Surf, Serious Art, Shoes, and the Susnar Property

TALENT TRILOGY: Montecitans are a talented
bunch, so when they get together, it’s hard to find a stand out in
the crowd. However, last Sunday, the multitalented Peter
had absolutely no competition for the title of
Montecito’s Renaissance Man. In front of an invitation-only crowd
of S.B.
Maritime Museum
patrons, and with wife
Dallas leading the cheering fan club, Peter
demonstrated a trilogy of considerable talents—that of musician,
artist, and writer. (But don’t take my word for it: check out this

The attending mariners sailed away to the ’60 as Peter’s awesome
guitar ode to Ricky Nelson brought former S.B.
City Councilman Rusty Fairly to his feet for some
animated impromptu be-bopping! Joining in the finger snappin’,
foot-movin’ fun were actresses Elaine Calhoun, who
played Nelson’s girlfriend in the classic Ozzie and Harriet TV series, and
Sally Todd. They were on hand to
celebrate Peter’s completion of a screenplay entitled
Checkmate: The Saga of Santa Barbara, in which they, along
with other Santa Barbara thespians, will have a role.

The Maritime Museum’s surf’s-up-themed event was the kick-off
for upcoming surfing exhibit. The show will be installed in 2007
and the announcement that Peter’s art will be on display brought
widespread audience approval. But it was the Clark’s new Butterfly
Beach home and Peter’s diverse talent that drew the loudest

You might recall the Clarks had the good fortune to live next
door to Ty Warner, who bought their old house and
tore it down to build a lake. Peter and Dallas, however, were not
left high and dry. Warner, a copious collector of Channel Drive
parcels, traded the Clarks one of his ocean-view Ty-tracks, along
with some change for decorating. (According to museum insiders, Ty
RSVP’d for the event but did not actually show.)


Dallas (pictured here with Peter and Laura Schneider) lost no
time transforming the worn “Old Miller Place,” as it was known,
into a dazzling beachfront haven. The home’s perched horizontal
design allows for ocean views from almost every room and her choice
of terra cotta colors naturally harmonize with nature’s azure
vistas and the emerald garden created by Pat
, Montecito’s talented landscape maestro. Simply
put, the gazing is utterly grand!

Adding to this delightful visual cornucopia are wall after wall
of Peter’s original art, ranging from detailed architectural
line-work to colorful canvas creations, including a hard-to-miss
abstract of a luscious reclining red-headed nude. As a young man,
Peter worked as professional commercial artist and his first book
illustration assignment was awarded “Children’s Book of the Year”
in Australia. With maturity, his art has gained ease and depth and
the caliber of mastery is notable, while his musical achievements
have carried him to performances in some of the finest concert
halls in Europe and Asia.

Singing his praises were Jean and Barry
along with Lynda Fairly (who
retired recently as SBCC’s VP of Adult Ed only to join the Girl
Scouts as CEO!). Along with nibbles from the Italian antipasto
buffet, Montecito’s favorite dish, Martha Smilgis,
was accepting accolades for taking Caltrans to task for
obliterating the oleander on the 101. Perfectly attired in an aloha
shirt, the S.B.
Chamber of Commerce
‘s leader Steve Cushman led
a spirited auction for one of Peter’s maritime paintings. With
sunset casting the golden departure beacon, but with Peter still
strumming his guitar in garden, it was definitely a slow guest-go
from this Montecito magical Sunday.

MONTECITO MEANDERINGS: It was hard to tell if
you were in NYC’s SOhO district or downtown Santa Barbara when you
entered Montecito resident Frank Goss’ new
gallery. His new facility has finally provided Santa
Barbara with a class-one, main street gallery venue.

The opening event honored steel sculptor Ken
, who has a number of installations at
Westmont College, along with Jack
and political portrait artist John Nava.
It’s the display of Mr. Nava’s floor to ceiling tapestries that
cements the notion that a lofty gallery has been missing from the
S.B. art scene and this one towers above the imagination. Looking
more Manhattan than Montecito were art connoisseurs Derek
, Linda Hatch, and Jane and
Dick Ellison
. The show continues until January 10 at 11
East Anapamu Street.

to a recent goss%20001.jpggoss%20003.jpggoss%20002.jpgNew York Times article criticizing Santa
Barbara’s shoe choices, describing our casual elegance as
“pretentiously unpretentious.” The article was entitled “Slobs at
the Top” so, curious, we took some photos at the Goss opening (see
photos below) and think Santa Barbara definitely put the right foot
forward. We’d hate to take on big dogs, but honestly NYT,
we think you put your foot in your mouth and for that we give you
the Montage boot!

…AND OF KICKING: There’s lots of kick, we
understand, in first round of bidding for the historic
Susnar property
, which closes Wednesday. Interest is high
in the East Valley/San Ysidro corner parcel that houses well-loved
Tom’s Pharmacy, says long time Montecito resident
and hotel broker Jan Atkins. (See While not the listing broker,
she is watching the transaction with interest and says she’s hoping
for a buyer who honors the architectural character so long
identified with that landmark Montecito corner. It could sell for
as high as $15 million!

CLINTON FOR ALL: In the response to some
Montage comments that the Clinton appearance should have been more
widely accessible, we are please dto report that, thanks to a UCSB
video crew and the Santa Barbara Channels, Channel 21 will be
airing the entire conversation on October 26, 27, 28, and 29. Go to for


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