Mourlot brings Miro to Montecito

Many years ago, Spanish painter Joan Miro brought then six-year-old Eric Mourlot, grandson of famed lithographer Fernand Mourlot, a present of paints. “I ended up painting all over my grandmother’s kitchen. After I got in trouble for that I knew I would never be an artist,” Eric joked during a recent event held in Montecito. Although he did not become an artist, Eric is now in charge of the Mourlot Archives, which includes works from such masters as Picasso, Miro, Matisse, Dubuffet, and LeCorbusier. On Sunday May 20th, Victoria and Carter Hines hosted a private showing at their Montecito home of select pieces from the Mourlot Archives. Eric Mourlot, who owns a gallery in New York, was persuaded to come to Montecito by friends Raj Tolaram and Kelsey Donwen.

Perhaps the star piece among the collection was the personally signed Picasso print “Venus et L’Amour.” The event was well attended by art lovers such as Betty DeGeneres, mother of Ellen DeGeneres; Betty said she would be moving to the Santa Barbara area soon. Also admiring the art was Alan Porter, Maryanne and Buck Brillhart, Barry and Jelinda DeVorzon, and Bob Largura.

If you missed the event but are interested in the pieces, you can contact Eric in New York at Galerie Mourlot (212-288-8808) or online:

A Goy Bar Mitzvah

It seems that Hilary Clinton has made an impact on at least one Montecito father. For his son Nick Johnson’s 13th birthday, dad Berkeley Johnson decided to adopt the “It Takes A Village To Raise a Child” theme and give Nick the gift of a lifetime: a distillation of wisdom gleaned from various friends’ personal experiences. Berkeley sent a letter to his friends, explaining that this idea “might help a newly minted teenage boy to hear wisdom from various points of view other than his own dad.”

Berkeley couldn’t claim this was entirely his idea. “Although he doesn’t remember it today, my own father gave me some wisdom when I graduated from college,” Berkeley said. Below are some of the “nuggets” of wisdom that Berkeley’s father passed down:

#3 Keep looking for opportunities to be your own boss.

#6 Getting married is even riskier than buying a used car. Do more than kick the tires.

#8 The future lies in the Pacific. Learn Chinese.

#10 You will regret in old age not having taken chances when you were young.

Berkeley’s friends were asked to do a Montecito walkabout with Nick, each friend guiding him part of the way and sharing his knowledge. Men who signed up for the task were: Charles Banks, Mike Corrigan, Roy Forbes, Dr. Giles Gunn, Rick Hogue, Harley Jensen, Dave Laffitte, Rich Coffin, Dr. Mark Montgomery, Bob Price, Ken Saxon, Mark Schwartz, Jim Selbert, Tony Spahn, and Dennis Whelan.

Berkeley made a point of asking his friends to write down their words of wisdom for Nick to remember as an adult. “I would have totally forgotten my father’s words after twenty four years except for the fact that he wrote the salient points down,” Berkeley states. And you may wonder, what was Berkeley’s favorite piece of wisdom bestowed on him by his father? His answer: “#2 Consider carefully the boss’ daughter.”

Local Swimmer sets Masters Record

Montecito Realtor Jeff Farrell took down the 50 free record with a time of 24.79 in the Masters Nationals held on May 20th at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way, Washington. Farrell also provided the lone record in the men's 100 free and won the 50 breaststroke by nearly 3 seconds in 33.8.

Jeff is best known for his comeback in the Rome Olympic Games of 1960, being the world's premier freestyle sprinter at the time. In that year, Farrell came down with acute appendicitis six days before the Olympic Trials at Detroit. The operation was a success, but it had been determined that Farrell was in no shape to swim. He took his chances in the sudden-death trials and placed fourth, qualifying for the relays. By Rome, Farrell was fully recovered and anchored both U. S. men's relays to Olympic and world records for two Olympic gold medals.