Giving Thanks

By Richard Mineards   |   December 21, 2017
Evacuee refugees Richard Mineards, Brenden Twigen, Brier Tazuk, and Gretchen Lieff with ranch hands Jonas, Isabelle, Allison, and Abigail Perez being hosted at the "famous Rancho Nipomo Restaurant" owned by Richard Crowell

On a personal note, I have a great deal to be thankful for.

Great firefighters, good friends, and the kindness of Mother Nature.

This is the third time I have endured a mandatory evacuation, having experienced the Tea, Jesusita ,and now the Thomas fires in my 10 years here.

I fled our rarefied enclave for four days at the Santa Maria ranch of Montecito activist Gretchen Lieff, joining the likes of Michael and Nancy Gifford, my trusty shutterbug Priscilla and my Journal colleague Joanne Calitri escaping the flames and heavy coatings of ash.

My neighbors, Orman and Ricky Gaspar, took refuge at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, which was offering “fire rates” of $199 a night, a fraction of the normal room rate, which was also the destination of my friends, Gerald Incandela and George Schoellkopf, whose aerie in Summerland was at considerable risk.

It is at times like this that the innate goodness of a community likes ours shows its true colors.

For those 7,000 firefighters from all over who put their lives on the line, those friends who offered emergency accommodation, and to the ABC affiliate, KEYT, which did sterling work in keeping us updated on the conflagration, particularly John Palminteri and Joe Buttitta, my eternal thanks.

Sightings: Reality TV star Ashley Jacobs of Bravo’s Southern Charm checking out Joe’s Cafe…Khloe Kardashian sashaying on Coast Village Road…Actress Natalie Portman noshing at the Biltmore

Pip! Pip!


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