Apex point - © Robert Sommers 2024

Monday, February 27, 2023

Santa Barbara Show

I am back from my Santa Barbara show, exhausted after two shows in two weeks with one day in between to restock the van. Got home around eleven last night.

The show was a little better than decent but not what I had hoped for. A few good sales but a lot of people taking me to the altar and then leaving me there. "Let me go home and measure" and then you don't even get a call back saying we've decided against it, you just never hear from them again. People are not very accountable, let alone considerate, these days.

Setup started Wednesday, took me two days to get it together. The nearby mountains were covered in snow, a rarity, and the beautiful city was even more so.

It rained all day friday but it was my best day selling. 

Then it trickled down to a fizzle.

Had some interesting characters in and around the booth. 

While Heidi Klum came to Palm Springs, Gwyneth Paltrow came to this one. 

Friends sold to her, not sure she even came into my booth.

This dentally deficient chap had some sort of mushroom fixation but he was a nice enough fellow.

Rather than start from scratch, I stuck my boxes from the Old West show in Mesa in with the modern stuff from Palm Springs Modernism and tried a new look.

Sold and got way more reaction from the modern than I thought I would.

Lots of money at the show. But the rich can be quite curious. 

Bill had a couple of eastern europeans in his booth going through his five dollar jewelry box.

They picked out five pieces and he gave them a five dollar discount.

But they asked for even more.

He went outside and saw them getting into their Bentley.


I drove over to the Mission Saturday morning and took pics with my cell phone and camera. I met a priest on the lawn, coffee cup in hand, who had been recently transferred down from San Francisco. 

He was a nice guy, from Austin originally. 

Very animated.

He let me take a few shots. My favorite palm, the jubea, to the right of the priest.

I stayed at the Motel 6 South in Carpenteria. It is definitely a step up from North. I went out to dinner with Lennie and Alyssa Friday at the Tee Off, an old warhorse bar/steakhouse that serves a very stiff drink.

We ordered the Big Bertha tomahawk and a porkchop, it was incredible. 

Nobody leaves hungry from the Tee Off, believe me. Hammered, yes. Hungry, no.

I somehow got back to my motel and the smoke alarm was going off. 

I called the front desk and they sent a guy up who spoke no english and didn't seem to understand my spanish too well, either. 

He unscrewed the cap and a torrent of water poured out. 

I told him that electric and water was not a safe combination and not to hook it back up but he did anyway, pretending not to understand me.

Oh well.

Bare bones place, no kleenex, no coffee, no shampoo, no hand towels, no drawers, nothing.

Spartans stay at this motel and complain that it is too rugged. 

But it will do. I marshaled on.

I ate at Esau's with Bill practically every morning, our favorite surf coffee shop in Carpenteria. 

Very healthy fare, as you can see.

I ate at Zookers one night and Lao Thai the next, by my self. Both really good.

Seafood pasta and chocolate almond bread pudding at Zookers. Great food but a too familiar wait staff that insisted on calling me bub or bro.

Prik king and mango sticky rice at Lao Thai.

I drove up past the botanic garden Sunday but couldn't find a good spot to stop to get pics and finally gave up.

Looked at the ocean a time or two.

But mostly just worked.

Such a beautiful place, no wonder all the super wealthy folks want to live there.

I had a lot of interest in the work. Who knows, I might even get a call back one day...

Took me three hours to pack out last night.

I was really tired and it took me well over four hours to drive back home. 

At one point I moved my camera case and in horror, watched as it tumbled three feet out onto the cab floor. 

Thought I had just destroyed a six thousand dollar combo of camera and lens but I am cautiously optimistic that things will be okay.

I unloaded boxes today, will pay bills tomorrow and then start the next cycle of thrills. Going home now to sleep it off.



RB said...

So beautiful Santa Barbara! Thanks for the photos... we lived in Montecito for 19 years. Do love Sonoma and San Francisco now.
Robert B.

Blue Heron said...

I absolutely love the composition of your photo of Santa Barbara Mission with the priest on the lawn. That photo is so unique in that it captures an incredible dichotomy of environs.
With the aged and stately mission a study in texture, the image boasts desert succulents as well as tropical palms - all in one frame depicting our eclectic California.
And above these already conflicting climate indicators, you add in the gorgeous, snow-capped mountains which provide a magical backdrop that can't help but make viewers wonder, "Is this photo for real?"
You did it, Rob. This is a legendary keeper. Kudos!