Thanksgiving 2008: Here Follow Some Thoughts on the Burning of Westmont

The call from our son Daniel–late afternoon on Thursday, about 6:30–was calm, reassuring. He anticipated that we would soon hear about the fires scorching the hilltop chaparral of Montecito and was eager to report his shelter in the cinder-block gymnasium. The danger, at least then, seemed remote: we talked of homework and soccer matches. Much of our comfort came from memory. From my own college days at UC Santa Barbara, I recalled that Westmont’s gym was a haven of choice for Montecito evacuees whenever the flames began streaking down the canyons. Those brushfires–the worst in Santa Barbara until now–spared Westmont of all but modest scarring. more

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