was little, I just assumed everyone’s family was like ours.

Then, I grew up.

I became aware that the Craviottos weren’t like any other family I saw on television, in the movies, or in the living rooms and backyards of my friends.  In my teens, as my body started to feel uncomfortable with its new changes, so too did my perceptions of my family begin to grow less certain.  Who were we?  The only places that had salsa on the table, frijoles on the plates, enchiladas, tamales, and the sound of a language that made me feel l was home were Mexican restaurants.  And for some reason, we never went to “those” kind of restaurants.  Not if my father had anything to say about it.

Sometimes you get so busy growing up you forget to ask questions.  Or maybe you just get the message as a kid that some things are okay to ask, and other things are off limits.  We were Italian and that was okay to talk about.  We were also French Basque and that was also fine to discuss.  My mother’s family was Scotch/Irish and that was certainly no secret.  But I never asked my father why his parents spoke Spanish, or why it embarrassed him so much.  When our town celebrated Old Spanish Days Fiesta every August, commemorating its Spanish/Mexican early beginnings and my dad never participated, never wanted to dress up in Spanish costumes, or go down to El Mercado De La Guera to have Mexican food, I never wanted to know why.  We went to Hawaii instead of El Mercado, or to Sea World, Yosemite, or even Bass Lake instead of La Noches de Ronda, or the Mission steps for La Fiesta Pequena.  Dad wanted nothing to do with the celebration of anything Spanish, anything Mexican, and I never questioned or asked him why.

We were an old-time Santa Barbara family that had lived in that one small coastal California town for generations. “Everybody back in the old days in Santa Barbara spoke Spanish,” my father once admitted.  End of story.  That was a good enough explanation, I thought.  It made sense to me:  why look any deeper?

And I didn’t.

Unraveling the Past

The years passed, and so did Nanie and Bobbie, my only connection to those lyrical Spanish sounds, and to the answers of questions I never asked, but maybe should’ve.  Occasionally, as my father and his brother aged, I’d overhear conversations, and  names like “Gonzales,” and “Buelna.”  My uncle would share some bit of information he’d discovered about some relative or some piece of the past, but dad would always stop him with: “You’re going to look so deep some day, Danny, you’re going to find something you don’t want to know.”  And that would stop my uncle in his tracks; the conversation would just peter out, and they’d switch the subject to Notre Dame football, or some job they had to go measure for work.

Now, my father and my uncle are both gone – the last links to our family’s past, to the old days and customs long ago forgotten, to the old-timers who never spoke English but who shared a past that held all the answers to every question I now want to ask.  I can’t ask those questions now because there’s no one left who can answer me.

Somehow I don’t think that will stop me from asking them.

I’m a writer and my imagination is restless.  My ability to research is tireless; my talent for using words, and for creating stories is boundless.  I will ask those questions anyway.  And if I have to, I will be the one now to provide the answers.

(NEXT WEEK: Opening doors that have been locked for years. The 2nd CALIFORNIO post:  Facebook Friends & Cousins.)

ROSALOGO

Viva La!!!

(This was originally posted last year but I’ll be writing a new web series (“Californio“) beginning next week  that was inspired by our family history as seen in the photos of “Viva La!!!)

I like to put up new blogposts on Thursday, but this week I’ll be too busy drinking margaritas and getting smashed – by cascarones (hollowed out eggs filled with confetti). It’s Fiesta time once again in Santa Barbara.  If you don’t know about Fiesta, let me fill you in:  it’s a five-day-long party with sombreros. There’s a parade, LOTS of alcohol (mostly involving tequila and cervezas (beer), but hey, in a pinch even Baily’s Irish Cream will do) and so many displays of Spanish-style dancing in colorful costumes you’ll think you wandered onto the set of “Zorro.”

Today’s Fiesta, also called “Old Spanish Days,” centering around a Courthouse evening  known as “Las Noches de Ronda,” originally was started by the local Poole-Verhelle Group of Dancers in 1922.  Dancing for enjoyment and entertainment eventually evolved into a community party now known as La Fiesta.  Here’s a picture of that original group.

Fiesta-1923

My grandfather is supposed to be somewhere in that photo.  But for the life of me, I don’t see him anywhere – maybe he was behind the camera taking the picture.  You can see him (and my grandmother) in this photo below, all dressed up in their Fiesta finest.

Bobbie & nanie Fiesta

And going back one more generation, here’s my great-grandfather…

Great-grandfather fiesta

If you’re a certain type of local, however, Fiesta time in Santa Barbara is when you abandon the town to the tourists and take off to Hawaii. My dad and uncle always took ten days off on the dates when Fiesta would fall during the year. They had their own business – an ironworks/welding shop – and they’d hurry up like hell to finish up their jobs,  sometimes right up to the night before Fiesta Pequena kicked off that year’s Big Party.  How they managed to get all of their work done in time for their getaway was always a miracle, and involved much yelling, swearing, and both brothers threatening each other, “I’m not going on vacation!!”  “NO, I’m not going!” Although their parents generation had started Fiesta, the two brothers hated that time of the year in their hometown.  Maybe this photo had something to do with it:

Dad Fiesta

That must have been the one and only time the brothers dressed up in costumes.  Too bad because they were awfully cute hombresitos.

In spite of the dislike the two brothers had for Old Spanish Days craziness, the love for Fiesta still beats strongly in the younger generation. My kids always stop their own lives to return like spawning salmon to their hometown, and the sweet sounds of mariachis and “Viva La!!!” So forgive me if I can’t write a post today.  Sometimes there’s a greater calling than just the need to put thoughts into words.  It’s Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara!

And I have to get the hell out of this town before the tourists take it over.

(This year’s Old Spanish Days are from July 31 – August 4.  Viva!!!)

And Now For Some (Fingers Crossed) Good News…

I just drove over to the high school and was able to get a good look at the fire area in the foothills.  There’s no more smoke blanketing the crest of the mountain and the area is grey and scorched now.  It looks like a barbecue pit the day after 4th of July.

I did witness an awesome swoop by a helicopter that dropped a massive wall of water across the hillside.  Wish I could’ve taken a photo but it was either drive the van (yes, my big white van) or get photos of the firefighting.  I made the safer choice.  But here’s a neat shot that a reporter at Noozhawk took…

(photo by Lara Cooper/Noozhawk)

To my untrained eye it looks out.  But according to the Forest Service’s InciWeb website the fire is 40% contained.  No estimate for a full containment has been made yet.

So keep your fingers still crossed.

Smoke in the Foothills – Lookout Fire Update

I can hear the low growl overhead of an air tanker as it heads off to the foothills and the fire. It’s 10:40 a.m. and people are at work now, everyone is doing their job, including the fire personnel. We’re getting on with our day, but with eyes nervously still scanning the hills, sizing up the smoke, watching the trees outside for any sign of wind.

So far, the air is still, and that’s good. This fire is slow-moving (at 75 acres burned) and that gives the helicopters and air tankers time to travel from Santa Maria, one hour north, to where they are needed, here in our own backyard.

We are trying to get on with our day. But history has taught us to be vigilant, not to be complacent with the beautiful weather outside our doors. That weather – so hot and dry – makes this fire season. So we nervously check the internet sites – Noozhawk or Edhat – because our local television station is slower, and can’t pre-empt those oh-so important national talk shows and commercials. When Edhat crashes because its server can’t handle the traffic we feel that first wave of nerves, of being cut off from what’s happening and if the danger is spreading.

Edhat is our eyes and ears on the scene here in SB. If you lose a dog you can go on and report it and probably see a listing already announcing, “Lost Dog found across the street from Bob’s Vacuums.” Edhat makes this community of 90,000 feel like a small town again. And for too many minutes this morning it was quiet and unreachable. Now it’s back up again, the air tanker is here as well as the helicopter that drops its coolants – water from Lake Cachuma.  And all we can do is hope and pray the wind stays down until the flames are out.

That’s our real job for today.