Michael Gonzalez, 1951-1989 | Credit: Leslie Holtzman

The Cache Valley Drifters met Michael 50 years ago when we both performed at a “Glittering Evening Of Cabaret” on Carrillo Street in Santa Barbara. It was a pop-up cabaret show produced by a local fellow. The Drifters were a musical component while Michael was an amazing mime. We made fast friends and occasionally, in the vapors of the cool vibe that lived in Santa Barbara back in the day, we’d see Michael performing around town.

Fast-forward a few years later. One day the guys and I are in Fancy Music on State Street, hanging out, which was our habit every day. All of a sudden we see Michael literally prancing up the street with another fellow painting windows with blue, yellow, and pink stripes.

We buttonholed him at the doorway, and somebody asked, “Michael, what’s going on here?”

He jubilantly exclaimed “It’s Solstice, the longest day of the year!”

The joy in his heart and soul was quite obvious, and it all makes sense now because that was the first Summer Solstice Parade in Santa Barbara.

We knew Michael was a genius, but this took the cake. Over the next few years we watched as this event blossomed into something that was unique and special in a lost-to-ages Santa Barbarian type way.

Those days are long gone, never forgotten, loved by all who lived through them. But every Solstice I think of Michael dancing up the street that day, in his pure soulmate blissful sharing mode.

If you knew him, you loved him; and now his love for us is all over town.

Michael Gonzalez, 1951-1989

Get News in Your Inbox


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.