Squid Fry for Jul 31, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
HOT BREAKFAST… Nothing wakes up Squid for the weekend like a little friction, so readers can imagine Squid’s disappointment when it appeared that Saturday morning’s NAACP Youth Summit was going to be all happy politicians, blueberry muffins and link sausage: For the first 20 minutes, NAACP CEO and President Ben Jealous, Congressman Sam Farr, Assembly candidate Bill Monning, local NAACP elder Mel Mason and a host of other dignitaries went about saluting each other as about 100 kids and about that many adults enjoyed a breakfast buffet. Squid nodded off.
Then Seaside mayor Ralph Rubio took the podium. “When opportunity knocks on the door,” he told the Oldemeyer Center auditorium, “you can’t be in the back taking a nap.” But Squid was.
“Right now everybody’s more interested in eating breakfast,” he added.
That didn’t sit well with one event organizer who stormed to the mic. “I don’t stand for that disrespect,” he barked. (Squid stirred.) “I want to hear a rat skate on ice. You gotta pay attention.”
It got better. Mason gave a rousing introduction of his boss, the youngest president in the history of what he called the “the most cussed and discussed, feared and revered” civil rights group in the country, highlighting the friction Jealous caused as a young Robert Down Elementary student demanding to know from his librarian why there weren’t more books on blacks.
Then Jealous, a P.G. native and the county’s only Rhodes scholar, provided more heat.
“Fire up! Ready to go!” he boomed, borrowing a rallying cry from Barack Obama. Squid’s eyelids opened. Jealous called for a commitment to righting the wrongs of society– touching on state stats that reveal a disproportionate amount of blacks in jail. “That includes kids from Monterey,” he said, “or someday will with this sheriff that we have.” Good morning, Monterey County Sheriff Mike Kanalakis.
HEALING ENERGY… Lounging at the River Inn, bloody Mary in tentacle– or slurping soup at Big Sur Bakery– Squid had seen evidence Big Sur was on the mend. But the Sur is a celebratory spot. Squid needed to see cathartic freaking out to be convinced.
At Saturday’s Big Sur Rising benefit at Big Sur Spirit Garden, Squid saw it: A community jumped as one on the dance floor to local bands like Palo Colorado and Tornado Rider, masked performance artists crawled all over co-organizer Jayson Fann’s huge wooden nests and stunning fire photos by Kodiak Greenwood provided crucial context. Best of all, Fann and collaborators Nico and Gabe Georis, and Joe Fletcher raised almost $5K for the Coastal Property Owners Association’s relief fund and Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade.