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Bruce Bratton

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Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection

Front and Soquel Streets, circa Jan. 9, 1957: This is definitely the corner where the Longs parking lot now sits, looking over the bridge toward Riverside Electric. I want to thank Merrill Kerrick, Louie Andriotti and Don Passerino for correcting my data when I ran another photo a month ago taken the very same day from the roof of Van's Supermarket looking just up Front Street. As previously mentioned, these historical photos are really meant to be interactive exchanges, and fun material ... not carved-in-stone documents.

SAVE THE HORSES. And also save the Santa Cruz Feed and Mercantile, which is located at 123 Center St., down by where the old railroad depot used to be. Those great Victorian horse carriage rides at Christmastime on Pacific, the horse-powered rides at Wilder Ranch, the more than 25 weddings per year using horse-drawn carriages, the dozens of rides contributed to nonprofit organizations and just about any image or connection Santa Cruzans have about horses are all connected to Randy Clayton and his wife, Christine, who run the Santa Cruz Feed and Mercantile store. The store site is being threatened by the possible purchase of the land for the proposed 64-acre Depot/Neary Lagoon/
Beach/Redwood Park project. More immediately than that, Clayton's ability to rest his horses on the property during the day between horse rides is being threatened by a zoning problem, and once again Santa Cruz has to decide just how far progress is going to change our city. There's a zoning hearing July 22 at 7:30pm in the City Council chambers to discuss the horse problem; you should be there if you like the idea of helping to preserve this part of our heritage. Call Randy Clayton at 466-9169.

HORSE RIDES, PART 2. I think the proposed 64-acre park plan is great and deserves everyone's support. I also think that now, while all the soccer fields, museum sites, skateboard parks and some absolutely astounding plans for the future gateway to the sanctuary and the redwoods are being hatched and finalized, we should beg and plead with Randy and Christine Clayton to integrate their horse and carriage rides, plus hay-wagon rides, plus their Feed and Mercantile business--and recreating any other horse and buggy stuff--into those park plans. I think Santa Cruz is losing and has lost a lot of sense of our early community. I believe that someday all the new high-tech businesses and their accompanying atmosphere will wonder if Santa Cruz ever had a history and what happened to it. We have to be more careful, folks. We don't want to be like Monterey and San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf and sell out completely, do we? And yes, that same sense of history and aesthetics goes for the Downtown Plaza too. P.S.: I was going to suggest two fountains in the Downtown Plaza, one for fluoride and one for others, but I am willing to compromise.

CHATENEVER ON MAUI. Rick Chatenever used to do the Spotlight at the Sentinel. He was here last week and brought me up to date about cultural happenings on that island. The Maui Philharmonic Society has pretty much folded. There's a new 12-plex theater in Kahalui, Bob Dylan was at the new Maui Arts and Culture Center and some guy is working on a Telluride-type film festival there. Academy Award-nominated films may be screened at the Castle Theatre in the Center because there are enough members of the Academy living there to warrant such a thing happening. Rick is still happy writing about cultural events there at the Maui News. He says there are now so many things going on he can't get to them all, which is a big change from his earlier days there.

ABOUT THE PLAZA LAND. Nobody, not even the city, would ever take (as in steal) land away from Louie Rittenhouse, even if he never agrees to sell. Eminent domain or condemnation would only mean that the property would be fairly evaluated, and Louie and whoever else owns those five little parcels on the corner of Pacific and Church would be paid full market value (whatever the property is worth) plus 10 percent. As Tom Bihn reminded me, almost all the city streets we drive and walk on were obtained through eminent domain. P.S.: We now have about a thousand signatures on the petition, and we need more people who care about making a difference in our community to help staff the tables. Call Carli Stevens at 475-9172 and ask her how you can help.

MOVIES; TWO EXCELLENT AND THREE OTHERS. Run Lola Run is certainly worth watching. Fast, exciting, puzzling, brilliant technique and a plot that will have you thinking for days. An Ideal Husband is Oscar Wilde and Ruppert Everett at their best. It's difficult to laugh because you're afraid you'll miss another clever line; don't miss this film. It should have been called The Importance of Being Honest. Spike Lee's Summer of Sam is almost Lee's worst film ever. He's gone back to his early days before he figured how to focus a plot or how to get his message across. Avoid this film; it has no redeeming social values--Morton Marcus probably liked it. Wild Wild West isn't any good either, no matter how much you like Kevin Kline. The entire film is so forced and overworked that they cut out the funny material. I don't think it would even work on the video because it's a big film that wouldn't fit well on the TV screen. Walt Disney's Tarzan has only Minnie Driver's voice as Jane to make it even remotely worth seeing. It may be just me, but some of those Disney jungle backgrounds looked a lot like Thomas Kinkade's awful paintings of light or whatever he calls them.

METRO SANTA CRUZ SECRETS. It's not a secret actually, but I now have it on excellent authority that Nu-z rhymes with cuz, does and even fuzz or buzz. The real news is that Lee Quarnstrom and DeCinzo are the same person!!! Stop and think. Have you ever seen them together? Have they ever disagreed on anything? DeCinzo's name is the giveaway; the letters really spell In Codez, or in codes, get it? Next time you see Quarnstrom, give him a wink and tell him you know the truth. Besides that, you've never seen anybody named DeCinzo, have you? Quarnstrom also went on record as saying the new Cooperhouse was designed by Frank Lloyd Wrong, which is undoubtedly an insult to the Wrong family, but that's Quarnstrom (or DeCinzo). Wait and see what DeCinzo's cartoon does next.

22ND ANNUAL MUSICAL SAW FESTIVAL. Marghe McMahon, who was a student at UCSC, needed money to pay for the bronze statue she did of musical-saw player Tom Scribner. Tom, being Tom, conned a bunch of us into staging a musical-saw festival at the Veterans Hall. That was back in 1976, I think. Tom died, but the Saw Festival's continued in various forms and locations. This Saturday (July 17) at 1pm, saw players from many countries will gather at Tom's statue in front of Bookshop Santa Cruz and play the same old songs they always play, because those are the only ones we can play on saws. The Musical Saw Festival is now, and has been, at Roaring Camp in Felton for several years. On Sunday (July 18), from 10am until 6pm, sawyers will play, lead workshops, stage a continuous musical performance and discuss the many saw-playing techniques being added to this truly folk music tradition. If you want to know more about saw playing, call the maestro himself, Charlie Blacklock, at 510/523-4649.

ANOTHER PALINDROME. Now this one almost makes sense. It's from Melanie, Danny and Tanya: "Do geese see God?" Remember now, these things read the same backward and forward. I still like bumper stickers, but you've got to help here, folks.

You can reach out and touch Bruce in cyberspace at [email protected] or leave a message at 457/9000.

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From the July 14-21, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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