By TOM HONIG
Pundits from Shel Silverstein to Thomas Carlyle have inveighed about the passage of time.
Silverstein: "They're tearing down buildings that I watched them build..."
Carlyle: "The illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called Time, rolling, rushing on, swift, silent, like an all-embracing ocean-tide, on which we and all the universe swim like exhalations, like apparitions which are, and then are not.... "
Me: "Old Santa Cruz and new Santa Cruz, all on one day last Saturday."
Old Santa Cruz turned out Saturday afternoon at the Congregational Church on High Street for a memorial service to pay tribute to Wally Trabing, the Sentinel columnist who cranked out a column every day from the early '60s to the mid-'90s. He died recently at the age of 90 (and here's a nice tribute by the Sentinel's Wallace Baine.)
Wally's life, as it was described by friends and family, was lived at a slower pace than it would have today. His son, Kent, remarked on how his dad started the day by listening to the sounds of morning as dawn broke outside his Santa Cruz home. The gray heads in attendance nodded, as if acknowledging something barely remembered.
As I said, it was old Santa Cruz. People like artist Dave McGuire, former county supervisor Robley Levy, Bruce Bratton, activist Lois Muhly (whose own husband, Bert, was honored at his funeral just two weeks earlier) and of course, a ton of old Sentinel alums: John Lindsay, Len Klempnauer, Denise Siebenthal, Chris Watson, Maria Gaura and Bruce McPherson. Then there were the survivors: Don Miller, Bill Lovejoy and Wallace Baine.
Ah, but then there's the new. Just a couple hours later, the Museum of Art and History opened its doors to the annual Nexties Awards -- a lively, hard-partying salute to the local folks under 40 who are making a big difference in town. (For more, here's the Good Times lead-up to the evening).
Four young Santa Cruzans were honored for helping to make things better in Santa Cruz, but the event is also an opportunity for folks to eat, drink, dance and socialize. It's the best party in town -- high energy, filled with the promise of things to come. City Council members were there in profusion. So were staffers, young lawyers, techies and non-profit operators. It's totally new Santa Cruz: new people, new dreams, new goals and an intoxicating sense of excitement. It was a sold-out crowd.
That night, I dreamed about someone speaking at the Nexties. This unidentified grouch said something along the lines of: "This is how it is. You're like you are now, and then you get old and then you die." With that I woke up.
Not particularly profound, but it was that kind of day in Santa Cruz.