I’ve been complaining about Santa Barbara for as long as I’ve lived here. Eleven years! (You say, Fine, so why stay? Why don’t you move? Oh, sure, I say, You and your simple, obvious questions.) This morning, however, a check of the e-mail brought two — two! — pats on the back for this beautiful, boring, smug, cultureless, pulseless town with its friendly parks and mild climate and plentiful parking. One was from George alerting me to a New York Times article that deems this placid little burg a fine place to spend thirty-six hours. Yes, I’d say thirty-six hours is safe (at forty-eight you lapse into a coma, though).
The second e-mail was from Jack’s stepmom, Susan, telling me that the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is having an exhibit of photos by someone with three first names: Ruth Harriet Louise. According to Susan, there’s a photo of her actress mother, Carmel Myers, in the exhibit. I’ve heard a few stories about Carmel. I know that she was in the original (silent) Ben Hur, and that she annoyed John Huston in a rowboat by playing the ukelele and singing the same song over and over again until he wanted to throw her overboard. If Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks were Hollywood royalty, Carmel Myers was the hottie lying on the carpet behind the throne recovering from a hangover. And now a photo of her is coming to our town! Can you stand the excitement? CAN YOU GET THROUGH THE MUSEUM BEFORE YOU LAPSE INTO A COMA?