[MetroActive Features]

[ Features Index | Santa Cruz | MetroActive Central | Archives ]

Bruce Bratton

[whitespace] Eleanor Roosevelt
Covello & Covello Historical Photo collection

Eleanor Roosevelt Visits Santa Cruz: This photo was a real surprise. The great first lady was here in Santa Cruz on April 26, 1962, and this photo was taken up at Deer Park in Rio Del Mar. I have no idea why she was here, who brought her here and so on. Being an out-of-the-way place, Santa Cruz has had few visiting big-name political dignitaries over the years. Usually their visits were recorded everywhere, but being Eleanor, she might not have wanted to make a big scene.

NOT ANOTHER NAVY SHIP! It's unbelievable that "a committee of community members" (according to the Sentinel) has invited another warship to Santa Cruz, even though this ship could be carrying nuclear weapons, and the Navy won't say whether it is or not. Remember, too, that Santa Cruz has been declared a nuclear-free zone, and this is one of the reasons why that declaration was passed. Note that the invitation wasn't for some other type Navy ship with a peaceful use but for a killing ship designed to track and destroy targets in the air, on the ground and underwater with torpedoes, deck guns and missiles.

What adds to the problem is that misguided officials in Capitola and Scotts Valley are also asking their City Councils to support this warship visit. Why would anyone want to see or especially want their children to see mass-murder weapons that we use in every case around the world where our attempts at peace fail? Can't we just show hospital ships or cargo ships or make some attempt to show another side of our military to justify our enormous expenditure of money and lives?

Yes, I know that the military personnel on duty should be thanked for dedicating their lives and all that, but let's hide those murder machines, not glorify them. I'm sure there will be demonstrations and resistance to this; the inviting officials know there will be, and it's somehow as if that must be part of the plan. The last time one of those warships was here, it dumped lots of pollutants in the bay. Somebody should make sure this won't happen again. You can call the Resource Center for Nonviolence at 423-1626 to help become part of the protest. In case I haven't mentioned it before, I'm a U.S. Army veteran.

REWRITING HISTORY. Eric Fingal of Covello & Covello Photography was first, then accordionist extraordinaire Julio Morgani was second, in pointing out that the two young Miss California contestants in last week's historical photo were high atop the Palomar Hotel, not the St. George, as I erroneously stated. You could tell because right behind and beneath them was the town clock in its original location on top of the Odd Fellows Building. That clock was removed and stashed over at Harvey West Park for years before being refurbished and erected as our present town clock in 1976.

LATE-BREAKING NEWS. I just got word that Meredith Marquez, senior planner for the city, resigned quite suddenly. Inside sources say it had something to do with the Borders problem, and that's all I know for now.

WIDENING OUR VISION. Bill Nichols of KUSP's The Film Gang and UCSC's film department loaned me a PBS video documentary titled Taken for a Ride. It was directed by Jim Kline, who did other great films, such as Union Maids and Seeing Red. Taken for a Ride is about the buying out of numerous public transportation systems by General Motors, tire manufacturers and gas and oil companies. Their plan, which worked all too well, involved allowing the trolley trains and bus systems to fail by neglect and lack of funding. In a very few short years, we the peoples of the United States were forced to become absolutely dependent on our cars. This film convinced me that we need much more public transportation, and we need our perceptions changed too. Demanding faster travel on our freeways and creating more out-of-downtown shopping areas are all part of that way of thinking. We need to get Taken for a Ride shown on Community Television or on TCI asap. And we need to make it mandatory viewing for everyone who wants to spend millions on widening Highway 1. The proposed widening won't help beyond a few years--we're just buying into more development. Spend some of the money on road maintenance but bring back light rail into the county. It worked here before we ripped out all the tracks. I'll let you know when this film will be shown.

SOME FINE FILMS. If you haven't seen a film that makes you miserable and very depressed or if you're not quite convinced that war has a devastating effect on life go see Cabaret Balkan. It's very well made and does exactly what the filmakers wanted to achieve, but it is cruel, savage, bloody and sad. Patricia Arquette is great in Stigmata, and Gabriel Byrne is OK too. It's about what Jesus thinks of the Roman Catholic Church, more or less. Stir of Echoes stars the real Kevin Bacon, and it's about what happens if you don't dig ghosts. If you haven't seen an intelligent, funny film in a long time, go see The Dinner Game, which was written by the same guy who wrote La Cage aux Folles; it's about 94 minutes.

THE LEONARD BUILDING. This new location of Metro Santa Cruz sometime in October is full of historical material, and I made another mistake in saying that Penniman Title was there once. The Leonard Building is that 1894 building at the corner of Front and Cooper streets. Warren Penniman corrected me and for obvious reasons knew that Penniman Title was located on Locust Street, where the new parking garage now sits, until 1952. They then moved to the Moore Building on Plaza Lane, as Warren sez, "right next to United Cigar," a great tobacco and newspaper store that was where that optometrist is now. United Cigar was a true Santa Cruz landmark, and very fondly remembered by all us old timers.

It was Santa Cruz Land Title Company in the Leonard Building, according to Warren. He also added that Luca Lunch, a famous local watering hole, was in the Leonard Building. Tom Kisling, landlord of the Leonard Building, states that Western Title Insurance, then Redding Title Company, then Schlotzky's deli was there until the earthquake. After the earthquake, it was American Savings, which merged with Washington Mutual Bank. Metro Santa Cruz will probably print up all this history and add any historic photos, if we can find any, and do a wall display for the new offices.

JAZZ NOTES II. Donny McCaslin, son of Don McCaslin of Warmth fame, will be playing with Kyle Eastwood's group at the Monterey Jazz Festival on Saturday, Sept. 18. Donny just finished his second CD, and Dad Don is still holding forth at Severino's Thursday through Saturday nights and jams as usual at the Wharf House out on the Capitola Wharf on Sundays.

THE NEW NICKELODEON. As you've probably heard by now, The Nickelodeon is hoping to open another theatre in the old Movie 1 & 2 building on Front Street. This would allow them to show even more "art" films, plus documentaries, classic films, short subjects and others we see getting awards but that never play here. They need parking space for the theatre and are angling to get that rental/used car lot right at the corner of Front and Laurel by the bridge where the hot dog stand used to be. This seems like a fine idea, but it needs support from the city to get the parking spaces.

GREAT BUMPER STICKER. Hiya Swanhuyser saw this one, and it definitely deserves some kind of award: "Give me Ambiguity or give me something else."

[ Santa Cruz | MetroActive Central | Archives ]

From the September 15-22, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.