Saturday, June 27, 2009

I was reading a guide book last year before we came West, and it stated that there are three Communist countries left in the world: China, Cuba and Santa Cruz, California. It's not really true; they're just really nuts! (We tried to land in Santa Cruz, the ship got lost in the fog and we ended up on the rocks in Pacific Grove.) Ever wonder what Halloween is like in Santa Cruz (SC)? Who hasn't? Here's a Letter Home describing a taste of my first Halloween in Surf City:

Dear friends;

Life is California cool... literally. Every once in a while I realize that i am actually living here, if you call the Ramada Limited living. Actually, it's not bad. We went to the post office to change our address, spent much time transferring money, had coffee, and drove to Salinas and Monterey. It's fun to drive through the "Salad Bowl of the World"; vast expanses of black furrows dotted with Mexicans. I saw a kid in SC yesterday with a T-shirt that read, "Mexican, not Latino, not Hispanic." By the way, what are those tall poles with the big leaves at the top? We ate (I ate), fried zucchini at the end of the wharf and checked out a studio in Monterey, left a message for Ismael Guzman. We got in to the cafe in Pacific Grove late, called about jobs for Paul, and drove down three blocks to the ocean. Don't ever go to Pacific Grove - it's just too beautiful to bear. There are stone walls, and steps going into the bay, and you just might run into John and his stunningly white cockatoo, Nadia... she was all kissy-kissy until I tried to put her on my head, and she went cuckoo and threw my glasses onto the ground, shouting as she strutted up the concrete wall. She's a real loud-mouth. We walked along the water as the light melted over the pacific, and gawked at the goldenly illuminated Victorians towering over the bay. We drove back through the salad to SC. I dropped Sarah at the motel and drove into town with my G9, ready to capture for all time the silliness that is Halloween in SC. Maybe you can check it out on youtube. They block off Pacific and hire the National Guard to keep down the number of stabbings. The rain let up to allow for a parade of Sarah Palins, Barack Obamas, naughty nurses, pregnant brides, pregnant nuns, Sponge Bob, a horrific assortment of ghouls and Kiss-inspired face paint, people with all manner of objects on their persons, people in elaborate costume on very tall stilts dancing, drummers, chanters, marijuana smokers, shouters, cops, pretty girls in lingerie, pretty boys in body paint or loin cloths, TV characters, Jesus Christs, Bravehearts, Star Wars types, Muppet-like fuzz balls, a guy with a pig nose, bloody surgeons, Roman soldiers, soul singers, French maids, devils, divas, bat girls, pussy cats, wizards, copwatchers, 17th century court ladies, Santa, bloody brides, hobbits, zombies, a large electrical outlet, death, neon wigs, a golden-tressed pirate in a tutu, more blood, garter belts, clowns, corsets, men with little wings, space aliens, a guy with large purple orbs all over his body (I guess he was a bunch of grapes), random girls in hot pants, cowboys, etc. Pacific was lined with normally dressed Mexican men (real ones), watching the gringos be, well, gringos. One poignant moment was watching several Mexicans watching some guy dressed up like a mexican, with a cartoonish mask. I came home exhausted to find Sarah hunched over her laptop on the bed searching for apartments. Today (Saturday) we will drive back to Monterey to look for an apartment and a cheaper motel. It's still chilly and wet, but at least it's not frigid. California is a little like a movie set - maybe it's all those tall poles with funny leaves - I've only seen them in movies (and in Haiti). People are friendly, and a lot of them mumble to themselves and seem to live on a planet far, far away. We are keeping the anxiety at bay with hyper-active efficiency. Keep those cards and letters coming. I don't miss New England (yet?) but I do miss my friends. Sarah is out running, but she probably sends her love. Hugs and kisses and a big cockatoo kiss on the beak, Paul.


  1. To comment, scroll over the "O Comments" text, click, and write your comments in the box. Where it says, "Comment as:" there is a drop down menu; select "name/URL" and type your name or whatever. That simple!

  2. Here is a comment, as Paul requested. Only a comment, mind you. I won't clog your blog.