Staying Civil

By Richard Mineards   |   October 26, 2021
Montecito author David Gersh’s latest book, The Whisper of a Distant God

Former corporate attorney and Harvard Law School graduate David Gersh has published his seventh book, The Whisper of a Distant God, an historical fiction of the Civil War.

“It explores a little-known battle in that war and the struggle with duty, honor, and compassion by the Union commander’s wife, Louisa Canby, which made her the Angel of Santa Fe to the Confederate troops and a traitor to the Union,” says David.

“As a Civil War buff, I felt compelled to chronicle this largely undocumented piece of history. I thought I knew the Civil War, which killed more Americans than all our other wars combined.

“But I was stunned to learn of a Confederate campaign to occupy New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, and California. I knew I had to research and write about the battle of Glorieta Pass, New Mexico, the scene of which my wife Anne and I visited.”

It took David six years to complete his latest book project, including a year spent reading the diaries and letters of Confederate and Union women before, as he puts it, he found Louisa Canby’s voice.

“I love research, and this was an immersion,” adds David. “It seemed that every sentence required more.”

Coming Up Roses

Kourtney Kardashian and rocker Travis Barker are engaged after just a year of dating.

The 45-year-old Blink 182 drummer proposed to Kardashian at the Rosewood Miramar at the weekend, complete with a $1 million diamond ring.

Kourtney shared images of the magic moment on Instagram as they embraced amid a cascade of red roses on the beach.

The marriage will be Kourtney’s first, his third.

Always Impressive

To the Rockwood Woman’s Club to see the multi-talented Danish String Quartet for the sixth time, part of UCSB’s popular Arts & Lectures program.

The Fab Four from Copenhagen only managed to get their visas organized just five days before the event, but it was certainly worth the effort as they launched Seeing Double: The Doppelgänger Project, a four-year program, supported by Arts & Lectures and a variety of international partners.

It pairs world premieres from four renowned composers with chamber music masterpieces by Franz Schubert.

The Southern California premiere featured Schubert’s “String Quartet in G Major.”

The musicians will complete the project over the next three years. I can’t wait…

Tender Loving Care

Santa Barbara’s Ensemble Theatre Company has launched its new season at the New Vic with an absolute gem.

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical, directed by Jenny Sullivan, with music direction by George Friedenthal, is a revealing and poignant bio-musical of the legendary singer – also actor George Clooney’s aunt.

Linda Purl does a remarkable job as the tortured Clooney with David Engel playing a multitude of characters including priest, psychiatrist, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Jose Ferrer, and even Clooney’s sister.

A three-piece on-stage band performs many of her popular songs, including “Come On-A My House,” “Hey There,” and “Tenderly.”

“We are thrilled to begin performing live again on the New Vic’s stage,” says artistic director Jonathan Fox. “This is one of our most ambitious seasons ever. With an iconic songbook that is deeply woven into the fabric of this country, this musical is the perfect way to reopen our doors and invite audiences to ‘Come On-A Our House’ again for a season of theatrical magic.”

Welcome back…

In Need of a Distraction?

Prince Harry, 37, as well as practicing his equestrian skills at the Santa Barbara Polo Club, as I exclusively revealed here, has been stick and balling at the private estate of hotel magnate Pat Nesbitt.

The Duke of Sussex has been to Bella Vista in Summerland several times to keep up his polo skills, I am reliably informed.

In the meantime, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and wife, Meghan Markle, have become “impact partners” at Ethic, a New York-based company, worth around $1.3 billion.

The tony twosome, who experts believe are well on the way to establishing a $1 billion brand in the U.S., also have deals with Netflix and Spotify worth in excess of $120 million, while Harry has also signed a $20 million deal with Penguin Random House for his memoirs.

For the price it will be interesting to see what he reveals.

So Long, Wayne

Montecito’s Rob Lowe, 57, is mourning the loss of his family dog, Wayne.

The 9-1-1: Lone Star actor revealed on Instagram his pet pooch had passed away at 14 as he heaped praise on the “curious and adventurous” canine.

“He loved playing chase, stealing snacks, and swimming,” he wrote alongside a photo of his pet.

Paws for thought…

Welcome Aboard

Marketing executive Aimee Miller has joined the board of directors of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology at UC Berkeley, she worked in project and product management at three Bay Area firms before becoming director of product management at Santa Barbara-based software company Visterra.

Miller currently serves as chief marketing officer at AppFolio, where she leads corporate and product line marketing strategy and execution.

Remembering Rochelle

On a personal note, I remember the delightful Rochelle Rose, society writer for Noozhawk, who has died at the age of 71. We would meet frequently covering the mad social whirl that is our Eden by the Beach and became good friends.

Rochelle worked with myriad organizations, including the United Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara, People’s Self Help Housing, and, more recently, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. A charming community minded individual who will be much missed.


Actor Orlando Bloom and warbler Katy Perry noshing at Tre Lune… Reese Witherspoon checking out Merci Montecito… Singer Beyonce shopping at Paseo Nuevo.

Pip! Pip! Be safe – wear a mask when needed and get vaccinated.


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