I attended UCSB and lived in Santa Barbara for twelve years. Two weeks ago, I returned with my daughter to meet many of my good friends. I wanted her to meet the people who shaped me and to learn how to create community. We visited my old school and my old church. My daughter met my old friends. It was one of my all-time favorite weekends.
I planned the trip around Sarah Fenstermaker’s farewell party. Sarah was the Women’s Studies Chair when I became UCSB’s first male Women’s Studies major. She is leaving Santa Barbara for Ann Arbor where she will direct the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender. When Sara and I first discussed my becoming a Women’s Studies major, I do not think we realized what I was giving up. I also did not realize the life-long relationships I would gain and that my own daughter would meet Sarah’s daughter. (Sarah is pictured in the gallery below. I am the person who looks surprised that to have his self-portrait taken.)
Before we arrived in Santa Barbara, we stopped at Mission San Miguel. I tried to explain mission history to Emily. I thought that I was impartial, but my daughter still decided that the missionaries were wrong. Perhaps all eight year old kids identify with the underdog. Maybe she is becoming a better educated version of her father. Emily attends a Spanish bilingual dual immersion school in Oakland Unified School District. When Emily goes to college, she might also question the lack of diversity.
Emily photographed her first bride and second mission. We met Dan who watches baseball at the park where I umpired baseball for ten years. She fed a bunny and two dogs. Emily took most of the pictures in the slideshow from number 22-30. We also listened to a choir at the Santa Barbara Mission and spent Sunday morning at Trinity Episcopal Church.
I can’t wait to return.