Delightful Debbie
By James Buckley   |   July 11, 2019

Debbie (Bruce) Saucedo sold her company, Debbie’s Delights, some time ago, but she has never left our sunny enclave. She and her husband, Mike Bruce, are big supporters of local non-profits and charities, including especially Fiesta Finale, which takes place on the Sunday at the tail end of Fiesta. Debbie and Mike offered a catered […]

Regards to Broadway
By James Buckley   |   July 11, 2019

Here’s one you don’t want to miss if you can help it: The Broadway Musical Cruise aboard the Condor Express. Owner Hiroko Benko invites one and all to come aboard and enjoy the best of Broadway on a smooth Saturday evening cruise with live and on-deck performers Deborah Bertling and Carol Ann Manzi, accompanied by […]

Another Hole-in-One
By James Buckley   |   July 4, 2019

A couple years ago, I was proud to announce that my trusty 10.5-degree lofted driver helped me score my first hole-in-one at the 170-yard 17th hole at Glen Annie into a stiff wind; well, that was then, the glory has faded, and I’m once again just another hack. However, one of my regular golf buddies, […]

The Hard Knox House
By James Buckley   |   July 4, 2019

MJ‘s favorite painter, Thomas Van Stein, just completed a commissioned painting of the historic Knox-Cota building on Anacapa Street for the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. The house was built in the 1870s for Dr. Knox and his wife. The building’s facade crumbled in the 1925 earthquake, and has been sitting as a rather […]

Israel’s English Version
By James Buckley   |   July 4, 2019

The following comes directly from songwriter and Emmy nominee Molly-Ann Leikin, who informs us that she has written the official English lyric to Hatikvah, the Israeli National Anthem. The melody was adapted by composer Bedrich Smetana from a Lithuanian Folk song. In 1886, a transliteration was written by poet Naftali Herz Imber, but it was […]

Loopers
By James Buckley   |   May 30, 2019

Montecito resident Lawrence Dam‘s son-in-law Jason Baffa, who lives in Summerland, is the director and director of photography of the film Loopers, which opens Friday, June 7 at the Hitchcock Cinema & Public House on Hitchcock Way in Santa Barbara. The film takes on a subject I kind of know and absolutely love: golf. And, […]

Wedding Bells are Ringing
By James Buckley   |   May 23, 2019

Sue Brooks has been selling ads for Montecito Journal for… gulp… more than 22 years. When she first joined us, she and her husband, Steve (remember Brooks Jewelers on Coast Village Road where the Sushi Bar is now, next to Montecito Inn?) had two little girls: Michelle and Jennifer. Well, those girls are all grown […]

Gathering No Moss
By James Buckley   |   May 23, 2019

The Doublewide Kings will be playing the music of the Rolling Stones at SOhO music club in Santa Barbara on Friday night, May 31, beginning at 7:30 “with some of the mellower acoustic stuff while folks are having dinner (think ‘Angie,’ ‘Wild Horses,’ etc.),” says the group’s henchman (and high-profile Montecito resident musician) Palmer Jackson, Jr. […]

Tee It Up
By James Buckley   |   May 23, 2019

If you are a woman and are simply fed up playing with the guys, LPGA pro Lori Kibbie‘s Girls Night Out (GNO) league runs every Tuesday at Glen Annie Golf Club in Goleta, and again on Thursdays at River Ridge Golf Club in Ventura. I see Lori pretty much every Wednesday when I take advantage […]

Going for Olympic Gold
By James Buckley   |   May 23, 2019

Deacon T Buckley (his dad is MUS alum Tim Buckley) was awarded a gold medal at a recent National USASA (United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association) ski meet in Copper Mountain, Colorado, in which he competed with regional winners from around the country (he had won two gold medals and two silvers in […]

West Side Story
By James Buckley   |   May 23, 2019

Just chalk it up as another spectacular success for Janet Adderley and her Adderley School for the Performing Arts, as some two dozen-plus of her students performed West Side Story onstage at the Lobero Theatre twice on Saturday, May 4 and twice again on Sunday, May 5. The highlight, for me, was the heartwarming and […]

Wings of Freedom
By James Buckley   |   April 18, 2019

Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune to fly in a B-17 “Flying Fortress” from Santa Barbara Airport down over Montecito and back over the ocean because of my position as founder of Montecito Journal. I’ve also landed on and taken off from both the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Abraham Lincoln. Those […]

The Last Days of Archie McLaren
By James Buckley   |   April 18, 2019

Her full name is Beverly Aho (though most know her as “Bev Aho”) and, for the past five years, she was the constant companion of the recently deceased Central Coast Wine Classic founder and aficionado of all things grape, Archie McLaren, who passed away February 20th of last year. She and Archie lived in Avila […]

Maile Kai at SOhO
By James Buckley   |   April 11, 2019

Maile Kai Merrick, along with Sofia Schuster, sang solo, and the entire Adderley choir joined in and recently sang “Somewhere” from West Side Story in honor of Jim Dougherty‘s 80th birthday at the Lobero. But you’ll get to hear the remarkable Maile Kai and Sofia sing again at SOhO this Friday, April 12 from 6:30 […]

Vroom, Vroom
By James Buckley   |   April 11, 2019

This is the Santa Barbara Boys & Girls Club’s sixth Rally4Kids – a one-and-a-half day celebration of all things vehicular – and it’s the club’s biggest fundraiser of the year. It has also been a roaring success and lots of fun. This event begins the night before (Friday evening, April 26) at a private “drivers” […]

Hello Jada!
By James Buckley   |   April 4, 2019

Every Friday morning when I’m in town, I spend 20 minutes at OsteoStrong, just off Las Positas, and so want to congratulate OsteoStrong’s Assistant Manager Lauren Farewell, who gave birth March 28, at Cottage Hospital, to a beautiful baby girl, Jada Michaela, weighing 8 lbs 4 oz and 20 and 1/2 inches long. Jada is […]

He Landed Safely
By James Buckley   |   April 4, 2019

My longtime friend and confidante, balloonist, scientist, physicist, thinker, inventor, conversationalist, and bon vivant, Julian Nott, passed away peacefully on March 26 after suffering multiple injuries from an extraordinary and unforeseeable accident following a successful balloon flight and landing in Warner Springs, California.  Every second or third Saturday morning, depending upon his schedule, we would […]

Things Are Looking Up
By James Buckley   |   March 21, 2019

Nothing Earth-shattering going on, but the new look at the northwest corner of Coast Village Road and Olive Mill Road is indicative of what I believe has become a rapid upward swing in sentiment and outlook in this little corner of the world (see Kelly Mahan Herrick‘s Village Beat report on the handsome and finally […]

The Silver Bough
By James Buckley   |   February 21, 2019

Chef Phillip Frankland Lee and his wife-baker, Margarita Kallas Lee, in addition to having opened The Monarch in the space occupied by Montecito Café for nearly 30 years, recently opened the most audacious restaurant experiment on the Central Coast. It’s called “The Silver Bough” (the name revolves around a Celtic legend), and it’s an eight-guest […]

Magic Castle Cabaret
By James Buckley   |   February 21, 2019

No doubt our universal man-about-town Richard Mineards has covered the opening of Milt and Arlene Larsen‘s Magic Castle Cabaret, Montecito’s new private club, in his column. And there is no doubt that MJ‘s society maven and beauty expert Lynda Millner will report on the same subject soon after, so no need to add my seven […]

Teen Star 2019
By James Buckley   |   February 21, 2019

I’ve been to a number of Joe Lambert‘s Teen Star competitions and the only reason I’ve missed any is because I was either out of the country or out of my mind. This show – the Teen Star Final – always presents some of the finest, or at least most enjoyable, entertainment one is likely […]

Cause For Celebration
By James Buckley   |   February 7, 2019

Over the course of the past week, the Santa Barbara area received anywhere from four to eight inches of rain, possibly even a little more at what local weather people like to call “the higher elevations.” Montecito was blessed with a good amount of precipitation too (Jameson Lake is now filled and spilling over Juncal […]

Here We Go Again
By James Buckley   |   January 17, 2019

This is being written as much of Montecito is under a Mandatory Evacuation Notice. Tuesday, January 15, at 10 am sharp, Montecito Inn hotel guests were required to check out, as were Four Seasons Biltmore guests. Traffic continued to move along critical roadways for a while, but many of those roads began to be closed […]

Remembering January Ninth
By James Buckley   |   January 10, 2019

The Day The Hill Came Down First, of course, there was the fire. The Thomas Fire, so named because it began on the campus of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula before devouring nearly 300,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara County along with nearly one thousand homes and/or structures. Following California’s cycle of cataclysms, […]

A Man and His Crafts
By James Buckley   |   November 29, 2018

One of our favorite subjects – physicist, friend, balloonist extraordinaire, and all-around good fellow, Professor Julian Nott – is headlining one of our favorite annual events: Channel City Club’s Annual Christmas Luncheon. The luncheon will be held at the Hilton Beachfront Resort (formerly Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort) on Monday, December 3, and will feature not […]

The Montecito Water & Sanitary Votes
By James Buckley   |   October 25, 2018

Montecito’s vaunted “semi-rural” ambiance was shattered along with residents’ confidence after the Thomas Fire and the ensuing mud and debris flow that took the lives of 23 of our friends and neighbors and destroyed or seriously damaged nearly 10% of our housing stock. It is going to take a little time before the idea of […]

Suicide of the West
By James Buckley   |   September 20, 2018

National Review editor, Los Angeles Times columnist, speaker, Fox News commentator, author, and teacher (for nearly a year he taught English to Czech citizens after the breakup of the Soviet Union), Jonah Goldberg is a product of Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Jonah’s father was Jewish; his mother Christian; Jonah was brought up Jewish. Some may […]

Socialism is Back
By James Buckley   |   September 6, 2018

The American left is twisting itself into knots trying to figure out its basic messaging. Once discredited, “democratic socialists” have been re-energized, led by a 76-year-old Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, who has been preaching socialism for half a century, and 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a stunning upset winner over favored Democrat Joe Crowley, a 10-term […]

A Beautiful Piece of History
By James Buckley   |   August 30, 2018

There is nothing quite like this 6,350-sq-ft former “pool pavilion,” designed by Francis Underhill, on the market here or anywhere else in the Santa Barbara area, at least nothing I’m aware of and… and I can say this because I am not in the real estate business and have no stake or interest in this […]

House Poor, Climate Rich
By James Buckley   |   August 30, 2018

There’s nothing that will make you feel poorer than perusing the high-end homes for sale in the Friday edition of The Wall St. Journal. Or heck, pick up a paper in Atherton, San Francisco, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills, or any upper-end community in Napa, Sonoma, Oakland, or even Oxnard.  Everything for sale comparable to what […]

A Common Table
By James Buckley   |   August 2, 2018

Let’s call it “extraordinary,” as it certainly was out of the ordinary. I am referring to, of course, the recent Our Common Table event that occurred on the grounds of Montecito Union School on July 26. “We were worried we wouldn’t have enough food, and then the firefighters brought in thirty pounds of pulled pork […]

Black Market Info Trade
By James Buckley   |   August 2, 2018

Sharyl Attkinsson is smart. Really smart. And accomplished: previously a CNN anchor, then an on-air investigative correspondent for CBS until after 21 years with the company; the subject matter she chose to cover displeased her CBS bosses. She wrote Stonewalled, which became a New York Times best-seller, and continues to promote that and her 2017 […]

Our Common Table
By James Buckley   |   July 19, 2018

Well, now, here’s a good idea, and it’s one we believe will receive a hugely positive response from Montecito residents. The recent Village Fourth Parade and Celebration – sponsored by the Montecito Association and financed by the Montecito Community Foundation – was an expression made up of equal parts of patriotism, community, joy, and relief, […]

Rebirth of a Village
By James Buckley   |   July 12, 2018

This year’s Montecito Association (MA) Village Fourth Parade & Celebration was the biggest, baddest, boldest parade in Montecito history. Everybody participated: from California Highway Patrol, SB County Sheriff, SB County Fire, Montecito Fire, Boy Scouts, to all the schools, all the organizations, all the groups that matter to Montecito and care about Montecito. Montecito’s Village […]

Ready to Rally
By James Buckley   |   July 5, 2018

Okay, quick, what do the following names have in common: Denzel Washington, Jennifer Lopez, Shaquille O’Neal, Edward James Olmos, Jeff Henley (VP, Oracle, also president of United Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara County advisory board), and Angel Martinez (former CEO, Deckers Brands)? Give up? They were all at one time or another members […]

A Rally for Corey
By James Buckley   |   July 5, 2018

I met Ashley Iverson, the widow of Corey Iverson – who died fighting the Thomas Fire last December – at the Kick Ash Bash in Summerland, where I learned that she was not only being sponsored by Nina Tierzan but was also staying with Nina in her beach house in Montecito. I have described Ms […]

“Swiss Nets” to the Rescue
By James Buckley   |   June 21, 2018

In an exquisitely crafted 2006 article about debris flows written for Canyon Voices and specifically about the nature of Rattlesnake Canyon, Karen Telleen Lawton wrote: “Barely a thousand years ago – a second on a geologist’s watch – a rainwater and boulder slurry called a debris flow surged through [Rattlesnake Canyon], strewing its 10 million […]

There’s Bad News… And Good News
By James Buckley   |   June 14, 2018

First, the bad news: “There’s plenty of material up here waiting to come down,” says Kevin Taylor, division chief of Operations at Montecito Fire Department. He says this as he, I, and Montecito Fire chief Chip Hickman examine the Montecito back country and the dry steep mountains directly above in a four-person, single-rotor helicopter flown […]

Family Resemblance
By James Buckley   |   June 7, 2018

They looked like ordinary babies when they were born and it wasn’t clear which part of the family either of them took after, but, year after year, both seven-year-old Deacon T and five-year-old Kessler Buckley developed substantial genetic traits, making it quite clear these young men are related to their grandfather, MJ founder James Buckley.

Remembering Mollie
By James Buckley   |   June 7, 2018

Okay, okay. Yes, most other media have already reported that Mollie Ahlstrand of Trattoria Mollie on Coast Village Road was planning to open a location on State Street next to the Granada, a space previously occupied by the once popular Tupelo Junction. Can I just tell you that I knew about this a couple months […]