You don’t quickly forget days like Saturday. People had been preparing for weeks for this day. Gathering all the necessary tools, borrowing equipment from friends, figuring out how to best protect themselves from the elements. But more than anything we wanted to show our friends support.
With over 65 people ready to work, we all played our part shoveling mud, taking inventory, lifting furniture, removing trees, and even somehow the kitchen island made it outside. For what reason exactly, I’m still unsure, other than the UCSB Water Polo men were on a mission. It took at least ten of them to move it outside and once there, they went to town with pick axes and sledgehammers. The sight of them destroying that kitchen island was all of our thoughts and feelings about the mudslide manifested.
A wedding dress, a car key, letterman jackets, pictures, and lots and lots of games – these were just a few of the items removed from the Johnson’s house. Although most of the games were not salvageable, just their presence brought up emotions thinking of a family once playing them together in this space now filled with mud and debris.
Friends and family of the Johnson’s, UCSB Water Polo players, and members of Gravitas all came together and did their part. I was so impressed at the number of people who came to show support and so proud of this community. Thank you to everyone who was there and thanks to the Johnson’s for allowing us to help you. It was truly a day to remember.