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Rory Calhoun and Lita Baron in Santa Cruz: Left to right that's Eunice and Leonard Sanchez, Mary and Hi W. Eisile and Rory and Lita. The photo notes say this is at "hotel." However, the wild and crazy carpet is exactly the same carpet that used to be in the Del Mar mezzanine. Lita Baron now runs Celebrity Realtors in Palm Springs. She gave me her card at Rory's funeral, but I haven't looked her up yet. Could this have been in the Deer Park Hotel? Rory said he'd been back here in the '50s, so my guess is that's the time of the photo.

Bruce Bratton

DEL MAR GALA. The March 2 Gala reopening celebration keeps getting bigger. We're having a Movie Star Look-alike Contest starting at 5:30pm. Cynthia Mathews is directing it because she's the world's foremost authority on ZaSu Pitts. Who better to recognize movie stars than film reviewers? Greg Archer and Lisa Jensen from Good Times, Wallace Baine and a guest film expert from the Santa Cruz Sentinel and Richard von Busack and Tai Moses from Metro Santa Cruz will be the celebrity judges. Movie stars can be real or imaginary, old or new, good or evil. Prizes? There are historic posters, theater tickets, popcorn passes and lifelong fame and fun in having taken part in this incredible block party.

DARK PLEASURES. John Q is an embarrassingly bad film. Sure, Denzel does his usual good work, but the script, which would be called "previously owned," is one of the most trite, manipulative, predictable and theatrically cheap you'll ever see, which you shouldn't. I kept falling asleep during Beijing Bicycle so I can't say much about it. It was a matinee too and I wanted to like it, but then again, I fell asleep every time I saw Lone Star, and I tried three times on that one. So go warned, or bring a little pillow. Bruce Willis is very much Bruce Willis in Hart's War. The problem is that if you've seen the previews (trailers) you already know the plot and can predict where that particular scene will happen. Nothing unusual in this film and it'll work just fine as a video.

ART, WINE AND JAZZ. Now's the time to figure out about volunteering at the Celebrate Santa Cruz 2002: Art, Wine, & Jazz Festival. It's happening May 18 and 19 in downtown Santa Cruz along Pacific Avenue. You and friends can help set up, pour wine and beer, assist artists or 8,000 other jobs. There'll be more than 110 artists, 20 bands on three stages and more fun events. Call the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz at 429.8433; you get free wine and beer glasses, posters and drink tickets.

DECLINE AND FALL OF PUBLIC BROADCASTING. That's the title of David Barsamian's talk tonight at London Nelson Community Center at 7:30pm. This afternoon at 2:30 he'll be talking about "Honing Your Interviewing Skills" at the Resource Center For Nonviolence. I assume that's for interviewers and not interviewees. David is the director/founder of Alternative Radio and an author. Tonight he'll be talking about the erosion and privatization of public radio. He's a "giant of community and public radio," and as we see and hear, there are fewer and fewer voices in all media that are free of government and commercial control, so his talks and workshops should be good.

FRED FRITH FINGERS FRETS AND FACES FRIENDS. That's another way to say that guitarist/composer Fred Frith will be headlining a concert Saturday night at the Vets Hall. He'll be playing in concert with the New Music Works Ensemble. Frith is composer-in-residence at Mills College and you'll have a chance to hear works by John Cage, Hyo-shin Na, Erling Wold and other new things. Tickets at the door, concert starts at 8pm, panel discussion before at 7:15 and call 429.2277 for information.

HISTORICAL NOTE. Historian Stan Stevens emails to say that Santa Cruz hasn't changed a bit. He quotes the Santa Cruz Surf, Feb. 4, 1889, page 3, column 2: "An itinerant band of four men is in town. It consists principally of one man who, with an odd cap of bells on his head, and a base drum attached to his back, on which are cymbals and triangle, plays a bag-pipe, and makes all kinds of music. The other three have single instruments." It almost sounds like the group Water, which will be playing at the Del Mar Gala. If you ever want a nearly complete list of the historical newspapers of Santa Cruz County go to Stan's list in Every Structure Tells a Story, published by the Santa Cruz County Historical Trust way back in 1990. It lists the Independent, the Sun, the Times, and the News, but those were all before 1960 and the list stops not long after that. Which means Blue Balloon News, Free Spaghetti Dinner, Morning Star and other courageous local efforts haven't made it into the books yet.

SANTA CRUZ TECHNOLOGY EXHIBIT AND SYMPOSIUM. If you're in or about to be in business, you should go to this third annual show. It's about how to do business in this changing climate. Experts will give talks on Strategic Web Presence, New Software and Wireless Technology, and Athol Foden will talk too. Greg Carter of the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce adds that it'll be a good place to make contacts and rescue some of the jobs lost recently. There'll be more than 70 booths and it'll be at the Cocoanut Grove from 9am to 5pm on Feb. 27. Get tickets at 457.3719 or go to www.santacruztechexpo.org.

CALLING ALL SURFERS. The idea of what to call a group of surfers may never end. Scott Graham suggests a gnarl of surfers. Ross Levoy quotes Lipton's book An Exaltation of Larks, which includes a string of violinists, a click of photographers, a score of bachelors, a mass of priests, a mess of officers, a lot of used car dealers, a load of drunks and a complex of psychoanalysts. Levoy adds a board of surfers, a tube of surfers and a backwash of surfers, and he even went on after that too. Next week I'll include some prize-winning examples of "nominative determinism." Don't go anywhere.

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From the February 20-27, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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