Every time I
hear some gelatinous gentleman on the radio blathering on about
the Index of Leading Economic Indicators, about Moody's Index or
downturns and upswings in the NASDAQ, my mind inevitably gravitates
to the indices which really matter in our lives. The MFCI (Miles
From Cappuccino Index) offers a perfect example. To those of us
dreaming of bright tropical beaches while we mold away in the bone-softening,
brain-fuzzing banks of fog summer regularly deposits here on the
North Coast, the real estate here seems dear enough. To visitors
from San Francisco and other conglomerations of concrete ...
Massaged in San Francisco
day I ran into my friend Bill down at Bob's Steak and Chop House
on the corner of Montgomery and California. You know the new place
that everyone was wondering about during about a year of construction?
What a pleasant surprise when the scaffolding came down to see a
classy bar & grill rather than one more set of office suites
for attorneys or accountants. Maybe
you remember Bill's story about the Broadway strip joints. Well,
it seems Bill has a little problem now. The story drew huge readership
and Gail his editor wants more pieces along those linesthe
hit rate pumps up advertising, pumps up revenue, pumps up Gail....
I was having
lunch the other day down at Le Central with my friend Bill. He seemed
more chipper than the last time I saw him. Then he had just lost
a girl friend in a car accident in Sonoma and was struggling with
the loss. But now there seemed to be lightness about him and I was
glad. "So what have you been up to?" I asked. Bill is
a feature writer and a good one. He works for one of our competitors.
He hesitated a moment then said, "Hanging out at strip joints.
How about you?"
Oh, boy, I thought. Bill is in trouble. Then he added, "It's
work. I'm writing a story...."
our teeth in the pool of light cast by the kerosene lamp above her
sink, both of us scrubbing away with the ease, the lack of self-consciousness,
that often comes with years of living together. The strange thing
is, we've never gone on vacation together, discussed the right place
for the new sofa or what to get for dinner. We hardly know each
other. This is my first visit to the cabin she built in the meadows
along the north side of the river, the place where she's raised
her kids and gotten divorced....
With all the
thought on terrorism and war, I decided to see if it were possible
to think about anything else. If I succeeded, it would be a first
among publications; and if I failed, folks could just shake their
heads and say, "darn fool thing to try." But what to think
about almost stopped me dead. Was there really anything else? After
long consideration and several bouts of depression over my inability
to churn up other thoughts, I came up with what I thought to be
a fitting topic: Now don't laugh; I came up with the idea of writing
an article on fishing....
Bratton: Santa Cruz Institution
Of all the curmudgeons
out there with newspaper columns, few are as inexhaustible or irascible
as Bruce Bratton. Never watered down, Bratton's opinions have been
getting Santa Cruzans all riled up on a weekly basis for the last
31 years. He is not a man who conjures up a luke-warm reaction.
People either love or hate him and according to Michael Gant, editor
of Metro Santa Cruz, the majority of letters sent to the paper employ
phrases like "please can that good-for-nothing Bruce Bratton
..." "But I'm really just the messenger,"says Bratton.
It's a lovely Thursday afternoon and Bruce and I are sipping coffee
at the Javah House, one of his regular hang outs....