Butterflies Flutter By

As a pre-schooler, my sister Kerry used to call them “flutterbys,” which was probably a more accurate description of the monarchs flitting abut our backyard. Now, by popular demand, Butterflies Alive! has fluttered back to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. The Butterfly Pavilion is a garden filled with flowers, luscious greenery, and nearly 1,000 butterflies, including monarchs, swallowtails, whites, blues, coppers, metalmarks, and skippers. This is one to bring the kids and grandkids to – it is worth it to watch them watching the butterflies. They can get up close to the butterflies as they drink nectar from flowers and see them flutter right by their noses. Amazinglybeautiful.

Let’s Red Line The Blue Line

The Santa Barbara Silly Council wants to paint a wide blue line around town to show how high the water would come if one of Greenland’s ice caps melted.

How about a “red line” to show the level of wasted taxpayers money? … Maybe painted around the fifth floor of the Granada Building?

And the irony, of course, is that the Silly Clowncil-members believes it has plenty of money to waste on the “big blue line” but does not have enough money for the Thin Blue Line...

Lauds for Linda Vega

Linda Vega was just honored for her 20 years of teaching Flamenco dance and for her artistic contributions to the community. The surprise announcement came at the production of FlamenColores! led by Flamenco luminary María Bermúdez, immediately following her troupe’s show at the Marjorie Luke.

The Santa Barbara performance of Spain’s María Bermúdez and her company, Sonidos Gitanos, in FlamenColores. was one of only three performances scheduled for Southern California. (The stellar event also was a fundraiser for ACOMPAS, which provides scholarships to talented young dancers interested in Flamenco, who have little or no the ability to pay for lessons.). While Bermúdez had studied flamenco in Spain and became a legendary performer around the world, her very first flamenco teacher was Linda Vega years ago in Los Angeles. So full circle, the acclaimed student now acclaims the teacher.

Linda Vega began her own professional career in 1973, and has since achieved recognition as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. During the ten years she was based in Spain, she toured extensively throughout Europe, and performed with Spain's major dance companies. In the last two decades, 24 of Linda’s students have been awarded the coveted role of either Spirit or Junior Spirit of Fiesta for the annual Old Spanish Days celebration. They all came to the performance to surprise their teacher.

(Four of Linda’s students are now professionals themselves: Bermúdez, and also three Santa Barbara dancers: Pamela Lourant, Paloma Rios, and Timo Nuñez.)

Flor Y Canto w/ Frank

Frank McGinity, President of the American Irish Historical Society (West Coast branch) will be portraying Irish immigrant Nicholas Den at Flor Y Canto – the newest Fiesta venue. This free one-hour show is from 7 to 8 Friday night (August 3) at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens. It features the original songs and dances from the “old Spanish days” 1830s-1860s. The performers range in age from 10 to 82 and are in authentic costume.

It is one of the only places in California where you can step back in time and see these historic dances and songs that were unique to this region. And the musicians are all on acoustic instruments including guitar, harp, mandolin, guitarron, concertina, and violin.

Fiesta Finery for the Fandangos

Where to get costumes? The thrift stores have good dresses, and also check the consignment shops. Saw some great vintage stuff Fiesta at Gypsy Belles on outer State (by the Farmer Boy’s and the Post Office). In fact in the Gypsy Belle window, shop owner Erica Anderson (a painter and an aficionado of flamenco) has a painting of Linda Vega!

Brilliant Thoughts

My buddy Ashleigh Brilliant, creator of Potshots, has a question about people who like Sudoku puzzles: Would they remember if they had done the same one before?

Adios Amores

Here’s an international adieu to the Italian Greek Market, Jimmy’s Oriental Garden, Loreto Bakery, and Pascual’s Market, all of which are going, going, and gone. Further, Mel’s and the Opportunity Shop are semi-gone. They are moving – but the old locations have the nostalgia and memories.

Further-furthermore, the old Joe’s Café is under new ownership and getting a revamp, facelift, and makeover that are said to be improvements on only the bad while keeping what’s good. It will re-open any day now (but everybody is wondrin’…will the food, the prices, and most importantly the provincial ambience stay the same?)

Nine Decades Of Fun

Birthday boy Irwin Maguire turned ninety. The popular former band leader at Dos Pueblos High School was also music conductor for the old legendary Santa Barbara Youth Theatre. I remember Irwin "Mac" telling me one of his greatest orchestras ever was the student orchestra in the first production of West Side Story that Youth Theatre did in 1964. Anybody remember that production? (Irwin was also my conductor when I soloed with the West Coast Symphony; it was a joy and privilege to work with him.)