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[whitespace] Native Sons Day
Photo from Geoffrey Dunn's historic photo collection

Native Sons Day, 1891: This gorgeous structure was assembled for the annual Native Sons Day, which I assume was sponsored by the local chapter of the Native Sons of the Golden West. We are looking north at the corner of Walnut and Pacific.

Bruce Bratton

NO ROOM AT THE ST. GEORGE? It was news to me that all the renters in the St. George Hotel (mostly students and retirees) aren't allowed to use the 60 parking spaces that Barry Swenson built in the basement. Swenson rents all those spaces to Cisco Systems employees at $50 per month each. The folks who live in the St. George are forced to pay for spaces, if they can, on the top level of the parking structure across the street. I think Swenson allows upstairs renters to use the four handicapped spaces in the basement, but I'm not sure. Wouldn't you think that somebody would have insisted residents be provided mandatory spaces as a condition of approving rental units? What about the other new student rental units in Swenson's building at Cathcart and Pacific? Where do their residents park?

ABOUT JOAN OF ARC. I don't recommend that you see the miserable attempt of a film currently playing, but it did raise an interesting question: why the name Joan of Arc? She's also called the Maid of Orleans, Joan the Maid, Saint Joan and Joan of Domremy (because she was born in Domremy, France). But why Joan of Arc or Jeanne d'Arc? Well, R. Grump Levine looked it up and reports that it's because Mr. and Mrs. d'Arc named their daughter Jeanne--and R. Grump Levine is seldom wrong.

THAT SHARK PHOTO. Now that we've identified every human in that shark photo printed here Oct. 6, Sean Van Sommeran, executive director of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation, says we need to identify the shark! Sean says the shark was an Isurus oxyrinchus, or shortfin mako shark, and odds are that it wasn't the shark that bit the woman and caused the shark hunt that resulted in the photo of the $2,500 bounty being paid for killing 50 sharks. Sean says the woman was bitten by a great white, not a mako. Makos seldom bite and rarely go near shore, he claims. There has been a total of only eight to 12 deaths from shark attacks in California since 1926, which isn't anywhere near what I would have guessed. The Pelagic Shark Research Foundation has been busy working with the B.B.C., National Geographic, UC-Davis and UCSC and has now tagged 50 sharks for research projects. Call the Foundation at 459.9346 (or visit its website) if you'd like to help out.

SHAKESPEARE'S CINDERELLA. What you should do is grab some kids, get tickets immediately and go see Shakespeare Santa Cruz's production of Cinderella. It is fast, funny, witty, beautiful and traditional and completely captivates the children from start to finish. The acting, sets and costumes are brilliant; the songs, music and choreography are completely original and clever--and what else can be said? Children nowadays don't get to see live theater, and if you could see the effect this production has on the entire audience--but especially on the kids--you'd know how important an early theater experience can be. The problem is that it'll probably be all sold out, so call 459.2159 for tickets and keep trying, because they were having some trouble with their phone system.

GOODBYE, ROSE BUFFALO. Rose Buffalo is a remarkably talented artist who creates art from earth materials. She shows in galleries regularly and has been associated with the Frederick Spratt Gallery in San Jose for the last few years. Rose has her art studio in her homestead in Aromas--or, as she calls it, her fragrant, green, organic homestead. Her studio/farm is for sale, and Rose is moving to New Mexico. Her last studio sale will be held Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12 and 18-19, noon-4pm, or by appointment. You need to see her Tussie Mussies, Corn Dollie Blessings, small altars and wreathes to appreciate what she has accomplished. Her studio is well worth the drive to Aromas, especially if you have visitors and are going to San Juan Bautista. The studio is at 500 Seely Ave., and you can call her at 726.1547.

FEW FILMS. No big Hollywood films opened last week; they're saving them all up for the huge Christmas rush. But Show Me Love is a fine film opening this Thursday at the Nick. It's a Swedish production about love during the high school years. More specifically, it's about two girls discovering their love for each other, and it's very well done. Try to see the newly refurbished four-hour version of Eric von Stroheim's Greed, which was on TV on TMC last week. The print and the restoration are beautiful, and Santa Cruz's Zasu Pitts never acted better or looked lovelier. There's a new print of Carol Reed's The Third Man coming to the Nick on Dec. 16, and if you've never seen this masterpiece on the big screen, here's your chance. It has a script by Graham Greene and one of Orson Welles' finest acting roles. Don't miss it.

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN. First Night still needs some late-night volunteers (9pm-midnight), and they have special rewards for those folks from West Marine, Rhythm Fusion and Community Printers. They also need site assistants. Call 425.7277 to find out how you can become part of this biggest of all community celebrations. Community Television is planning a special "Last Week" of television during the last week of this month and will be featuring lots of special programming all centering on our county and the folks who live here now and who used to live here. Dec. 31 will include many viewable treats, especially a three-hour live telecast from Community Television's new studio titled Last Night. It'll contain interviews with locals and lots of our greatest talent--details to follow, but do stay tuned.

GIFT BOOK FOR FILM ENTHUSIASTS. Tom and Jim Goldrup of Ben Lomond have written three books in the series Feature Players: The Stories Behind the Faces. These books are made of interviews the Goldrups conducted with dozens of actors who aren't the big stars but are the faces you know from all the great years of Hollywood. The third volume, the newest, includes interviews with John Agar (Shirley Temple's ex), Jeff Corey, Faith Domergue, Jeremy Slate, Marie Windsor, Robert Bray, Wally Cassell, Matt Clark and lots more. Trust me, if you're over 45 and ever went to the movies, you know Bray, Cassell, Clark and most of the rest of these unsung heroes and heroines. Call the Goldrups at 336.5059, and they'll tell you how to get a copy.

SEAFOOD WATCH. Recently, the San Francisco Chronicle printed a list of the seafood that the biologists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium say will present environmental problems if we eat too many of them. We should avoid farmed oysters, spot prawns, farmed salmon and wild salmon from California, Oregon and Washington. Avoid rockfish, lingcod, all varieties of sharks and sablefish (also known as black cod or butterfish) and of course avoid swordfish, which "has long been considered one of the world's most endangered commercial fish." The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations is working with Ken Peterson at the Monterey Aquarium to improve this list. You can see the entire Seafood Watch list at www.montereybayaquarium.org.


Bruce critiques films every other Thursday at 12:50pm on KUSP (88.9FM). Reach Bruce at bratton@cruzio.com or 457.9000, #400.

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From the December 8-15, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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