Archive » June 14, 2012
Santa Ynez, a place to celebrate
By SaraLloyd Truax, Staff Writer
It is early morning.
It is early morning.
Only the coffee shop is open, but the main street of the little town is already teeming with activity. Like a crescendo, Old Santa Ynez Day builds in intensity and then slowly melts back into the quiet haven the locals love – but that is still hours off.
With the sun just neatly over the tips of the mountains, happy banter punctuates the set up of numerous booths, from hand-crocheted rugs to purses made of old cowboy boots with every kind of jewelry in between.
And then the music begins. You have to love the kids – everything that was good and right about the bandstand era combined with youthful enthusiasm, polish is better saved for another day and venue. And then the parade begins, horses and children, tractors and antique cars lumber up the steep hill for the short trek through town.
Lillian Eckerman (99 years old) and little sister Genevieve Murphy (only 97) take a break from shopping to watch it pass – the carriage with the grand marshals Karen and Bosco Carricaburu, the wagon with numerous former honorees. The pulsing energy of children momentarily holds its breath as they watch and wait for candy to be chucked their way.
When the parade is through, there will be tortillas to toss, faces to be painted, trains to ride, places to bounce and a bouquet of treats to taste – of charities and good causes to support. Laughter and smiles litter the street, neighbor greeting neighbor – a sleepy high school graduate to praise.
Around the corner, the Joneses celebrate all that is good and right about music. With their yard and side yard festooned with bright red booth-seats from a restaurant darkened forever, the free concert spans the day. Memories are recorded in photos, in minds and perhaps in lyrics next year to come.
Their support of musicians in tangible, not left simply to words. Their backyard stage a stepping stone for notables one day to come, toe-tapping, beer drinking and whispered praises are hard to contain in so small a space, so large with potential.
As the sun drifts westward, as the vendors pack depleted wares, a dog walker picks up a piece of trash, then another – a community’s pride keeps the pickings slim. May it always be that way.
Down the street, the museum comes alive, tables are set, supporters are gathered. Here the community’s memories live on: recorded, preserved, shared with those here now and those another day to come.
With glasses of local wine, spaghetti lovingly made, they catch up on each other’s stories, share advice, console losses, make plans for coffee, tomorrow? This is Santa Ynez -- 50 years of celebrating concluded – but many more still to come.