What a wonderful tribute to Santa Barbara COVID deaths in your last issue, a terrible toll that is not conveyed by just listing the number of casualties each day. Many I knew as a long-time resident. It is so important not to forget these unique lives and their many nurturing qualities. You spelled them out in a lasting memory. There were so many committed to love of this city, its past and design for the future, bringing along a long family history of migration here, and playing significant roles to the end of their lives.
In particular, I was glad to read of Kellam de Forest– a steadfast preservationist of all things worthy of saving, like the multicultural origins of El Presidio State Park, which preserves real history and stories of a mixed-racial batch of founding families and indigenous people. Like Kellam de Forest and his family, these citizens overcame several trials and challenges in our city, while preserving the quality of life and historic fabric here. They made time to preserve our town, worked selflessly on other nonprofit endeavors, and were great contributors to the livelihood of others, unnoticed.
We hope our dear friend Kellam and the others will be replaced by many survivors and descendants of past generations and current citizens who will help us remember the many stories and themes we can celebrate.
Thank you for keeping these COVID victims and their contributions visible for the rest of us!