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Night Howl
By Karen Reardanz

Crane and Able: Wishbone, the literature-loving Jack Russell terrier, does his finest Ichabod Crane impression when he acts out 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' in the PBS children's series.

Boning Up on the Classics:
Wishbone, that pooch with a penchant for grand literature, digs his haughty little sniffer deep into the dog-eared pages of history

DURING THOSE ENDLESS years of high school lit classes, just where was Wishbone? The little Jack Russell terrier would have been much more helpful with metaphors and meaning than that Cliff Notes guy ever could be. Alas, Wishbone showed his furry little face a few years too late for me, but he's here just in time for the next generation of readers.

The canine star of his own self-titled PBS series (9:30am Sunday on KQED-Channel 9 and 10:30am Sunday on KTEH-Channel 54) has more going on upstairs than even the most pretentious bookworm. He proves it each and every week when he transports himself and his human 12-year-old companion into the world of literary classics.

No book is too mammoth, no subject too taboo--who knows, pretty soon this scrappy little terrier will be donning a scarlet A or leering at nubile puppies like a doggy Humbert Humbert. But for now he's quite content traveling back in time for a turn through the more highbrow works, dressed all the while in period garb, whether it be gussied up as Pip from Great Expectations or hunchbacked Quasimodo in The Hunchdog of Notre Dame.

The hound aims to bring joy to the world of reading for the wee ones, but he also provides hours of entertainment for those who've already taken most of these classics for a spin. It's his sincerity that makes him so endearing. Wishbone turns on his little paws, smoothes his furry brow and seems to believe in the fine-crafted novels he so expertly acts out. He really wants everyone to appreciate them as much as he does.

Wishbone may not be local and he may not have mastered the fine art of the open mic, but this little pup has plenty of talent.

They Got the Beat

Everybody knows about the male writers of the Beat Generation--the Kerouacs, Ginsbergs and Ferlinghettis--so much, in fact, that many believe they were the sole forces behind the literary and social movement. But there was a whole colony of women whose words and works were just as strong and influential as those spawned by the boys' club.

A group of these women of the Beat celebrate the female gender's own words on Thursday at UCSC's Kresge College. Carolyn Cassady (wife of Neal Cassady), Anne Waldman, Joanne Kyger, Bobbie Louise Hawkings, Joanne McClure and Janine Pommy Vega gather at Fast Speaking Women, a conference devoted solely to these literary ladies.

A keynote panel at 4pm will focus on the people, the energy and the works of this classic era. Then at 7:30pm, Kyger and Waldman reconvene for an evening of poetry, reading words of both their own and their sisters'. Both events are to be held at Kresge Town Hall on the UCSC campus. The conference then continues all day Friday at San Jose State. For more info, call 459-3760.


Oliver Brown plays his ukulele at So Say We on Thu. ... Get on Outta the House--a music/performance/improv fest featuring Matthew Embry, That One Guy, Cat and Shout, Erich J. Holden and Clatterbox--brings What Is Art? down on Fri. ... Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti appears at Kresge Town Hall on Tue.

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From the Nov. 6-12, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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