Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yes, He's Quite A Guy

First of all, let me answer the question that I know is first and foremost on your mind. No, I didn't get my luggage back.

United took my carry-on bag from me at the door of the plane at LAX. That's the last I, or anybody else for that matter, has ever seen of it. For all I know, it's orbiting the Earth on the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

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Monday night, our last evening in New York City, my daughter and I saw a show, The Fantasticks, now in it's 50th season on Broadway. That meant a visit to Times Square, which has become the Big Apple's version of Disneyland. As crowded as it was on 42nd Street and Broadway, on Wednesday evening I found a place in Santa Barbara that was even more crowded; Michael Towbes 80th birthday celebration at Fess Parker's Double Tree Resort where around 700 guests showed up to fĂȘte the philanthropist, developer and founder of Montecito Bank and Trust.

The Scene at Michael Towbes 80th Birthday Celebration on Twitpic

It seemed as though everyone in town was there. The centerpiece of each table was adorned with flowers and photos of Towbes in his younger days.

Here's one of the photos that was on the table where I sat.

(Gee, Mike kinda looks like one of the guys from Mad Men.)

Later on in the evening, I snapped a photo of Towbes on the dance floor as the band played "YMCA."

No oxygen needed for this octogenarian.

During one of the musical numbers the accompanist was Gil Rosas, who I haven't seen tickling the ivories anywhere since his days at the piano bar at the old Olive Mill Bistro.

The party was a benefit for The Granada Center for the Performing Arts and all funds raised were matched dollar-for-dollar by Towbes and his wife Anne.

Towards the end of the formal program, taped video tributes to Towbes from friends and colleagues were shown on the two large video screens that flanked either side of the stage. We learned that Anne made the first move when she asked Mike out to lunch five years ago.

And in her video tribute, philanthropist Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree noted, "I can't wait for next year and I hope it won't be as expensive."

I guess I wasn't the only attendee at the party who can squeeze a nickel until the Indian sits on top of the buffalo.

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No disrespect to mayoral candidates Bob Hansen or Justin Mike, but how do they merit their pictures on the front page of Tuesday's News-Press, when Helene Schnieder's announcement of candidacy wasn't even covered?

After burying his initial announcement on the back page. it was nice to see that the News-Press had a front page story Monday, on Das Williams announcement that he is running for State Assembly.

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Is UCSB the only college campus with a skateboard lane?

Is the Daily Nexus the only college newspaper which reports the size of the ocean swell in its weather box adjacent to the masthead?
© 2009 by Craig Smith and