[MetroActive Features]

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

[whitespace] U.S. Army company From the collection of Geoffrey Dunn

Santa Cruz Fight Club, 1880s: This gaggle of erstwhile young men is part of a U.S. Army company stationed for the summer either up in Delaveaga Park, where the Reserves usually did their thing, or in Harvey West Park, where this photo may have been taken. Santa Cruz used to have a large group of boxing fans, and regular matches were held in the Civic and where Lenz Art and Outdoor World are now located.

Bruce Bratton

BORDERING ON MISTAKES. Before any more mistakes are made, we need to make sure any and all clauses are added to the Borders contract making it impossible for Borders or Doug Ley to sell, lease, rent or otherwise allow any other book businesses to move in there after Borders decides to move out. Once one book business is allowed in, it would be an easy argument to say yes to "99-cent Books R You" or any other fly-by-night chain operation. Sure, that seems an obvious ruling, but we've made some serious mistakes in the near past by not thinking ahead. That's why Gap Kids moved into what was going to be Cat N' Canary--in an example of yet another chain store closing down a successful local independent business. The building owner decided that a chain was more dependable than a local business.

THE HEMLOCK SOCIETY. There's a half-hour video available at all area libraries titled Your Second 50 Years. The video was locally produced by Doree Steinmann and the National Hemlock Society, and the Northern California Chapter selected this tape because it presents death with dignity and in a more persuasive and humanly graceful way than Kevorkian's approach. It's about how Santa Cruzan Anne Taylor's husband had a good life and, because Anne assisted in her husband's dying (with him in complete control), how he had a good death. Ann says, "People stay alive longer if they know they can name the day. It takes the fear away of not being in control." The Hemlock Society meets the last Tuesday of every month (at 2pm). Mary Duffield is the local chapter president. You can learn new methods of assisting the death of loved ones or yourself. Call 462.9605 for more details.

NEW JERSEY NIGHT. Chris Mathews, who has no fear, is hosting another New Jersey night at the Poet and Patriot Dec. 4. The usual a cappella contest will happen, the usual proclamations will be made and the usual local New Jerseyians who actually miss home will be there to make much ado about the Garden State. Stop by the Poet to get last-minute details.

ANOTHER THOUGHT ON CHAINS. When Blockbuster (and how did we let them in?) sold out to Wherehouse, the quality really went all to hell, in my opinion. No more listening to CDs before purchase, no returning CDs; the selection has become ridiculous (the stocking and filing of the music must be managed by Captain Chaos); and the staff probably tries hard but seems to know little or care little about any music other than their favorites. That's why I worry about Borders selling out to even shoddier operations with no local control over the change of ownership.

THE NEW CINDERELLA. Shakespeare Santa Cruz's production of an original musical version of Cinderella should be a grand hit. Paul Whitworth is directing it, Kate Hawley did the script and lyrics, B. Modern is doing the costumes and all sorts of talented folks are part of this show. The previous production of Wind in the Willows was wonderful, and inside word says Cinderella will be even more fun. It runs for three weeks, Saturday (Nov. 26)-Dec. 12. Call the UC-Santa Cruz ticket office at 459.2159 quickly. What usually happens in Santa Cruz is that a super production like this opens with some seats not sold; then after the first weekend, the word spreads like wildfire, and you can't get tickets ever.

FILM BUSINESS. Denzel Washington couldn't have needed the money, so there must have been some other reason for him to lower himself to be in The Bone Collector. Angelina Jolie, who is Jon Voight's daughter, has dad's acting genes and does a fine job, but the script, if any, is so full of plot holes and clichés it's embarrassing. The Legend of 1900 could be called Inside Tim Roth, or Titanic 2, but go see it. The music by Ennio Morricone sounds like the usual Morricone score but that's OK. The director is the same guy who did Cinema Paradiso. Most film critics are afraid to make the call on films that deal with emotions, and Susan Sarandon's Anywhere but Here deals with emotions and mother-daughter material. It's a very good film and certainly worth seeing. Natalie Portman proves she can act and does every bit as good an acting job as veteran Sarandon, and that's saying something.

THE DOWNTOWN PLAZA MEETING. Peter McGettigan has finished the video of the Carmel conference on why plazas, squares, piazzas, campos or whatever they are called are so necessary in making downtowns work. We'll be showing the video at the Dec. 2 meeting at 7:30pm in the upstairs meeting room of the Main Library. One of the major concepts in creating a centrally located plaza is to make our city more beautiful. Gianni Longo writes in The Cost of Ugliness, "Our cities are becoming increasingly ugly, and we are paying a price for that ugliness." Longo says that bankers, elected officials, traffic engineers, planners and people involved in creating spaces do not see themselves in the business of creating beauty and that our cities show it. I'm betting we'll never find out who gave the OK to the way that new Borders parking structure looks at the corner of Front and Soquel. We should name it after somebody very special--any suggestions?

RIOT AT THE HYATT. Jackie Kallen, boxing's most successful female manager, manages Wayne Llewellyn of London, who will fight Terry Verners of Fresno at the next Riot at the Hyatt, which happens Saturday (Nov. 27) at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey. San Francisco's Jesus Hernandez fights Victor Guerrero of Gilroy; Ghana's Kofi Amponsah takes on Lamont Winn of Fresno; and Canadian champ Marsha Valley fights IFBA champ Gina Guidi. San Jose's Jesse Martinez opponent hadn't been named as of this writing. I won't name all the Santa Cruzans I've seen at the my first two bouts, but Morton Marcus and Jeff Dunn have been teaching me other views of this "sweet science," and no, I haven't read Joan Didion's book on boxing yet. There aren't many tickets left, but call Matchmaker Jerry Hoffman at 688.1604 just in case.

WENDY'S AT BROMMER. That issue is far from over, and neighbors are getting even more frustrated about the danger of Wendy's opening their one-millionth fast-food stop, this time at Brommer and 17th. County Supervisor Jan Beautz hasn't announced whether she's going to run for re-election yet, and that could have a lot to do with the outcome of maintaining the neighborhood the way the neighbors want it. More on this matter as soon as I hear anything.

ERRATA ET EFFLUVIUM. Some bumper stickers. "Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die." One sticker, namely, "The more you complain, the longer God makes you live," was also seen as "The more you complain, the longer God lets you live." And then there's the deeply philosophical "Where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?"

Bruce critiques films every other Thursday at 12:50pm on KUSP (88.9FM). Reach Bruce at [email protected] or 457.9000, #400.

[ Santa Cruz | MetroActive Central | Archives ]

From the November 24-December 1, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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