I Madonnari 2017

The 2017 featured artist at the base of the mission steps.

The 2017 I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival was held this past weekend. I was a participating artist in twenty-five of these events, but between knee and shoulder replacements I have retired…or transitioned to being part of the all-important audience. Camera in hand, I joined hundreds of others at the Santa Barbara Mission mid-day Saturday to catch the early stages of this marvelous event.

The Mission Santa Barbara, home of the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival.

My Aunt Sandi was in town for the first two days. Fun to share this tradition with her. The images below were taken Saturday and Sunday of this three-day festival. There will be another post of images taken early Monday evening when the artists had completed their magic. This festival has been held for thirty-one years. Make your plans to join us next year over the Memorial Day weekend


April 29, 2017 Ballroom Dance

Gastil and Tom ready for a slow waltz

On the first anniversary of the Gastil-Buhl 70th Birthday Dance Party, we attended the recently revived, monthly City Parks & Recreation 4th (or 5th) Saturday Ballroom Dance.

These Carrillo Ballroom dances are hosted by a rotation of popular dance instructors. April’s dance was hosted by the fabulous Kookie. She lead an hour-long Samba lesson followed by two hours of social dancing.  Kookie put together a play list of recorded music for waltz, foxtrot, Viennese waltz, quickstep, rumba, cha cha, swing (Lindy and West Coast), salsa and hustle.

Tom, Crosby and Lila. Honored to be with two special youngsters.

Besides dancers, a number of Tom’s  friends came by to share birthday wishes. We enjoyed a surprise visitor from Colorado, Lila Ferguson, Crosby’s dear friend since Montessori days.

I danced a bit (waltz and foxtrot), took lots of photos and smiled often. It was a great evening. Gastil’s teacher, Vasilly Golovin (Dance Fever Studios), attended as well as a number of other instructors and high-level dancers. The floor handled all of us, from beginners (me and my kind), through intermediate level and the brilliant, experienced dancers. 

Tom and Crosby doing a slow waltz at the legendary Carrillo Ballroom.

After the dance I went to La Arcada Bistro for a pint of Guinness and a sip (or two) of Willie Quinn’s favorite (value) Irish whiskey with long-time friends Larry and Betty.

A grand evening, appropriate to celebrate the first anniversary of my 70th birthday. A gallery of images is below.