(If you have something you think Montecito should know about, or wish to respond to something you read in the Journal, we want to hear from you. Please send all such correspondence to: Montecito Journal, Letters to the Editor, 1122 Coast Village Circle, Montecito, CA. 93108. You can also FAX such mail to: (805) 969-6654, or E-mail to tim@montecitojournal.net)

Killum Keck

Your recent article regarding the settlement of the estate of Alice Keck was very interesting, entertaining and informative.

It also brought back to me some very unfavorable memories that were reawakened.

Working in and around the oilfields in California from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, I was reminded of the terrible safety record of the Superior Oil Co., the fount of wealth of the Kecks.

As a roughneck on Superior Oil Co. drilling rigs and roustabout on properties and later on a Petroleum Safety Engineer, I have vivid memories of almost non-existent safety practices of the company.

During the time I was in the oilfields, it was the norm that an employee was seriously injured or killed every week somewhere in the world in Superior Oil Co. operations.

This led to the designation of Superior Oil as the “Killum Keck” Company.

So, next time you enjoy Alice Keck Park’s Garden, give a moment’s remembrance to those who made it possible to create such a wonderful asset to our community.


Byron M. Ishkanian


Inappropriate Comments

I agree with Jeffrey Johnson's view that your opinionated comments following letters are inappropriate. It reminds me of a "spoiled little kid" who always has to have the last word.

B Gallisath

Submitted via montecitojournal.net

(Publisher’s Note: Readers, help me out! I know many enjoy these comments; if you do, please write in support to tim@montecitojournal.net or respond via our website at montecitojournal.net. Thank you – TLB)

Community Isolation

We are driving the poor and those in need of accessible housing from our shore. If you are reading this and thinking that "those people" should have planned better and put away more money for emergencies. That is not the way the world works for many.

The more that a community attempts to isolate themselves from the changes outside their gates, the more they imprison themselves. Editorials in this paper would have us all believing that everyone in Montecito agrees with their views. I don't think so. The non-profit sector is not out there having just parties. They are creating a world based on ideals.

Watch the words that the media uses to help you think about the housing crisis. High-density. Low-income. People from somewhere else coming here to take from us. Undeserving masses who want something for nothing. Stealing tax dollars. Fear development. Fear.

Fair Housing says all Americans deserve the opportunity to live in safe decent housing where they choose. Communities are not responsible to give away "free housing" to them all. But you can’t refuse to build housing based on need without looking bad.

A large segment of the population will soon be existing on a Social Security income. Many will not be able to survive the market-driven economy favored by some others. Let them all go someplace else will not help any more than "let them eat cake" realities. I am dealing with them and so are we all. It is time for philosophers to create viable alternatives.


Karen Friedman


(Publisher’s Note: Why would calling mandated affordable housing “high-density low-income housing” be deceptive in any way? That is what they are. Most of these housing projects are high-density and certainly are meant for people who cannot afford to live here, hence the use of the term “low income.” Insensitive as it may be, we believe in a free market, and if the housing market were left to its own devices there would be many more homes available that people could afford; removing nearly 20% of those living units from the free market and designating them “affordable housing” is the cause of much of your concern. – TLB)

The Third Age

I was so pleased to see that my "Letter to the Editor" request was answered regarding Dr. Peter Brill's column for retirees (The Third Age). Dr. Brill's explanation of "What Brings Happiness" (montecitojournal.net/archive/13/8/795/) for those of us in "The Third Age" was “right on.” He reminds us that research has shown the "sensation of pleasure usually ceases soon after the stimulus to our senses ends." I would agree that I enjoy my workouts at the YMCA, riding my friend's horse, and traveling. However, Dr. Brill also reminds us that "happiness also requires the addition of gratification: using our unique virtues and strengths for creative purposes and the good of others." Since my retirement from teaching, I have been working part-time at Monroe School. The pay is pitiful but the gratification I receive from helping the children learn to read and speak English and the joy that they show for learning makes my life in "The Third Age" full of happiness. I hope Dr. Brill will continue to share his wisdom with us via the Journal.

Leslie White


(Publisher’s note: We fully expect that he will! – TLB)

Rocky Mountain Oysters

In reference to the interview with Montecito Butcher Tony Perocco (montecitojournal.net/archive/13/7/766/), what the heck is a rocky mountain oyster?

Please, just sign me,

A Village Grocery Regular

(Publisher’s Note: Well sir or madam, rocky mountain oysters, also known as prairie oysters, Montana tendergroin, cowboy caviar, and other equally vague terms, are calf testicles. Placid steer mindlessly chewing the short grass on Western plains wouldn’t be so peaceful had they not been “de-desticled” at a young age. Many bars serve these delicacies breaded and deep-fried as a delightful snack to accompany a cold brew. Local watering holes sometimes challenge customers to prove their manliness by downing a few of these crunchy morsels. They’re not so bad dipped in ranch dressing, however, I would not recommend them with wine, though a good strong Port might work. – TLB)