AUGIE LOPEZ

You may know him as the security guard who stands statuesque next to a stool outside of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust in the Upper Village. He always says “hello” and sometimes he smiles. Some moms know him as the guy who'll watch your kids while you dash into the bank. His name is Augie Lopez and he has been standing guard for the past two years.

Augie was born and raised in Santa Barbara, attending Harding Elementary, La Cumbre Junior High and Santa Barbara High School. His grandmother was an Apache Indian and he was raised alongside three brothers and four sisters (all still live in Santa Barbara).

In his younger days, Augie wrestled, albeit not competitively, but it was his chosen sport. He’s also currently one belt shy of a black belt in martial arts – a benchmark that has demanded more than 20 years of Augie’s time. To receive his black belt, he will undergo a rigorous six-hour physical test after first writing and delivering a thesis on what martial arts means to him.

Augie says he is happily married and he has five grandchildren who call him “Tata” (Spanish for grandfather). He and his wife, Regina, reside in Santa Barbara with their eight birds. When asked what word his wife would use to describe him (no, we did not confirm this answer with Regina) Augie said “MacGyver” because he can fix just about anything around the house.

Augie began his working career making lamps at J.N. Mache on Montecito Street. Crafting lamps led Augie to making Indian jewelry, which turned into another job for him.

At the close of our interview/inquisition, I asked Augie a few snapshot questions.

Q. When people are talking to you, are you listening or are you waiting to speak?

A. Listening

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Involvement with martial arts

First purchase if you won the lottery?

Buy new cars for three people who are in need

A childhood memory that sticks out in your mind?

Screaming down Victoria Hill on a bicycle and having a collision with a friend. Riding the bike home with a badly broken wrist.

Worst sound around town?

Traffic

Best sound around town?

Pure silence