Marjorie Elkin Continues to Find Inspiration in Santa Barbara and Vista del Monte

Marjorie Elkin has been part of the Santa Barbara community for decades. She was born here in 1933 and graduated high school in 1950. She enjoys the fantastic Mediterranean climate, breathtaking scenery, glorious flora, wide, palm-fringed beaches and the storied history of the community dubbed the “American Riviera.”

“You could say Santa Barbara is part of my DNA,” Marjorie said with a laugh. “Why would I want to live anywhere else?”

But Marjorie’s roots in California go back even further – seven generations further. She is the direct descendant of Luis Quintero, one of the original founders of the City of Los Angeles on September 4, 1781, then known as El Pueblo de Los Angeles. Her descendants moved to Santa Barbara in 1783. Given her historic past, it’s no wonder Marjorie chose to stay in Santa Barbara when selecting a senior living community.

“When I broke my leg on vacation in India, that was a significant moment in my life,” Marjorie said. “I started to think about my future. My kids took care of me when I had the broken leg but I did not want them to have to take care of me forever.”

Fortunately, around that time, Marjorie was a volunteer at Vista del Monte’s renowned Fitness and Aquatic Center, where she also enjoyed jazzercise classes. She did her due diligence and checked out other communities but they did not feel like home.

“I knew deep down Vista was the right place,” she said. “The other places I looked at were large and impersonal. Here, the community is intimate and inspirational.”

One of Marjorie’s desires was to live in a place where she could continue her active lifestyle, not only at Vista but in the greater community. Every August, she enjoys attending Old Spanish Days Fiesta, a citywide celebration of its heritage and attends mass at her long-time church nearby.

She is a theater buff and attends plays at numerous venues in the area. In fact, for 30 years, Marjorie was a volunteer usher at the Granada, Garvin, Arlington and the Lobero, the oldest continuously operating theater in California and the fourth oldest performing arts theater in the country. “During that time, I crossed paths with Desmond Tutu, Joe Biden and when the Russian Ballet performed here, Mikhail Baryshnikov.”

At Vista, Marjorie enjoys water volleyball, Pilates, meditation, Rummikub and doesn’t miss the Friday night happy hour each week. She also reads a book a week while enjoying quiet times. She was thrilled in 2015 when King Felipe the VI of Spain visited Santa Barbara to meet with Spanish decedents. “I actually shook hands with the King!” Marjorie said. “That was exciting.”

“I love having choices here at Vista,” she said. “I can be as busy as I would like to be. I pick the things I like and I do them in a community I love.”