NO PEEKING: It’s been a while since I let loose with one of my Santa Barbara Kulture Kwizzes. Here goes. (Don’t you dare peek at the answers.)


1. Who or what was Glen Annie?

2. Who was the last Santa Barbara mayor to be (almost) recalled?

3. Which brother campaigned in Santa Barbara: John, Bobby, or Ted Kennedy?

4. Did Julia Child ever blog?

5. How many children did Pearl Chase have and was she ever divorced?

6. Did Frank Lloyd Wright ever design a home here? If so, where?

7. There’s a report that a Japanese sub shelled Goleta in 1942. Is that true?

8. Where was the annual W.C. Fields Festival held? (Hint: The Bank Dick movie.)

9. Is UC Santa Barbara inside city limits? What about the Santa Barbara Airport? Santa Barbara Cemetery?

10. Who was “The King of San Miguel Island”?

11. What group founded Summerland?

12. The City of Santa Barbara elects city councilmembers at-large. Did it ever have a ward or district system? If so, when did it end?

13. Which political party has a majority registration in the city of Santa Barbara?

14. Is New Cuyama in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, or Ventura County?

15. Is Goleta a legal municipality or just a village? What about Montecito?

16. Was Ventura County once part of Santa Barbara County? Was the City of Ventura the county seat for both counties?


1. Col. W.W. Hollister and his wife, Annie, lived on their Glen Annie Ranch in Goleta until his death in 1886. But there was a flaw in the title, and the courts ordered her out. The day the embittered woman moved out, a mysterious fire destroyed the mansion.

2. At 12:05 a.m. on June 1, 1935, newly elected mayor E.O. Hanson arrived at City Hall vowing to “clean it out.” He abruptly fired the police chief and virtually every department head. Hanson survived an April Fools’ Day recall election in 1936. But after warring with Superior Court judges and facing contempt action and jail, he resigned December 10, 1936.

3. Bobby Kennedy came to town on May 26, 1968, speaking to about 4,000 people in the Courthouse Sunken Gardens. I was there with my kids. A few days later, Kennedy was dead, shot to death in Los Angeles.

4. No, Julia Child did not blog, although I heard someone at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference say so. She might have been thinking of the Julie character in the film Julie & Julia.

5. Pearl Chase, that indefatigable champion of civic goodness, never married or had children.

6. Yes, Frank Lloyd Wright did design a home here: a low-profile, unusual one in Montecito, where a famed writer lives. But I’m not giving away the address.

7. On February 23, 1942, just weeks after the Pearl Harbor attack, Japanese submarine I-17 surfaced off Ellwood and pumped shells from its deck gun at the oil storage tanks there. No major damage resulted.

8. The W.C. Fields Festival was held for a few years in Lompoc, location for The Bank Dick. The third (and last) festival was held in 1989, but then money problems hit like a gin hangover.

9. Despite its name, UCSB is outside Santa Barbara city limits. So is the Santa Barbara Cemetery. But the airport, due to a tricky seaward annex maneuver, is within the town’s legal borders.

10. For more than a decade, lasting into World War II, Herbert Lester (aka “The King of San Miguel Island”) and his wife, Elizabeth, lived a Swiss Family Robinson life with their two young daughters on this wind-swept island. But one day in 1942, he cut off two fingers while chopping wood. His eyesight was failing, and, as a rugged individualist, he couldn’t face becoming a burden. He shot himself and was buried there, wrapped in a U.S. flag.

11. Burly, bearded H. L. Williams arrived in the 1880s, bought 1,000 acres, and cut 150 of them into lots as a colony for fellow Spiritualists. Within a year, about 300 people lived in what passersby dubbed “Spookville.”

12. Back in the 1960s, the City of Santa Barbara revised its charter to go from the ward or district system of electing councilmembers to at-large. It was felt that ward councilmembers were not focused on the city as a whole.

13. Although some outsiders still think of Santa Barbara as a bastion of Republicanism, the Democrats are in the majority.

14. The small community of New Cuyama is in Santa Barbara County, up there in the roof of the county, on Highway 166.

15. Goleta is an official, legal-like city. Montecito remains unincorporated, despite several failed attempts at cityhood.

16. Santa Barbara County once included Ventura. The county split during the late 1800s because travel to the county seat—Santa Barbara, then as now—from Ventura was so difficult in those days.

SOLID GOLD: While thoroughly enjoying the Santa Barbara City College Theatre Group’s amusing production of The Solid Gold Cadillac, which dates back to 1953, I couldn’t help but flash on our current not-so-amusing spectacle of banksters and their depredations. One difference: In the play, the banksters get their comeuppance. (Through July 23.)


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