Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Splash

Last year at this time, I began to notice more vintage cars on the road. Now, with spring in full swing, I'm seeing these relics again. I imagine that many people with vintage cars have more than one vehicle, and in the way that spring displays its splendor (birds fluffing their feathers, flowers bursting with color), I've come to think that vintage car owners too are moved by the season.

Yesterday, I had a day chock-full of chores. To bolster myself for the tasks, I did something uncharacteristic: I began with a breakfast biscuit from Jack in the Box. From there, I stopped at Office Max and picked up printer ink, I then swung by Ace Hardware to gather bricks for a new shelf for my bookcase. After that, I drove into the heart of Santa Barbara and stopped at The Bead Store, hoping to find a small fleck of coral for the missing eye of a brass owl.

At this point, with half my chores crossed off the list, I headed uptown to tackle the second half. As I drove up Santa Barbara Street, approaching Alice Keck Park -- on this gorgeous temperate day of 74 degree weather -- I began to daydream about stopping and taking a stroll. I pulled over.

In the park, I wandered past turtles sunning themselves on the rocks and couples enjoying lunch beneath the trees. By the time I returned to my car, even though my "to do" list was still clamoring with hungry expectation, I began to wonder, "What if I take an instant vacation? What if I jump ship on my list of things to do?" And with that, I got back in my car and began to meander. I coasted along the elegant streets of the Upper East Side passing Spanish-style houses with tile roofs, two-story Victorians and stately Craftsman homes. Ultimately, I wound up at the Rose Garden on Plaza Rubio, across from the Santa Barbara Mission.

After last week's rain, the Florabundas were in full bloom. And so I stood there, gazing into a sea of roses -- and in time, what else could I do but dive in.

** I'll be back on Mother's Day, the 13th of May, and again on May 20th. Until then, my warm wishes, ~ Anitra


  1. Anitra,

    I am so taken by your eye and the camera and what you see. Seeing is only half of the process. That you can bring to us your photos that have the quality of being there.....You are an amazing person. It is always a pleasure to see your work and your words.


    1. Wrangler, hello again,

      I'm honored by your fine compliments. Thank you so much. It is obvious that you too have a unique sense of observation. I'm so glad that you have shared.

      Expressing my regards, ~ Anitra

    2. Helloooooo Aneet,

      Great shots you took(as always). I remember one of the last posts you did with regard to these collector cars,you caught your reflection in the passenger side window. I always thought that it took great creativity and imagination to think of that idea in the first place.

      With regard to that biscuit,I used to think as a kid that Jacque was a fancy french restaurant until someone finally broke the news to me that it was actually Jacque In The Box.

      It's so great that you caught those turtles sunning themselves in that pond. Did you notice any frogs as well? When I was a child, I used to love to catch frogs. One time I remember catching a few bullfrogs. My brothers and I hid them in the bathtub to only hear my Mom scream the next time she needed to use the bathroom. Each time I bring back those memories to her, she chases me with one of my drumsticks. For 82 she's still pretty quick!

      Best, Jonathan

    3. Jonathan,

      It's always fun to hear from you. Your memory is fantastic! In this series too, I took some shots with my reflection, but I didn't have the room for them on this post.

      And yes, Jacque, (somehow I think that needs an s) but of course, our renown French chef!

      The park pond is abundant with turtles, but no frogs. I too used to love to catch bullfrogs and toads when I was a kid. Your story about your mom finding them in the tub is a riot. What a shocker that would be to find them like that. My Mom would have reacted the same way as yours.

      It's good that your Mother is still spry. Hope that baseball is going well, and that life is bringing you happy surprises.

      My good wishes to you Jonathan, ~ Aneet

  2. Hi Anitra,
    What colors!
    Your visual perception is truly amazing!
    Thank you for reminding all of us of the wonderful things we take for granted each day.
    Don't know how you top each post, but somehow, you do.


    1. Terry,

      Delightful to hear from you. Thank you so much for your beautiful and inspiring words. I'm so glad you shared them.

      Sending my warm wishes your way, ~ Anitra

  3. Hello Aneet!-

    Only your beautiful photos and lyrical writing could make a day of errands seem like literally, a walk in the park. You also deliver an important message that it's important to find the small joys in our daily routines. Santa Barbara is a living kalidescope of color, and your photos and words capture its essence magnificently.

    Warm regards and best wishes as always,


    1. Joseph, hello, hello,

      It's so nice to hear from you. Thank you for your lovely words. I'm so glad that you got the message in this Santa Barbara Sketch. Being able to share these small moments and have them so clearly perceived is a delight.

      I hope that life is smiling on you Joseph. My regards, ~ Aneet

  4. So, you get a touch of spring fever, and then decide to infect the rest of us with it through your fantastic photos, and lovely thoughts???

    Thanks a million, Sister!!!

    Teasing aside, you really do capture the "wanderlust" qualities springtime often produces. Whether it's pretty metal prowling the boulevards, or pretty flowers and trees vying to catch as many eyes as possible, the beginning of the seasonal cycle is a magical time indeed - for those who can truly appreciate it, as you and all us lot in your Fanclub obviously do. I'm sure your chores that day didn't suffer all that much from taking time to Commune a bit; the dividends you reaped argue as much. I've learned the hard way to sometimes just let your Muse run rampant and unchecked. 90% of the time you wind up with results like these.

    For my money, perhaps next time you could park that nifty Buick wagon in front of the Mission, or among the roses!! Make an interesting juxtaposition, if nothing else. To be honest, that yellow Bel Air really doesn't "do the do" for me - four-doors of that vintage ALWAYS remind me of "taxicab," no matter what color they are! It IS nice that it's still on the road, though - vintage is vintage, even with a little figure-control issue or three............

    Keep this FINE groove going, Luv - it's fully in stride!!

  5. Hello Chris,

    You are in the top of your form with your spontaneous word flow. It's really fun to follow the open and creative voice of your writing.

    There are times when I hold back spouting about our Santa Barbara weather, but hey, it's springtime. We don't corner the market on that. I think it's time for you to stop and smell a few Florabundas.

    As for doing a photo including the Mission, roses and the blue classic car, it's an excellent idea, but I'll leave all the scheduling and work crews and light set-ups, as well as the headaches, to the commercial photographers. For me, the delight is in the surprise of what I simply find in my path.

    I trust your making fine music Chris, and that life is treating you kindly. Thank you so much for your encouraging words :)

    Sincerely, ~ Anitra

  6. Tinhorn wordsmith; yep, that's me!! Journalism in college before I dropped out, and all. I've had a lot of fun {and made some $$} wid da words over the years, but I try to be as blas`e about it as possible - actually helps the creative flow in many ways.

    The music is in a "revamping" phase at the moment. My drums are being reconditioned {in England!!}, and I'm slowly pulling together the fragments of what I hope will be my first album somewhere down the road a bit. Slow go at the moment, but I'm keeping busy. Y'all will know when things heat up, rest assured.

    Go ahead and brag about your weather, Luv - it's a part of the overall Santa Barbara experience, right? A casual mention now and then is as good as a gloat, y'know?

    1. Chris, hello,

      This message eluded me. I've had a few odd things happen since blogger changed its format on the 20th of last month, the same day I was scheduled to make this post. I made the post the night before. It was up and running then, but on the 20th, during the installation of the new format, it disappeared for 12 hours, and then returned again. I think this message must have also gotten lost in the shuffle.

      Anyhow, it's always good to hear from you and to receive the vitality in your words. Your journalism stint definitely comes through, but more than that, I think it's your pure voice.

      Wishing you much luck in all your endeavors. Sincerely, ~ Aneet

  7. Aneet,

    Your post reminds me...and all of treasure every moment, big or small...enjoy the beautiful sights, hear the wondrous sounds, and enjoy life for what it simply is. Daily stresses can wear us down...but if we all took a moment...just a moment today was in reading your blog :)


    1. And my moment was in reading your beautiful words. Thank you so much for your message Tom.

      Sending my warm regards, ~ Aneet

  8. Hi Aneet - loved this month's springtime blog. Nice to take an instant vacation (but i hope you got the rest of your list done eventually)

    Those are some sweet cars, but I'm waiting for the new 2013 Ford Anitra - stylish and elegant, complemented by a beautiful interior - and spunky enough to handle hillside trails and sandy beaches. :)

    happy trails!

  9. Al, hello,

    I really got a kick out of your message. Glad you enjoyed the post. And yes, I did take care of those chores (eventually). It seems they always wind up getting done. It's surprising, though, I often find that nothing too dramatic happens when I postpone a chore or two.

    The Ford Anitra, wow, (chuckle) that is disarming. You're quite inventive, and I must say, I am delighted by your charming words. Thank you.

    Lovely to hear from you Al. Sending you my regards, ~ Anitra

  10. Hi Anitra:

    I want to wish you a very Happy Mother's Day. I hope you and Erin enjoy the day together. I can't wait to see some more of your beautiful photos. I will enjoy the day with my six-year-old boy/girl twins.

    Have a great weekend!

    Marie L.

  11. Marie, hello,

    It's so nice to hear from you. Thank you for your thoughtful Mother's Day wishes. I'm delighted to hear that you have six-year-old boy/girl twins. I find that extraordinary and very special. I'm sure that you are savoring your moments with them.

    Wishing you a beautiful Mother's Day.

    My warm regards,

    ~ Aneet

  12. Hi Anitra! You caught a early to late 50's Buick Special Woodie!
    That was really the last generation of Woodies! Buicks can also generally be identified by the distinctive vents (three of four) on the quarter panel.
    The more famous Woodie qua California was the '49-'52 Ford/Mercury Two Door Woodie. See here:
    Surfers for some reason really liked that car.
    I regret to say that I do not recognize the other car you caught.
    I actually rode in a Woodie once, not dissimilar to this one.
    It was a historic tour of Nantucket, and it was in '46 Ford Woodie. Different, but fun!
    Thanks for sharing. Let me know if you catch any Mercurys or Fire Engines!

  13. Hello Joe,

    It's nice to hear from you. So glad you appreciate my Buick find. It was truly amazing to be coming around a bend on my walk, and to find that gorgeous relic in front of me.

    You are an amazing encyclopedia of information, and particularly when it comes to cars. I am a tyro -- just know when something catches my eye. The other car was an old Chevy, but it surely stood out in traffic. I was particularly drawn to its beautiful color: butter yellow.

    Your tour in a Woodie sounds like it was a memorable experience. Thanks so much for sharing Joe. I'll keep my eyes peeled for Mercurys or fire engines. You just never know.

    Meanwhile, sending you my regards, ~ Anitra

  14. Hi Aneet-On Monday, I spotted a '57 Roadmaster Convertible and was pleasantly reminded of your Buick Woodie find!
    Speaking of fire engines:
    I never saw that rig in person, but, the Maxims are a favorite of mine. I hope that you get to spot one that is still around in California! There are quite a few still active or as collectable "relics" out East.
    You would enjoy Maxims, I think.
    Take Care.

    1. Joe, hello,

      Seeing and finding these beautiful old relics is a special treat. It was educational for me to see this fire engine favorite of yours. I will keep my eyes open for for spotting interesting fire engines in the future.

      Thanks so much for sharing Joe, ~ Anitra

  15. You are welcome Anitra.
    California/The West Coast had the Crown Firecoach as their home rig, much like Maxims in New England.
    Indeed, the Crown Firecoach was seen in the first two seasons of EMERGENCY!
    Crowns were renown throughout California.
    This rig was also seen in EMERGENCY!, if memory serves...
    This one is probably my favorite Crown:
    Honolulu bought twin Crowns for their Rescue Companies.
    And another shot:
    And a few more Crowns:
    I truly hope Anitra that you have the good fortune to encounter and photograph a Crown. Engine 51 is at the LA County Fireman's Museum, if you are ever in that neck of the woods. Wagon 17 is also at the LA City Fireman's Museum, apparently.
    I also suspect that if you encounter a Crown, you will encounter other relics.
    Thanks for following along with me in this realm and welcoming my enthusiasm!

  16. Hello Joe,

    You have a great deal of patience to have forwarded all of these links. I checked out some of the fire engine photos and see the California link. I also detect a certain vintage charm. I've never been aware of a yellow fire engine before. Very interesting. As I've expressed in the past, my attraction to vintage cars is fairly new, and though I find some of them quite gorgeous and gem-like (its not only their beauty, but also that they speak of another time), I know that my interest will never match your avid enthusiasm.

    I appreciate your making me more aware of these other vintage vehicles. It is a large world to take note of and to explore.

    Thanks for enlightening me in this arena.

    My sincere good wishes, ~ Aneet