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Gathering of Arts Holiday Market

The 40 artists of the Topanga Canyon Gallery are sponsoring a Gathering of the Arts Holiday Market on Saturday and Sunday, November 18 and 19. The two-day show will feature handmade, original fine arts and crafts, including painting, sculpture, photography, works on paper, wearable art, jewelry, ceramics, blown glass and handmade furniture-all specially priced for holiday gift-giving.

The sale will be in two locations this year-both at Topanga Elementary School auditorium from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the new Topanga Canyon Gallery at Pine Tree Circle from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Vol. 24 No. 23
November 16 - 29, 2000



"The Old Road" watercolor by Nancy Swenson.


The school show will include a garden exhibit, featuring metal sculptures, mosaic tables and other patio and garden art. Refreshments will be available. On opening weekend, a portion of all sale proceeds at both locations will be donated to the school's Enrichment Program.

Just a short walk from the school, the show at the Gallery will feature an artist's reception on Saturday, November 18, from 3-7 p.m. The unique art will be both a feast for the eyes and easy on the pocketbook.

Topanga Canyon Gallery holiday hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10-6 p.m., Sunday 10-5 p.m. For further information, call the Gallery at 455-7909 or 455-1169.


Pralitz Plays Paganini at Fall Concert

By Jack Smith

 Under the leadership of Music Director and Conductor Jerome Kessler the Topanga Symphony presented its fall concert at the Community House on Sunday afternoon, November 5. Welcoming the overflow audience, Symphony President Jack Smith reported that Symphony violinist and long-time Topanga resident Donald Stork had passed away on July 12 and that his family had asked that, in lieu of flowers, friends and relatives make donations in his memory to the Topanga Symphony. The response to this suggestion has been so generous that it has made an important contribution to the Symphony's ability to continue its program of free concerts.
Conductor Jerome Kessler leads The Topanga Symphony with guest violinist Hubert Pralitz.

Smith also announced that one of the Friends of the Topanga Symphony, Sonia Nayle, a professor of computer science, has arranged a free website for the Symphony. This should prove very useful in spreading information about the Symphony and its programs. The address is

The program opened with a joyful performance of the overture to Mozart's comic opera "The Abduction from the Seraglio." Then guest artist Hubert Pralitz, a brilliant young violinist, took the stage. Pralitz played the devilishly difficult First Violin Concerto by Paganini with astounding virtuosity combined with depth of feeling. The audience gave him a well-deserved standing ovation. The program ended with the powerful Symphony No. 2 by Robert Schumann.


T-CEP Dance a Swinging Success

By Elena Lokvig

It takes a community to keep our emergency center going. These are the people that are the real heroes in making this dance successful: Raffle Prizes: Jack & Pat Mac Neil. Messenger: Gabriele Lamarand. Flyers, signs and tickets: My husband, Tor Lokvig. Setup and decorations: Gail McDonald, Jacy Wenn Hernandez, Esther Raucher, Jean Francis. Donation of decorations: Suzanne Teng, Choquosh Aoho, Terry Steinman, Anne Christine von Wetter. Kitchen help and tickets at the door: Toni Donovan, Patrice Winter, Choquosh Aoho, Dorothy Reik, Wally and Debra High, Randy Just, Susan and Ken Clark, Rachel Widen, Josh Widen, Ken Widen, Terry, Donna Falmouth, Shelly Vucker, April Lavery, Celeste Fremon, Delmar Lathers. Security: Casey, Jayni Converse, Randi Johnson, Mark Bathen. Parking: Jack MacNeil, Ned Lederer, Jordan Lederer, Nick Savas, Michael Dean, Dave Winter, Joe Morrison. Music: "W" and Spirit Level. Emcee: Noel Rhodes. D.J.: Elizabeth Shapiro, Sound: Sandy & son Rick, Scott Grusin. Radios: Allen Emerson. Clean up: Sergio Jemanez, and all the folks that stayed to help take down decorations.

Thanks for all your help, Elena Lokvig.

Pat Mac Neil and Fred Feer want to thank Elena, who is too modest to say that as organizer she worked her heart out.

- Editor


Clay Classes on Tap

By Barbara Anahita King

The first session of clay classes is over, and I'm already missing the kids! The 6-8 year olds came skipping down the drive each week eager to get going, slicing off a slab of clay and rolling it out on the canvas boards. The classes of 4-5 year-olds with a parent, grandparent or guardian art pal created an intimate sense of community, each person contributing to a finished piece. The adult class is also a community event, as we each found we share a common fondness for what clay can bring into our lives.

I'm delighted to say that the second set of classes start the week after Thanksgiving, with a comfortable break over the holidays, finishing up by the second week of February.
The 4-5 year-olds with a parent meet Tuesdays at 2:15-3:15 p.m. with another class on Saturdays from 10:45-11:45 a.m. The 6-8 year olds meet for 2 separate classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:15-4:15 p.m. Adults meet on Saturdays from 1:15-3:30 p.m. Older kids may want to join the adult class also. Call King of Arts Clay Studio at (310) 455-3731 and I will be happy to mail or fax out a description and schedule of classes.
Thank you to Topanga for fostering an artistic spirit which breathes life into my classes!



REVIEW: "The Last City Room" by Al Martinez

Reviewed by Tony Morris

We were young in that decade and strong and righteous. We knew what mattered and what didn't. We could smell the bullshit as neatly as we smelled the roses. We shouted peace in the world and made war in the streets.


At a time when major daily newspapers across the nation continue to be bought by global conglomerates, and small town dailies disappear altogether, Al Martinez returns us to the 1960s with the story of a daily newspaper under assault by the forces of change. A Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Los Angeles Times and author of seven previous works, The Last City Room is Martinez' first novel.

Drawing upon more than four decades as journalist, the author creates the world of the fictional San Francisco Herald. Into the paper's city room walks Martinez's protagonist, William Colfax, ex-Marine and reporter for a small town paper, The Edenville Messenger. Colfax is thrust into the drama of the city room and hits the ground running. Martinez presents his credible cast of characters as only a veteran journalist could do. He does this with a knowing attention to detail and an uncommon flare for the dramatic.

With San Francisco of the late '60s as the setting Martinez draws his audience onto the streets of Berkeley with Free Speech protest marches at Sather Gate and the tension of the times. For those growing up in the turbulence of the '60s the scenes are all too familiar-protesters picketing the Herald and its publisher, Jeremy Lincoln Stafford III, trying vainly to understand why his world is under attack.

For the author the '60s was a time when "There was a passion for reporting and writing. It was more intense and there were a lot of good writers too." Martinez shares his passion for his work and provides an intimate view of a working journalist's world. As William Colfax searches for clues to the bombing death of an FBI agent, the author brings us along on Colfax's quest. In a style which is at once spare and revealing Martinez does not waste words. There is something about the author, an ex-Marine and Korean war veteran, which always rings true. One is eager to find out what is around the bend as protagonist Colfax presses his search for answers. Along the way the staff of the city room become credible characters in the drama. Eschewing characters as caricature, Martinez gives us the straight scoop.

As for the world of the '60s Martinez's memories of journalists and drink are "memorialized" with the Three-Oh bar where the Herald's staff spends much of its time.

The bar had a motif the "habitues liked to call neo-defecation, a combination of heavy browns and tarnished golds that absorbed whatever light was allowed in."

The author remembers that days at the Oakland Tribune were not complete without a number of trips to the Hollow Leg, a legendary bar frequented by the paper's staff.

"You clap for someone you like who dies at his desk. Later, they'll drink to him across the street and buy him a snort whenever they order a round," remarks city editor Gerald Burns.
The Last City Room provides the author with an opportunity to reflect on a profession he values and respects. As William Colfax is swept up in the turmoil of the '60s and the San Francisco Herald is under assault, Martinez presents a compelling drama which contributes to an understanding of a time when this country was shaken to its very roots.

Al Martinez is a veteran of the Korean War having been in combat as a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines.

Starting his career at the Richmond Independent Martinez was a columnist for the Oakland Tribune from 1955 to 1972 when he journeyed to Los Angeles to join the Los Angeles Times. He shared a gold-medal Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1984 and was a member of a staff that won Pulitzers in 1993 and 1995. He was honored two years ago by the Society of Professional Journalists as Journalist of the Year.


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