About Manuel & Alice Santana
The quiet neighborhoods in the hills north of Aptos seem an unlikely place to find a vibrant cultural nexus, but for many years, the home of Manuel and Alicia Santana was the site of a remarkable convergence of minds and talents.
Manny and Alice, as they were known throughout Santa Cruz County, loved their dinner parties. And, they made their social gatherings an occasion for celebrating intellectual diversity.
Science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury was a guest, as was former Black Panther Huey Newton, avant garde composer Lou Harrison and historian Page Smith. Leon Panetta, a Republican-turned-Democrat who eventually would serve as White House chief of staff under President Clinton, announced his first run for Congress at the Santanas' home in the Day Valley area of Aptos.
It was there where Manny Santana would preside, cooking copious amount of food for the assembled guests and enjoying the frisson of bringing together strong personalities and creative minds who otherwise likely would never meet.
Text source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, Wallace Baine