Einstein, wife, Dr. Ludwig Kast
Albert Einstein, right, with his wife and host Dr. Ludwig Kast on Biltmore Beach.

Noted Scientist's Curiosity Gets the Better of Him

Dr. Albert Einstein, world famous scientist, had one experience while in Santa Barbara last Sunday which he will not soon forget. He ate a ripe olive, right off the tree!

Just like an untutored tourist, Dr. Einstein, who knows so many things that no one else in the world can understand, let his curiosity get the better of him. He saw the black fruit dangling from the limbs of a gnarled tree. He seized one of the fruits and popped it into his mouth. He bit down on the purple olive and it popped out again with much more agility than it popped in.

"Phew," said Dr. Einstein, a universal expression for something distasteful. "Was gibt es?"

Eats Everything

The olive eating incident occurred while Dr. and Frau Einstein were strolling through the gardens and orchards of "Quien Sabe," the Montecito estate of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Wright. Unlike most Californians, who delight in seeing their eastern friends initiated to ripe olives right off the tree, Mr. Wright usually warns visitors against eating the tempting fruit.

But who would think of warning Professor Einstein — he who knows all about the theory of relativity! One would suppose that with all that knowledge he would be on his guard against the bitter olive.

"You always eat everything you see," chided Frau Einstein, good-naturedly.

Much interest was shown by the visitors in the cactus garden which has been developed by Mrs. Wright. The "Quien Sabe" cactus garden is one of the most famous in America.

Dr. Einstein may have forgotten the lovely gardens he saw while in Santa Barbara. He may have forgotten the rippling sea and the sauerkraut and wieners he had in the patio of the Valley Club. But he will always remember Santa Barbara for the ripe olive which made him say "phew."

—Feb. 11, 1931
Headlines : a history of Santa Barbara from the pages of its newspapers, 1855-1982 / edited by Dewey Schurman. Imprint: Santa Barbara, Calif. : Published by the News-Press Pub. Co. and distributed to the trade by Capra Press, c1982.

Einstein on the beach
Scientist Albert Einstein on a deserted beach at Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1933. Santa Barbara Historical Society.

Also see this article about Einstein at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1607298,00.html

(Unsure why one source gives the date as Feb. 11, 1931, while the other source gives a date of 1933. The pictures appear to be taken at the same time at the same place. I have searched archives of the Santa Barbara Newspress from 1931 to 1933 and have been unable to locate the original article.)

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