Saturday, October 24, 2015

Santa Barbara

By Fred Owens
Everybody likes Santa Barbara. They come here to visit and they say, "We had such a good time. It's so beautiful."
You should come to Santa Barbara this winter. You can pick oranges and persimmons off the tree. And we have really good strawberries too.
Santa Barbara has plenty of problems too. Of course it does -- this is planet Earth after all --- but it's so nice in Santa Barbara that I can't work up the energy to complain. When I lived in LaConner all I did was complain. Go around town and complain. Nothing was ever like I wished it to be. Then finally, after way too many years, I came down here for the sunshine and the waves and the beaches and the mild winters and there's nothing to complain about.
Houston, Texas.  Let me see if this makes sense to you. The first time I went to Texas was in 1967. We were hitchhiking through and we stayed over with friends at Rice University in Houston.
Just by coincidence, these same friends had invited Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters to come for the weekend. Kesey and his pals were on some cross-country journey to anywhere and back again. I mean, you didn't ask dumb question like "Where ya going next?"
Kesey invited us on the bus and we rode around town for a few hours and then they went on their merry way.
Now, here's the point -- Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters were the first people I met when I got to Texas. That was my first impression. Cool people. Nice place. So I Iiked it there.
It is true -- all the bad stuff you ever heard about Texas, completely true. But I never had any truck with those idiots so I always enjoyed myself when I was down there. I am on the track of Lyle Lovett,Willie Nelson and Armadillo World Headquarters.
However, I will not even attempt to persuade other people to change their opinion about the Lone Star State -- hate it, by all means, never go there, whatever. It's a free country.
Chicago. I grew up in Chicago, on the North Shore, near the lake. That's Cubs country. Being a young boy growing up I watched the Cubs lose year after year after year. It was a blot on my youth. Last place. Every year, last place. Losers. Nice guys, but losers. I hate the Cubs. That's why I live in California. The Dodgers are winners. I saw the Dodgers on TV in 1955 when I was nine. They beat the Yankees in seven games. I saw Johnny Podres pitch to Roy Campanella. I saw Sandy Amoros make that catch.

I was nine. I didn't want to be a loser like the Cubs. Sure, you're supposed to play fair and make your best effort and all that, but every once in a while it just feels good to win. Coach, can't we ever win? I didn't like Chicago after that. I liked the Dodgers better -- sometimes they win.I'll never go back to Chicago.
Serve the People. My friend Brian Cladoosby is chairman of the Swinomish tribal community  -- that's the reservation next to LaConner where I used to live.
I know Brian and his home and his family and his neighbors. He's doing all right. I call him The Chair. We have talked a few times in his office. He lives next door to my good friends Pat and Kevin Paul.
Way to go, Brian. Cool hat! Serve the people!
I only Work for Nice People. My Craigs list ad wasn't working. It said, "Experienced gardener, expert pruner, all around energetic worker, local references, reasonable rates, etc...." But my Craigs list ad wasn't getting me any new customers. My ad was no different than a hundred other guys. So I changed the headline to, "I only Work for Nice People."  It works. Now people call me and ask me to come work for them.
But it's true. I only work for nice people.

Frog Hospital Subscription Drive.   Your contribution of $25 is greatly appreciated. The Frog Hospital newsletter has been cruising down the Internet for 16 years now. I have tried to kill this newsletter several times – tried to stomp it out like the ember from an old campfire, or dig it up like a pestiferous weed, but it won’t die – Frog Hospital just keeps on going.
So please send a check. Your contribution keeps me from getting cranky. It helps me to maintain a detached attitude. Let’s keep it going….

Go to the Frog Hospital blog and hit the PayPal button for $25,
Send a check for $25 to
Fred Owens
1105 Veronica Springs RD
Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

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