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The Odd Fellows Parade, Oct. 16, 1900: Note carefully that this Odd Fellows Parade is marching both directions at the same time up and down Pacific Avenue at the corner of Cooper Street. The Cinema 9 now stands on the left, where the Sentinel Printers was back then. To find out more about the Odd Fellows and the beneficent things they do and the crazy things they used to do, call their Ocean Street headquarters at 426.1601.

Bruce Bratton

ABOUT THE ATTACKS. Thank you for the hundreds of responses, prayers, suggestions and reactions to last Tuesday's tragedy. I agree with those of who you said: (A) We don't know if the attacks are over, but we can be very sure Osama bin Laden isn't in Afghanistan anymore. (B) We can only hope that since we are in the hands of the dumbest president in the history of the United States that (1) he doesn't kill too many innocent victims in Afghanistan and (2) that he doesn't get the rest of us killed here in the United States. We can only wish we had more representatives like Barbara Lee of Berkeley and Oakland, the only member of Congress to vote against Bush's call to war on terrorism. Our nation is so full of warmongers and barely hidden racial hatred that the reactions Barbara will have to face will be enormous and very sad. We should send her our love and support. She did something.

MOVIE BUSINESS. The 41st Avenue Playhouse is open again--and what an improvement. They gave up dozens of seats to create more legroom than any venue I've ever been in. The San Francisco Opera (orchestra section) has the least legroom and the worst seats I've ever sat in! All the seats in the 41st have comfy high backrests, and they all rock. New, clean linoleum flooring, new sound systems, new restrooms--it's a delight to go there. I heard rumors that 125 film writers and theater people who were anxious to see the new place showed up at a special opening party, but I wouldn't know for sure. Speaking of theaters, now that the Del Mar marquee is looking so brilliant, let's cut down those two spindly nonhistorical, nonthreatened species trees in front of the marquee. Maybe if the Del Mar reopens on George Washington's birthday in February, we could have a symbolic tree-cutting ceremony?

REDISTRICTING , A QUESTION. As stated in last week's colm, I think we'll really be dead meat if the new redistricting plans go through. What I can't figure out is how come Fred Keeley didn't know about these new unfair plans before they were announced? Didn't he even hear rumors or get word that his district was being wiped out while it was still on the drawing board? We could have staged a big reaction if we'd been warned ahead of time. I called his office last week with this question, and I haven't heard anything back yet.

JUST A BIT GAUDI. The new freeform brick and stone wall at Togo's and Pleasure Point Pizza out at 1917 Mission Street is the finest example of community art I've seen around here in ages. It's completely out of character for a franchise to do such a thing--and congratulations to them. Togo's tells me somebody named Soltero actually did the wall. Dan Dickmeyer thinks it looks like a work by Gaudi; I thought it was more like Simon Rodia's Watts Towers, but whatever, we sure need more of such inspired works.

CULTURAL DIVERSON. Rose Buffalo has her own show at the prestigious Frederick Spratt Gallery in San Jose now through Oct. 13. Rose had been making reliquaries, corn dollies and altars for many years in Aromas; then she moved to Albuquerque, N.M. Her creations have a spirit and creativity rarely seen. A chance to see this much of her work shouldn't be missed.

THAT RIVER STREET SIGN. Rarely in the nearly 26 years of doing this colm have I received such a tumult of complaints about any commercial project as the very ugly Welcome to River Street sign at the intersection of Highway 9 and Highway 1. This community fought hard to outlaw billboards and now this! Katherine Beiers, who likes the sign very much, tells me it's a part of the Front Street Development package, which was designed to "not look like our downtown," and even more yellow street lights and tons of blue and yellow flowers will be planted all along that median. Katherine sez that both her old City Council and this present council approved the design. So in answer to those who asked: the City Council is responsible. If you remember, the San Francisco City Council decided they didn't like the entire Embarcadero Freeway because it ruined the view and served no purpose, and they tore it down. They've got to tear this sign down immediately, if they have any integrity at all. If they don't tear this smarmy-looking piece of slime down, then let's add the names of our present City Council in bold print to it and state that this sign is there thanks to them. They're obviously proud of it, and future generations should know who's to blame.

CHANGE THE WORLD. In view of last week's attacks, there are two meetings you could go to to hear some positive choices of actions discussed that would accomplish more than anything our president will come up with. Wednesday (Sept. 19) at 7:30pm at the Pacific Cultural Center, 1313 Seabright Ave., there's a community forum titled Peaceful Responses to the Terrorist Attacks. Sharon Delgado, founder of Earth Justice; Celia Scott, former mayor of Santa Cruz; and Stephen Zunes from the University of San Francisco will talk and lead discussions. That's being sponsored by the Doug Rand Action Fund, the Santa Cruz Green Party, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and the United Nations Association. Call 425.1890 or 423.9707 about it. On Friday (Sept. 21) at the London Nelson Community Center, 301 Center St., at 7pm, WILPF and the Art and Revolution group are sponsoring a public meeting called "Who Is in Charge? We the People or The Corporations?" They'll be discussing the role of corporations in our world, answering questions, and performing skits and songs. If you've never met some of the many hundreds of folks dedicated to peaceful solutions to world problems, now is a very good time to do that.

IN CLOSING. Sometimes only poetry can reach those hard-to-define emotions. Kathy Bisbee says, "Pause, and breathe, and read this slowly," and sends her love. (Alastair Reid's translation is available in Extravagaria from Noonday Press; all attempts were made to get permission by deadline.)

    Keeping Quiet
    by Pablo Neruda

    Now we will count to twelve
    and we will all keep still
    for once on the face of the earth,
    let's not speak any language;
    let's stop for a second,
    and not move our arms so much.

    It would be an exotic moment
    without rush, without engines;
    we would all be together
    in a sudden strangeness.

    Fishermen in the cold sea
    would not harm whales
    and the man gathering salt
    would not look at his hurt hands.

    Those who prepare green wars,
    wars with gas, wars with fire,
    victories with no survivors,
    would put on clean clothes
    and walk about with their brothers
    in the shade, doing nothing.

    What I want should not be confused
    with total inactivity,
    Life is what it is all about. . . .

    If we were not so single-minded
    about keeping our lives moving,
    and for once could do nothing,
    perhaps a huge silence
    might interrupt this sadness
    of never understanding ourselves
    and of thretening ourselves with death.

    Perhaps the earth can teach us
    as when everything seems dead in winter
    and later proves to be alive.

    Now I'll count up to twelve
    and you keep quiet and I will go.

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From the September 19-26, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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