YOUR QUARRY STORIES
Send your Quarry Story to QuarryStory@ucsc.edu
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BANANA SLUG, REDUX
I was a re-entry single mom when I was a student here. It was life altering for me. When I graduated, my six-year-old son was here to celebrate with me. Many years later, he would also graduate from UC Santa Cruz.
Donna Mekis, College Eight ’84
I was a theater major and I wore a butterfly mask to the ceremony. Needless to say, the gentleman who gave me my diploma was surprised. I attended with my parents … and now that my father is gone, I cherish the memory.
Lori Plager, Merrill College ‘80
My favorite Quarry memory is speaking with Bettina Aptheker at the 1984 Kresge graduation. Billy Warters and I were featured student speakers and it was a beautiful, sunny, spectacular day.
Nancy Morgan, Kresge ‘84
KISS OF A LIFETIME
My husband, Juan R. Perez, and I met at UC Santa Cruz through a mutual friend. Like a lot of students living amongst the glorious giant redwoods, we often ventured out into the Quarry. One night we walked over in the evening with a group of friends. With the stars shining brightly above and the spectacular moonlight lighting the night, it was the perfect moment for our very first kiss. I was gazing at the stars when Juan leaned over and kissed me. It was a magical kiss that marked the beginning of our the path to 22 years of marriage full of many ups and downs yet lots of love evident to everyone who met us. Juan passed away on January 27, 2015. Though I miss him immensely, memories like this bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart. The memory of our first kiss at the Quarry is part of the history of this unique space.
Amanda Guzman Perez
My vivid memory of the Quarry is of Alfred Hitchcock and Ravi Shankar speaking at graduation. They were such representatives of our time, but it was Ravi Shankar who altered my worldview and my life. He began with, “Thank you for honoring….” My own head was finishing his sentence with “me” or “my music,” as he went on to say, “the music of my country.”
The selflessness, the way his own identity disappeared, for something far greater—for the recognition of his country and culture, the all-inclusiveness of so many others—startled me. That difference between the “I” of individualism and the collective “we,” was a new reality for me.
That mind-altering distinction became the basis for my original research on women in the global marketplace. I now teach “Gender and Engineering” as an adjunct lecturer at Santa Clara University. It is the ultimate compliment when a student—many are from India—thanks me for expanding their self-awareness. It all started for me in the Quarry with Ravi Shankar.
Bonita Banducci, Cowell/Stevenson ’69
It was nearly the end of the school year in June 1989, and we had been following with great interest the students in Beijing who had been occupying Tiananmen Square. Of all the international events of that time, this one resonated the most, as here were students like us, staging a very powerful protest for greater freedoms. On a day shortly after June 4, 1989 we discovered that the Chinese government ordered the military to clear the square. This lead to an appalling massacre and terrible loss of life. It definitively ended the protests, which had been running for a number of weeks. We were dismayed and depressed, and for me it was doubly shocking as I felt an affinity to these fellow students.
In a spontaneous action, students instinctively went that evening to the Quarry, candle in hand, for a vigil to remember the students. I remember walking the path to the Quarry and noticing the very somber and hushed atmosphere as we assembled. There was a very large crowd, and I don’t recall any speakers, just candles and minutes of silence. Of all my student memories, this one stands out as I clearly remember asking myself if any of us would have had the same courage as those Chinese students. The candle light vigil at the Quarry was an amazing, spontaneous outpouring of feelings in support and memory of those students.
Andrew Chick, Oakes 1992
JOAN BAEZ, a cappela
It was 1968. Protests against the war in Viet Nam were growing and Joan Baez had come to UCSC to talk about the war and advocate for resistance to the draft. While most of the audience were eager to hear what she had to say, they also didn’t want to miss a chance to hear her sing. Throughout her talk people tried to get her to sing, and she continued to decline until finally someone in the crowd called out, “Sing one for the Soledad brothers, Joanie.” She smiled and said she couldn’t refuse that request. Then, with no preparation, she began to sing a capella. We were spellbound as the lyrics of “Swing low, sweet chariot” rose and echoed through the Quarry in her strong, pure voice. It was a magical, thrilling moment and the thing I always think of when any one mentions the Quarry.
Sandre Cunha, Cowell ’71
I DO, I DO
After graduating from Kresge in 1978, I met the love of my life, Gary Gunsel. We returned to Santa Cruz and were married on May 22, 1982, in the Quarry.
Patsy (Patricia) Murphy, Kresge ’78
Enjoying Humanistic (“suntan”) Psychology on Friday afternoons – topless!
Anonymous, Merrill, ‘80
… AND BEYOND
Taking “suntan psych” in the Quarry spring quarter. About two-thirds of the students heard the lecture each week completely naked. My favorite way to have checked-off a humanities class as a science major.
Jeff Emery, Crown ‘81
THE ORIGINAL HAZE
. . . a friend from the mid-’70s Slug crew recently sent around video of a concert in the quarry by The Original Haze (Jerry Miller from Moby Grape, Corny Bumpus from The Doobie Brothers and Michael Been later of The Call), circa 1977. It’s a real slice of life of that era. I looked for myself in the crowd, but all of us non-comformists were wearing jean jackets, desert books and 8-inch locks so I couldn’t spot myself!
Tom Adams, Stevenson ’80
When Cesar Chavez came to speak in 1973, I was going to meet my friends. An overflow crowd, mostly students, had filled the Quarry. Banners and placards were everywhere, replete with the ubiquitous thunderbird logo of the United Farm Workers Union and calls for boycotts. Viva La Raza! It was history writ large. And suddenly, there he was, a man of the people who simply chose to walk on stage without introduction. The random energy of the crowd instantly became a thunderous chorus of sustained applause. He did not elevate himself into something other than who he was, a common man. His voice showed that humility. We were rapt, receptive to every truth he whispered to us.
I never did find my friends in the crowd. What I did find was that I was thrilled to be enrolled in the school I was enrolled in. It proved to me that UCSC had decided to participate in the important issues of the day. And it provided the perfect venue to do so. The Quarry.
Ron Pease, Stevenson ’73
ONE FOR THE BIRDS
I spent hours and hours in the Quarry in the spring of 1973, as I had been hired in a Student Work Study capacity to assist David Sharir, the designer for the Israeli National Theater, who was going to come design a production of Aristophanes’ “The Birds” in the Quarry for Audrey Stanley’s proposed Summer Theater Workshop. David’s & Audrey’s vision was to have the Chorus “fly” in over the heads of the audience on lines, anchored in the cliffs above the Quarry . . . Sadly, the program didn’t receive enough subscribers so the production was scrapped, but not before I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the Quarry, photographing it and then building a 1/16” to the foot scale model of the entire Quarry that was shipped to Israel for David to begin his work. After the program was halted, the model was shipped back to UCSC. . . . The model has disappeared, but if anyone reading this has any clues as to its whereabouts we’d love to see it back in a place of honor as the Quarry revival is underway.
Dency Nelson, College Five, ’74
IMAGINING WHAT COULD BE
While I was a student, I don’t think any events happened [in the Quarry] . . . A couple years ago during the alumni weekend, I walked back and spent a little time there. I sat in the amphitheater and imagined student performances of years past. I walked further back and observed lizards, plants, rocks and garbage, evidence that the quarry is visited often by many. I laughed at myself for ever being afraid to spend time there.
I imagine the quarry amphitheater as a lively gathering place for events or meetings. It is a happy place. It is cozy and protected. It is friendly and comfortable. … I would be happy to borrow a UCSC blanket to keep me warm during an evening performance.
Nathan Paul Pierce, College Eight, ’01