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Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection

Santa Cruz City Fire Department, 1941: A mere 60 years ago, and probably in the fall. I'll bet they, too, were facing city budget problems and wondering if the war in Europe would affect their lives. Anybody know who they were?

Bruce Bratton

MOLLY IVINS AND HOWARD ZINN. I wonder if there are any conservatives who do similar work, who could almost pack the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium for two nights the way these two characters did? In case you weren't there, I'll share my notes. Zinn outdrew Ivins and really filled the Civic, but his tickets were cheaper. Neither of them is a great speaker. And neither said anything we hadn't heard before. Ivins, as she claims, is a politically oriented entertainer, much like Will Rogers. She left everybody feeling good. Zinn is a teacher and gave us his historical perspective on today's events. Ivins' crowd was twice as old as Zinn's. Ivins has said she'd personally strangle Osama bin Laden. Zinn said killing bin Laden would create more terrorists. Ivins asked us to pray for President Bush. Zinn stated Bush is a danger to the nation. Zinn also made it clear that the issue of oil in the Middle East and our foreign policies involving oil are what have gotten us into the current crisis. Ivins said oil has nothing to do with it. Zinn received many more standing ovations than Ivins. The Resource Center for Nonviolence and the cast and crew of the Civic are to be thanked for bringing Howard Zinn here. UCSC's Arts & Lectures presented Molly Ivins.

DARK PLEASURES. Everybody who likes films, especially films by the Coen brothers, needs to see The Man Who Wasn't There. Billy Bob Thornton has never been better, and that's saying a lot. Considering the Coen boys have created Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, Fargo, The Big Lebowski and O Brother, Where Art Thou? you know this has to be a fine film. It has already won Best Director honors at Cannes. It's set in 1949 in Santa Rosa and is about dry-cleaning, tonsorial parlors, love, doubt, honesty ... and don't even think of reading plot descriptions in any reviews before you go. Frances McDormand and James Gandolfini are perfect--and watch out for Scarlett Johansson as Birdy. Amélie is the hottest French film in France, and it's easy to see why. It's set in a picture-perfect Paris. The director painted and cleaned up more than 80 locations in and around the city. The star, Audrey Tautou, is charming beyond belief (and I mean that), and the director also did Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children. You can't miss with this one; it's the perfect picture to see over the holidays. I haven't read Harry Potter yet, and I also haven't read Willy Wonka or The Wizard of Oz, but the Potter film doesn't compare to those classic children's films. Besides it's 2 1/2 hours long and gets boring in many places, and there's no excuse for that in a children's film.

GRETEL & HANSEL. The team of Hawley and Whitworth just gets better with each production. Wind in the Willows and Cinderella were just warm-ups, G&H has it all together, and the whole family and visitors will love it. Mike Ryan, the bear and, of course, Joseph Ribeiro are all back doing what they do best. The witch's demise needs some work, but get tickets ASAP. In Santa Cruz, the word will pass quickly and they'll sell out before you know it. It's a Shakespeare Santa Cruz production, which reminds me, next year's Shakespeare Santa Cruz plays will be The Merry Wives of Windsor, Coriolanus (a first for SC) and Chekhov's The Seagull. That lineup promises to be a great season.

HISTORICAL PHOTOS ON EXHIBIT. For many, many years now, 99.99 percent of the historical photos I've been using at the top of this column have been made available through the incredibly kind courtesy of Covello & Covello Photography, 602 Mission St., Santa Cruz (423.2922). Their collection dates back to the earliest days of photography in our county, and they have probably 30,000 negatives and prints. Carolyn Swift, director of the Capitola Museum, and I began going through those negatives one by one back in 1993. I gave up after a year or so. Carolyn not only stuck to it but has data-based all the significant ones. She and Eric Fingal, the Covello photographer and curator of the files, have printed nearly 70 of the best photos dating from 1939-69. They're on display now through April in the Lezin Gallery at the Museum of Art & History in downtown Santa Cruz, across from the Metro Santa Cruz offices. The obvious question--Why not create a book of these photos?--has yet to be answered, but Covello & Covello should be thanked by everyone who cares about local history for not just preserving these photos but for sharing them with the community.

WRONG NUMBERS AND NAMES. The aforementioned Eric Fingal not only took last week's historical photo, he also printed it for me to run and then bothered to take the time to call and correct my mistakes. Julian Camacho was running for Congress and Alan Cranston was running for U.S. Senator, and I had them both running for different offices. Bert Muhly reminded me that way back in 1972, state Assemblyman John Vasconcellos came all the way to Santa Cruz to do a fundraiser kickoff for Hank Faitz for his state Assembly campaign. ... The 2002 Halloween in Santa Cruz phone number was wrong; it should be 429.8823. Judging by the number of folks who called that wrong number, 2002 Halloween should be a big hit. The woman who got all those wrong numbers is trying to be an undercover spy, so don't call that number anymore.

MARDI PARTY. Just about 200 people attended the Mardi Wormhoudt for Santa Cruz County Supervisor campaign kickoff party at the Harvey West Clubhouse. Printing attendee lists is great fun, so: Former and present mayors attending were Bert Muhly, Celia Scott, Bruce Van Allen, Mike Rotkin, Neal Coonerty and John Laird, who was also head auctioneer. Present mayors attending were Tim Fitzmaurice and Chuck Carter from Watsonville. Emily Reilly, Chris Krohn and Ed Porter were there; so were Bonnie Hawley, Claire Biancalana, Irene Agosta, John Tuck, Ralph Abraham, Hal Margolin, Elsie Beltram, Bernice Belton, Sandy Silver, Gail Page, Bobby Bishop, Tony Madrigal, Peter McGettigan, Bill Malone, Mary Strunk, Chris Lyons, Richard Stover, Roz Spafford, Marigold Fine, Madelyn McCaul, Jay Brick, Marge Frantz, Donna Blitzer, Dick and Phyllis Wasserstrom, David Eselius, Patricia Matejcek, Graciela Hernandez, Dee Vogel, Bill Fieberling, Wendy Chapkis, Betsy Herbert, Terry Hancock, Claudia Shafer, Mitchell Page, Luke Lehman, Kit Anderton, Victor Schiffrin, Peter Beckman, Roger Anderson, Marj Raaven, Kaitilin Gaffney, Ron Pomerantz, Dinah Abbott, Barbie Schaller, Nadia Bledsoe, Pat McVeigh, Chris Broadwell, Jodi Frediani, Nora Hochman, Jennifer Brager, Jack Nelson, Marilyn Hummel, John Leopold, Tom and Jan Karwin and lots more I didn't know, and plenty I forgot. Gary Patton introduced Adrienne Rich, who introduced Mardi. The auction items were stupendous: art pieces by Lundberg Studios, Laurie Zeszut, Lalena Vann, Ed Teicher, Sally Jorgensen, Renee Flower, Mary Warshaw, Anita Heckman, Jack Zajak, Frans Lanting, Sally Bookman and more. Authors contributing works were Maude Meehan, John Dizikes and Adrienne Rich. Dozens of gift certificates from downtown and Davenport businesses all went for good prices. It was a happy event, and there'll be more.

ANOTHER POLITICAL PARTY. The other woman who's running for District 3 supervisor (heretofore known as "the other woman") had a kickoff party at Norm Lezin's last week. To appear fair, I called Norm and asked who attended. He said he only supplied the house and food and didn't really know anybody who attended. He suggested I call Janet Singer, the other woman's treasurer. I called and have still had no response to my message. Norm gave me the other woman's campaign number; I called that, too, and left a message, and again nobody's called me back. So all I know is that the Singers (who are running the Santa Cruz City Club and support the move to widen Highway 1 and create district elections for Santa Cruz) and "some attorneys" and Norm Lezin are supporting the other woman. I'll let you know if I hear anything.


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

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From the November 21-28, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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