Day 34: Oxnard to Santa Barbara

It was an eerie stroll down memory lane for most of the day. Trying to remember what was where in my old hometown of Ventura. So much has changed in 28 years! I went by the house that I grew up in and it was very derelict and depressing. I even checked out a couple of my old schools. I had no memory that my elementary school was Streamline Moderne:

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or that my high school (Buena High) had Mid-Century details:

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Inside that auditorium was a cosmic lamp fixture that must’ve been there when I was there. Of course, we only ever entered from the side and I probably never even saw the building’s legs or this thing:

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I do remember the “Orange Peel” (not sure if it’s still called that) — I guess named for its abstract shape in back. This is where they did big school announcements and the stage from which we graduated. It’s in the center of the school on a big patch of grass on the “Quad” (although I never really saw what was so quad about it). The Peel wasn’t painted these bright colors back then.

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Ventura also has this mid-century library which I spent a lot of time in during my youth. The photo doesn’t show it well but there are freestanding letters in front. The color was a lighter blue back then. I’m glad they haven’t messed with the facade.

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Perhaps the oldest business in town (1900s?) was Peirano’s, across the street from the Mission on Main Street. It was still a market when I left in 1980 but, alas, is a restaurant now. I just wish they had kept their name off the original brick glass. Main Street is still an interesting mix of new businesses and thrift stores.

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In addition to the Ventura stuff, I went way out of the way to see Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village — a place I had always wanted to see and heard a lot about growing up. It has nearly been destroyed a few times and is truly a special place that deserves some true funding and restoration. Among the bottle houses, pathways and other interesting stuff were these pretty plants, succulents known as “hen and chicks”:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hens_and_chicks

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By the time I got to Santa Barbara, it was already getting dark but I think I managed to get the shots I need so I can move further northward tomorrow. In contrast to all the wealth and beauty of Santa Barbara was this “double decker” bus that sure appears to be from a different era:

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4 thoughts on “Day 34: Oxnard to Santa Barbara

  1. It was so odd. I should have investigated further. No movie crew around so it seemed legit.

  2. I came across your photos on Flickr… I graduated from Buena in 2003 and as far as I know, it’s still called the Orange Peel. I’m not sure when the tradition began, but while I was a student (and apparently since) the senior class has painted the Orange Peel. I don’t remember if it was already happening before I was a student or if it began while I was there. It all blurs together now.

  3. I’m glad to know they still call it the Orange Peel! I don’t remember them painting it when I was there (graduated 1976).

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