Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 26th
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From the Editor

greg_archerS2sPlus Letters to the Editor

Many of us in California come from somewhere else. California natives? I can count a couple of handfuls that I’ve met just this year. So, during the holidays, inevitably those of us who’ve arrived in California, either searching for new life, new direction, or just following a dream, may find ourselves invited into the family gatherings of other people. That’s not a bad thing at all, but maybe this year, it won’t be such a bad idea to share some of your own family stories. To me, Thanksgiving always conjures up one scenario: My Polish Uncle John hiding an entire platter of Polish dumplings under his chair during the Thanksgiving meal. I couldn’t blame him—I’d always wanted those homemade fluffy, tempting carbs, drizzled with melted butter all to myself too.
(During a recent visit back to Chicago, my mother made some and I quickly devoured a dozen in one sitting.) I’m thankful for those meals and those dumplings—my gut, maybe not so much. All that to say: Eat up this year—consume every vibrant moment with family and friends. And let them know why you are grateful to have them in your life. Let go. Don’t hold on to it. Give it!

In other giving arenas, I encourage everyone to dive in to this week’s cover story where we spotlight four enterprising nonprofits in our annual Community Fund issue. Each year, GT teams with the Community Foundation to highlight several organizations doing great work. Funds are matched by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation with help from the Community Foundation. Take a look on page 18. And thanks for giving what you can. Look fo the unveiling of the new center for CF on Dec. 3. Its new digs in Aptos look impressive. Visit for more details on all the great things the organization actually does throughout the year.
In other news: Bill Cosby hits the Civic this weekend. Take another look at our cover story on the man at

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief

Letters to the Editor

Fits the Bill
Regarding the Bill Cosby cover story last week., I worked for Mr. Cosby years ago when I was in college. He was so kind and caring.  It was 1974 and I was a "gofer" for him at the then-Showcase Theater at Magic Mountain in the Los Angeles area.  I was a starving student earning extra money and was given the responsibility of working with the talent at the theater. My job was to make sure the dressing room and "Green Room" had everything in the way of food, drink, etc. and to run errands if the talent needed.  I also was responsible for making sure the stage was set up for the talent to perform and worked with the stage manager to put out stools, mics, etc.
For Mr. Cosby I was responsible for placing his cordless microphone on his stool. I was in awe of Mr. Cosby—as a teen in high school my friends and I listened to his records and we memorized his famous bits—Noah and God, his talks about his brother and friends, and most all the others.  One night after a performance Mr. Cosby and his entourage (he must have had a half dozen or more people with him—all of them African American) decided they were hungry.  I shared what was available in Magic Mountain park and they decided on Mexican food.  The Mexican food restaurant was on the other side of the park—I had to climb over the mountain, put in the order and wait for the food (advising the staff the food was for Mr. Cosby).  They rushed the order together and handed off the bags of food to me and I rushed back over the hill and delivered it to the Green Room. I laid out all the food and made sure there were plates, forks, spoons, napkins, etc.  I headed for the door and Mr. Cosby approached me and thanked me for being so quick with the food and tried to hand me a $20 bill.  That was a lot of money back in 1974, especially for a starving student. The rules were that we couldn't take any tip money from the talent. I quietly told Mr. Cosby that it wasn't allowed and held up my hand.  Mr. Cosby insisted I take the money and I continued to refuse.
By now his entourage had migrated over to the food across the room.  They couldn't hear us but they could see what was going on—Cosby handing me a $20 bill and animatedly telling me he wanted me to have it and me holding up both my hands saying no—that I couldn't accept.  Mr. Cosby was smiling the whole time so I was feeling OK. He was so insistent I finally verbally agreed I in hushed tones to accept the money.  Mr. Cosby then spoke very loudly and said, “Thanks bot.” All of his friends burst into laughter and Mr. Cosby gave me the famous smirk and then his big smile.  I had been set up—played.  In all of his performances I have ever heard he never brought up race.  When you think of Cos you don't think of him as a black man—you think of him as a great comedian. This had to be one of the few times ever that his friends or anyone heard him use race as a punch line.  I was flattered and blushed red—and effusively thanked Mr. Cosby for the tip. 
Wish I could say I still have that $20 and that Bill Cosby autographed it for me.  I spent it soon after and only have a wonderful memory of a very gracious, kind-hearted and nice man who I still admire greatly.
Santa Cruz

Stand Up, Make Your Voice Heard
Regarding the article on the elections, it’s over! Now that everything has fallen where it’s fallen, it’s time we take to the streets again and stand up for what we Americans believe in. We need to make our voices heard and begin planning now for a greater Democractic victory in 2012.
John Gibson
Scotts Valley

Best of The Online Comments

On the Delaware Addition ..
What's considered affordable housing in Santa Cruz? $450,000? $500,000? Working class people can't afford much, if anything, in Santa Cruz. Do you really think that Redtree properties is going to offer
below-market prices out of the kindness
of their hearts?
Bret Smith

Totally agree. We're talking apartments blocks away from the cliffs, in a neighborhood where home values are in the millions even after the housing market collapsed. If this place has any success, and they actually manage to somewhat replicate the Pacific Avenue scene on the west side of town, this is going to be the hottest place around.
Also, the article says that the development is near schools. There's an elementary school adjacent to Derby Park I think, but the only high school is Pacific Collegiate. Kids living in the Delaware Addition won't be able to go to PCS, just like the kids living in the houses nearby. Putting a high-density housing development right next to the school is going to rekindle that whole argument.


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