Hal Linker reminisces, part 6

Thus begins Week 2 of the Hal Linker papers, which could have been donated to Chaffey College but instead were sent via e-mail to me. Resuming where we left off Friday, today he focuses on burgers, fried chicken and tacos:

Let’s not forget The Towne House, a burger hangout on Towne and Holt from eons ago.

Also A&W in Chino, on Riverside Drive and Wright. Too bad about the Ontario A&W carhop location closing in 2006. Bummer! But they weren’t serving the old cuisine of Mama, Papa, Teen and Baby Burgers anymore anyway. Still they had Coney Dog Tuesdays. Damn! The Chino location still stands and is an Andy’s Burgers — no carhop service though.

With regard to other Ontario eateries, on Mountain Avenue there was the extremely short-lived Minnie Pearl’s Chicken which became The House Of Omelettes which also didn’t last long — too limited on the cuisine maybe? I think the building is still there but I don’t know who’s operating out of it currently. I think Mexican food, maybe.

With regard to Mexican food: I dug Mingo’s on Mission and Reservoir where I would always order the Gringo Burrito and Colorado Kool-Aid among the dangling pinatas. Also in Chino on Central near Riverside Drive was Mr. Taco, a takeout joint with no drive-through. They used to have a fire pit out front, back in the fearless days. Sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s it was renovated and turned into a KFC. They had the bomb burritos back when we didn’t use that slang.

Whatever happened to the many Winchell’s Donut locations? Chino had one on the SE corner of Central and Riverside Drive (torn down for street widening). There was also one on Euclid in Ontario around Francis which is now a Juan Pollo.

There was a Pup ‘N’ Taco on Mountain and Philadelphia which got absorbed into Taco Bellsville.

Everybody remembers Henry’s — It was THE hang out. I used to cruise it with my older brother and sister. Those were the days! Souped-up cars and leaded high-octane gas at about 25 cents a gallon. Only drawback — smog as thick as molasses. Musta been the factories — couldn’t have been the cars. And that Googie space age architecture! Yeah!

Other chicken joints were Unruh’s on N. Garey and Litte Bill’s on S. Garey just up the street from Pomona Lanes on the opposite side of the street.

Next time: teen clubs.

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  • Hal Linker

    Oops. That Winchell’s Donuts in Chino was on the SW corner of Riverside Drive and Central. For the longest time in the 1960s there was a mentally handicapped lady who used to stand out front and yell “Wahoo!” at all the cars passing by, hence her nickname “The Wahoo Lady.” She used to ride a bicycle and looked to be middle aged, but a bit touched. She was a fixture around Chino’s Winchell’s at the busiest intersection in the small town at that time. Anybody out there witness this woman?

    Oh, and the bowling alley on Garey near the highway 71 was called Pom Lanes. I used to love the smell of tobacco and beer and whatever else it was that made that unique bowling alley aroma.

    My parents used to drop me and a few friends off there for the afternoon and we’d bowl, play pool, pinball and walk to the Tastee Freeze, which fronted the Alpha Beta shopping center. Sometimes we’d even check out the Coronet Store for cool Revell models, while we smoked the ciggys we bought out of machines at the bowling alley.

    Man were we punks, but we thought we were the coolest. Musta been in 7th grade or something and already were scoping out the women. Ah yes, coming of age at the bowling alley.

  • Jim L

    I don’t know if it’s the same woman as the Chino “Wahhoo” woman but there was a very similarly described woman that would ride a bicycle around Pomona in the early to mid ’70s.

    She would take great delight in honking her squeeze-type horn on her bicycle and cursing angrily yet nonsensically at everyone and nobody within earshot. She would pedal slowly and backup traffic and whenever someone honked, she’d start her tirade anew.

    She was a real fixture in Pomona for several years. She could frequently be seen in the area near the Taco Bell on Mission where I worked then.

  • “Hal Linker”

    That’s the same lady. She really got around. Many times we’d see her pedaling her bicycle and squeezing her bike horn and “wahooing,” as you described, while taking our school bus ride home through parts of Pomona. All the kids on the bus would shout “Wahooo” because everyone knew about her — she really was a fixture.

    It’s possible that she changed her base of operations from Chino’s Winchell’s Donuts to Pomona’s Taco Bell circa the early 1970s. How funny.

  • Jon Scott

    This sounds like the same lady we called Beep Beep. I think she lived somewhere on Riverside Drive in Chino. She would always yell “Get a bike, you’ll live longer.” The story was her husband was killed in a car crash, and she would not ride in a car. Is it true? Who knows, but it’s what we believed.

    [Reminds me of the latter-day guy in Upland dubbed the Nose-Holding Man who waved his cane at cars stopped for a red light, held his nose and yelled, “Put the tailpipe in the dash!” — DA]

  • Anonymous

    I remember the guy on Holt and Garey in the ’80s — we called him, well, Holt & Garey — it was rumored that he was actually an undercover cop — Pomona PD what say you?

    That cane guy David — I remember — he always wore a backpack like he was trekking around the Andes or something.

  • Jim L

    Yes, I remember the person they simply called “Gary Holt” in honor of his favorite corner by the PFF bank at Garey and Holt. Oh, the memories.

    There was another Pomona character that frequented the area around White Ave and Orange Grove in the late ’70s. He was a large lumbering sort of fellow, mentally challenged, and often wore female undergarments over his clothing. He would walk around grumbling all the time. Although he could be loud and appear threatening, he was apparently quite harmless and fairly accepted in the neighborhood and police.

    Laguna Beach had their famous Greeter. Big whoop! We in Pomona had the Beep Beep Lady, Gary Holt and the friendly cross dresser. So take that O.C.!

    [I’m loving this exchange about town characters. — DA]

    • JMartinez

      Wrong Area to reply!

  • “Hal Linker”

    After discussing this with “Hadla Linker,” we believe the Beep Beep Lady and the Wahooo Woman are two separate people.

    Our recollections are that the Wahoo Woman rode a two-wheeled bicycle while the Beep Beep Lady had one of those three-wheeled jobs. If we recall correctly, the Beep Beep Lady wore a cap and was a bit plump.

    “Hadla,” my spouse, used to live in Pomona near Reservoir and Philadelphia and she said she would always see Beep Beep in that vicinity of town. Also in the bordering areas of Chino.

    There was also a guy in Chino, not mentally handicapped, who was frequently at the Cock-A-Doodle Restaurant (still there on Central near Riverside Drive — across from the old 10-lane Chino Bowling Alley — now a discount T-shirt shop) and a fixture there in the 1960s. His name was “Speedy” and he was 100+ years old. He was the oldest guy in town and that was his claim to fame, along with being a friendly guy to whom every one said hello. He was a real cute old man and very likable.

    Damn, I missed the friendly cross dresser! Too funny. I remember Gary Holt, though.

    (Speaking of Garey & Holt, near that intersection was Freak Brothers Head Shop, later Gravity’s Foe. How could you miss it. It had a giant marijuana leaf painted on the side of the building!!! There was another head shop on Towne Ave. called Common Sense [which may have had a more creative spelling than the one I’m giving it.])

    • JMartinez

      I remember the Freak Brothers Headshop, A Guy names John, Long Hippie Beard, was the owner, lived in a Bus in Back – I used to work there in 1977.

  • http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog&Mytoken=65AE9F1E-60B1-4F13-B8CE2FFC750F665736597438 Ronald Scott

    Who remembers Naugles? I had one in Artesia and when we moved to Chino…I was happy as hell you had one on Mountain right next to the 60. I loved the Naugleburgers…until Del Taco bought them out.

    [If it’s any consolation, there’s an Original Tommy’s at Mountain and the 60, on the Ontario side. — DA]

  • Jim L

    Hmmm… for some reason I remember the head shop being at Park and Holt, near Greens Delicatessen (Oofdah!…another great old Pomona restaurant that’s long gone).

    Man, there used to be so many great eating places just on Holt. Starting from the west, there was Brasilia, Orlandos and Burger Lane. Espiaus, Naples Italian Restaurant, Greens Deli, Saritas Mexican Restaurant, The St Charles Grill, The Hull House??, Mels, Betsy Ross, Bit O Sweden Smorgasbord, Mel’s Hamburgers, A&W, Crystal Cafeteria, Seapys, Breakfast at Carl’s, Van De Kamps… I’m sure I’ve skipped some.

  • DH

    I remember downtown Ontario — when they used to have the Ontario 500 parade down Euclid with all the racers participating — I remember seeing Al Unser and they even had his mother in the parade as ‘Ma Unser.’ Rodney Allen Rippy (from Jack in the Box commercials in the ’70s), George (Goober) Lindsay from “The Andy Griffith Show” was also there. Talk about star status! Once you get Goober in the parade you KNOW you’ve made it — way to go Ontario!

    I also remember a hamburger joint in downtown Ontario called Hamburger Ding a Ling. Nice name, huh? Your table was equipped with a telephone and you ‘phoned’ in your order to the kitchen.

    [The Ding a Ling building at Euclid and D was demolished circa 2005. It was a wild concept. Thanks for the cool info about the parades. — DA]

  • “Hal Linker”

    The Ontario Motor Speedway! The Ontario 500! The Supernationals! The L.A. Times 500. The NHRA World Finals! California Jam! California Jam 2!

    The Winner’s Circle club: There was quite a happening place for a while. Mike Connors, of “Mannix” fame, used to frequent the place. I actually went to a New Year’s Party there, or maybe it was some other festive occasion, where some bozo literally drank himself to death by guzzling ridiculous amounts of hard liquor which he had smuggled inside. Some people’s kids.

    Speaking of parades, whatever happened to the All States Parade on Euclid Avenue? My wife’s mother was a bathing beauty in a convertible that represented The Big W restaurant in Chino way back when in the old parade days. Anyone know what became of that event?

    Does Chino still hold a Rancho Ride?

    George “Goober” Lindsay tried a parallel singing career when he was Gomer’s brother on the Andy Griffith Show. His album was called “Goober Sings.” Makes you wanna run right out and buy it, don’t it?

    Speaking of tunes and the Speedway. I just whipped out my old ticket stubs of some events at the defunct venue. First off, I have an unused ticket for the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers on 5-27-73. This show was canceled but I kept the ticket as a memento. On July 29, 1973 Leon Russell and Loggins & Messina played and the infield was full of carnival rides and attractions. The theme was a Rock ‘N’ Roll Carnival probably due to Russell’s recent “Carny” album.

    I was involved in local student government in the latter part of 1973, Because of this, I was approached by agents for a concert promoter. Seems they had done a poor job getting the word out about a concert at the Ontario Motor Speedway. With about 10 days to go before showtime, they had done minimal ticket sales. This was due to damn near zero dollars in their advertising budget. Their last-ditch effort was to approach high ranking student government officials in colleges, universities and high schools and give them huge bundles of tickets to sell on campus for a commission.

    The concert was called “November Jam” and the six acts to be featured were the Guess Who, Three Dog Night, Chuck Berry, Tower Of Power, Azteca, and a new band, whose career never went anywhere, called Stepson (which was somehow connected to Three Dog Night in a business sense, thus their presence at this large gig). After getting a phone call from the promoters, I agreed to meet their agent at a hotel room at the Holiday Inn near the Speedway.

    The guy was smoking a joint when he answered the door and I accepted his offer of a few tokes as we talked the situation over. I agreed to take 1,000 tickets for a commission of 2,000 bucks if I sold them all. With the deal set, the dude tried to offer me some coke, which, at that point in my life, I had never done before. I politely and nervously refused and hurriedly left. I had 10 days to make 2 grand.

    With only three days till showtime, I had only sold 500 of the tickets. Since it was an all day show, the prices of the tickets were high. That was a drawback, since students didn’t have a lot of cash to spend anyway. Also, while the headliners Three Dog Night and the Guess Who were still quite popular, each band seemed to have peaked a few years earlier. Three Dog Night kept getting slicker and more commercial with each release (not a plus with underground concert types) and the Guess Who hadn’t had a memorable Top Twenty hit in a few years (the slight “Star Baby” and “Clap For the Wolfman” would hit in 1974 — they sure weren’t of the “American Woman,” “No Sugar Tonight,” “Hand Me Down World,” “No Time,” caliber).

    Worried, I called the “promoter coke dude” and told him that I thought I had hit a brick wall on sales. Seemed everyone on campus and thereabouts that wanted to go had already bought a ticket. He told me to meet him the day before the show at the Holiday Inn and keep on trying.

    The day before the show, which was Thanksgiving, I rang him up and went to the Holiday Inn in Ontario. A girl with big, beautiful, brown eyes, and short curly, wet, dark hair answered the door. She was holding a towel in front of her somewhat waify nude body.

    She said “promoter coke dude” was in the shower and he’d be out in a bit. As she turned around and led me in, her entire backside was exposed. She walked to the end table by the couch and let the towel drop to the floor so that she could pick up both a framed photo of Keith Richards, which had a good sized mound of coke on it, and a single edged razor blade which was next to it.

    She sat nude on the couch next to me and began chopping up the coke. I could see the photo in the frame was the famous one where Keith is standing, er, leaning on a wall near a water cooler at customs circa 1972 in full rock star regalia and aviator shades looking stoned out of his gourd — behind him on the wall is a sign which reads: “Patience Please A Drug Free America Comes First.”

    The situation was making me a bit nervous as you might understand. The fact that she wasn’t the least bit modest was understandable. She obviously didn’t have anything to be ashamed of. Nevertheless, in my mind, I was having one of the few Woody Allen moments I ever experienced in my life.

    She chopped up two healthy lines and snorted one with a straw. Then she introduced herself by name and handed me the “Keith Richards pile of coke photo” like Eve handed Adam the apple. There was no way I was gonna turn it down. When they talked about peer pressure in drug education classes they never imagined this scene. I took my medicine as she stood up and began dressing herself in front of me. We talked about the concert and other stuff. She was very cool and free spirited and seemed intelligent. The Woody Allen moment had passed. My gums and teeth felt strangely numb and my sinuses never seemed so clear.

    Eventually, “promoter coke dude” came out from the shower in his bathrobe, cut himself a line of coke, and pulled a joint out of his hard pack of Marlboro’s. As he lit it, he asked me how I’d done with the remaining tickets. I told him I had about 200 or so left. He walked over to the dresser and grabbed a briefcase which he took over to the couch. He opened the briefcase, which was full of money, and pulled a bundle of $20 bills out. He counted me out $2,000 for my efforts, even though I hadn’t sold all of the tickets. He told me to keep the rest of the tickets and, either try to sell them for pure profit, or give them away. We smoked another joint and did another line before I excused myself. It looked like the two of them were gonna get friendly.

    I could only sell a few more of the tickets and, since I was feeling rich with 2 grand in my pocket, I decided to give some away to friends, relatives and acquaintances and, even more, to strangers.

    The concert was a complete bomb attendance-wise. It drizzled and rained for part of the day which sucked for an outdoor concert. It was pretty cold. The venue was so large it made the crowd of perhaps 10,000 look even smaller than it was. “Promoter coke dude” saw to it that me and my friends got front center seating. We brought our own lawn chairs. Chuck Berry didn’t show up. I wonder if he pulled an Ike Turner Yesteryears trick?

    Tower Of Power and Azteca (this was a Latin-Rock band led by Coke and Pete Escovedo – Sheila E.’s late uncle and father, respectively) were fantastic, Three Dog Night were professional as always (I noticed they had a new bass player and an additional keyboard guy), and, the Guess Who were absolutely blistering when they closed the show with their long version of “American Woman,” as the sun set.

    Oh no Mr. Wizard! I need to get back! Trizzle Trazzle Trizzle Trone. Time For This One To Go Home.

    Very quickly, other shows at the Ontario Motor Speedway were Califonia Jam 4-6-74 – Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Black Oak Arkansas, Seals & Crofts, The Eagles w/ Jackson Browne & Linda Ronstadt guesting, Earth, Wind & Fire, Rare Earth.

    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Beach Boys, The Band, Joe Walsh, Jesse Colin Young 8-03-74. I have a complete unused ticket because the show was first postponed, and then canceled.

    California Jam 2 – 3-18-78 – Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Heart, Foreigner, Dave Mason, Santana, Bob Welch w/ Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks guesting on “Sentimental Lady,” Mahogany Rush, Rubicon and Jean Michel Jarre.

    I think that’s all of them. PHEW!

    Forward …. Into the Past!

  • “Hal Linker”

    First off, let me say that Jim L leaves great comments!

    With reference to Naugles, there was one in Chino Hills on Pipeline on the west side of the street between Chino Hills Parkway and Eucalyptus. Oddly, it didn’t become a Del Taco, but an independent drive thru called Bravo Burgers. I remember Bravo Burgers having some excellent breakfast burritos. Haven’t been out that way in some time but I assume they’re still in business.

    I used to dig the macho burritos at Naugles. They were huge! One night, in my younger days, when I was already married but we had no kids, “Hadla” and I drove through this Naugles after a party we had attended. She was driving, as I had been knocking back quite a few Jack Daniels on the rocks.

    For some reason we were not driving our own car. It belonged to the lead singer, rhythm guitarist in a band I was managing / sponsoring at the time. The band was using our place as a rehearsal studio since, at the time, we lived in the middle of nowhere. At any rate, we were in this guy named Don’s Grand Prix which was kind of old and funky.

    We ordered our food (like an inebriated fool, I had purchased way more food than I could possibly eat) and we were going to meet some friends who lived in Montclair. When we got to the traffic signal on Central and Walnut by the Jack In The Box in Chino, the light was red. “Hadla” stopped and the car conked out. She tried to restart it but it wouldn’t engage.

    I knew about Don’s (crappy) car. I told her that if she flicked the key in the switch very quickly that it would eventually catch. She kept trying. The light turned green and there were several cars behind us who honked and then maneuvered around us. “Hadla” kept giving it her best but it wasn’t turning over. The light turned red again.

    I told her she wasn’t doing it right. So we switched positions with me in the driver seat flicking the key in that “special” way. It began to catch but was having trouble starting. I think “Hadla” flooded it during her numerous attempts.

    Just then a black & white pulled behind us. The light turned green and I still hadn’t gotten the damn thing started yet. We remained parked. So did the cop. On the next go round of the light turning green the cop pushed us into an ARCO station on the NE corner of Walnut & Central (which is no longer there).

    We got out of the car and thanked the cops. They also got out of their car. They asked if I had been drinking. I told them yes but that I wasn’t actually driving the car, I was merely trying to get it started. They didn’t buy it, even though it was true, and “Hadla” was backing me up.

    They cuffed me and took me to the old West End jail up on Mountain and 6th by the 10 Freeway and administered a breath test which I flunked at .11. Legal limit was .10 at the time. That sucked, plus I didn’t get to finish my Naugles food for which my alcohol-affected body was crying out.

    Meanwhile, they left poor “Hadla” stranded on the corner of Central and Walnut having to try to fend for herself. I didn’t think that was too cool. The whole situation kinda blew, but I could see why technically they had me behind the wheel.

    When my court date came, the D.A. wanted me to take a plea bargain. I didn’t have a lawyer so I told him what happened. That I had no intention of driving the car. I was merley trying to get the car started for “Hadla.”

    The D.A. leafed through his papers, stared at me and said that the police reoport made no mention that there was another person with me in the vehicle. I swore up and down that “Hadla” was with me and that the cops just left her stranded there in Chino. He believed me.

    He asked me if “Hadla” was available and I told him she was. He told me that if I brought her to court and had her testify under oath that she was at the scene, along with what had happened, that he would reduce my charge to drunk in public, a mere $75 fine.

    Those were the days! Slim chance of that ever happening in today’s world.

    There are many stories in the Naugles City …. This was one of them ….

  • Joe

    The “Beep-Beep” lady lived in the vicinity of Pipeline and Chino Avenue. Supposedly her name was Violet, but she was often called “Violent” due to the fact that she would often explode in violent anger at anyone who angered her.

    She would slowly cruise down the middle of the traffic lane as if she was in a car rather than a bicycle. If someone dared to honk their horn at her to get her to move out of the way, she would give them an obscene gesture and bark out some expletives at them. All X-Rated, people would have to roll up their windows to keep the children from hearing.

    She often would park her bike outside of the liquor store at Walnut and Central (Phils Liquors) back in the mid ’60s, and for some reason no one could resist walking over to her bike and beeping the horn. Of course the kids had to run like hell to avoid being captured by her as she stormed out of the liquor store cussing up a storm.

    The story at the time was that she had been a normal woman. But that she had accidentally lurched her car forward running over and killing her husband who was opening the garage door for her at the time. That caused her lose her sanity and she never recovered.

    Don’t really know how much of that was true, or if there was any truth to it at all. But that was the story that was told about her at the time. It sounded logical to us kids, and would seem to explain why she didn’t drive a car. So we all bought the story.

    Woo-Woo was a different story. She was seen all along Riverside Drive at about the same time, mid to late ’60s. Was supposedly Mexican-American, and preferred standing around Riverside Drive and Central, or riding a small bike. She had two nicknames. One was Woo-Woo, and the second was “Crazy Juanita.”

    She had some peculiar habits. She enjoyed yelling Woo-Woo at teenage boys while making an obscene gesture from her crotch imitating a male masturbating. Many of the high school boys would yell Woo-Woo at her just to see her do that routine.

  • “Hal Linker”

    Wow! Great comments about Woo Woo and Beep Beep, Joe.

    It all makes sense now …. kinda.

    I feel kinda dumb. I always thought ol’ Woo Woo, Wahoo Lady, Wahoo Woman was just spazzing out. I didn’t realize she was feigning male masturbation. Holy cow!

    Thanks for the new info on these two Chino / Pomona characters.

    There was also a guy in the 1970s and 1980s that used to hang out at the Chino Car Wash on Riverside Drive and 7th Street. He was mentally handicapped and was more of a greeter than anything else. He had a very strange way of waving and it seemed he was really enjoying himself. He could also be seen in front of the D.E.S. Hall across the street from the car wash. Also at corner of Riverside Drive and Central.

  • “Hal Linker”

    As long as were sidetracked on the subject of mentally handicapped characters, heres a strange story from my early youth.

    When I was a kid, my parents’ church had this program which had different families take mentally handicapped people to church. It worked out that about, once every two months, a family would be assigned to pick up the handicapped person from the care facility at which they were housed, take them to church and then to their home for lunch afterwards. The care facilities assured the church that these were the upper echelon of the people under their care and were fit to be handled easily by laymen. In other words, these people were the least mentally handicapped in the facility.

    As a kid, I wasnt too crazy about going to church. It meant getting up early on a weekend, wearing uncomfortable suits and neckties, and, it cut into playtime and sports on TV. Taking a mentally handicapped person to church was a drag to me because we would have to get up that much earlier to make the trip to the care facility. Also, at my age, mentally handicapped people could be sort of frightening.

    Anyway, one time we picked up a mentally handicapped guy who appeared to be in his late teens or early twenties. He sat next to me in church and shared a hymnal with me as he made strange sounds very loudly during the hymn. Of course I was embarrassed, being as I was only a kid. When the minister got into one of his long-winded 45 minute sermons, in which he beat a particular Bible verse into the ground, the handicapped guy started getting restless and fidgety. Next thing I knew, he had whipped it out and started masturbating. In church! In the pew! Nobody knew what to do!! People in our row were freaking out!!! But nobody did or said a thing!!! The guy was a wild man grunting and groaning! They should have given him salt peter or something but I dont know if that would have even helped. Ill spare you the further details.

    Needless to say, we didnt take the guy home for lunch, like we were supposed to do, and returned him back to the care facility right after church was over. This person wasnt quite ready for prime time yet. Everybody in the vicinity of us in the church had been traumatized, but no one did anything because they didnt want to interrupt the service.

    Years later, when going to college in Ann Arbor, I ran into an older guy doing graduate work. He was from Ontario, California and we hit it off. I invited him to my dorm room where we shared some tequila and a joint. He told me that years ago, during the summer before he began college, he had worked as an orderly in a care facility for mentally handicapped people. He said the funniest thing that ever happened there during his tenure was when a mentally handicapped guy masturbated and discharged on the floor only to have a nurse slip on it and break her leg. The facility had to fill out some pretty strange claim forms. The real mindblower was that the guy masturbating was the same person that my family had taken to church and it was the same care facility. No lie!!!! Im 3,000 miles from home, meet a guy from Ontario and he happens to have worked around the same masturbating, mentally handicapped dude that my parents took to church. WHOAAA!!!!!

    That definitely called for mas tequila and yesca … Dude!

  • Anonymous


    I remember the ‘greeter’ from the DES (Divino Espirito Santo) hall in Chino. He was of Portuguese descent — I went to dance that was held there, gee, sometime in the late ’70s maybe. Chino used to have a lot of folks who were Portuguese — many people on our street were and I remember a truck coming around maybe once a week who would sell the Portuguese some fish. Sort of like the Helms Bakery guy — would honk the truck horn and the Portuguese would come out to buy fish.

    As a side note — I used to attend St. Margaret Mary in Chino and remember seeing Tony Melendez there playing guitar with his feet. He had a wonderful voice and was very talented. He got a lot of press during a Papal visit in – 1987?

  • “Hal Linker”


    That’s the guy! The Portuguese “greeter” who hung out in the vicinity of 7th and Riverside Drive near the DES Hall (which hosted many Portuguese events). I went to a wedding reception or two there in my time. You’re right about the Portuguese area of Chino. Many lived on the numbered streets between Ninth and Benson bordered by Riverside Drive to the north and Chino Avenue to the south.

    I remember those fish trucks too. They also used to park at corners of rural thoroughfares and sell their wares much like the tamale trucks. Haven’t noticed the fish trucks lately. Do they still exist?

    I also remember Tony Melendez. He was a thalidomide baby born with no arms who learned to play guitar with his feet. His band was / is humorously called the Toe Jam band.

    St. Margaret’s had some great church picnics. I was not a member but I had friends who were. I would never turn down an invite to the St. Margaret’s church picnic. Lotsa fun and great people.

    Does anyone remember what the Mexican restaurant way behind the lot of St. Margaret’s Chuch was? Is it still there?

  • dean

    are you still around, this being 9-17-11
    talking to others about leon russell concert
    7-29-1973 in ontario
    we were interested in pictures from the day
    how do you go about seeing if there are any ?
    leon’s camp will not answer
    so ? what do you think

    [Cameras and tape recorders at concerts weren’t nearly as common then as now. Perhaps a couple of people took photos, but how would you find them? — DA]

  • Marcia

    Do you have any ideas how to get a video or films or even photos of the Leon Russell/Loggins & Messins concert, I believe it was called “A Happening On The Green” at the Ontario Motor Speedway July 29, 1973? I’ve been trying to find one for years.
    Thank you,

    [I don’t, sorry. — DA]