An Open and Sincere Question to Collectors

By Montecito Journal   |   October 26, 2021

I found myself truly saddened by the article in the Montecito Journal regarding the Montecito Motor Classic — which is an emotional response that I’m sure few, if any, also experienced. And I have a question for the owners of these cars, to which I honestly and sincerely crave an answer. What is the professed and apparent joy you get out of owning and obsessing over these vehicles? I understand that you see them as “works of art,” but when Mr. Grant says that his Lola MK6 GT is “priceless” and is “absolute perfection” (and worth probably at least $25 million) how can anyone justify owning a $25 million piece of art? I just don’t get it. Please enlighten me.

Have you ever thought about how many mouths that one “piece of art” could feed? Have you ever thought about how many college educations that “piece of art” could provide? Have you ever thought about how many children’s lives that “piece of art” could enhance? If those thoughts do cross your mind, what is your answer to your own questions? Again, I just don’t get it, and would like to understand.

I sound like the proverbial “sour grapes” that Ashleigh Brilliant described in his own column in the same issue, but I assure you I am not a sour grapes kind of person.  While it is true that I have never had, or never will have, your kind of wealth, I don’t envy your money or your possessions. When I fantasize about being wealthy, I only do it in the context of how much fun it would be to give my wealth away! And when I read about auto collectors — or art collectors, or antique collectors, or watch collectors, etc. — I am genuinely perplexed. Very perplexed and very open to being enlightened.  What am I missing?

So, I ask, again: From what place in your soul does your joy of collecting and ownership of “stuff” come?

Jo Patterson

Pining for More Time

Such a shame Little Alex’s is forced to close. Delicious and healthful food, moderately priced, quick service, plenty of nearby parking, and no valet required!

Sue Butcher

Congrats for Taking on DCC

I want to call out the courage of Gwyn’s editorial (Montecito Journal, October 7), in so clearly defining how the DCC (Democratic Central Committee) has hit rock bottom in their political agenda of ego-driven power grabs. Their desperate and divisive, even nasty, fiefdom-like efforts to hang on to their ineffective elected puppets is indeed the elephant in the room. As Gwyn points out, people are sick of this stuff. Our city is too good, and our issues are too important, for this type of gutter politics that leads us nowhere.  

Yes, I am an ardent supporter of Randy Rowse for Mayor, who has the experience, wisdom, vision and understanding of our local issues, and a non-partisan approach to our city’s priority challenges and opportunities. We need someone who knows how to govern, lead and won’t need on the job training. This election is indeed a big one.

Alixe Mattingly
Santa Barbara

In Need of ‘Low-Key’

Davis and I were talking about the beautiful community where we married while still living in Los Angeles, only spending a few relaxing weeks up here yearly while he was an attorney there. We certainly remember the welcoming environment of the past and hope things don’t change more drastically than they already have.

Just wanted to congratulate the authors of the letters (about) the awful changes being made to our wonderful, low-key community!

Jill, Michael, John, Mike, and Diana and hope I haven’t missed anyone.

Jean von Wittenburg

Leaning Left

I’d like to comment on James Buckley’s letter to the editor where he weighs in on both the changing attitudes of the Montecito Journal as well as some of the newcomers to the area who embrace the ever-increasing role of government. I, as well as many people I have spoken to, find the Journal’s leaning predictably woke. I find it ironic that the left-leaning members of the Montecito community who spout the rhetoric of the new socialist movement boast some of the wealthiest people in the country. The Journal, at this point, comes across as a “want to be” Santa Barbara Independent. Although you will have your faithful followers praise your stance, there are many of us that are happy to know there are intelligent alternatives, one of which Mr. Buckley is providing.

Monica Bond

Truly Uplifting

Your piece last week on the Ten Commitments was so uplifting, and it reminds all of us humans what a “moral compass” truly looks like.

Simply wonderful.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

LeeAnn Morgan

A Vote for Rowse

In your editorial on October 7, you rightly criticize the current mayor and city council for being largely beholden to our local Democratic party, endorsed and supported financially by DCC and unions, and even critical of their own Council members who don’t agree 100% with all of those endorsements by the “party apparatus.” Tepid leadership at best rather than visionary.

I am puzzled then by your endorsement of James Joyce for mayor since he is the long time District Director for Hannah-Beth Jackson, who is certainly a major player in local Democratic politics. Granted that he has had some success in bringing people together as you say. Still, he hardly represents a distinct change from partisan politics as usual.

There seems to be general agreement that the three biggest problems currently facing city council are (1) State Street vacancies and general shabbiness (2) an increasing homeless population wandering mostly downtown, and (3) the endless delays in getting any kind of permit through the city departments like Planning and Building. I am personally familiar with this having waited 16 months for a permit to repair my State Street office building which caught fire in March 2019, even though virtually all the damage was to the interior, not the structure. I was fortunate to have good Loss of Income coverage in the interval. Many policies are limited to only 12 months which can result in businesses never reopening.

When Randy Rowse was on city council, I felt he was often the lone voice of common sense and non-partisan decision making. Randy ran a business downtown for 37 years. He certainly has more familiarity with what downtown businesses need, and with how the homeless make it hard to have a clean downtown attractive to local and tourist shoppers alike, and how the cumbersome permit process makes it difficult for businesses to adapt to things like changing COVID restrictions, or even just opening a business in one of the many vacant stores.

I think Randy as Mayor is the person most likely to see that things actually get done.  My clear and vigorous choice for Mayor would be Randy Rowse!

Calvin Marble


You might also be interested in...

  • Woman holding phone

    Support the
    Santa Barbara non-profit transforming global healthcare through telehealth technology