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A tombstone gets swallowed by one of the cemetery's trees.

J'Amy Brown

A tombstone gets swallowed by one of the cemetery's trees.


Tricks, Treats, and More from the “Ghost” Village

Halloween Activities Abound in Montecito


Toil and trouble, cauldron bubble, Montage has parked the broomstick long enough to stir up some Halloween tricks and treats and a few ghosts and goblins. Faster than you can say black cat, you’d better fly to these two events, planned for Wednesday, October 31:

S.B.’S LAST STOP: David Petry wrote the book on Santa Barbara Cemetery - literally. The author of The Best Last Place: A History of Santa Barbara Cemetery, Petry has been leading tours through the cemetery this past month, with the last one set for Wednesday, October 31, at 10 a.m.

On the tour, Petry not only talks about the history of Santa Barbara cemetery, located within Montecito’s boundaries, but he also provides a comprehensive history of the changing way we treat death in America. Weed-strewn, gated, family plots, he says, have given way to large grassy memorial parks - which is no doubt why Montecito Water District slots Santa Barbara Cemetery into its “recreational” rate category.

Petry’s tour includes a visit to the cemetery’s chapel, where its designers, George Washington Smith and Lutah Maria Riggs, are interred. Above the chapel’s columbarium is a fine fresco, done in 1934, by renowned mural artist Alfredo Ramos Martinez.

Petry explores the grounds, pointing out an assemblage of interesting old markers, famous names, and tranquil manicured settings. If you miss his tour, and the spirit moves you to go it alone, the park is open from 8 a.m. to 5. p.m. Santa Barbara Cemetery is located at 901 Channel Drive. A copy of Petry’s book is available in the cemetery’s lobby.

VILLAGE POLTERGEISTS? The house moved, but we’re told it wasn’t a poltergeist! The Haunted House, a mainstay at text Coast Village Road Business Association‘s annual “Great Halloween Walk” will be moving to the Montecito Inn this year, away from it’s longtime location behind Here’s the Scoop.

By J'Amy Brown

A Coast Village Road pumpkin.

The popular costumed and kid-friendly event, which attracts about 1,500 people to “Ghost” Village Road, is planned for October 31 from 3 until 6 p.m. A costume contest will be held in the parking lot behind Here’s the Scoop, with prizes donated by the Four Seasons Biltmore.

Danny Copus, president of the Coast Village Road Business Association, says the Halloween party is intended to give kids a safe place to go on Halloween. “It has really grown by word of mouth,” said Copus. “This is a safe, well-respected event and it is a great opportunity for business to interact with the community.” Among the ghosts sure to be lurking at this event will be Charlie Chaplin, the silent screen star who built the Montecito Inn in 1928.

IS IT TRICK OR TREAT? State assemblymember Pedro Nava needed no costume to be a winner at Cold Spring School‘s annual Fall Festival. Nava was honored by the elementary school at their annual family event for his help in creating some safer student-pedestrian routes along State Highway 192. The state highway runs along side Cold Spring School. As principal Bryan McCabe presented the award from Cold Spring students, parents Tracey Willfong Singh and Don Miller gave the loudest applause.

Assemblymember Pedro Nava (in red) is congratulated by Cold Spring principal Bryan McCabe (white hat) and parents/safe school routes activists Don Miller and Tracey Willfong Singh.
Click to enlarge photo

J'Amy Brown

Assemblymember Pedro Nava (in red) is congratulated by Cold Spring principal Bryan McCabe (white hat) and parents/safe school routes activists Don Miller and Tracey Willfong Singh.

Nava then stayed at the festival long enough to watch the cake-walk, kibitz with tri-tip barbeque chefs, and see kids splash in at the dunking booth. He was particularly interested in the school’s second grade vegetable garden, where he told Montage that children like fresh broccoli as well as candy. Not that Montage would ever challenge an assemblyman’s taste, but, kids, take this Montage tip: If you are trick or treating in the Nava neighborhood, bring along some ranch dressing.

MOVING ANTIQUES ALONG: Montecito resident Dana Newquist has been elected president of the Santa Barbara Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America. Established in 1935, the AACA is the oldest antique car club in the nation and is represented in nearly every state plus some foreign countries.

Dana Newquist with his car.
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Dana Newquist with his car.

Newquist, an antique car collector on his own, tells Montage that vehicles 25 years or older are eligible to participate in club activities, although it is not necessary to own one in order to become a member. The Santa Barbara Region has dinner meetings, beginning at 6 p.m., on the last Monday evening of each month at Harry’s Restaurant in Loreto Plaza.

KID’S BOOK ARTISTS ON DISPLAY: Acclaimed children’s book artists C.F. Payne, Lisbeth Zwerger, and Gregory Manchess will show their work at Westmont University’s Reynolds Gallery in an exhibit called “Storytellers: Children’s Book Illustrators,” from November 3 through December 13. The artists will be available to sign books at the opening reception this Saturday, November 3, 2-5 p.m.

Illustrator C.F. Payne’s work from The Remarkable Farkle McBride

Payne’s poignant illustrations often grace the monthly back covers of Reader’s Digest. Viennese illustrator Zwerger has devoted her work exclusively to children’s literature for more than 25 years, along the way receiving the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for her lifetime accomplishments. Manchess has illustrated for such prestigious clients as National Geographic, Time, and Atlantic Monthly.

The Westmont Reynolds gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, contact Nicholas Price at 565-6162. For directions to campus, see westmont.edu.

Carol Burnett and John Cleese
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Carol Burnett and John Cleese

DO KISS AND TELL: On Saturday, November 10, Montecito residents Carol Burnett and John Cleese will perform A.R. Gurney‘s play Love Letters at the Lobero Theatre. Presented by Montecito’s Silverhorn Jewelers, the one-night only performance will benefit teen programs for Girls Incorporated of Greater Santa Barbara.

Ticket prices range from $125 for general admission to $1,000 for patron seats, which include a reception after the performance with the performers. For more information, call Girls Inc. at 963-4757 ext. 16 or see girlsincsb.org.

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