After 62 years, the Montecito campus will close its doors at the end of June. I received an email announcement yesterday and felt nostalgic last night.
The drive was always beautiful from Alameda Padre Sierra to Alston Road. I remember the clear blue sky, seeing the ocean at a distance and feeling the warmth of the sun as I shuttled between campuses on my gray hatchback Tercel.
I was there first thing in the morning to print my assignments in the darkroom. The place was always quiet and peaceful. The mounting room was relatively empty. I could spread out and work without intrusion.
I loved sitting on the benches at the back of the campus to enjoy the vista. Once, while I was in my instructor's office, we saw a deer trotting across the lawn. It sounds like a dream as I write it now but I know it happened. We both witnessed it.
The campus had charm and character. It was an estate built in the 1920's. Occasionally, I would drive up to the main entrance and circle the rotunda to admire the facade. Even after graduation, I make it a point to do this when I am in town.
I had fond memories there.
It is sad to know that the gates will permanently close the next time I am in Santa Barbara.