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[whitespace] Chicken Villa
Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection

Chicken Villa Crew and Customers, April 4, 1950: Thanks to a photo in Daisy Gandolfi's book, 'Living and Loving, Santa Cruz in the Fifties,' I found that the Chicken Villa was at the corner of Laurel and Front streets, where that hubcap store is now. If you enjoy these carhop outfits you'll be pleased to know that all the usherettes at the opening of the Del Mar Theatre or Theatre Del Mar had to be platinum blondes.

Bruce Bratton

IMPORTANT POLITICAL SCORECARD. SCAN (Santa Cruz Political Action Network) had its annual endorsement meeting last week. Mardi Wormhoudt got 77 votes, Mike Schmidt got five and Mark Primack, the only candidate who refused to answer questions from the members, got one vote. Bob Lee, running for district attorney, got 50 votes, and Kate Canlis got one. John Laird got 72 votes. The SEIU Local 415 endorsed Bob Lee for DA last Thursday 81 to 3. The Laborers Local 270 also endorsed Bob Lee two weeks ago. The Green Party of Santa Cruz County endorsed Mardi Wormhoudt for Third District county supervisor with a 97 percent vote of ballots cast. Bob Lee got 58 percent of the votes but it was 9 percent short of the endorsement level required. Incumbent Tony Campos, running for Fourth District county supervisor, stated he wasn't seeking Green Party endorsement. Ramon Gomez, who's running against Campos, couldn't make the Green Party meeting but got 50 percent of the vote anyway. I didn't know there are 45 Greens in office in California and 131 Greens in office across the United States.

IMPORTANT HISTORICAL NEWS. I couldn't believe that Covello & Covello Photography has moved. It's no longer on Mission Street and is now located at 303 Potrero St. in the Old Sash Mill, where they made sashes. Not only are the archives of Santa Cruz historical photos a historic treasure but Covello & Covello has been doing full service photography, like portrait, bridal, group and commercial, since 1979. The phone number is still 423.2922.

IMPORTANT HOBBIT NEWS. In case you want to find out your name and position in the land of the Hobbits, go to the Hobbit name generator at www.chriswetherell.com/hobbit/default.asp. It's free, you only give your name, no other cookie data. Actually, you can enter anyone's name, even George Bush's. Simon Kelly, who is one of the few Hobbits living in the county, told me about this. My Hobbit name is Togo Gamgee-Took of Bywater, but don't call me that unless nobody else is around.

DARK PLEASURES. I think the actors and Robert Altman have more fun in his pictures than the audiences do. Gosford Park is a murder mystery, but it isn't exciting or mysterious, and you really don't care who got murdered or who did it either. It has great, really great moments of acting and you need to see it because it's a lesson in screen acting, but you can only understand about half of the veddy British accents. Orange County, with Tom Hanks' son, is about one half step above a dumb teenage movie; don't even rent it later. The Devil's Backbone is about ghosts in an orphanage during the Civil War in Spain. It's dark, touching, dramatic and very Spanish. It stars Marisa Paredes and you'll recognize her from Almodovar's films. Don't miss it.

IMPORTANT BOOK REVIEWS. Dick Credit, a former longtime Santa Cruz resident, wrote a poetry book titled Cruising to Nirvana on Dreams. He doesn't like the cover, but it's a lot like the poems, which means every poem is exactly like Dick Credit. Some local bookshops may have it or he said Amazon books carries it, or call 530.893.4429. Area resident Robert Pardun wrote a book about his involvement in Students for a Democratic Society. The SDS was the largest student organization of the '60s, Robert says. The book is Prairie Radical: A Journey Through the Sixties, published by Shire Press and available at local bookstores, 408.353.4253 or shirepress@aol.com.

IMPORTANT DOWNTOWN ART. The Downtown Association of Santa Cruz held a poster contest seeking art for a four-color lithography reproduction poster that "captures the look, feel and character of Downtown Santa Cruz." The winning poster will be the start of a series of collectible posters. The three finalists are Karen Nevis, Russell Brutsche and Janet Mastropietro. The judges were Thomas Mantle, Whitney Wilde, Bob Zufall (not his real name), Peter Eberle, Kat Beaulieu and me. Sally Bookman helped the DTA get the contest logistics perfect. The winner will be announced at MAH's next monthly First Thursday Night on Feb. 7. All three of the finalists works are amazing--and wait 'til you see the winner!

IMPORTANT MUSIC NOTES. Maybe it's just me, but have you noticed that in the 1950s and '60s Bach was the big deal composer. In the 1970s and early '80s, it was Mozart. Then Beethoven took over and is becoming more and more popular even as we speak, or listen, as the case may be. Gwendolyn Mok has returned to UCSC, and along with Jean-Michel Fonteneau on cello and Ian Swenson on violin she'll be playing Beethoven's Trio, op. 1, no. 2, a Ravel 1922 Duo for Violin and Cello, and works by Santa Cruz locals Paul Nauert and Hi Kyung Kim at the UCSC Music Center Thursday, Jan. 24, at 8pm. Tickets at the door, maybe, or by calling 459.2159. The Santa Cruz Chamber Players will be performing earlier musicks by Telemann, Rameau and "a Bach rewrite of a Vivaldi original." That's happening this Saturday, Jan. 19, at 8pm at the First Methodist Church, 250 California St. Tickets at the door one hour before performance or by calling 425.3149.

ABOUT 'IMPORTANT.' These things weren't really that important. As usual for this time of year, I was just trying to give you something to talk about during the kickoffs and other political parties now through March 5.


Bruce critiques films every other Thursday on KUSP-FM (88.9). Reach Bruce at bratton@cruzio.com or 457.5814, ext.400.

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From the January 16-23, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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