Calla Jones Corner
Montecito has been much in the news lately. That’s thanks to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the myriad of Los Angelenos who are fleeing to their weekend estates here, or buying up any and all that have come onto the market to live here year-round, at asking price or 20% above.
Nancy Kogevinas, a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway’s Luxury Collection, told me, “It’s a stampede to safety.”
I live on the other side of Montecito; the side closer to Santa Barbara. If I drive down Alameda Padre Serra, I’ll be at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse in five minutes.
The Courthouse Sunken Gardens is where 3,000 BLM and Antifa supporters gathered in June 2020 to “peacefully” protest the murder of George Floyd. That was, until they marched two blocks down the street to the police station and demanded that Police Chief Lori Luhnow and her force take a knee for George Floyd. She refused as did her policemen, who formed a blue line to protect the police station.
The police chief resigned last December and, as the New Press wrote a few weeks ago, the department is having a challenge filling all the posts left by force members who have taken early retirement or just resigned. I think it was Gilbert and Sullivan who wrote, “A policeman’s life is not a happy one.” We citizens should be singing the old refrain loud and clearly!
Our Montecito neighborhood of quiet, single-family homes doesn’t have estates. The loudest noise ever heard here was the horrendous rush of 12 feet of mud at 3 a.m. Jan. 9, 2018. Even though untouched by that historic event, my neighborhood has changed since June 2020.
Residents, who would never have advertised that they were Republicans by flying the flag in this Democrat stronghold for fear of being canceled by left-wing sympathizers, are now flying American flags year-round. One neighbor went and bought a bigger flag. “If you haven’t been canceled here, you haven’t lived,” she recently told me.
Many residents find that their only way to fight against the insanity of wokeism, cancel culture, Critical Race Theory and the Biden/Harris administration is to fly the flag every day.
Gov. Gavin Newsom might be recalled Sept. 14, but another progressive with outlandish and dangerous ideas will most probably take his place.
Many residents like us always flew our flags for patriotic or uniquely American holidays and then put them back in the garage. This year we, like many other neighbors, have kept our flags flying after the past July Fourth.
When Democrats won last November, some retired couples like us thought the only way to survive this political earthquake and the Biden/Harris insanity was to fly the flag continually.
More taxes, regulations, inept and moronic bureaucrats, a nanny state and possible violence coming to our once safe neighborhood, is just what we don’t need. With $5 a gallon of gas in sight and alerts from Edison that we probably will experience power outages as summer temperatures and risk of wildfires increase, many residents like us live in fear.
Last Fall after the election, one neighbor, with whom I often exchange a wave as he runs up Old Glory on his flag pole every morning when I do my 35-minute neighborhood walk, asked me if I’d noticed he’d flown the flag upside down by mistake the previous day I hadn’t.
He hadn’t noticed either until he went to take it down that evening. “Wow, isn’t that a statement of where this country is now?,” he said with a chuckle. I smiled at the irony.
Normally, I should expect to still see lots of Biden/Harris stickers on bumpers during my walk, some pasted on the other side of the Bernie, Warren and Obama oldies. Now I rarely see any.
I’m wondering if many neighborhood Democrats are silently having buyers’ remorse as they remove the stickers at night, realizing that being woke isn’t all that California progressives thought it would be.
Last month six police cars were summoned to our neighborhood when a group of illegal immigrants were discovered in an empty house. A few weeks later a house down the road was broken into. One fellow walker says she hears gang gun shots down the hill from time to time. Santa Barbara has 1,000 gang members in, at least, 13 gangs. In late June a homeless man (the city has 2,100 homeless, up 100% from 2020) was discovered sleeping in a neighbor’s carport.
Perhaps these flag-flying Democrats also imagine that if the supporters of the June 2020 BLM protest try a repeat performance this summer, they could even march up APS, into our neighborhood, demanding we turn over our houses to them as reparations. The mob would care less that most of the neighborhood leans left. It’s too far for the mob to reach the estates on the other side of Montecito.
In a way, our neighborhood is a front line if we had a flotilla of bipartisan flags flying. Then we had to hope there are enough police to come if called.
The best arguments for all Americans to fly the flag year ’round came two weekends ago.
On Saturday, a video on social media of a young boy (maybe 5?) riding his scooter in an attractive, middle-class neighborhood and yanking a small American flag from the ground and tossing it on the road. An accompanying bike-riding adult didn’t blink an eye. What school teacher and or parents have already indoctrinated him?
Then on Sunday came the video of tens of thousands of Cubans protesting in 45 Cuban cities against 62 years of disastrous communist rule. Many peaceful protesters were flying American flags alongside the Cuban flag. What better reason does America have for not going down the Democrats’ radical road to socialism and communism than to see this island, 90 miles from our shores, waving flags for freedom?
Perhaps all Americans should be flying their flags year-round until this socialist, communist madness stops.
The author lives in Montecito.