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[whitespace] Bruce Bratton

SCAN ANNUAL MEETING. The SCAN general membership meeting is always a great way to start the new year. The meeting will be Monday, Jan. 7, from 6 to 8:30pm. The SCAN members will consider political endorsements for Third District supervisor, the 27th Assembly District, Measure L to retain the County Utility Tax, the SC City Schools Parcel Tax and the Statewide Parks Bond Initiative. There is also a special note on the members' meeting announcement saying, "Members who are less than one year in arrears can renew and vote at this meeting." In case you don't keep up on SCAN matters, it's been quiet lately and this is the meeting when all the quiet efforts are expected to burst forth to make 2002 a landmark year for local politics. Call SCAN at 458.9425 for additional information.

DARK PLEASURES. I will resist the temptation to write "The Majestic Ali, Lord of the Rings." I'm assuming some few other scribes have noticed the combination of film titles that just opened. The Majestic, Jim Carrey's newest role, has been described as a "Frank Capraesque" film by most critics and I have to join them. It's patriotic, sincere, feel-good and precisely what the director was trying to achieve. Both The Majestic and Ali contain strong arguments for standing up against the government when it's wrong, and our government has sure been wrong before. Go see The Majestic; it's mostly about how the magic of film can entertain and unite a community. Ali is definitely worth watching just to see Will Smith play Ali and Jon Voight play Howard Cosell. I still haven't figured out what was missing for me in that film, but do go see it. If you enjoy myths, Lord of the Rings has them all. Tolkien knew exactly what he wanted to create in the Hobbit story, and they are phenomenal books; the director of Lord of the Rings also knew what he wanted to create in a film, and those are very different art forms. Films made from books must be rearranged and edited; they aren't even meant for the same purpose, but both work beautifully in this case. It doesn't matter if you've read the Tolkien books or not, the film stands on its own. (That isn't the case with the Harry Potter film.) Don't wait to rent Lord of the Rings; you need to see it on the big screen.

CHARLES WOLTERS FAREWELL. Services for Charles Wolters, who taught art at Soquel High for many years, will be Saturday, Jan. 5, at 10am. They will be at Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel at 1050 Cayuga St., just off Soquel Avenue. Charles died Wednesday, Nov. 21, from pancreatic cancer. Calls, letters and emails from all over the world have been coming in since he died. It'll be a tough service to get through--he knew almost everybody.

SPELL CHECKER PROBLEM. Last week's list of Philip Morris products you might just want to boycott "corrected" the spelling of Presidente Brandy, Uneeda Crackers and Handi-Snacks natural cheese. There are dozens of Philip Morris-owned products listed in the Liberal Opinion Weekly (Dec. 3 issue). I should have just copied the entire list the first time. I forgot to mention all Post cereals (100 percent Bran, Alpha Bits, Pebbles and Oreo Os). It could be a small resolution for the year. Remember that Philip Morris' corporate name is now Altria.

PAINTED PSYCHOLOGIES. The art exhibition titled "Painted Psychologies" will display works by Holly Roberts and Julie Green. Holly has received two NEA grants and combines photography and painting. Julie "works in thin layers of paint depicting alterations of memory." The press release says that "both artists explore the margins of pictorial dysfunction." The exhibition opens Tuesday, Jan. 15, and runs through March 10. It'll be at the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery at Porter College and it's free and open to the public. Call 459.3606 for info and gallery hours.

ANOTHER NEWSPAPER AND HISTORY. Kurt Havemann of Mr. Goodies Antiques and Collectibles loaned me a grand photograph of the Santa Cruz Police Department and a copy of the Riptide newspaper dated Friday, July 28, 1944. The Riptide's banner stated it was Volume 13, Number 4. I'm assuming it was the 13th year of printing. Area newspaper historians who can correct that impression are more than welcome to do so. Riptide, not to be confused with Tom Scribner's Redwood Ripsaw, was a very conservative, pro-war newspaper, at least from today's perspective. Fred E. Darke was the editor and Clifford N. Kilfoyl was the publisher. Subscriptions were $2.50 per year. The lead editorial was about whether we wanted a constitutional government or one run by the CIO, a Labor-Socialist-run system taking orders from Joseph Stalin. There were ads for Wessendorf Mortuary at 51 Church St.; Don the Scotch Stationer at the head of the Avenue; Bibbins Automotive Service at 14-20 River St.; Melvin's Drug Store at Pacific and Locust (telephone 666); and the Central One-Stop Automotive Service promised to keep your car running for the duration. Gardner's Hardware "At The Sign Of The Black Cat," at 637 Soquel Ave., was run by Bill Brookman. Wade's Pet supplies at 463 Soquel Ave. had horsemeat for pets. The big wedding that week was Nelli Zoccoli and Lt. Lloyd Sherman getting married at Holy Cross with Lucille Casalegno, Grace Spinetti and Selia Zoccoli in the wedding photo. Eight Republicans, including Santa Cruz Mayor Roy Fulmer, went to Sacramento for the California State Republican Committee. The Santa Cruz Hotel ad said it had ration troubles, but still served "the best available food." Eberts Supermarket featured 100 percent whole wheat hot bread, a 24-ounce. loaf for 12 cents. I'm not sure: Were those the best of times or the worst?

POR FIN. Simon Kelly sends in some Zen questions that could take a part of the new year to work out. What happens if you get scared half to death twice? Why do psychics have to ask you your name? A day without sunshine is like night. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot. He who laughs last thinks slowest. Support bacteria, they're the only culture some people have. And one to really focus on--the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


Reach Bruce at bratton@cruzio.com or at 457.5814, ext. 400.

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From the January 2-9, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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