Having Montecito’s Back

By Gwyn Lurie   |   April 30, 2020

These days, there’s no shortage of things to get emotional about. Like most of us, other than essential workers for whom I feel deep gratitude, I’ve been home for almost six weeks. Reading and watching the nightly news is painful, but I do it. I worry about my elderly mother. I feel horrible for my friends, my neighbors, and those across the world who cannot work and don’t have a safety net. I feel badly for those who have worked so hard to build businesses they may lose. And my heart goes out to those who don’t have enough food and/or shelter. I feel bad for my daughters who have spent their 13th and 16th birthdays in quarantine and I worry about how all of this is affecting them. And mostly, I feel such sorrow for those who have lost their lives, or a loved one, to this insidious virus that has upended… everything.

And so it is that this past Wednesday afternoon when I stood on my driveway to catch a glimpse of the MUS Staff Parade planned by teachers and staff who mapped out a route through Montecito so they could drive by the homes of their students, I must confess… I completely lost it!

As car after car of teachers and administrators passed my home, bedecked with homemade signs and streaming with balloons, honking and waving and smiling at the kids, I burst into tears. There is so much to cry about these days and yet, this was the thing that made it happen. There was something about the basic sweetness and loving intention at the core of this beautiful gesture that wrecked me. As I stood in front of my home waving to so many of the wonderful teachers and staff with whom I had the honor of working during my eight years on the school board, watching them drive around town simply to let their students know, “We’re still here, even though we can’t assemble in your physical school, and we care and we miss you.” I felt the purest sense of gratitude to live in a place where people spontaneously do something like that.

That’s Montecito. Okay, no place is perfect. But Montecito’s pretty darn special. It’s a place where people show up. Where we try to lift each other up.  A place where, through thick and thin, rain or shine, fire or debris flow or pandemic, we put on our boots and get to work to help each other make it through the tough times, so that we can all be here to enjoy the beautiful times – of which we are blessed to have many. And we will again.

It is in this spirit and in response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, that the Montecito Journal, in collaboration with the 93108Fund, the Coast Village Association, and the Montecito Association have planned…

Montecito’s May Day Virtual Cash Mob on Friday, May 1, through Sunday, May 3.

You can help bring instant economic relief to your favorite establishments on Coast Village Road and in the Upper Village of Montecito – restaurants, boutiques, galleries or, hopefully, all of the above. The way you can do this is by purchasing GIFT CARDS from our local independent merchants, which we’ll facilitate, so that these businesses can stay afloat as they await the greenlight to re-open their doors to once again serve our community.

I think it’s so important for us to support local business not only because we love these businesses; they help give our town its flavor, and a big part of that flavor is engaged local merchants, rather than chain style establishments and franchises with little vested interest in our community.

Our celebratory Cash Mob spending weekend will culminate with… a Montecito Community Zoom Happy Hour at 7 pm on Sunday, May 3.A Zoom invitation will be included in your 93108Fund receipt. And if you spend $500 or more, your name will automatically be entered in our raffle to win prizes from your favorite local merchants. Expect to see some local celebs at the virtual happy hour who, along with the rest of us, are stepping up to help breathe energy and much needed cash flow into our local economy. If you’re entered into the raffle, just be present on the Montecito Community Happy Hour Zoom Call for the opportunity to win.

To participate, please visit www.93108Fund.org beginning Friday, May 1.

There you will find a list of participating Cash Mob merchants; it will be an easy process to choose your gift cards and check out, all in one central place. Monies received will go directly to the business owners, who will contact you and issue your gift card.

We can do this! We can make sure that our businesses get through this. That once again we will be able to stroll through the Upper Village or down Coast Village Road and enjoy the lovingly curated boutiques and restaurants that make Montecito not just one of the greatest places to visit, but one of the best places on earth to call home.

It takes a village to save a village. And save this village we shall!

Now for the results of the Montecito Journal Thom Steinbeck Creative Writing Contest: the limerick edition.

Call it a cop-out, but we’ve decided to punt on this one and leave the decision to you. We received almost 70 limericks. A few didn’t follow the rules and those were disqualified. But we were so entertained by these submissions that we wanted to share them with you and give you a chance to weigh in on choosing the winners. We will award three prizes (gift certificates to local restaurants for take-out). Please enjoy these limerick submissions and write to us at letters@MontecitoJournal.net to vote for a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place choice. We will announce the winners next week!

In the meantime, we hope to see you at 7 pm on Sunday night at our MONTECITO MAY DAY CASH MOB ZOOM PARTY!


There once was a frightening flu,
That left us with nothing to do.
So we filled up the cupboard,
And packed on the blubber,
And now we’re all sick with Type 2
by Alan Hurst

What is your favorite island little girl?
Her eyes twinkled and she turned her head with a twirl,
Santa Rosa, Sant Cruz, San Miguel she thought,
And the last one is more like a rock,
Ahh Anacapa is the one- with it’s waves all a curl.
by Alexis Dougherty

There is a young cat named Willow,
Who slept all day long on my pillow.
But since I’ve been home,
He is NEVER alone,
So he sulks all day long, poor Willow!
by Amy Clark

There is a virus pandemic
It could be a panicdemic
Montecito is taking the virus in stride
A mudslide prepared us for a bad ride
We will pass this epidemic
by Bill Loomis

One day a young lady went out walking
Intent on being seen without talking.
On dressing forgot to check,
Left barefoot up to the neck.
Only to pass onlookers found gawking.
by Brian MacDonald

There was an old man that was bald
Who said what shall I be called?
I don’t like Chuck
Certainly not Shmuck
So Charlie I shall be called
by Charles Walworth

A surprisingly clamorous din
For the anti malarial chloroquin
But lo and behold
Now the truth has been told
You’re better off sticking with gin
by Chris Stocking

There was a fine doctor named Fauci,
At press briefings he never was grouchy.
He spoke common sense
On the pandemic immense,
SCIENCE guides him, without any doubt-ci !
by Cliff Ghersen

Santa Barbara have several young folk
Who believe quarantines are a joke.
HEY! In stores wear a mask!
It’s not much to ask.
Don’t act the cov-idiot bloke.
by Dana Crampton

Ah, Corona you’ve taught us to cope.
Number one rule, don’t run out of soap.
The future looks hazy.
Family’s driving you crazy.
But there’s always a reason to hope!
by Debra Cochrane

There was an old town by the beach
Whose people remembered, History had something to teach
Surviving fires and a flood
Built upon ashes and mud
A Virus not Russian Collusion became reason to impeach
by Dermott Down

On the morning rounds
to the bells of songbird sounds
out from a perch
on the branch of a birch
the song of an oriole resounds
by Erin Lamb

Please, take heed my dear.
This new life is riddled with fear.
Lift up your heart,
For a brand new start,
Or I’ll give you a swift kick in the rear!
by Gloria Reece

There was a young lass named Ramona
Who was sure she had caught the corona
But the virus said, “Ick!
She’s making US sick!”
And found was the cure for corona.
by Hugh Ransom

Our town’s in the grip of a virus
Feared by all, even Billy Ray Cyrus.
We will face it with class;
Doubt not — this will pass
And COVID-19 will no longer mire us.
by Joel Nelson

There once was a dog from Montecito
Who wanted to be incognito.
But his Mom learned to Zoom
In the Corona flu Gloom,
And now he’s in hat and tuxedo.
by Joy duMay

There once was a town by the seas
Whose peeps fought the dreaded disease
They all wore their masks
Locked down ’til it passed
They knew TP and Zoom are the keys
by Justine Sutton

There once was a lady with gray,
The roots her salon took away.
But sheltered in place,
Two-toned she embraced,
And inside her home she did stay.
by Kate Ford

I once knew an actress named Annie
Who was concerned with the size of her Fanny
She spoke with her mom
who said let’s be calm
We both got our fannies from Grannie
by Katherine Steele

This virus is getting us down
Santa Barbara is like a ghost town
It’s really not funny
the stores need the money
to get rid of the shop keeper’s frowns
by Larry Bond

There was once a mother in S.B.
Who sought alcohol wipes and T.P.
Juggling meeting IDs
Amongst Instacart fees
Times she walked the dog? 903.
by Lesley Hetrick

There once was the land Montecito
Where everyone lived in high Splendito
A virus most foul
Caused Oprah to howl
And we all hunkered down to Finito
by Linda Marie Prince

Debbie B’s Senior Fit class kept us lean,
As we ROTATEd from machine to machine.
COVID-19 ended that!
Now we’re all growing fat!
So, I long for the old Y team, as I pray for a COVID vaccine.
by Louise MacKenzie

the covid alarmed an old poet
he took pen to paper to show it
it may be the way
that nature conveys
the end of the world as we know it”
by Marc Cronin

Blue Agave have pointy teeth,
like the Cacti, Aloe and Heath.
but Bougainvillea flowers,
and night Jasmine towers,
put the Butterfly in sharp relief.
by Mark McKeefry

Cyrus was tending to his Iris
When he suddenly felt desirous
So he hopped on his bike
And he went for a hike
And became quite antivirus
by Marlene Vitanza

When corona hit some weeks ago,

I said to my daughter, “Oh, no!”
She drove me here from L.A.
In her house I must stay.
Now, how can I bump into Rob Lowe?
by Marsha Miller

Covid or not, we’re here to inform ya
There’s a ‘hood in California
Up and down the coast
SB really is the most
It’s where waves rival Bora Bora
by Megan McMills

There was an old man from Montecito.
Who had a king-size libido.
Then Covid came along
And no one would join him in song,
So, he quarantined at home alone wearing a speedo!
by Michael Edwards

There is a reporter quite extraordinary
Who some say has “palms that are hairy “
His reports on Covid one nine
Help keep all in line
In a way that is never too scary
by Michael Sjollema

Maybe I’ll just clean house
And do it in an old blouse
Make everything shine
Get rid of the grime
I’d rather be outside free as mouse
by Mildred Brombai

‘Got 56 rolls of TP
Facebook the sun and the sea
A good song to sing
Plus Quibi and Sling
And no sign of having CV
by Molly Ann Leikin

There once was a city called Santa Barbara.
They were going through a lot of drama.
When Covid-19 struck,
My playdates were out of luck,
At least I didn’t have to stand six feet from my mama!
by Natalie Klan, 9 years old

There once was a doctor named Fauci
Whose resume proved he’s no slouchy.
He speaketh the truth,
And was never uncouth,
Which tended to make some people grouchy.
by Patty Schmidt

There was a couple confined for months to one room
They exclaimed, “Hope we are allowed out of here soon!”
Both took classes online
ordered take-out to dine
Danced to virtual events and were grateful for Zoom
by Raven Wylde

There once was an artist from Santa Barbara.
She fell in love with a handsome candelabra.
Every night they would sit,
Pour a glass and get lit,
And entertain thoughts most macabre.
by Rebecca Clark

It’s Complicated, Unorthodox, quite dour.
I’m a Fleabag in need of a shower.
The Office is closed,
Stranger Things have transposed.
Enthusiasm curbed by the hour.
by Stacie Hirsch

While searching for toilet paper,
I thought to check with my neighbor.
The hat on his head,
“Trump 2020,” it read.
So I just peed in his bushes later.
by SK Brooke

There was a young lad from Damasque
Who had the onerous task
Of containing his germs
While coming to terms
With romancing his gal through a mask.
by Steve Pollock

They say that it’s soon going to end
As long as the road doesn’t bend
But twisties and turnies
Fill life’s average journeys
The language they need to amend
by Susan Price

The horrors of Covid-19,
Hand wipes were nowhere to be seen.
I searched for TP,
It wasn’t to be,
‘Cause hoarders had picked the shelves clean.
by Thomas Rogers


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