Dispatch: Santa Barbara…

this has been the year of weddings…since september ’05…we’ve been to five…next week will be wedding #6…but this week it was santa barbara…

a few notes about s.b….in my ignorance, i had always assumed that it was a sort of a palm springs by the sea…and so maybe you can imagine the kind of awakening i received when we got there…and discovered that it’s more like boulder by the sea…I knew about ucsb…but i never thought of santa barbara as a college town…with it’s own distinctive brand of homeless population…seriously…one guy had a shiny new portable generator strapped to his…electric bicycle…which leads to my only beef about santa barbara…or, more generically…towns like santa barbara…this is what has happened to the hippy havens of the 60’s…not that they’ll be missed…they have evolved into centers of conspicuous consumption…run rampant…case in point…this is the place people kept recommending i go to for breakfast…

who in their right mind would send a black man to eat at a place called…sambo’s…several people needed a swift foot in the ass for that one…instead we found a great breakfast joint called esau’s…and yesterday was their last day….closing after 45 years of operation…as gentrification closes in…and raises rents…

damn fine food…especially the clam chowder…what a shame…

farewell esau’s...i hardly knew ya…

and this was our hotel…

and this was our plane…

and this is my sexy wife…

and this is a hudson super 6

but i digress…


apparently, every sunday since november of 2003…this veterans group has doing this thing they call…arlington west…each cross is for an american soldier, sailor and marine killed in iraq…amy and i found this profoundly moving…every sunday…for three years…and counting…each cross bears the name of the dead…however you feel about what’s going on in iraq…until you are able to see the scope of it’s cost…in human terms…it’s hard to understand the realities of choosing war…

i don’t know if their stats are accurate…but if they’re even close to true…all i can say is…wow…what a sacrifice…in 2004 one of the arguments against re-electing bush was the potential of re-instating the draft…of course, these fears played right into the republican’s advantage…re-instating the draft is the last thing they want…if every able bodied man and woman between 18 and 45 were compelled to face combat…the reality of war would be in every family’s home…and there would be no war…we certainly wouldn’t put up with the incompetence of how things have proceeded thus far…as long as the dead are anonymous…and silent…the war may as well not exist…

they are hard to see…on the edge of the horizon…there are oil drilling platforms…laugh or cry…it’s hard not to be provoked into thinking, feeling…and maybe…doing…something…

santa barbara…thank you…

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