Kudos To Brooks Firestone

“We don’t give this much publicity but we were supposed to have twenty-five million dollars in reserve,” Third District Supervisor Brooks Firestone confessed recently, explaining that the Board of Supervisors hoped to put that amount aside for emergencies by 2011. Instead, “We got that done last year,” Firestone boasted.

Mr. Firestone also expressed pride with the way the new majority had handled the “mess” in Housing & Community Development (HCD). “[The press has claimed] there has been a lot of cheating going on, a lot of really bad stuff,” he said, and reminded us that it was the current Board of Supervisors that demanded the audit that has uncovered the details. “It was this board,” Brooks stressed, “that removed the manager of that particular department (Ed Moses of HCD). It was this board that is going to turn this thing around. That’s why you elected us. We do that day by day.”

He has a point. It’s not likely (though possible) that such an audit would have taken place before the current political makeup of the board was in place, and we should have noted that in some of our recent articles and editorials on the “Affordable Housing” debacle.

Brunch Bunch Remembers Louise

Eva “Louise” Snow was born in June, 1928, to her parents, Frances (who died October 14 2006 at the age of 100), and Gordon, who spent many years in various businesses here in Santa Barbara and Montecito. Louise passed away in her home on Olive Mill Road on February 3, 2007. Until her passing, she held the prestigious title of “longest existing member” at the Montecito Country Club. She and I often ate at Little Alex’s, where we’d order tacos with and slurp from a single bowl of homemade soup, as her beloved poodle Dehlia waited patiently outside. Louise graciously included me in her Sunday brunch bunch at Xanadu, where we’d hang out for hours with friends Tony Craig, Sam Canatta, Elsie Knecht, Lori Hover, Sethma Caspers, Frances and Jim Maher, Cornelia Dickens, Patrick (from LA who escorted Louise weekly to noon Mass at OLMC, then brunch), Bob Simms, and her loyal and dedicated companion, Gerda Zamora. The stories at this table have ranged from silly to sacred, and will continue in Louise’s honor.

Louise’s greatest joys were her love and expertise in the games of tennis and golf. Her mother was a founding member of the Bakersfield Racquet Club where Louise began her love and study of the game. In 1957, she hit the road with an Australian player to tour America in a 1956 Opel Station Wagon. After two years, ten thousand miles, and a lot of re-stringing, Eva returned to the states, only to be invited by Montecito Country Club’s Pro, Brian DeMott, to become a member. The rest is history.

The highlights of her career were her two failed attempts to qualify at Wimbledon. “I didn’t qualify,” she told me, “but I sure looked good.” Louise wore a white Teddy Tingle designer tennis dress (Queen Elizabeth’s designer too). Louise and Swin Davidson of Sweden played mixed doubles, and she had a chance to play with Prince Peter of Greece at Hurlingham. She was granted a special visa by the communists to play in Poland, had an audience in Rome with Pope Pius X, and viewed the Berlin wall from the air as she flew to Germany to compete. Among the other places she traveled to play were Monte Carlo, Istanbul, India, and Afghanistan. Of all the exotic and valuable treasure she received as prizes, she was most proud of a beautiful painting of an Asian landscape she was awarded for winning the Asian Championship in Pakistan.

My fondest memory of Louise is her sweet sparkling smile looking up at me from under her signature baseball hat as I sang some of her favorite hymns at church. She is survived by her first cousins, John and Ken Davis, and extended family, who will hold a private memorial. And we, the Brunch Bunch, will hold an ongoing memorial at Xanadu every week come rain or shine. – Barbara Garner