Coming to a Mailbox Near You

On Saturday, June 9th 2007 the United States Postal Service, along with the help of Direct Relief International, the National Association of Letter Carriers, Lions Club, and the Santa Barbara Eyeglass Factory, will be collecting old, used, and abandoned eyeglasses from homes in the Santa Barbara area via your mailbox.

Some 70,000 flyers will be distributed throughout the county, including Montecito, on Tuesday, asking residents to donate their old eyeglasses. On June 9th, the United States Postal service will pick them up and deliver them to Direct International in Goleta where they will be measured and distributed around the world to people who need such eyewear but cannot afford them.

Rick Feldman, founder of the Eyeglass Factory, which provides free exams and glasses to all those in the south county that can’t afford to purchase eye care, said during a recent telephone conversation when asked about the unique program that, “the uniqueness of this particular fundraiser is that there are around twelve hundred [bona fide non-profit charities] in the county and there is a lot of overlap in terms of services; this is a classic example of cutting out that overlap and getting people together who all want the same result… of getting these otherwise useless glasses into the hands of people who can achieve a better quality of life by result of having them.”

We would love to see – no pun intended – Montecito with a higher turnout per capita then any other place in the county, so all those reading this editorial that live in the 93108 ZIP code area, please make a special effort to dig up, turn out, retrieve, and donate more than one pair of reading glasses for this effort.

A reminder from the U.S. Postal Service: please place the eyeglasses by your mailbox rather than placing them inside.

Goodbye Gillando

Three years have passed since Guillaume Doane, MJ editor, graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. degree in Journalism and moved back to Montecito (he lived here and attended MUS as an elementary school student) to take a position at the Montecito Journal.

I met Guillaume in fifth grade at Montecito Union where, because both our mothers spoke French (and both came from France), I was forced to hang out with this smaller kid with the unpronounceable first name who could barely speak English. Guillaume mastered the English language surprisingly quickly (though even with much prodding from his parents, friends, and classmates to do otherwise, he stubbornly held on to his almost always garbled surname). His abilities with the English language surpassed my pathetic though homegrown mastery long ago, and we became good friends in spite of the language barrier. When his parents, Michael and Claudine Doane, left Montecito for Atlanta, Georgia and eventually South Dakota, he tagged along, which he had to do since he was still a kid.

Eventually, Guillaume would attend the University of Kansas. We stayed in close contact and when I decided to go to college, I called up Guillaume, put in my application at KU, and we moved into a small apartment off-campus shortly thereafter. We were roommates for almost two years until I left for Montana State. Upon graduation from KU, Guillaume accepted a job offer at Montecito Journal to embark upon his editorial career. That was three years ago, and he has decided he needs to find work at a larger venue, perhaps a big-city daily, maybe a national magazine. We will miss Guillaume’s antics and his developed expertise, and we will surely miss the countless misinterpretations and mispronunciations of his name. Some of our favorites were “Giuseppe, Goad, Gueem, Ghome, Ms Doane, Gilomee, Geeohm, Goolianne” and Guillaume’s personal favorite “Gillando.” Continually arguing with MJ staffers not to change his name to something everyone could digest (like Gil), Guillaume continued to use his unforgiving French name.

Although he currently has not made up his mind where his next life will take him, we can only imagine that another publication will be blessed to have such a hard-working and talented guy.

He will be sorely missed and if at any point he finds he misses Montecito, he should feel confident his friends at Montecito Journal would love to see him back at his desk.

On behalf of the entire Journal staff, let me say goodbye “Gillando” and good luck.