Jean's nephew Matt Fish , cellist and composer, and his wife, Margaret, drove up from Los Angeles to visit and help us consume $150 worth of raw fish. These are two of my favorite people, and it's always a pleasure to eat vast quantities of sushi with them.
Matt and I stayed up until midnight, monopolizing the conversation and paying shamefully little attention to Margaret and Jean. The next morning, we walked over to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.
This utterly gorgeous building was built in the 1920s in the Mission Revival Style—a hallmark of Santa Barbara.
The courthouse surrounds a grassy courtyard that appears to be a favorate locale for weddings. Two ceremonies were simultaneously in progress while we were there. Dueling weddings.
A tile mural decorated an entry passageway. Here we have the noble Ortega discovering San Francisco Bay, surrounded by some goofy-looking Indians. (Oops. Indigeneros.)
Actually, it looks to me like the Native American is showing Ortega the Bay, rather than Ortega discoveringit.
"Hey! What are you looking at? Over here, dummy! The Bay is over here! (White jerk. Stupid Wetback.)"
This is one of those embarrassing memorials that presents modern officials with a dilemma. The mural has historical value. But the subect is grossly patronizing toward the natives. What to do? Keep it or scrap it? Fortunately, this requires a decision on the part of government officials. They'll never manage to arrive at one. So perforce the mural will survive for the edification of future generations.
The courthouse interior is stunning. They just don't make 'em like this anymore.
Looking for the men's room, I ran across the bottom of the stairway that leads up the bell tower.
The device on the floor behind the columns is not a hexagram (Jewish) and not a pentagram (Satanic). It's an octagram, no doubt a symbol of some Southern California sun-worshipping cult. The eight points represent rays of sunlight, as in "Hey Dude. Let's catch some rays."
The courthouse is way too elegant to be wasted on trying scumbags and lowlifes. I say set up a tent in Goleta in front of Albertsons for trials. Use the courthouse building as a museum or a helluva B&B.
Here's three great people in front of the courthouse entrance.
I dunno about that shirt, Matt.