From the Inside Out

After recently celebrating my tenth year as a columnist for Montecito Journal, I wanted to express my appreciation to all the people who have been featured in those columns. From Pilates to Feng Shui, I have written numerous articles about Montecito and its neighboring communities and have had a wonderful time doing it. My duties have given me an unparalleled view into what makes this town tick and the many people who wind its clock.

Ten years ago, when Jim Buckley learned I was doing research for a book project about Beauty and Fitness he asked if I wanted to write a column; in return, he would take me out “for an expensive dinner.” Well, one of those promises he made good on. Those who know him can guess the answer. He became my first editor and showed me the ins and outs of writing for him. I learned quickly that he hated superlatives (and clichés) more than socialism and still does.

I always enjoyed writing but never considered doing it as a profession. I was unsure about putting my name and reputation to a column. The paper was only a few years old and Jim was filling his writer roster with people who knew people. Some specialty, but I certainly knew people.

My column has had as many different names as my headshot has had hairdos, but Style/Lifestyle has stuck. It’s a venue for featuring local people, new and existing businesses, fashion, fitness and lifestyle trends. In other words ‘the way we live’. I have not been a casual observer of Montecito but have lived here for over 20 years. I write from the inside out. I have raised a family, attended local schools, shopped the local clothing boutiques, visited local salons and spas, eaten at local restaurants, worked out at local fitness centers, attended and supported the non-profit sector, written for local glossy publications, even the big paper on De la Guerra Plaza. But my heart belongs to the ‘Eternal Journal’ even if Jim never took me out for the expensive dinner, it has been a great 10 years. Happy and Healthy New Year to one and all.

Judy Foreman


(Founder’s note: I thought I promised you lunch, not “an expensive dinner”! In any case, it’s been great working with you over the years, even though you’ve never invited me to play a round of golf at Montecito Country Club, where I believe you are a member – J.B.)

Art Lover’s Paradise

An article and photo appeared in a competing local newspaper recently, featuring a transient from Anchorage, Alaska using Cheez Whiz on the sidewalk to entice "donations." He was described as a "self-styled artist" applying "edible art" to the concrete. In most other cities, this is called "littering."

If a follow-up story were written about this latent Van Gough, I'm sure we'd discover that he's also capable of producing one-of-a-kind abstract "urine art" and perhaps has expressed himself on political or social issues using modern "Intestinal Expulsion Art" techniques.

For a city that has paid thousands of dollars in the past for dinosaur dung statues on State Street and cornstalk street lights on Milpas, hundreds of imported street artisans from around the country might be the best answer to future low-budget "public art" projects.

Dale Lowdermilk


(Publisher’s note: You are obviously not an art lover; just what do you have against dinosaur-dung sculpture anyway? – TLB)

Cheap Shot

What a ridiculously cheap shot Anonymous takes at Mike Towbes in trying to compare Frank Sinatra to him (“Letters to the Editor” MJ # 14/51). Anonymous has neither the guts to own up to such garbage nor the intelligence to have any idea how modest Mike has been over the years; he has been one of the prime movers in generously supporting a wide range of the cultural, intellectual and commercial benefits our community enjoys.

Jack Adams


Dear "Boss"

How shortsighted and hypocritical can you be (“Letters” MJ # 14/51). There is always more than one option; part of your job as CEO is finding those options and choosing the best one for your company and your employees. Okay, go ahead and shaft your company and let employees go based on their political persuasion, rather than their overall worth to your company. You claim that your business believes it is a family, but you are only willing to tolerate opinions (i.e. political viewpoints) that mirror your own. A family accepts and enjoys the diversity of opinion of its members, knowing that the diversity is what creates the climate for innovation and change.

Here are some options that a real CEO would consider:

Why don't you spend some time evaluating job performances and tie that to employment? (Oh, this would mean that you would actually have to do some work! Perhaps that's asking too much of the head of the company.)

Ask every department to cut back 10% and base continued employment on their ability to do that. (Oh, and by the way, that means all departments, including the CEO’s salary; you know when a company has a good example to follow, it is amazing the loyalty that results!)

Ask your employees for suggestions. Find out if someone is thinking of retiring or moving because of changes in a spouse's or family situation.

Your response to the national economic crisis, in part created by your political heroes, is mean-spirited and obnoxious. I'm sure you think that you are very clever, but I can't help but feel sorry for your "family." They deserve better.