Santa Barbara online columnist Craig Smith says he was watching the Master’s Golf Tournament on TV saw “and this year’s winner Zach Johnson get choked up as he credited Jesus for helping him win the tournament on Easter Sunday. Glad to hear that Jesus was there for him to keep the Bogeyman away. I remember when black golfers-like Charlie Sifford and Lee Elder-weren’t allowed to compete in the Masters. Seems to me like Jesus couldn’t even get onto the course at Augusta back then. Now, if he could only do something about allowing women to join Augusta National. Maybe we need to get him on the membership committee.”

On the Beat

Speaking of women, when will the first female take a Major League baseball field? I’ve competed with and against some fine women players on Santa Barbara diamonds. I figure the day will come when a woman will step into the batter’s box at Dodger Stadium or Yankee Stadium, not because she’s a woman but because she’s good enough and worked her way up through the farm league system. Will she then face the same abuse that Jackie Robinson did when he broke the color line with the Dodgers in 1947? Before that, it was just an unquestioned “normal” that blacks (and darn few Latinos) didn’t play in the majors and hadn’t during the early 1900s. Now, it’s “normal” for women not to play. Will it take another 60 years?

I pondered this while sunning myself in the mini-bleachers at Pershing Park the other day, watching the Santa Barbara City College women’s fast-pitch softball team play Los Angeles Pierce College’s players. Santa Barbara’s pitcher-though small in stature-really whipped that ball in (underarm, of course). I wouldn’t want to bat against her on my best day, years ago. My wife Sue sat beside me, a fine ballplayer in her City League days and a track standout at City College. But, alas, there was no women’s softball team at SBCC when she attended. So there is progress.

Sprint to the Phone: We were just sitting down to Easter Sunday dinner at the in-laws when the phone rang. Who could it be? One of the kids? Good news? Bad news? Sue answered. Turned out to be an Easter telemarketer, sure that on this family day people would likely be home to hear about some exciting new Sprint offer. “We’re on the no-call list,” Sue reminded the caller, possibly in a country where Easter is just another Sunday. Then she hung up and sliced the ham.

Feeling Low on Lower State: On Santa Barbara Newsroom-the website just started by former News-Press reporters who charge that they were illegally fired-Barney McManigal says lower State merchants are feeling the pinch of the current sidewalk work. It’s “slowed business, prompted layoffs, and forced some to consider closing their doors. Critics are calling on the city to speed up road improvements slated for completion in May. The massive project started in February and will replace sidewalks and streets along the 400 and 500 blocks of State Street.”

Positive Plate: License plate of the week: YNOT 4GV.

A Carol for Annette: Annette Carrel’s home at 2010 Garden Street was graced by the famed dog statue that wore a different costume for each holiday. Now, sadly for us, this gracious woman and prize-winning sculptor is moving. Sharon Waid reports that the moving van arrives this week to take Annette to a retirement community to the north. “She has meant so much to this town over the past 35 years and [has been] so generous with her home and hospitality,” Sharon said.

(Barney Brantingham can be reached at or 805-965-5205. He is a staff writer for the Santa Barbara Independent, with a print column in the Thursday print edition and online columns on Tuesdays and Fridays.)

Photo by Sue De Lapa


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