Days of Lore

Don’t monkey with success.

Don’t monkey with success.

You say tomato, I say towty Chico is a strange place. It’s not quite a city (although some people like to think it is), and definitely not a Podunk (I’ll leave that designation to Dead Bluff). Some look at Chico as über-progressive when, in actuality, the overall mindset here is still rather conservative. Chico falls somewhere in the middle between conservative and progressive, small town and big city. I guess you could call it a “towty” (or a tity, but that would be immature).

Good people One of the qualities of our towty is the sense of community that you just wouldn’t find in a large metropolis. People truly care about one another here. And nothing illustrates this more than the community response to the passing of John LaPado.

A memorial held last weekend at the modest, south Chico home that John shared with his wife, Christine, and their daughter, Lydia, was teeming with family and friends who knew John in one capacity or another. It was pretty cool.

Further illustrating this fact: The upcoming musical memorial for John LaPado on Sunday, Jan. 21, originally scheduled to be held at the Serenity Center, had to be moved to the Elks Lodge due to the large number of people looking to attend.

I, pub scout In 2003, when I was studying in San Sebastián, Spain, my apartment was located in La Parte Vieja, which reputedly has the largest concentration of bars of any city in Europe (ahhh … cañas y vegetales at Juantxo, how I love thee). While the towty of Chico can’t quite claim that, a decent amount of bars line the downtown area.

After a stretch of inactivity, a few places have re-opened their doors over the past few months. Dino’s opened after Team Players shut down for two years, and seems to be doing well. Lost on Main (which I hear is ironing out some wrinkles) finally got things going after almost a year. And the latest hot spot in town, The Banshee, opened its doors on New Year’s Eve.

Of course, The Banshee boasts the most noticeable transformation of any of them, having taken over the patchouli-scented Jerry Garcia shrine that was Stormy’s Off Broadway (it now has more of a floor-polish aroma).

I finally checked it out last weekend and, I must say, the new place has the feel of a hip San Francisco pub, with a large bar and a brick wall lined with large mirrors and a couple of large wooden tables with even larger picnic-table benches (it might have been a better move to go with a few more smaller tables instead).

From what I could see, the bar brings in a mixed crowd—lots of backwards caps, lesbians, schmucks like myself—which I found to be pretty interesting.

Indy rock Most people know about Trekkies, Star Wars geeks and Barbraphiles, but there are also weirdos like myself who love the Indiana Jones films. So when it was announced recently that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg would begin work on the fourth installment of the series this year, I was thrilled … and frightened at the same time.

Frightened because A) Harrison Ford is 93 years old (OK, he’s actually 64—two years older than Lucas and four years older than Spielberg); B) Lucas got a little too CGI-happy with the latest Star Wars films; and C) There’s always that slight chance that the new movie could forever scar the franchise.

Then again, A) Harrison Ford is still a badass; B) It’s been reported that Lucas and Co. will abstain from using CGI in the new Indy film; and C) I have full confidence in Spielberg as a director.

Indiana Jones and the Ravages of Time (a fitting title, though tentative) is set to be released in May 2008.