The Constant of Change
Why do people who can live anywhere so often choose to live here? With its recent influx of newcomers, some fear Montecito is changing. I suppose it’s true that every new resident – even every new visitor – puts a mark on a place, bringing with them their unique story, their aspirations, their values. It seems to me that what remains as true as ever, even in the wake of a dreadful pandemic, is that Montecito continues to attract some of the world’s most interesting and discerning humans. Those with diverse life experiences; those who value privacy and community at the same time; those with a penchant for giving back.
Unless you were born here, we were all once newcomers. Our family arrived 16 years ago, and I’ll never forget my first and lasting impressions. I was immediately struck by how the people here welcomed us – opening their arms, their homes, and their hearts. I was overwhelmed by the endless opportunities to get involved with meaningful causes. And I was intoxicated by the area’s boundless beauty that met me around every corner. I still am.
Without a doubt, the most fun part of my job is getting to meet and tell the layered stories of the people who call this place home. This edition of the Montecito Journal’s glossy magazine represents an embarrassment of human riches – reflected in the storied lives and artistic endeavors of a handful of our neighbors – some well-known, some little known.
Our cover story is one I have wanted to tell for a long time. I first met Tipper Gore several years ago through Human Rights Watch. To me, she was known only as the former Second Lady and the public figure made famous by her work to place warning labels on records to help parents gauge a song’s appropriateness for their children. As I got to spend some time with her, I came to understand that like so many of the public figures who populate our village, her real story was far more colorful and complex than could be contained by the box in which the public placed her. Katherine Stewart’s in-depth interview with Tipper Gore reveals little-known pieces of the life of a passionate artist, a lifelong musician, a social justice advocate, a powerful storyteller, a devoted mother and grandmother, and yes, a reluctant public figure.
I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as we have enjoyed telling them.