Day 23: Santa Barbara

Thursday, July 7

The big day of the Systemetrics reunion. Sue with Embry’s nudging and assistance is the host for this event, which is held on the Goleta Beach and includes over 50 people. Most are now retired and no one currently works for the firm, which has merged with larger firms doing health care research and computer stuff too many times to count. It was sold again this year for over two billion dollars, along with the myriad of sister companies that had been rolled up. Lots of money in health care nowadays.

What is it about these West Coast people? They tend to be cheerful, friendly and without a lot of the ego that we on the East Coast seem to have. Maybe it is the climate. In Santa Barbara there are only four questions asked about the weather: Will there be any morning fog? If there is morning fog (usually unlikely), when will it burn off? Will the afternoon highs settle in at 75 degrees as they usually do (with very low humidity of course), and will it ever rain again? The last question is the most serious since almost all of coastal California is experiencing a prolonged drought.

This crowd is especially West Coast and love their California crunchy-Granola lifestyle. Who wouldn’t?

Almost everyone has contributed something to the pot luck. I grill hotdogs. Lance has provided a couple of cases of beer. Embry, Sue and Bruce do the set up and take-down. The event which started at four p.m., winds down around 8:30,just as the sky over the Pacific is starting to turn pink. By all accounts it is a great success.

For any readers who are counting, you are probably concluding that these reunions will never end and probably are a bit worn out by reading about whom we saw when. You can breathe a bit easier because we are about to enter the next phase of the Road Trip: the National Parks. At the same time there is something special about these gatherings and reconnections and something melancholy as well because in too many instances we realize that this could be the last time we see old friends and former work colleagues. You can’t help wondering where the time went and how short life is.



3 thoughts on “Day 23: Santa Barbara

  1. Joe has over-complicated the weather questions. A look outside upon arising tells one whether it is foggy or not. If it is foggy, it will burn off by noon, and the temperature will be 75. If it is not foggy, the temperature will be 75. So the only real question is when will it rain? The answer to that is November. Reunion was indeed great.

  2. Wow, it sounds like things went well in Santa Barbara. In my youth one of my first girlfriends lived in Montecito, just to the south, and I would drive my motorcycle up from Pasadena to see her. Karen and I have spent a few nights over the years in that beautiful town and are glad your trip continues to go well.

  3. I’m always impressed by the fineness of your observations, Joe, in prose as in photography. Thanks so much to both of you for the Rosa Parks postcard we received last week from the Memphis Civil Rights Museum. I’m looking forward to reading about the national parks and to seeing any pictures you take of them.

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