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Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection.

Horsecars on Pacific and Mission, 1880s: Horsecars ran on Pacific Avenue beginning in October 1875. A bunch of mergers over the years, plus corporate takeovers, caused their demise. This view was taken from about where the St. George Hotel stands today, looking north. The white building at the end of Pacific stands where the Clock Tower is now.

Bruce Bratton

A GENERAL BOO! It's too late for this year, but let's remind all those people celebrating Oct. 31 that Halloween isn't about killing, blood, torture, slasher-movie heroes, guillotines and electric chairs. Somehow, too many people forget that Halloween is really about ghosts, goblins, spirits and having a good time.

POLITICAL-ENDORSEMENT TIME. The Democratic Women's Club is going to endorse candidates for California State Assembly, Santa Cruz county supervisor, district attorney, judge, superintendent of schools and sheriff. Any of those candidates who want the group's endorsement better write to the DWC, P.O. Box 1901, Capitola 95010, or call 688.2931 before Nov. 9 and get the details on presentations, etc. The endorsement meeting will be Nov. 28 at the Calvary Episcopal Church on Center Street. This is for the March 2002 primary, naturally.

AWADAGIN PRATT. This famed pianist is playing for UCSC's Arts & Lecture Series on Saturday (Nov. 3) in the UCSC Music Recital Hall. Awadagin has won numerous awards, records for Angel/EMI and even played twice for President and Mrs. Clinton in the White House. He'll be playing Beethoven, Liszt and J.S. Bach. Ebony magazine named him one of the 50 leaders of tomorrow. By the reviews I've seen, he should be well worth hearing. Call 459.2159 for tickets.

SEEING THE FUTURE. I said before that it was too bad none of our local psychics gave us any warning about Sept. 11 or about George W. Bush's future. I was informed last week that local psychic Albert Stevens predicted long before Sept. 11 that President George W. Bush would either be assassinated or would get us into a war in the month of September 2001. He made this prediction at a gathering of folks, and it was one of those folks who told me about Albert.

CONTEMPORARY FIGURATIVE ART. Many fine area women (and a few men) artists will be having a show at the Dancing Man Gallery. Dancing Man Gallery is Santa Cruz's longest-lasting art gallery and is hosted by the ever-patient Bill Reynolds. Such artists as Barbara Lawrence, Robley Levy, Mary Warshaw, Edna Vollmer and Kristin Hayward--and other notables from the Two Dog Studio--will be showing their best stuff. Dancing Man is located at 123 Maple St., Santa Cruz. The show runs Nov. 3­15. Call 426.7150 for information and hours--well, the hours are 11am­4pm daily.

SMALL BUT NECESSARY CORRECTION. Under the historic photo of Gypsy Boots reading his own book, Bare Feet and Good Things to Eat, in front of the old Catalyst, I said Eden Ahbez was the original Nature Boy of Nat King Cole's song. Songwriter Linda Karst emailed to say that's not true. Ahbez wrote the song "Nature Boy" and Gypsy Boots was the nature boy of the song. They were all vegetarians anyway--so what the heck. No, I don't know how Linda knew that, but as usual, I stand corrected.

NO FILM CRITIQUES THIS WEEK. I'm actually writing this one a week ago today on Oct. 24, because I'm off to L.A. to see the grandsons over the weekend. But I did want to mention that since Sept. 20, I've been taking an Introduction to Film Theory class up at UCSC. It's taught by Professor Amelie Hastie, and she knows her stuff. Amelie is completing a book on the autobiographical writings of early female directors and stars. We've been learning such things as how to be good film semiologists. Semiologists use such words as "langue," "parallel syntagma," "syntagmatic," "paradigmatic," "denotation and connotation," "diegesis," "pro-filmic," "auteur" and even "diachronic" and other words like that. So far it seems as if film theorists talk mostly to themselves because it's so hard for anybody else to understand them. What will this mean when I finish the course? Just that from then on whenever I say anything about a film being good or bad it will no longer be an opinion, it'll be a fact. (No, just kidding.) But it is a fascinating way to think about films. By the way, don't forget to see Mulholland Drive, Donnie Darko and From Hell.

ABOUT MOLLY IVINS. I may stand corrected again. I wrote that my online astrology information not only said that Molly Ivins was born on the same day as Keanu Reeves but also said she was born in Monterey. The material that UCSC Arts & Lectures just sent out says she was born and raised in Houston! Doesn't matter much one way or tother except for the history of Texas, but don't forget that she'll be here Nov. 9 at the Civic Auditorium. Tickets are going rapidly. Molly is not only one of a very few nationally syndicated columnists who call them like they see them, but she does it with style and great wit. She is, of course, the author of Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush. Tickets are available by calling 459.2159. Or you can get more info at www.events.ucsc.edu/artslecs.

SE HABLA HARRY POTTER? Hank Garcia, who owns both the Fox Theatre in downtown Watsonville (near the plaza) and the Green Valley Cinema 6 out on Green Valley Road, pulled off a great deal. They will open the English-language version of the film at Green Valley Cinema and the Spanish-language version at the Fox, both on Nov. 16. They're going to watch box-office results and see how that works out, and plan accordingly in the future.

THE SANTA CRUZ SYMPHONY. Just to be clear: the symphony has never sounded better in the 30 years I've been listening to it. Maestro John Larry Granger has done great work. Grieg's Peer Gynt at the opening concert never sounded better. The next concert is at the Civic (no Watsonville concert) on Saturday. They'll play Bartok, Block and Dvorak's Symphony From the New World--and everybody loves that one. Tickets are available at the Civic box office at 420.5260.

EVENING WITH MARDI. The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom is having an Evening with Mardi. County Supervisor Mardi Wormhoudt will be talking about "How the Current War Will Impact County Problems." It'll be Nov. 10 at 7pm in the new police station at Laurel and Center streets in Santa Cruz. There'll be desserts plus entertainment by Sister Soul. Speaking of endorsements: sure, I'm endorsing Mardi. I've watched her work hard as a Santa Cruz City Councilmember and as mayor before, during and after the earthquake. I've also watched her be very successful protecting our North Coast against unwanted development. More on this later.

TO SUM UP. Once again, we are indebted to Kate Minott for adding humor to this scene. She sent in these definitions from a Washington Post contest, and they sure sound right to me. Pokémon (n.), a Jamaican proctologist. Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon. Circumvent (n.), the opening in front of boxer shorts. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions. Negligent (adj.), describing a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie. Those should last until the weekend.


Bruce critiques films every other Thursday on KUSP-FM (88.9). Reach Bruce at bratton@cruzio.com or 831.457.5814, ext. 400.

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From the October 31-November 7, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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