They say you can’t go home again, but I found this isn’t always true. Recently we spent a few days in Santa Barbara, where I went to college. This town, with it’s palm-lined streets and backdrop of gentle foothills, hasn’t changed much at all in the many years since I lived here. The same wharf reaches into the water, and boats continue to crisscross the blue.
The trip down memory lane continued when we drove a few miles into the hills to my college, Westmont. The school was the vision of Ruth Kerr, of Kerr jars. In the 1930s, she opened her home to students and professors. Today, the elegant building is still the heart of the campus.
For me, Westmont is the jewel in the crown of beautiful Santa Barbara. I dreamed of attending here, but it’s a private school with a price tag to match. My senior year of high school, I applied but didn’t hope to make it. Then one day a letter came telling me I had a scholarship waiting for me. And here’s the mystery: The money came from an anonymous donor. I’ve never been able to say thank you to that generous person.
My years at Westmont shaped me, taught me to think analytically, and were packed with so much fun. I’m still in contact with friends I made here.
Ambling down those same paths years later, I still feel deep gratitude to the mysterious donor who made it possible for me to call Santa Barbara my home for a few golden years. I do feel like I’ve come home again.