Throughout his life, Cas Stimsom always gravitates toward the most difficult jobs. “Frankly,” he explains with enthusiasm, “I like it that way!”
That means this year’s Old Spanish Days Fiesta is in good hands, for Cas is El Presidente. This weeklong festival is unique because it’s actually run by the board of directors rather than a hired staff. Cas joined the organization in 2005, since overseeing everything from parade marshals and mercados to El Desfile Historico and numerous other committees. Cas even met his wife Kathy during Old Spanish Days 25 years ago, which gives special meaning to this year’s theme, Fiesta Romantica.
Aqui, El Presidente 2015 responde el cuestionario de Proust. Viva la Fiesta!
What is your most marked characteristic?
I love taking an idea and turning it into a creation. The more complex the better. Last year I was fortunate to be part of a team that took an idea that resulted in the Old Spanish Days equestrian entry in the 2015 Rose Parade. Thank you Union Bank for underwriting the cost! It was a wonderful experience from concept to reality!
What do you like most about your job?
I like working with people, solving problems, and finding creative solutions. Between assembling warehouse deals in the Inland Empire, helping my wife with her dental practice, and assisting our two daughters growing up, my life is saturated with opportunities to do all three.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I don’t know — things have always been pretty busy. My life is like that carnival game, Whac-A-Mole, where the goal is to hit the mole with a mallet as many times as possible as it rapidly pops out of a series of holes on a board. The thought of perfect happiness is going to have to wait!
What is your greatest fear?
Singing in public. Don’t worry, you won’t see me on America’s Got Talent any time soon.
Who do you most admire?
My father. He has been my role model and moral guide all of my life. He is no longer with us, but when confronted with difficult choices, I think of how he would have handled a similar problem. He acted on what he thought was right no matter how difficult the decision. He never choose based on what was easiest for himself.
What is your greatest extravagance?
My wife. She is wonderful but she is also half-Italian and half-Irish. Our home life is a little like something out of an I Love Lucy episode. There is always something special happening when she is around!
What is your current state of mind?
Controlled chaos. Old Spanish Days is gearing up for Fiesta and there are a lot of moving parts. I would like to say I am cool, calm, and collected but at the moment that is more of a goal.
What is the quality you most like in people?
Honor and courage. Living up to your personal life code and having the courage to put yourself in the arena is part of what makes life worth living.
What is the quality you most dislike in people?
Lack of commitment to the truth.
What do you most value in friends?
Compassion and loyalty. It is not easy maintaining friendships in this fast-paced world. To be a good friend you have to recognize and support their life challenges.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Actually,” “technically,” and “I am sorry honey” are the current leaders.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could sing. My wife loves to sing and I know she would love do a duet.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I could read without glasses. It is so frustrating constantly taking your glasses on and off just to read a menu.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Frankly I am still working on that. I am a husband and a father first. The position is a work in progress and has many ups and downs. Just when I think I have part of it mastered something new comes along and tests my character and knowledge. It is the greatest job on earth!
Where would you most like to live?
What kind of question is this? I thought the debate had been settled long ago: Santa Barbara is the only place to be! Viva la Fiesta too!
What is your most treasured possession?
I am not very attached to material possessions although I have been told I have an unhealthy interest in older Land Rovers. My wife says she will have me committed if I purchase another one. My most treasured possession, and one I appreciate in others, is creativity and the ability to take an idea and turn it into reality.
What makes you laugh the most?
Being with friends and family has been my the cure to “the unexamined life.” Finding humor in the ordinary cuts to the soul of mankind. Being with my friends and family brings out life’s humor and makes me laugh most.
What is your motto?
“You don’t know how many breathes you have left so make the most of them!”
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
There are so many historical figures with which I wish I could identify — to do so would be an unfair reach for both parties. Frankly, I am still involved in self-discovery. By the way, there are no autobiographical book offerings at the moment.
On what occasion do you lie?
Whenever my wife asks me what I think of her shoes. Just kidding Kathy!