Paderewski a Pianist, not Violinist

By Montecito Journal   |   November 23, 2017
Ignacy Jan Paderewski was not only a world-class pianist, but he was also a Polish patriot who served as prime minister of Poland and represented that country at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919

Congratulations to Ms Diana Starr Langley for serving as publisher of the beautiful new issue of your glossy magazine, her first.

However, there is an egregious error in the issue, which suggests carelessness or ignorance on the author’s or caption-writer’s part. This error must be appalling to the informed music lovers in this community and to the esteemed Music Academy of the West, not to mention the dedicated caretakers of Casa Dorinda. 

On page 112 in the article about Casa Dorinda (“Moguls & Mansions”), there is a photo of the great Polish statesman and musician Ignacy Paderewski, and beneath the photo a copy of the program performed by Paderewski at Casa Dorinda. The caption describes Paderewski as a “world-famous violinist,” and the program as entirely by Chopin.

Ignacy Paderewski was a world-famous pianist, and Chopin wrote almost entirely for the piano. The compositions listed on the program are for the piano.

I think this uninformed misinformation should be corrected in the next issue of the Journal or the magazine. I believe the continued esteem for your publications depends upon a much more careful review of facts.

William Santoro, M.D.

P.S.: I am a 40-year resident of Montecito, a retired psychiatrist, and I share your accurate appreciation of this beautiful community.

(Writer’s note: My apologies for the slip of the pen that misidentified Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) Mr. Paderewski was indeed a piano man, not a fiddler. 

With his wild mane of curly red locks, Paderewski was revered as a musical genius worldwide; he was also a staunch Polish patriot and statesman who served on the Polish National Committee during World War I. Afterward, he served as prime minister of Poland for a short time and represented Poland at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which restored Polish sovereignty after nearly 100 years.

Starting in 1914, the patriot pianist spent a great deal of time on the Central Coast, eventually buying two large ranches near Paso Robles and growing fruit trees and zinfandel vines. During this time, he continuing touring and playing concerts, often appearing on the stages of Santa Barbara’s theaters or playing private recitals, such as the ones for Anna Dorinda Bliss. 

In 1991, local Paso Robles history buffs founded the Paderewski Festival, which features classical music and wine, the legacy of Paderewski for the Central Coast. – Hattie Beresford)

Political Party Thoughts

I have conservative views but have voted for Democrats in the past. I look for candidates who have sincere beliefs and convictions that don’t necessarily have to totally jive with mine, have the ability to compromise on vital issues, and who make financial sense. There are very few modern politicians with these qualities: none among Democrats, very few in the Republican realm.

My problem with present-day Democrats: their suggested programs offer nothing except welfare-type handouts with more government control. Without a permanent needy class, Dems would have nothing to offer. They fail to encourage people to make efforts to help themselves. The likes of Pelosi, Schumer, Waters, and other Dems simply toss around words and phrases such as white privilege, racism, greedy rich, lacking compassion, et cetera at proposals they deem threatening to the Obama-era-created status quo. They offer nothing except more welfare by taking from the rich and giving to the poor. They falsely present American wealth as a zero-sum game. By promoting this belief, they perpetuate the existence of a needy class of American people. 

Think about this: would you prefer a political party that will encourage and provide opportunities for personal growth and success if you will put in some effort? Or would you prefer a political party that will offer you benefits provided by others without any effort on your part? What would you want your children to believe in relation to their futures? Personally, I would want my children to have compassion for others but believe that individual efforts for growth and benefits will be encouraged, not penalized.

Regardless of political party, I’ll consider voting for any politician who wants to create opportunities for the needy and underprivileged to advance and better themselves. We should work towards reducing welfare, not towards creating a class of people dependent upon it.

Sanderson M. Smith, Ed.D.

(Editor’s note: We like your thinking, Mr. Smith, and your Cate and SBCC students probably liked your thinking too. Let’s have more teachers such as you! – J.B.)

Down on Downtown

Recently, I went downtown to see Michael McDonald at the Lobero Theatre for a beautiful benefit show. That is the good news.

Now the bad: downtown was very unpleasant. I was early, as the show started at 8 (I would prefer a 7 or 7:30 start, but that is another story). I was planning on getting a desert and coffee. First, I tried Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, as I like the taste of their coffee. A homeless woman was sitting at the table I was hoping to sit next to and was eating ice cream and having a very loud conversation with herself. She also smelled of urine.

So, I moved on to the Good Cup next to the Fiesta theater. I also enjoy the coffee there. Once again, a similar experience but with two less-fortunates. I left, headed to one of the many Starbucks.

On my way, I was asked a few times for money and or cigarettes.

Finally, I made it to Starbucks on De la Guerra and sat and had coffee and a treat. Santa Barbara has so much to offer: great food, beautiful waters, beautiful mountains, beautiful trees, caring and giving people. But alas, Petula Clark was wrong. You cannot “forget all your troubles,” and you surely cannot “forget all your cares” when you go downtown.

Steven Lawrence
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: You paint a bleak picture of Santa Barbara, but it’s not one that we share. Yes, there are too many layabouts downtown, but they don’t take away the enjoyment of a vibrant cityscape. – J.B.)

The One-Percent Solution

I’m surprised that Montecito Journal would pick someone like Ray Winn as its resident scientist (Ray’s Ramblings) who would be guilty of data mining and selection bias in his analysis of human contribution to climate change.

 I’m also surprised that he or you would not heed the doctrine of another of your favorites, former V.P. Dick Cheney (in recommending appropriate response to evidence of weapons of mass destruction): even if there’s just a one-percent chance of the unimaginable coming due, act as if it is a certainty.

Joe Rution
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: We don’t quite get the “data mining and selection bias” you refer to, but we also don’t know when former vice president Richard Cheney became one of my “favorites” either. Good to hear from you though; it’s been awhile. – J.B.) 

Franken Disqualified

Good time rock ‘n’ roller Al Franken is more dangerous than Anthony Weiner.

Al does his stuff in public – in front of people. Weiner does his thing in his bedroom.

He is firmly illustrating the imbalance of power that clearly exists in his favor and is daring these adoring sex kittens to exchange the glowing halo they are basking in for an embarrassing break in rapprochement.

He is daring these young women to “call him out” – on stage – in public. 

This is more than sexual abuse. 

He is taking from them something they were unaware was available to be taken, and he’s doing it in public, while daring her to defend her dignity in what she, seconds earlier, thought was a once-in-a-lifetime fun ‘n’ frolicking situation. “Look everybody, I’m up on stage with SNL‘s Al Franken”!

You attend a show headlined by someone on TV you love and admire. The guy picks you out of anonymity and places you on stage in front of a host of unforgiving spotlights. Anybody who’s been the subject of TV/theater lights knows how intimidating this situation is. You literally cannot see anything.

Before you know it, Al Franken’s hand is firmly planted on the ass of a 19-year-old college girl from Montana. It’s all part of his “routine” – supposedly. She brushes him off. He puts the hand back where it was. She brushes him off, again. She’s resisting throughout. This “song ‘n’ dance” continues through several cycles – in full view of 200 paid ticket-holders.

Big New York City TV entertainer is in Montana doing a show in 1980, preying on unsuspecting young woman who, while not being prudes, are nevertheless not in possession of Big City sophistication at that age.

This is deliberate and conscious, and Franken is hoping the abuse will be lost in the celebrity worship and theater spotlights and let bygones be bygones, in the name of having a good laugh…

…at her expense!

I think this is pretty sleazy stuff.

I think it disqualifies him from anybody’s political respect.

David S. McCalmont
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: As much as I disagree with Mr. Franken’s politics and, to be completely honest, I too find him unpleasantly self-righteous, I don’t see why this episode should require his removal from the Senate. – J.B.)

Right After All

In your response to my previous letter (“The Ongoing On-Ramp Disaster,” MJ #23/46), you say that you attended “most of those meetings and… everyone present agreed with Caltrans.” Well, perhaps that was true in meetings of the Montecito Association or the Montecito Planning Commission, but I wasn’t at those meetings. I attended the City Planning Commission formal review public hearing and, as I recall, there was agreement from the commission that the uphill fast-lane entry was hazardous, but there was substantial pushback from the commissioners over the removal of the on-ramp and the Caltrans theory that drivers would use the Milpas onramp instead. 

We now know that all those others that predicted the Caltrans solution wouldn’t work were correct.

Art Thomas
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: Pleased to hear there was more opposition to Caltrans’s disastrous decision to remove the 101 southbound entry at Cabrillo. Not that it did a lot of good. – J.B.)

Identify Dilemma

A survey by found that 77 percent of Democrats, holding degrees from a four-year college, believed that a person’s gender is not determined at birth. Transgender, sexual orientation, and identity-development issues seem to keep hitting the nightly news. These important topics can be fodder for conversation, and here are some of the “questions” I hope Montecito Journal readers will respond to:

1) If someone, born with female genitalia, identifies as a man, should they be permitted to have their birth certificate changed to “male”?

2) If someone born Caucasian identifies as “African-American”, should she (Rachel Dolezal) be allowed to claim her ancestors were slaves?

3) If someone born in Oklahoma City (Elizabeth Warren) falsely claims she is part-Cherokee and takes advantage using “minority status” to advance her academic career, has she committed a crime if she sincerely “identifies” as a Native American?

4) If an alcoholic communist (Jim Jones) convinces 900 people to commit suicide, can his actions be excused because he “identified” as God?

5) If a 40-year-old pedophile “identifies” as a fourth grader, should he be allowed to re-enroll in elementary school?

6) If a speeding driver identifies as an Indy 500 champion, should the fines and/or penalties be reduced?

7) Should weeds in a garden be allowed to grow because they identify as tomatoes?

8) Although I didn’t get a four-year degree, can I sign my name with “Ph.D.” because I identify with Albert Einstein?

9) If women (Amanda Rogers, Wilma Callagan, et al) decide to marry their dogs (Sheba, Henry, et al) because they’re disillusioned with men, could this be considered a gender-biased hate crime?

There are too many other “identity” scenarios to list, but I hope these uncomfortable examples will generate some discussion.

Dale Lowdermilk
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: To be fair, Ms Warren could actually have a miniscule percentage of Cherokee in her background. That she and Harvard would use that to boast about the “diversity” of their faculty that included a “Native American” is what galls most of us. The rest of your questions we’ll leave to smarter men… and women… to answer. – J.B.)

$1,200 Raised on Ghost Village Road

On behalf of the Coast Village Association (CVA) board of directors, I want to thank the community for its enthusiastic, colorful, and safe participation in the recent Ghost Village Road trick-or treating event. It was a fantastic celebration of community and the street was a very good host, with merchants and businesses gladly providing thousands of treats for our visitors. The public should know that this is a totally volunteer effort of these businesses, and they spend hundreds of dollars each providing the candy, as well as being essentially out of business from about 2:30 until dark. I want to acknowledge this generous gift of each participating business and thank them for making the day special for so many kids and their families! 

This year our board, as sponsor of Ghost Village Road, took initiative to add a component of “giving back” by partnering with Direct Relief International (DRI), a relief organization providing urgently needed medical supplies around the world from its headquarters right here in our community. We raised about $1,200 from our visitors and CVA members for relief in hurricane-ravaged parts of North America, and we would like to encourage more in our community to avail themselves of our website donation page and support this important effort and the work of DRI. The website donation page will remain active for another couple of weeks [ ]. We thank all donors for their support. 

And we look forward to future celebrations of community around Coast Village!

Bob Ludwick
President, Coast Village Association


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