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Posted on April 14 at 4:06 p.m.
John, the narrow frame of your comments and attitude speak for themselves.
On The Last Man in Paradise
Posted on April 14 at 12:51 p.m.
Very easy to call it junk and Merkle a freeloader. What is not so easy is to really recognize that Santa Barbara's unique bohemian history is nearly gone, having been replaced by homes for the wealthy. Is it really not worth preserving one of the last remaining examples? The Watts Towers were considered junk by many and about to be torn down before they were saved. Many other works of art and buildings were not so lucky. How many original Chumash structures were preserved around the mission? And no, they weren't all "straw huts." You won't see a single one in town. Not even a ruin. Why? Because someone thought it was all junk. But the mission itself was not touched. The conquistadors brought with them both their religion and their architecture, the latter having become fervently adopted locally and enforced as a monochromatic red-tiled-roof norm. Santa Barbara's bohemian culture was strong and a big part of the town's identity. Merkle's cabin is chock full of that identity and the vanishing local folk art of the 70s. Is it ramshackle and dilapidated? Yes. But it has a hundred years of local personality and deserves to be preserved as is. You won't see any examples of an Okie jalopy in a car museum despite the thousands that came across to California because they were considered junk and their owners considered bums and "freeloaders." It is time we look more deeply at the varied history of this town and the value of the layers that have made it what it is. Bulldozing the oldest cabin in the county is both short sighted and historically ignorant.