The townspeople gathered online
To say goodbye, cheer and whine,
Because Tom Merkel’s cabin is now gone
And the Forest Service has a bigger lawn.
Piles of remnants of bohemian culture
Were swept away, producing strange closure
On an era many never got to know
Because it recently existed on the down low.
Once there were many more like him –
Santa Barbara was nearly all bohemian –
But here you either move up or out,
So some are cheering while others pout.
Tom no longer has hundreds of Cadillacs
Like he did when Summerland was where he made tracks,
Nor has he a cabin on a piece of Paradise,
So perhaps he won’t think of us like sugar and spice…
But at least some of us will think fondly of him
And Santa Barbara’s (once) Oldest Cabin
Wishing that Folk Art Magic Museum
Had been backed by more carpe-diem.