The Stuff of Legend


Arcata has some characters, all right. And evidently it always has — even before it was Arcata. From Wiyot tribe and the days of the Wild West to pioneering farmers, builders, tie-dyed idealists and immigrant shop owners on the plaza, Arcata is a town of fascinating folks. Easy to forget in the age of Pot Cops, but this place has history. All those names on street signs around town have a story.

Curious? Leg it to Booklegger in Eureka from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday and have local author Kevin Hoover sign a copy of Legendary Locals of Arcata for you. Yes, that Kevin Hoover — editor of the Arcata Eye and a real Arcatan. He's chosen some movers and shakers from among the throng of characters that have populated this "tiny big city" and collected their stories.

The book is part of a series of Local Legend books, dozens and dozens of titles, each focusing on a different city. Cool, but not about us. Let's get back to us. In the 1920s, Arcata singer Zelia Vaissade was the toast of Paris, broadcasting from the Eiffel Tower. Today, hometown girl Brisa Roche is rocking the pop charts in the City of Light. And the Chums, the folks who run Don's Donuts, Pizza and Deli, escaped the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Pick up a copy, have it signed and then thrill to the escapades of Arcata legends then and now. How else are you going to find out if you're in it?

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