Montecito Trust Fun Pictures presents ‘A Jacqumentary’
“Excuse me! Are you a guest of zee o’tel?”
Montecito Trust Fun Pictures is asking any locals who were asked this question — or had their bicycle heaved into the ocean at Miramar Beach — to check out “A Jacqumentary.”
“A Jacqumentary” is a documentary on the life and times of Jacques Renon — the eccentric, bicycle-riding Frenchman and self-declared security detail at Miramar Beach in the 1970s and ’80s.
BBC reporter Derrick Rakeover interviews Montecito’s inner circle and uncovers the many infamous exploits of Jacques, from chucking bikes into the water to doing handstands.
Ted Simmons, born and raised in Montecito, is a fifth-generation Santa Barbara native. His mother, Jeannie Gazner, was one of the last private, original families who owned the Miramar Hotel.
“I’m astonished that somebody actually took the time to put this together and had the old clips and commentary,” Mr. Simmons told the News-Press. “Jacques was a legend no matter how old you were, whether you grew up here and he threw you off the beach, or you were connected to the hotel in some way or a guest.”
Mr. Simmons knew Jacques as a child, and said he and his friends would surf on Miramar Beach and then have a fire later to warm up, “which was a big no-no in Jacques’ world.”
“Back then, there wasn’t a lot of enforcement. He was pretty much the self-anointed enforcer of all things on the beach,” he said.
Mr. Simmons said that most people don’t know that up until the late 1970s, the Miramar Hotel property line did go into the water.
“The Coastal Act hadn’t happened yet, and the Miramar retained ownership of all of the sand, so if you were indeed walking from the ramp on Eucalyptus Lane for example, you were technically on his property,” he said.
He added that it was a “certain rarity” for any California property to own integral water.
However, through all of Jacques’ tomfoolery and outlandish behavior, Mr. Simmons said he probably was a good man deep down.
“Outside of all his antics, my mom lived on the property, and Jacques would go by and see my mom every day to make sure she was OK,” he said. “For all his antics, I give him a lot of credit for doing that.”
Mr. Simmons said he thinks Jacques was just old and crabby at times, not to mention a group of kids who made it their goal to get under his skin. He referred to Jacques as an “easy target.”
“The fact that they could track down some of these people and have some of this footage is astonishing,” he said. “It’s nice to see some of those more colorful stories chronicled in the ‘Jacqumentary.’
“He was a complete character. Completely irreplaceable.”