Caitlin Fitch

The Toy Van Is Back

East Beach’s infamous, toy-covered hippie van and its inventor, One Feather, are back for the summer after a two-year hiatus. The idea for the van, which he calls a metaphor for oneness, came after his divorce 20 years ago, when he decided he needed to do something new with his life. “I have been living solely off the love of this art since the new millennium,” said One Feather, who collects toys and trinkets from thrift stores and flea markets and also accepts donations for his unique work of art. He’s been parking it in Santa Barbara for folks to view for 14 of the past 20 years. “When something falls off or breaks, I just fill it up with new stuff,” he said of the van’s evolving nature. “Sometimes people bring things and I break out the hot glue gun and attach it right here.” One Feather typically spends three months out of the year at the waterfront parking lot near Stearns Wharf, chatting with folks, accepting tips, and promoting his message of love to the masses. “I love being out here, meeting the global family,” he said. “This crosses boundaries; 99.9 percent of folks just get it.”

By Caitlin Fitch

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