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Santa Barbara Carriage and Western Art Museum

129 Castillo Street

Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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A Western Party Celebrating the Life of John R. Barletta

John Barletta's life will be celebrated with family, friends, and colleagues at a public memorial held at the Santa Barbara Carriage and Western Art Museum in downtown Santa Barbara on Friday, August 31st at 5 pm.

Food and drink will be provided, and the evening will include a short program and slideshow.

All ages welcome; dress is casual western.

RSVP is requested.




John Barletta lived a life distinguished by service to his country. Born in Somerville, Massachusetts, to Walter and Victoria Barletta, John first served his country as a member of the United States Army 1st Cavalry Division, answering the call of duty in Vietnam.

When he returned from Vietnam, John was again ready to answer the call of duty. He considered following in his father’s footsteps as a Somerville police officer, but in 1974, he was offered the opportunity to join the United States Secret Service as a special agent. John was transferred to the White House in 1978, during the Carter administration. John was serving as a Presidential Protective Detail Agent when Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980.

An accomplished horseman, John was soon placed in charge of the new President’s equestrian detail. Like Ronald Reagan, John was most comfortable on an English saddle, one of many similarities that became important to forming a close, lasting bond. After his first ride with Agent Barletta, President Reagan—who was by that point quite familiar with the challenges the Secret Service experienced protecting a President on horseback—commented tellingly to John’s boss, “Well, you finally got me a good one.”

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Santa Barbara Carriage and Western Art Museum

129 Castillo Street

Santa Barbara, CA 93101

View Map

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