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Posted on November 19 at 9:40 p.m.
Recently I was watching Ken Burn's documentary on the Dust Bowl and was reminded of the time I returned to Santa Barbara after serving in the Navy during the 1970s. I was homeless, under-educated and poor, living in my VW bus and sleeping in the harbor parking lots at night. I was regularly chased out or ticketed in the dead of night by Santa Barbara's finest. When I answered to the crime of not having a home in Judge Lodge's court, he showed leniency and compassion to me. I've always had a feeling since that experience that some people in places of authority were there because they were good people and believed in the common good in our society. I eventually found employment, graduated from UCSB and now work in a profession I love. I never forget this chapter in my life and am thankful that Santa Barbara was home to such a man and so many like him.
On Joseph Lodge Superior Court Judge