Sunday, September 28, 2014

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 20-22

Part 20 of the Herald Boo-Boo Watch occurred last weekend. They say history repeats itself and in the Herald three historical events repeated themselves the following day!


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Part 21 from the September 27th issue indicates an over reliance on spell check and not enough checking by the human eye, adding to my suspicions that the production staff is spread way too thin. I'm pretty sure the title of this letter should say "pursue" and not "purse."


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And part 22 is another in the continuing series of improperly formatting the "Sounding Off" feature. Looks like they left off a word at the end. This one was from today's paper of September 28th.



Friday, September 26, 2014

An Hour With Angelo

Angelo DiGirolamo passed away last weekend, one month shy of 93. Angelo was the proprietor of Monterey's Bruce Ariss Wharf Theater on Fisherman's Wharf. But that doesn't begin to describe the sweetest man ever to inhabit our little corner of the world. Angelo was pure light and joy. The beacon of Fisherman's Wharf for much of his long life.

I don't know a lot
about his history, only that he owned a restaurant on the wharf called Angelo's for several decades before he opened the Wharf Theater in the 1970s. I had the privilege to know him only because my wife Heidi was the musical director at the theater from 1991 to 2002.

I remember when I met Angelo, the first time I attended one of Heidi's shows. I approached the box office and introduced myself to him as "Mr. Heidi Toy" and I can hear his resulting giggle in my head to this day. He provided me with the first of many complimentary tickets and I made my way inside. After the show he took great delight in telling Heidi that I introduced myself as "Mr. Heidi Toy" and we laughed about it all over again.

Over the years we'd wrap up many, many more shows chatting with Angelo in the little art gallery he operated off of the theater lobby. It was always a fun way to conclude the evening.

Sometime around 2002 or 2003, when I was working as an audio/visual technician, I had a job to provide a sound system for a dinner speaker at Fresh Cream restaurant in Heritage Harbor next to the wharf. I set up the equipment before the restaurant opened then had about 90 minutes or so before the group arrived. I  took a walk out on the wharf and while I was there I thought I'd pop in the theater and say hi to Angelo.

We ended up shooting the breeze for the better part of an hour. The subject of computers came up. He said he wasn't interested in learning how to use them. "I'm too old." he said. "If I was younger I'd learn about them, but at my age I don't really have any use for them." Those probably weren't his exact words, but that was the essence.

While I had him to myself I wanted to pick his brain about his involvement with the 1952 movie Clash By Night, which was filmed in Monterey. It included a couple of scenes at Angelo's restaurant. There was a character in the restaurant who looked a little like Angelo, and I wondered if he was in the movie, but he said he wasn't.

But it turned out that he was an extra in two other locally filmed movies. In the 1943 WWII drama Edge of Darkness, where Fisherman's Wharf portrayed a Norwegian fishing village, Angelo played a German soldier. And in another WWII flick from 1949, Sword in the Desert, Angelo portrayed a Jewish soldier on the beach of Palestine, which was actually Monterey's Del Monte Beach.

Angelo also told me
he served the Sword director, George Sherman, and several of the film's stars at his restaurant. Sherman discussed his plans for the beach landing scene with Angelo, saying he wanted to film it somewhere east of the Navy School. Angelo told him the surf at that time of year could be quite hazardous there, and he advised Sherman to do it closer to the wharves.

Sherman took Angelo's advice. As it was, one boat overturned during filming and the director thanked Angelo for his advice. Had he filmed the landings farther east, the director told him later, it would have been a disaster and ruined his reputation.

Angelo was full of stories like that. We didn't just lose a sweet man last Sunday, we also lost a fountain of local historical knowledge. I'm glad I was able to capture one little slice of his experience to relate here and incorporate it into my research on locally filmed movies.

And speaking of stories, here's a short video from the Monterey County Weekly with Angelo telling a bit about his life on Fisherman's Wharf.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 19

I'm almost a week late posting this boo-boo from last Thursday's Herald. On the front page of the September 11th sports section they wrapped text around a blank space. I think the space was meant to hold the writer's name and photo.


The good news is I haven't seen any Herald boo-boos in the last six days.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 18

I thought I was going to make it all the way through Sunday's Herald without finding any boo-boos. But page D1 let me down. Under the Your Town news briefs was a notice about impending road work at two locations near Salinas. The notice in and of itself was fine, except that Harold put it under the "Monterey Peninsula" subheading.

Harold, perhaps it's time to invest in a map.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 16&17

Two new Boo-Boos came off the presses this week. Number 16 was a line in a September 3rd editorial praising the recently concluded Monterey County Fair.
"The theme of 'Party With The Animals' evoked memories of the Central Coast's rural past,...."
Whoever wrote that needs to get out of town more often. The vast majority of the Central Coast is still farms and ranches to this very day!


And for Boo-Boo number 17, another formatting error was found on the September 5th editorial page. Once again the "Sounding Off" feature was missing the credit line identifying the writer. (I posted an example of a correctly formatted Sounding Off comment in Boo-Boo Watch part 4.)



Monday, September 1, 2014

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 15

We begin September with a pop quiz for Harold.

What is the name of the organization that hosted the sailboat races in Monterey this weekend?
A) The Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club (as stated in the Herald's page 1 photo caption).

B) The Monterey Bay Yacht Club (as stated in the subheading introducing the page 1 article).

C) The Monterey Yacht Club (as stated in the article, when it finally gets mentioned near the end).



The correct answer is A. There is no such thing as the Monterey Bay Yacht Club or the Monterey Yacht Club.

Oh Harold, it's sad to see a once great local newspaper become so incompetent so quickly.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 14

The same rookie Herald reporter who gave us Boo-Boo #13 a few days ago has now given us #14. It was located on page A4 of the August 28th issue. The article was about the dedication of a bench by the Carmel post office to honor the late Carmel cartoonist Bill Bates.

As every Carmelite knows, some of Bill Bates' cartoons have graced the walls of the Carmel post office for decades, save for a brief period of time in 2006. On Thursday the Herald printed this explanation for the hiatus:
"Bates' cartoons were taken down from the post office when an art gallery complained it should have the right to hang its artwork there."
I don't know where the reporter got that information, because that's not what happened. To my knowledge no commercial business in Carmel ever claimed the right to display its merchandise at the public post office. 

What really happened was that a US Postal Service "retail standardization team" visited the post office and set plans in place to update the decor of the place to conform to postal service standards. The Bates cartoons were determined to be non-conforming decorations and were removed.

And that's not all. The standardization team also decreed that the old style brass mail boxes with combination locks were to be replaced with modern stainless steel (or was it aluminum?) boxes with keyed locks.

Both of these changes prompted an angry uproar from the townsfolk who liked their old fashioned post office just fine and wanted to preserve its historic character. And how dare they remove Bates' cartoons! To Carmelites, these changes were a huge insult to community traditions.

After city hall got involved the USPS brass backed down. Many of the cartoons went back up on the walls, and the old mailboxes were spared. 

That's what really happened. A local reporter or editor with some institutional knowledge, or a competent rookie who knew how to verify information, should have known that. Fortunately, we have the Carmel Pine Cone to tell the true story this week.