The Cambrian

Arts Briefs: Best-selling author to sign 'War Lovers'

Best-selling author to sign ‘Warlovers’

Evan Thomas, the author of "The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire," will be at the Hearst Castle Visitor Center from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 8, to sign copies of his latest book.

The book covers the runup to the Spanish-American War, in which publishing magnate William R. Hearst played a key role.

On February 15, 1898, the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor. Although there was no evidence that the Spanish were responsible, newspapers such as Hearst’s New York Journal whipped Americans into frenzy by claiming that Spain’s “secret infernal machine” had destroyed the battleship. Soon after, blandly handsome and easily influenced President McKinley declared war, sending troops not only to Cuba but also to the Philippines, Spain’s sprawling colony on the other side of the world.

Though the destruction of the Maine was the catalyst, the hunger for war had begun years earlier. Depressed by the “closing” of the Western frontier and embracing theories of social Darwinism, this group of warmongers agitated loudly and incessantly that the United States should exert its influence across the seas.

As best-selling histroian Thomas notes in his introduction, this is a book about

Teddy Roosevelt and a distant war, but it is also a book about the run-up to the current war in Iraq.

Thomas is the author of “Sea of Thunder” and “John Paul Jones,” among other works, and is an editor-at-large of Newsweek.

An excerpt from “The Warlovers” is online at

— Staff

Plough seeking funds for sprinklers

The owner of the shuttered

Pewter Plough Playhouse continues to seek donations, grants and loans to pay for a $32,000 fire-extinguishing sprinkler system fire officials and county code enforcers are requiring before the theatrical venue can reopen.

But the clock is ticking: the county’s deadline is July 31 for the sprinklers to have been installed or at least for substantial progress to have been made toward that end.

Daunting as the task appears, father and son Jim and James Buckley, aren’t giving up. The nonagenarian Buckley founded the theater in 1976 with wife Olga Buckley.

During the past few years, other building improvements have been made at 824 Main St., to meet fire-and building-code requirements. Officers of a nonprofit foundation bowed out of the fundraising recently when the officers and the Buckleys couldn’t come to terms on a lease legally required to secure the nonprofit’s investment.

To contribute, ask questions or offer ideas, call the Buckleys at 927-3877 or go to

—Kathe Tanner

An Evening with Rudolf Budginas: Classically

Untraditional Piano Concert. 7 p.m. May 14. Benefit for

Cayucos Educational Foundation, supporting music and art programs, and celebration of new auditorium. Cayucos School Auditorium, 301 Cayucos Drive, Cayucos. $35 to $50 at,756-2787, toll-free 888-233-2787.

Benefits for Disabled

American Veterans. 12:30 p.m. May 14. Trained officers host a seminar offering counseling and claim-filing assistance. Free. Veterans Memorial Building, 801 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo.


Live entertainment in Zara’s Lounge Bar at The Brambles. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. the first and third Friday of each month. Singer songwriter David with occasional guest musicians and (always) the Plumettes. Dino Airali behind the bar. Happy hour drink and bar menu prices. 4005 Burton Drive, Cambria. 927-0747.

San Simeon Beach Bar & Grill performance showcase. 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and 5 to 9 p.m. Saturdays. Karaoke with “Elvis” 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 9520 Castillo Drive, San Simeon. Free. 927-4601 or

The Hamlet, just north of Cambria on Highway 1. 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Richard Moratin, piano/vocals. 927-3535 or 927-4994.

Cambria Pines Lodge. 2905 Burton Drive, 21 and older. Dancing. Music starts around 8 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. 927-4200,

West End Bar & Grill, 774 Main St., Cambria. All ages. 927-5521.

Mozzi’s, 2262 Main St., Cambria. 927-4767.

Las Cambritas, 2336 Main St., Cambria. Music on the patio at 2 p.m. Sunday. 927-0175.

Line Dancing. 6 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St., Cambria. Newcomers welcome; $2 a class. 927-7131.

Cambria Couples Dance and Social Club. 6 to 9 p.m. second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. Live music and a potluck dinner. Joslyn Recreation Center, 950 Main St., Cambria. 927-0527.