Well … it’s good to be 35. And what a ride! More than 35 volumes and 1,820 issues later, founder Jay Shore’s original idea for a weekly newspaper continues to venture forth into the second decade of the 21st century—and still operating right in the heart of Downtown Santa Cruz, thanks to you, the loyal readers. Hard to believe that back in 1975, Shore borrowed money from relatives to launch the paper, an offspring of an earlier incarnation dubbed Santa Cruz Times, but his vision to spotlight mostly the “good” around town sent out a creative ripple effect. Along the way, prolific scribes came (and went).
MORE THAN WORDS? GT’s first issue published April 3, 1975. The main story: Randall Kane opens a new music venue, dubbed The Catalyst. That same year, Kuumbwa Jazz Center opened its doors.
There was the amazing Geoffrey Dunn, who still writes for GT on occasion, and music writer Richie Begin had a tremendous following in the ’70s and ’80s. Of course, we can’t forget Lisa Jensen, who began writing film reviews the year GT came into being.
Motley Crew BLAST FROM THE PAST in honor of our 35th anniversary, we put a request out to readers to identify some of the GT crew from the late-’70s. Former staffer Stacey Naman Grant correctly identified this motley crew, which dressed up for “punk day” on a Wednesday: (From left) Richard Curtis, Maureen Parrot, Lynne Hrabko, Kathleen Roberts, and Stacey Naman. Seated: Annie Reasoner.
But, oh, there were so many others whose creativity peppered these pages: Buzz Bezore, Rob Brezsny, Laurel Chesky, Bill Craddock, Robert Cole, Dan Coyro, Sven Davis, Jerry Kamstra, Peter Koht, Yael Lachman, Chris J. Magyar, Amanda Martinez, Rob Pratt, Stacey Vreeken, Christina Waters, Bruce Willey and too many more to list here. (Personally, I feel profoundly fortunate to work with the current editorial team of Linda Koffman, Elizabeth Limbach and Christa Martin—and, yes, our divine proofreader Josie Cowden. But our true hero is Art Director Josh Becker. His covers simply inspire.) Today, GT still spotlights the good, but also reports more on the serious issues around Santa Cruz County as well. In 2001, current publisher/community advocate Ron Slack came on board and, together, our tenacious team honed the paper’s original vision. We asked ourselves how we could better serve the community and set out to do just that. Along the way, we garnered awards—never a bad thing—including a General Excellence honor from the California Newspapers Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. BTW: We nabbed two First Place CNPA awards this year, one for Best Business Story (by Elizabeth Limbach on budget cuts), the other for Best Photo Essay (by Jeremiah Ridgeway on the war in Afghanistan). Hopefully, we’ve continued to hold your interest, too. One thing’s for certain, we’ll strive to keep evolving with the times, especially as the publishing world continues to transform. As for me, I’ve been editor at GT for 10 years now. In fact, I do believe I have now broken a record—I’m the GT editor with the longest tenure. (Of course I’ll let you buy me a drink!) I suppose that’s not bad for a former chubby, clumsy kid from Chicago with loud Polish relatives.
But I digress …
In any case, this anniversary season gave me a chance to peruse our extensive archives (that’s me pictured, right, hidden behind some stacks). We uncovered some of GT’s more memorable covers in history and you can see them here on the following pages. Asked what was one of the most interesting things he learned while working at GT (from ’75-’89), Shore once commented to me: “There are lots of people out in the world, and there are very talented, dedicated people who, if given the chance, want to do their best.” (Appropriate, considering our current issue.) Well, I believe that to be true, too. For me, for GT, I must say that you readers are what it’s all about. You are what makes us try to do our best. So, here’s to you. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to do some good here. Onward … | Greg Archer, Editor-in-Chief