Monday, April 21, 2008




Hello Ivan
I am looking for photos of the Davenport jail taken between 1910 and 1945. We are trying to restore it to its original condition. That has become a small controversy because no one really knows what the original was like. It has been "repaired" many times. In particular we need a good photo of the door.
Could you send out an SOS to your contacts to see if anyone took a photo of the jail, maybe with Aunt Mary or little Gino standing in front of it. We can deduce quite a bit from even a snapshot.
Thank you

The article below article and the photo above was borrowed from the following website:

The Davenport Jail Museum

2 Davenport Avenue Davenport, CA 95017 Voice: (831) 429-1964
The Davenport Jail Museum is administered by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.
Hours: Weekends, 10 am - 2 pm, and by appointment.

Built in 1914, this two-cell county jail was used only once before being abandoned in 1936. Fifty years later it was given a new purpose when it was converted into a museum of North Coast history in 1987. Its intriguing permanent exhibition explores aspects of the North Coast story such as native settlements, the natural environment, major industries, early families, and community life. Davenport Jail is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The town of Davenport is 11 miles north of Santa Cruz on Highway 1. The Jail Museum is next to the Davenport Cash Store.
Santa Cruz Visual Arts
SPEAKING OF DAVENPORT HISTORY,ETC: Last Saturday, April 19, was the 62 Anniversary of Joe 'Pino' Brovia's ("The Davenport Destroyer') mighty homerun at Seal Stadium. In "La Nostra Costa" I write the following regarding the event:
".............Jim Sargent, in his excellent article on Pino, credits him with hitting the longest home run in the history of Seal Stadium.* Estimates had the ball traveling some 560 feet, up and over the center field wall. (Unknown to me at the time , Pino's "blast" occurred on my ninth birthday, April 19,1946.) Because of its significance, a star was place at the top of the wall marking the spot where the ball had left the stadium. After arriving in San Francisco circa 1958, Willie Mays, the legendary center fielder for the Giants, was alleged to have said of Pino's home run. "Hey, that's a five-dollar ride in a taxicab. (Five dollars took you a long way in 1958.)**
*Mr. Sargent's article,dated 9/1/2001, appeared on the website:
**"La Nostra Costa (Our Coast), page 120, copyrighted by Ivano Franco Comelli, and published by Authorhouse:

Monday, April 14, 2008


Joe Palooka Looka Like 1944
(La Nostra Costa Photo Archives)

Above image copyrighted by Estate of Ham Fisher and appears on Toonpedia website;

Well what do you know? Another year has passed and your ‘Grand Blaggatore’ will be celebrating another one of ‘them thar birthdays’. Guess what? Another famous character, of which I mention in ‘La Nostra Costa’ P.152, is also celebrating a birthday on April 19. Of course he is much older than I; however, I understand that he is still in very good physical shape. Happy Birthday to us, Joe Palooka.

The following was taken from the website: .

Palooka, Joe. Created by Ham Fisher, Joe Palooka debuted on 19 April 1930 and ran through 1984, one of the most successful comic strips of all time. Palooka, a genuinely nice man, was a poor man whose skill was boxing, and who used that skill to become the "undefeated heavyweight champion of the world." Actually, that's not quite correct. Palooka's greatest skill was in being human. Very much a working class hero (it's something to be), he was humble without being craven, shy without being withdrawn, laid-back without being a slacker, easily embarrassed without being a stiff, and genuinely likable. To quote one critic, "Joe personified the ideals of the American majority of old--the simple life, the virtues of the Boy Scout code, and goodness for its own sake. He also exemplified toughness and power and could be moved to intense anger when his or someone else's toes were stepped on." He really was a good guy. Palooka fought his way to the top of the fight game, and then, when war was declared, entered the Army as a private and fought through the war at that rank. Joe was assisted by Knobby, the small, nervous, twitchy and argumentative fight manager, and by Smoky, whose vocabulary and appearance was that of a racist stereotype but who was always treated by Joe as an equal and friend. (Joe, like I said, was a good human being)

In “La Nostra Costa”, I write: “Joe Palooka never lost a fight and I thought he was a great funny-book Champion. However, there was another, rival “Funny Book Heavyweight Champion” at the time. His name was Curly Kayoe. He, also, was white and he, also, never lost a fight. My greatest wish was that the two champions would one day slug it out in the same ring, and resolve once and for all the disputed “Funny Book Heavyweight Championship.” Then we would know for certain who the best fighter really was. Much to my disappointment, they never did.” *

* “La Nostra Costa” (Our Coast), copyrighted by Ivano Franco Comelli, 2006. Order on line: or through your favorite bookstore.