‘Hal Linker’ reminisces, part 8

As “Hal” continues disgorging the entire contents of his brain, minus the parts he’s leaving on these entries as comments, he focuses on more restaurants:

In the 1970s I remember a lunch only place on Foothill in Claremont called Soup’s On. Anybody ever go there? I went once or twice and it was very popular.

The Laugh Stop was also happening around the Griswold’s area in the late 1970s.

Anybody remember Baja Pete’s in Chino? Obviously it was a Mexican place in the 1970s and 1980s. I used to really dig the enchilada suizas there — the rest of the food was OK but nothing super fantastic. Never have found a restaurant that could match those suizas since (though Las Casueles in Palm Springs comes close). The building still stands but got gutted of its atmosphere. It’s now called Plaza Guadalahara and is a non-waitress, counter order joint. I don’t like it.

There was a small taco stand on either Mission or Holt in Ontario called La Fonda. It was fantastic. Then one day they moved to a strip mall portion of a grocery store center on Euclid and Francis and they started sucking.

My faves were Orlando’s, Espiau’s and The Arbor, which had a hotel adjacent to it which made for some super long dinners and happy hours.

Another Tastee Freeze location was on Euclid adjacent to a Circle K on the west side of the road somewhere between Francis and Mission. The building’s still there but it’s a Loco Pizza or something now — the Circle K is no longer a Circle K either. I think someone mentioned the location on South Garey in front of the old Alpha Beta market with the A-frame latter-day design.

Someone mentioned Ozzie’s Oasis in Montclair on Central near Kingsley. There was also a location in Chino on Riverside Drive and Ninth. One of the few burger joints that served sloppy Joes. When they closed, the building was remodeled and became Pearl City, a Chinese restaurant which lasted about a decade. Not sure what’s there now.

There was also a Tastee Freeze on East Mission east of Garey in the A-frame style that’s now a Bamboo Express. Next: yet more restaurants, in the penultimate excerpt. The end is in sight, folks.

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  • Annie Muss

    I remember both the Soups On in Claremont and Baja Pete’s in Chino! I really miss the soup place on rainy winter days.

    It’s just so apparent now how many great places that are no longer around. The largest casualty being Pomona which lost its way over the years and now seems to value nondescript taquerias, liquor stores, donut shops and day labor sites at the expense of larger enterprises that provided quality jobs and healthy tax revenue, such as General Dynamics, Wayne Sweeper, Pomona Tile, theaters, Sears, Potlatch Paper, Costco, Xerox, etc. Those were the businesses that supported the restaurants and other places that used to be here. Sniff.

    [You make it sound like Pomona traded General Dynamics for a day labor center, which is a ridiculous argument. SoCal's aerospace industry contracted, and Rancho Cucamonga lost its General Dynamics too, you know. Sears decided it would rather be in Montclair Plaza. The single-screen movie theaters couldn't cut it in a multiplex world. Etc. -- DA]

  • Ronald Scott

    Who can forget about the fiasco of an outlet mall that Pomona placed on the old General Dynamics site?

  • Shirley Wofford

    I wish Hal had said more about the Arbor restaurant. My husband and I dined there every Friday night and some Thursday nights for as long as it was open. Its closing was one of the saddest I can remember. There never was and never will be another restaurant like it. The owner and chef, Walter Rippe, also owned the bar and grill Uncle Neds. They had great T-bone steaks.

  • “Hal Linker”

    Hi Annie,

    Do you remember exactly where the Soup’s On was? I’ve driven by that area on Foothill and can’t figure it out.

    The way I remember it, the restaurant was a bit of a distance from the street and the parking lot was kind of funky (perhaps even dirt or gravel), but maybe my memory is a bit fogged.

    Do you have any idea what is at the old location now? Just wondering.

    My older brother worked for General Dynamics a while. He was a consultant. He moved on to a subcontracter (where he was a consultant on guidance systems for the Cruise missile, among other things) before the Pomona GD closed. Nevertheless, his new small company folded as did so many other specialized defense-related businesses in the aftermath of the Berlin Wall and the USSR kinda falling apart. He’s in the landscaping biz now with four Master’s Degrees from Cal Poly Pomona.

    I agree with you Annie, Pomona isn’t what it used to be, but nothing else is either. Many parts of SoCal are beginning to look like Third World neighborhoods.

    Since you mentioned it, some other businesses that folded or left Pomona: Pasco Steel, FMC, Carr Paper, Guitar Store (when the Guitar Store leaves, your city is really in trouble! ha ha!) along with so many of the restaurants we miss.

    But I’ll be damned if Tropical Mexico restaurant isn’t still in biz after all these years, in spite of its sort of obscure location at East End and Grand. Time for lunch!

  • Annie Muss

    Fair enough, David. Your point is well taken, particularly with regard to General Dynamics. I know there is no direct correlation between G.D. and the labor center other than proximity.

    However, one can’t avoid noticing the fact that all the large car dealers, the vast majority of larger well-known retailers like Sears, larger employers and many manufacturers havn’t all contracted but rather moved just beyong city limits to Chino Hills, Claremont, Ontario, Montclair, San Dimas, etc.

    I also agree that single screens theaters cannot compete anymore but perhaps with more viable economic conditions, perhaps Pomona could have built a multiplex or two like the surrounding cities did.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Pomona. I just look at the surrounding communities and wonder “what if.”

  • JMac

    Wasn’t the Soups On restaurant’s full name…Soups On at the Danish Kitchen?

    [Where have you gone, Charles Bentley? A valley turns its lonely eyes to you. Oooh, oooh, oooh. -- DA]

  • Annie Muss

    Hal,

    I seem to remember Soups On as being a small place being closer to the street. (As an aside and not to promote non-Valley business but the three Rutabagorz restaurants in Fullerton and Orange remind me of Claremont’s Soups On. I only wish they would open one in Claremont. It would be a perfect fit.)

    How could I forget Pascoe! My boyfriend had a union job there when he was 19 and made a whopping $4.55 per hour, making him feel relatively well off!

    Oh and how we loved Tropical Mexico on East End in the ’70s when it was still “that cozy hidden gem out in the middle of nowhere.” We still go occasionally for old times sake but it’s expanded and just not the same but like you’ve said, what is?

    Another place still around but just a shadow of its former self is Tony’s Beef Dips on Second Street in Pomona.

    [Ah, Tony's. -- DA]

  • John Harrelson

    I believe he’s trying to remember Ontario Music, just east of Vine on the north side of Holt Blvd. It “replaced” the Oasis in the old firehouse, east side of Euclid, south of Holt. Ontario Music opened in September of 1966 and closed by summer ’67.

  • DICEBLU

    My wife is pretty sure Soups On was at the s/e corner of Mills & Foothill…sat back from Foothill a bit with gravel parking area fronting Foothill…pretty much across the street from Union 76 station that was on the n/e corner…it was bought by the colleges and dorms were built…? sound familiar?

  • Chris Moran

    Note to “HAL”: Next time you’re in Tijuana go to the Bob’s Big Boy on Avenida Revolucion for their enchilada suizas. It will solve the riddle of “Whatever Happened to Baja Pete’s Cook?”

  • ray

    SOUP’S ON was east of Indian Hill, south side of street just next to the entrance to the Claremont Colleges on Foothill. I’ll drive by to give you a more accurate location.

  • “Hal Linker”

    Hi DICEBLU

    Thanks, that solves the Soup’s On mystery. You’d never know the place was there, nowadays. I only went there twice and, unusually, I wasn’t the one who drove there. And, boy(!), do I ever remember the driver! I can still see her 1968 root beer brown Camaro, her long blonde hair and those “couldn’t cut ‘em any shorter,” cut-off levis. Soup was definitely ON!

    As a sideline, I used to make custom tapes for people from my vast record collection for a fee. The blonde was a regular customer and she had a variety of interesting ways of paying her debts. In the “G” version she takes me to lunch at Soup’s On, although her cut-offs were definitely rated “M”, er, “PG.”

    Anybody out there have a clue as to what Harvard Square on Bonita was called before it came into existence 15 years ago? I do recall going there in the early 1980s and thought it was Square One then. There was also a waffle house and a candy store where the current bar for Harvard Square is situated …. I think ….. Any clues?

    In another quick set of mind flashes toward Claremont, anybody ever attend some of the great rock concerts which happened at a variety of locations in the Claremont Colleges? I remember seeing the Flying Burrito Brothers at a daytime outdoor gig there. Frank Zappa & The Mothers played Bridges in 1971 and 1975 (in 1975 with Captain Beefheart / Don Van Vliet). In the late 1960s and early 1970s there were frequent (and not generally advertised outside the college) events. Once I went to a show with a bunch of no-name bands at Holmes Hall in Pomona College circa 1967. The only reason I remember it is because one of the bands was named “Filthy Isaac And The Search For Sanity,” which I found amusing enough, in my altered state of mind, to remember all these years later.

    Flash to the smoggy summer of 1972: The Claremont Colleges hosted a week-long Young Calvinists Convention. This was a church-sponsored affair at which guys and girls, between the ages of 16 and 18, could gather with kids of the same background from all over the country. The idea was to engage in wholesome Christian fun and fellowship. But that’s not always what happened. Imagine being away from mom and dad for the first time at the age of 16 to 18!!! I don’t think all of us would be sitting around reading our Bibles on the occasion (and I mean no offense to religion, it’s just the reality of the situation).

    Enter my friend John and myself cruising into the Claremont Colleges in his 1969 Mach 1 Mustang blasting Jimi Hendrix’ “Dolly Dagger” out the speakers. Of course, we had nothing but Spiritual Edification, Divine Intervention, Fullfilling Blessings and Salvation on our minds when we stumbled unexpectedly into the convention. That was one crazy, hospitable, and, above all, FUN!! week we had in Claremont and around Southern California. We became the field trip that wasn’t on the agenda. Everybody was following the Golden Rule. We were singing John Calvin’s praises!!! All were getting pretty biblical. And I mean from Genesis To Revelation!! Ah yes, coming of age at the Young Calvinists Convention. As they say, you gotta sin to get saved! Hallelujah!! And Amen!

    ["Hal" also had a section in this comment about the Midway, which I'm going to save for its own post. -- DA]

  • “Hal & Hadla Linker”

    With regard to the Annie and David’s exchange about Pomona and the loss of certain businesses. This is directed to anyone who can definitively answer the following two questions.

    Did the City Of Pomona turn down Walt Disney’s offer to build Disneyland there? Also, did Pomona turn down the indoor mall proposal which eventually became Montclair Plaza?

    I’ve heard these statements from people many times when engaging in loose talk in bars and restaurants. Is this myth or reality?

    If it’s true, then it would seem Pomona’s officials made some dunderheaded decisions in the past.

    Anybody know if there is any truth to these allegations?

    [I've heard both those rumors and I've also heard both of them debunked. But I can't say definitively. I know more about Disneyland because my newspaper investigated that rumor in 1997 (it's even mentioned on Wikipedia's Pomona page). We found that Disney was looking at lots of cities, and that Pomona was eliminated from contention pretty early on because of summertime heat. The popular notion that Pomona shoots itself in the foot has a lot of traction. -- DA]

  • “Hal & Hadla Linker”

    With regard to the Annie and David’s exchange about Pomona and the loss of certain businesses. This is directed to anyone who can definitively answer the following two questions.

    Did the City Of Pomona turn down Walt Disney’s offer to build Disneyland there? Also, did Pomona turn down the indoor mall proposal which eventually became Montclair Plaza?

    I’ve heard these statements from people many times when engaging in loose talk in bars and restaurants. Is this myth or reality?

    If it’s true, then it would seem Pomona’s officials made some dunderheaded decisions in the past.

    Anybody know if there is any truth to these allegations?

    [I've heard both those rumors and I've also heard both of them debunked. But I can't say definitively. I know more about Disneyland because my newspaper investigated that rumor in 1997 (it's even mentioned on Wikipedia's Pomona page). We found that Disney was looking at lots of cities, and that Pomona was eliminated from contention pretty early on because of summertime heat. The popular notion that Pomona shoots itself in the foot has a lot of traction. -- DA]

  • richard e nunez

    there use to be a place where a kid would be able to race his slot-car it was near the corner of holt and garey in pomona.cant recall the name but there was one also on north garey near the u-haul which by the way use to be a Market.

  • JMac

    It was at 560 E Foothill, which would put it exactly where DICEBLU’s wife says it was.

    [Thank you to JMac and DICEBLU's wife for settling this argument. -- DA]

  • Charles Bentley

    GREETINGS:
    Sorry to be so tardy in joining this conversation. David is too kind regarding my memory and far too gracious to toss my name in with a Simon & Garfunkel musical reference.

    While I don’t believe I ever dined at Soups On (and I don’t recall the “Danish Kitchen” reference, but it could very well be accurate), I believe DICEBLU’s wife has the correct location. Soups On did have a small bit of unpaved front parking on Foothill and was popular with a variety of age groups. From what others have told me, it offered a “quaint, American heartland” atmosphere that is hard to find locally these days.

    Trop Mex is a long-standing tradition for locals (although I personally prefer the food and location of Ramon’s Cactus Patch in Ontario, another legendary establishment). Meanwhile, my family tended to frequent Dick’s Place on East End in Pomona for beef dips. The sawdust on the floor, the red-checkered tablecloths and the electric tavern signs created the ideal ambiance.

    To throw out one more bit of local lore, I believe the Sears that was located on Holt in Pomona was originally suggested for downtown Ontario. I’ve always been told that the “city fathers” declined the opportunity because it would “ruin the atmosphere on Euclid Avenue.” I don’t know how accurate that tale may be, but it serves to suggest how shortsighted leadership can influence a community for generations.

    [That's a fascinating bit of lore about Sears. Wonder if it's true? About Dick's Place, it's one of the few topics this latecomer has any personal experience with. I ate there in its final week, circa 2000. It was forced to close for construction of an underpass. And Charles, thank you for weighing in. -- DA]

  • “Hal Linker”

    RE: “John Harrelson said:
    I believe he’s trying to remember Ontario Music, just east of Vine on the north side of Holt Blvd. It “replaced” the Oasis in the old firehouse, east side of Euclid, south of Holt. Ontario Music opened in September of 1966 and closed by summer ’67.”

    Hi John Harrelson,

    I’m kinda confused by what you’re saying. Could you clarify? Are you referring to a question I posed in another thread about fuzzily remembering a teen club off of Holt somewhere between San Antonio and Euclid? This club could possibly have been on a small intersecting street in between Holt and State.

    All I remember is that I was tagging along with my older brother, when he and his friend picked up some girls from said club in his candy apple red 1965 GTO. I was riding shotgun and push buttoning radio stations from KFWB-980, KRLA-1110, KHJ-930, KMEN-1290, KFXM-590, KWIZ-1480. I was hitting all the best tunes and dodging the clunkers like a surfer balancing in the curl. The Four Tops were offering “Reach Out (I’ll Be There),” Dylan was moaning “Just Like a Woman,” The Count Five were having a “Psychotic Reaction,” Johnny Rivers was living on “The Poor Side Of Town,” the Young Rascals oozed sex with “Come On Up,” the Left Banke were begging don’t “Walk Away Renee,” while Mitch Ryder sang the praises of a “Devil With a Blue Dress On.”

    Oh, excuse me, major flashback.

    I thought Ontario Music was a music store. Please clarify. How did it “replace” the Oasis. What is the relationship between these two places?

    If you’ve go the time, I’ve got the ear (sung to the Miller Time melody).

  • Ms. Lois

    Hi David,

    I’ve heard the Disneyland in Pomona argument many times and while I can provide the answer I cannot provide the background. I have our Special Collections department working on it and let you know.

  • Ms. Lois

    David,

    OK. We have a file in the Special Collections room that is labeled: Disneyland Myth. In it is a Daily Bulletin article from Oct. 5, 1997. Staff writer Matthew Tresaugue put this urban legend to rest.

    “Disney in the early 1950s commissioned Stanford Research Institute to conduct two studies: The feasibility of an amusement park and its ideal location. Pomona was one of 71 possible sites selected in Southern California.” In the end Pomona’s temperatures were too hot in the summer. This issue never came before the City Council.

    I hope this helps. If anyone wants to read the article it is in the Special Collections room.

    [Thanks for enlightening us, Lois. I'll try to research the Pomona/Montclair Plaza bit later this spring so the library can start a Montclair Plaza Myth folder (unless it turns out not to be a myth). -- DA]

  • “Hal Linker”

    Couple of quick comments if that’s at all possible with me. [I'm having my doubts. -- DA]

    Sorry I can’t help Richard out with the names of those old slot-car racing places in Pomona. But there was a slot-car place in Chino called Vanguard Racing. It was in the Alpha Beta complex at Walnut and Central. The windows faced out toward Walnut and the building was backed up to Columbus Avenue. I had a slot-car when I was about 12 and went there many times. Does any one recall the name of the guy who ran the place?

    Dick’s Family Place was pretty cool. Great for beer and sandwich and some conversation.

    In that vicinity the old Breakfast At Carl’s is missed. I know that the son is running the BC Cafe / Kick Back Jack places now and I dig ‘em. But I still miss it. No more souffle omelettes anymore either. They used to do souffle omelettes that took 20 minutes to cook. Once, while at the Indian Hill location, I mentioned it to the owner. He made me one just because I remembered.

    And of course the International House Of Pancakes at East End and Holt has been gone for ages.

    Time for lunch. Think we’ll go to Cafe Montclair (ex-The Lizzy, Ginger’s, Plum Tree) for some fish and chips.

  • DICEBLU

    “Hal Linker”
    My wife mentioned that she remembered where Soups On was located even though she had only been there twice… back-in-the-day when she was cruisin’ in her ’68 root beer brown Camaro…ya think…nah …must be another blonde… !! Jeepers, had me goin’ there!

  • John Harrelson

    About Ontario Music: The retail store [still open at 215 West "G" St.] opened a teen club.

    The Oasis, in the firehouse on South Euclid, was closing or closed. The Sahara, a private teen club, was popular only with a specific crowd (I never went there — rare) and closed in 1966.

    Ontario Music’s venue opened August 1966 and existed for less than a year. My band, The Southe, played September 6th (?) 1966 and several other dates.

    [I posted John's e-mail to me above and also in the previous case, and in so doing cleaned up his syntax a bit; that unfortunately included altering his original phrase "the Ontario Music venue." -- DA]

  • Randall Volm

    Re: Slot car race place(s)

    As I have mentioned in the “Things That Aren’t Here Anymore” thread, I can recall of at least 3 locations that I frequented. One, I believe, was located on East End Avenue in Pomona just south of Holt Ave. Another was located on 7th & Benson Avenue in Upland, which is now occupied by an RV Super Center. And the third one, which I believe is still there as of 3 years ago, was in City of Industry, just this side of the Puente Hills Mall.

    Whether or not these three locations had the same name or not, each place was just as exciting to drive the slot cars. As far as the name of them, I’m sorry, I can’t remember.

    [If I'm not mistaken, I believe there's a slot car raceway today at Benson and Seventh in Upland. -- DA]

  • “Hal Linker”

    Hi John Harrelson,

    Thanks for the clarification. Now I understand completely.

    The Southe, eh, did you guys play Ganesha Park July 9, 1967? Ever play any Love-In’s, Freak-Outs, or Happenings?!?! Ha ha! Ever hear of Filthy Isaac and The Search For Sanity or Gross National Product? Did your band ever open for someone big? Ever play Cal Poly Pomona? Do you remember The Light, or The Caretakers from San Bernardino? Do you remember the Purple Haze club on Magnolia and Tyler in Riverside?

    Do you recall what Walter Mitty’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Emporium on W. Mission was called prior to adopting that name? I posted that it was the Broadside, but perhaps that was an error (I now realize that the Broadside was located at 960 East Holt). I thought the building had fish nets hanging from the front exterior walls — I’m referring to the Walter Mitty’s site in the 1960′s — but maybe I’m wrong.

    I was an impossibly way too grown-up for my own good teenager, at the time, and I used to tag along with my older brother or sister. Sometimes I’d even hang out with some of their friends. Consequently, I went to many places kids my age didn’t normally get to go. My sister used to go to Hollywood and I remember seeing the Iron Butterfly at Bido Lito’s and the Galaxy long before they ever had a record out. Their original guitarist was really amazing. He quit before the first LP was released (though he is on the recording). My sister had a huge crush on the guy. Later he was in Rhinoceros (anyone remember them? — they had a punchy instrumental called Apricot Brandy which was a minor hit circa 1968). Anyway, that guitarist was amazing in concert, his name was Danny Weiss.

    Iron Butterfly used to play for free a lot at the Sunday afternoon Love-In’s at Griffith Park. I went to a few of those with my older sister and her friends in her red convertible (grey top) 1965 VW which had a few flower decals on it. Great bands used to play for free on Sunday including Linda Ronstadt’s first outfit, The Stone Poneys, Taj Mahal, Pacific Gas & Electric, a chicano group called the Outlaw Blues Band, the Merry-Go-Round, Chambers Brothers, House Of D.B.S. (which later became the Dirty Blues Band and featured a young Rod Piazza), Doors, Jefferson Airplane etc.

    [For your John Harrelson biographical questions, refer to http://www.johnharrelson.com. — DA]

  • Jim L

    RE: Slot Cars

    I can solve the North Garey Ave slot car question.

    It was called “Hobbiesville” and was located in a building in the Jenkens Market shopping center. The Hobbiesville location is now a pool supply company and Jenkens is now a U-Haul Rental business.

    Other businesses at that location (Garey & LaVerne Ave) were Shakey’s Pizza and an Orange Julius stand. The O.J. stand was free-standing, unlike the currunt Orange Juliuses found only in large malls. The old Orange Julius shack is still there but is now a taqueria.

    I can fondly remember being dropped off at Hobbiesville by one of our parents and we’d spend the whole day racing slot cars. When we got hungry we could walk to the old style McDonalds for their 15 cent burgers, wash it down with an Orange Julius. When we ran out of money we’d walk next door to Shakeys Pizza and watch old movies or listen to the banjo and piano players until our parents picked us up.

    The Shakey’s Pizza also closed recently. It’s now a taqueria also, or sitdown Mexican food restaurant. Not sure.

    [I can answer that. The restaurant is now Las (or maybe Los) Margaritas, a sitdown place. In fact I sat down inside recently. Food was only average. The Orange Julius is now Lily's Tacos and is pretty good. I'd been wondering what the two buildings used to be, so thanks for the info! -- DA]

  • “Hal Linker”

    Hi DICEBLU,

    Holy balls! You had me goin’ there too for awhile!! I just saw your most recent comment on this thread. Nah, the world’s not that small is it?!?! Your wife wouldn’t be of Scandinavian descent would she?

    Nah, just joking … the blonde I was referring to is single, though previously married (she named her son after me), and absolutely gorgeous (and she doesn’t even need the “for her age” qualification). She’s living in Northern California. She now drives a 1957 Chevy Nomad and writes and draws children’s books. She also paints really cool 1940′s cartoonish looking renderings of classic cars. Hadla doesn’t like it when she visits.

    Good one though, you nearly had me … ha ha (I’m not into the LOL thing).

  • Jim L

    Up until the early ’70s there was another free-standing Orange Julius location in Pomona on West Mission at Dudley, next to the current 7-Eleven. That stand is still standing but like its counterpart on North Garey, it’s now a taqueria too.

    Across from Orange Julius on Mission Blvd was the Blue Chip Stamp trading stamp redemption center. It’s a church now though – Iglegia de Rio Vida or something like that.
    Oh, and as coincidence would have it, located next to that Mission Blvd Orange Julius in the ’60s was another smaller slot car racing shop but it only lasted a few months, if that.

    Okay, I won’t get started on Mission Blvd businesses. I’m too anxious to hear more from “Hal” about La Vida Mineral Springs!

  • JMac

    Just to add a little more perspective to that general area during the early ’70s. The parking area directly behind the fast food trio of Arby’s/Taco Bell/McDonalds was known to us teens as “The Lot.” Mostly a hangout for Pomona High teens, it was a widely known weekend cruising locale. The Shakey’s was also a staple after Friday night football games.

    As for slot car facilities, I seem to recall Heidi’s Toy Store on Garey having one. It though was not the HO scale home edition types, but the much larger hobby versions.

  • DICEBLU

    “Hal”
    glad you enjoyed that last post…..I knew you would appreciate it….thanx for the update on the lady in question….sounds like a great gal! She still has excellent taste in cars…’57 Nomad…how bitchin’ !

    Thanx for a great post “Hal”…

    [It seemed like just the other day that the Dice-man provided our 700th comment. One of "Hal's" was No. 800. Now Dice has No. 850. -- DA]

  • Sue Chilberg

    RE: the slot car treks:

    There was one ran by John Thorpe, I don’t remember where in Pomona, and then he went into the R/C car business. It was called Thorpe’s R/C raceway and was on commerical st., then he moved to Mission and East End. John went into the r/c car manufacturing business and sold the track to Gil Losi who changed the store name to the Ranch Pit stop.

    And speaking of restaurants, there was a BBQ place in a old house, I think it was on Riverside Dr, in Pomona. You had to wait no matter what day of the week it was to get a seat. They had the best brisket and ribs.

  • “Hal Linker”

    Kind of in reference to JMac’s most recent comments:

    I don’t remember Heidi’s Toy Store, but what about all the independently owned toy and hobby stores that used to be. The old Pomona Mall had a bunch of Toy and Hobby Stores. There was a place on the west side of Central just south of Foothill which I think was called Don’s Hobby Hut, too. I think the larger slot cars that JMac refers to were 1/24th scale. Most slot car places catered to these.

    JMac also mentions “The Lot” in Pomona at the Arby’s (whatever happened to the Whaler [fish] and the Yumbo [ham & cheese] sandwiches??) / Taco Bell / McDonald’s as an old Pomona High hangout / gathering place.

    Chino had many similar locations which changed through the years. I’ll try to remember some of the hangouts through the years. A&W on Riverside Drive (west of Yorba on the south side of the street) with its car hop service was the earliest one I can remember.

    There was also the “Big W” / Pizza King complex on the NW corner Riverside Drive and Benson. This was another early to mid ’60s hangout. But it ceased when the Big W was torn down.

    Then, for a time, kids used to congregate at the old Michael’s Market (a grocery store) parking lot on the north side of Riverside Drive between Benson and Oaks. This would be in the mid to late 1960s. Michael’s became the Chino Valley Ranch Market and it still stands, though I’m not sure it still bears that name.

    The Chino Bowling Alley (only 10 lanes) was a hangout when re-opened in the late 1960s. A lot of the people who hung out there were dairy farm kids from decidedly Dutch background. Kids would wander across the street to the Cock-A-Doodle for eats. There were a couple of “easy” young girls who were there every night. They were proudly known as the “Gutter Sluts.” God bless ‘em and all that they did to improve morale in the community. In the mid to late 1970s it became a hangout for the Portuguese youth community. Also in the mid-1970s, there was a teen club called, I think, “Joe’s Place” which was next door to the bowling alley. As I said before, the bowling alley is now a discount T-Shirt shop. The teen club is a bar, last I looked.

    In the early 1970s kids congregated at the Alpha Beta parking lot on Central and Walnut behind the Security Pacific Bank (which later became Upland National Bank — also defunct). That lot also included Phil’s Liquors (still there — though probably not the same proprietor), Alphy’s (then Bailey’s, now a medical building), a gas station (defunct, leveled and now site of a Starbucks) and a Fotomat (now leveled) which always seemed to have the most adorable young women working at it. And for some reason, they all drove VW bugs. Youthful male loiterers could often be seen flirting with the lovely Fotomat girls, who were otherwise trapped in their lonely little booth, listening to the radio and reading the “good passages” from somewhat “dirty” novels.

    After some trouble at the Alpha Beta lot (which I might detail in a later colosso-comment), kids moved across the street to the Jack In The Box on the SE corner of Walnut and Central in the mid 1970s. At that time Jack In the Box had no adjacent business to its south. It was a vacant lot which later became Sanwa Bank (it’s something else now). On the NE corner of Walnut & Central was an ARCO station which had a Scott Brothers Drive Thru Dairy behind it with a Walnut address.

    There was also a short-lived contingent of youthful car and mini-truck enthusiasts who would hang out at the old Safeway Market center on the corner of Philadelphia and Central. They would hang in the area of the parking lot between Der Wienerschnitzel and Carl’s Jr.

    Circa 1977, the adjacent Del Taco & Self Serve Car wash lots became the gathering place. Del Taco was managed by the hapless Rudy Notterman who finally decided to adopt an “if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em” attitude about the lingering loiterers. Besides, most of the loitering lot bought food and drinks anyway. Never mind the fact that many were pouring their cokes out and putting alcoholic beverages in the Del Taco cups. Rudy sure had great taste in the gorgeous high school girls he hired to work there and they definitely contributed to an increase in the flocks of male youth.

    Kids would freely walk across the bordering parking lots of the car wash and Del Taco. In an effort to stop the congregating, the two businesses put up a chain link fence between themselves. It didn’t stop the hanging out. The kids just walked around or climbed over the fence. On rare occasions Rudy would be having a bad day and send for a tow truck to remove loiterers’ cars. This would turn out comically as invariably the tow truck would hook up a car belonging to a family dining inside. Calamity would ensue. All in all, though, Rudy was a damn good sport.

    The Chino PD would tolerate all this hanging out (at all the aforementioned locales) till about 10 o’clock when they’d tell the kids to take it out into the country — meaning out in the dairy areas, later known as “The Agriculture Preserve” thanks to ex-Eagle Scout Larry Walker. Larry never hung out.

    (I think it was fair to say that every kid who hung out in Chino knew every cop in the town. Most of the cops were cool. A few were ticket-writing drags. The two top Ticket Writing Happy cops in town (which young and old feared and detested) were officers Tooley and McCombs (who was the son of the editor of the Chino Champion). They were famous for writing some of the most C.S. tickets of all time! They carried tape measures so they could check your tire width, distance of exhaust from the ground all of that technical stuff. )

    Taking it to the country meant hanging out and partying at locations like “The Wash” (the pre-cemented flood basin) which had full access to four wheel drive and ATC vehicles at Ontario Avenue and Chino Avenue. Kids used to say “let’s go to Ontario Street,” which meant partying at that location. Wash access could also be had at the unpaved, gravel-road Remington Avenue which at that time was east of the Chino airport. Remington Dip was a huge hangout during the late mid 1970s. Booze was guzzled, minds were expanded and virginities were lost.

    Another “out in the country” party and drag race zone was the corner of Bickmore and Grove. Bickmore was one street north of the intersection of Pine and Grove. This was the site of many weekend drag races. The starting line would be at Pine and Grove and the 1/4 mile mark was the first telephone pole past Bickmore on Grove. Sometimes the festivities would get quite elaborate with locals bringing VHT and doing fiery burnouts. On particularly festive evenings, bonfires were lit. On one such occasion we all thought we were busted when an official-looking vehicle with lights on top pulled up. This turned out to be a female patrol guard from the Frontera Women’s prison who saw the light from the fire and drove over. Rather than turn us in, she stayed and partied with us.

    At that time, the corner of Bickmore and Pine was surrounded by fields of alfalfa on the eastern corners. It dead ended into Grove Avenue, across from which was the Alta Dena Dairy.

    There was also an area called the “Golden Gate” which was at the dead end of Schaefer Avenue about a quarter mile east of Walker Avenue behind a series of dairies. There was a galvanized steel gate there which was painted yellowish-gold, hence the name. More bonfires and street parties were held here. I beleive the gate and the dairies are still there. But I don’t think it’s a street party locale anymore.

    In what would become Chino Hills, there was “The Yellow Brick Road” which was at the end of a gravel road which ran along side Higgins Brick Factory (still standing) and up to the base of the Chino Hills. Now, Butterfield Ranch Road and home construction have obliterated the site.

    Kids also used to party on the gravel portion of Harrison Avenue (between Limonite and Citrus) in Corona, out in what used to be the dairy area. Now it’s the site of huge 3,000 to 4,000 square foot two-story tract homes.

    Needless to say, the local Sheriffs used to know about all of these “street party” locations as well. They would usually show up after midnight and tell the kids to go home. Ninety nine percent of the time no arrests were made, though alcohol might have been confiscated (for the next policeman’s party no doubt).

    These were the Wild West years of life in Chino, when the town was small and had a personality and more of a sense of community. Attitudes were different, particularly towards youthful drinking, cruisin’ and boozin’ and the like. Thank God I grew up then, and not now. They would have had to put me all my friends in prison with today’s rules of no tolerance. I’m not sure my generation would have stood for it. And yet, despite all these new rules, it seems society is much less innocent than it used to be.

  • richard e nunez

    i use to hang out at the lot with my friends early 70`s and i also remember the friday night fights at shakeys also after a football game does anyone remember those nights

  • DH

    As a teenager I moved to Chino in the ’70s from OC. I just couldn’t believe that for the local kids the place to be seen was the self serve car wash — the car wash?? I suppose coming from ‘progressive’ OC to the then still rural Chino this was just incomprehensible.

  • “Hal Linker”

    I forgot to mention the location of the self serve car wash and Del Taco in Chino. They are located on the north side of Riverside Drive just east of the intersection of Benson and Riverside Drive. Just beyond Dave Moreno’s Shell station (NE corner of Riverside Drive and Benson) which closed and relocated to the SW corner of Central and Walnut around that same time frame (1977). Both the car wash and Del Taco still exist but the kids have long stopped hanging out.

    Another independent burger joint in Chino which was quite good was Art’s Drive In (NW corner of Riverside Drive and Magnolia). This was there from the 1960s to the 1990s when it was sold and became Super Chili Burger which I believe is still there. Art’s had a great juke box! It was also the favorite of many haybuckers (subject for another time).

    Does anyone remember the Chino Junior Fair when it was wild and wooly and they still had the haybucking contest along with the tug of war between the haybuckers and the dairymen? This was when the fair had rides and was a huge excuse for the whole town to get drunk and rowdy. Late 1960s to early 1970s.

    Also at the Chino Fairgrounds (NE corner of Central and Edison) there was an annual bluegrass festival held in the late 1970s. I had some great times there. For some reason the location got changed. Anybody know any details?

  • “Hal Linker”

    Hey DH,

    Yea, Chino was pretty much a hick town back then. But the car wash – burger joint (Del Taco) hang-out makes sense in many ways.

    Obviously teen culture of those times revolved around cars. Many girls were shallow enough to want to be with the guys with the coolest cars. Many guys strove for the fastest, best looking muscle car as an extension of themselves. Keeping the car immaculate was essential — thus the cost-effective car wash. Burgers / burritos were the food of choice and the proximity of Del Taco to Chino High School made it ideal.

    The same scenes were being universally acted out in small suburban towns across the USA. The 1970s version is brilliantly depicted in the very subtle film “Dazed and Confused.”

  • DH

    ‘Hal,’

    Yes I see the connection now – but back then – no way. It was just uncool. I was from more of the ‘surf set’ – heck, in many ways I suppose as a teenager I fit that description of the ‘shallow girl’ from OC. All the guys were driving those Chevy vans with the Viking airbrush pictures on the side and all decked out and fancy in the back – some with waterbeds.

    ["She's gonna love me in my Chevy van/And that's all right with me." -- DA]

  • Jim L

    Hal,
    I’m not sure about a Chino bluegrass fesival details unless it’s the same fesival that until recently was held at Follows Camp in the East Fork of San Gabriel Canyon.

    Speaking of San Gabriel Canyon and your mentioning on the blog of restaurants on Foothill Blvd, there was also Hinkley’s El Encanto, another place similar to Old Hickory, Golden Spur, Magic Lamp, etc. Being up in the canyon with the roar of the river gave El Encanto some added charm.

  • “Hal Linker”

    Hi JimL

    Is the Golden Spur still there? I know it still stood in the mid to late 1990s. That place definitely had a look and personality.

    As for the bluegrass festival, I have heard that the old Chino one moved out east to the desert or something. But I really don’t know. I went there for two successive years perhaps 1980 or 1981. Late 1970s / early ’80s thereabouts.

    I remember it was rather hot at one of them and I was wearing my bib overalls with nothing underneath. Hadla, one of her female friends and I were drinking Lord Calvert from the bottle and rolling around on the ground making out. We were a little bit drunk to say the least, but we weren’t annoying. Those were in the “Lord, give me some Calvert days.”

  • “Hal Linker”

    Hey DH,

    There were plenty of those airbrush custom vans in Chino as well. There were a few called “Hotel California” and the most hilarious one was called “Van Doobie.” It had a giant airbrushed doobie painted onto its root beer brown paint. Talk about an easy bust!!!

  • “Hal Linker”

    Lowered Chevy or GMC step side pickups were all the rage circa 1976-1978 as well. Invariably they all had unoriginal names decal’d in the back window like “Slow Ride,” after the Foghat hit.

  • ray

    Golden Spur is still open as well as Pinnacle Pete’s. Chino used to have some talented musicians. I remember a group with Marty Echito & Company that sounded so much like CSN&Y. Can’t remember the group’s name.

  • “Hal Linker”

    Re: Sue Chilberg’s reference to a BBQ place on Riverside Drive. Could you be referring to Joey’s Barbecue in Chino on East End and Riverside Drive? It is in an old house and has been there ever since it opened in 1978. Maybe that’s what you’re thinking about.

    The filet mignon is great for the price too. I used to eat the filet and a big dinner salad for twelve bucks when I was doing the Atkins Diet, not that long ago. They accommodated me price wise. It was more pricey with all the trimmings.

  • Jim L

    Ahhh Joey’s. I also remember they had some guy playing guitar in the back patio, playing requests and pushing his CDs or maybe cassettes (it’s been a while.) The food was great but the music was somewhat limited. About every sixth song he’d get a request for his “Cheeseburger” song which entailed a long story as well as a song. Sometimes the wait for a table was long enough to hear the story and song twice.

    We eventually stopped going there and started visiting the Joey’s on Foothill near The Buffalo Inn. That way we figured we could decide between good food but no music at Joey’s or walk next door and get average food and mediocre music but nonetheless enjoy the cold beer in a comfortable beer garden. And of course, with sufficent beer, the music eventually sounded better.

    As for Riverside Drive in Chino, I too miss the former El Rancho Grande Restaurant. Aside from the food, I appreciated the option of dining inside or ordering at the window to-go.

    Odd that nobody has mentioned Chino’s Basque restaurants or the Canyon Corral watering hole.

  • “Hal Linker”

    Is that my cue, JimL?

    Centro Basco on Central near the SW corner of G Street, and The Pyrenees on the NW corner of the same streets, are / were both excellent Basque restaurants. And they serve(d) stiff drinks too!

    Sadly, the Pyrenees, which began life as sort of a dive bar on D street near 6th (before the Chino Civic Center was built), closed some years ago with its location now used as a Christian Thrift Store. The food was different from its across the street competitor and sometimes better.

    Centro Basco continues to be a legend with its family style servings of soup, bread, cow tongue, cheese and spaghetti as appetizers before every meal!!!! I’ve tried about 11 different main courses there over the years and they were all excellent. Pierre and Monique were always the best. Sadly he died a few years back, but Monique continues the tradition with her children.

    At Centro Basco you will still find many of the long time, crusty, old Chino residents gathering on weekends. The separate bar in front pours such stiff drinks that the bartender looks at you like you’re insane if you order a double!

    Monique also cooks a mean turkey, like no other, if you want to have your family’s Thanksgiving dinner in one of the banquet rooms.

    Welcome company, just a few doors down to the south on Central is the recently relocated Guasti Cafe with pancakes as big as tires and half-dozen egg omelettes. Seldom a thin person walks through their doors. Never a thin person exits their doors. Portions are gluttonous but affordable. I’m sure everyone likes the old location better, but, unfortunately nothing gold stays.

  • “Hal and Hadla Linker”

    With regard to Joey’s in Chino on Riverside Drive:

    Joey was the name of the owner’s son, who was pre-school aged at the time of opening in 1978. The owner was a cameraman for NBC or something like that. He used to have many autographed 8 x 10′s of film and TV stars decorating the walls. None of these are there anymore and his kid must be well over 30 now.

    I understood about the wait there, but I never did it. I just hate waiting. We’d get there early, right when they opened the doors for dinner (they have down time between lunch and dinner).

    They also do take out if you ever need to have a BBQ feast at home.

    When the place first opened there was a market on the SE corner of East End and Riverside Drive called R&W Grocery. I think it had a couple gas pumps out front. It was real old school with the proprietor living upstairs. It was, like Joeys, a deep red with white trim building.

    “Hadla” worked at this market for about a month but she got tired of all the hard working blue collar types trying to pick up on her in rather lewd ways. They were the wrong guys, wrong time, wrong place!! Who could blame them, though, “Hadla” cut a fine form in her halter tops and cut-offs.

    She moved on when one of the thirty-something customers followed her home after work and parked in front of her parents’ home. “Hadla” was 17 (yes, she’s quite a bit younger than myself) at the time and called the cops. As the PD pulled onto her street the guy took off.

    “Hadla” had a couple more run-ins with stalkers and perverts in the next year as well. One story is actually quite funny in retrospect. More on that later, perhaps.

    There was a funny old Dutch guy that used to come into the R&W Grocery like clockwork at 4:30PM every day and he’d say in his accent “I’ll have a bottle of Vhite Port and a bag of Frrritos.” What a combo!!!

    [Let's not forget there's a Joey's at 2nd and Garey in downtown Pomona. It's usually less crowded, although there can be a wait on a Friday or Saturday night. -- DA]

  • “Hal Linker”

    Ray: I don’t remember that Marty Echito and Co. group. Do you recall the James Rudy Band? I think they used to practice over on 17th Street in Chino. They did mostly covers. They were around in the 1970s.

    Also in the early 1960s, Chino had their own minor hitmakers when Manuel & the Renegades scored regionally with the car-oriented “Rev Up” during 1963 on the tiny Piper record label. Manuel was Manuel Rodriguez and his dad owned a dairy on Chino-Corona Road not far from the Frontera Women’s Prison. It was Top Twenty on both KFWB and KRLA.

  • Sue Chilberg

    “Hal”
    Joey’s is the place I was thinking of. Couldn’t remember the street. I moved from Pomona to Idaho 14 years ago, so brain gets a little foggy sometimes. My husband and I used to eat there every Weds. night.

  • Bob House

    I used to think I knew a lot about the IE’s post-war history, but I now bow to Mr. “Linker” (as well as the very knowledgeable Charles Bentley). This series of posts has created a remarkably rich record of Pomona Valley culture from the ’50s into the ’90s. It’s more than just interesting, it’s an historical “document.”

    In 1963 or so, the “Key Club” at Claremont High School sponsored a dance with Manuel and the Renegades. I was elected to deliver the contract for the gig to Manuel at his home in Pomona (on south Towne or Reservoir, as I recall). My first brush with greatness.

    [I agree: This blog has become a good, and growing, repository of local facts and lore, far more due to you readers than to your johnny come lately moderator. Granted, actually being able to FIND those facts/lore may be a challenge, given that some entries spawn dozens of sprawling, multi-topic comments, but no one ever said historical research was easy... DA]

  • “Hal Linker”

    Hi Bob House,

    I’m fascinated by your brush with Manuel and the Renegades with re: to the Claremont High School Key Club Dance.

    I’m curious if Manuel’s older brother Johnny was present as well. Plus the location of the home. Was it their parents’ place or did they have a place of their own? Was Manuel still driving his T-Bird?

    Manuel and the Renegades played a bunch of parties out in the dairy area of Chino in the early 1960s. In particular, they played a party circa 1962-1963 at Wayne and sister Alinda Idsinga’s (now Alinda Pike of Oregon City, Oregon) parents’ dairy farm (now leveled) on Pine Avenue just east of Grove Avenue.

    The Idsingas had moved to Chino from Bellflower (like so many dairy owners) in 1961. There were eight kids in the family and they all liked to party. The location was known for some incredible parties through 1976.

    Another multiple party dairy location (also recently leveled) was out on the old Pomona Rincon Road next to Higgins Brick Factory. They had some humongous blow out 30-keg three-band parties there in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This was before the existence of Soquel Canyon Parkway. People would come from a 30-mile radiius for these events!! Fliers would be distributed falsely claiming that KMET 94.7 and Swan Song Records were sponsoring the affairs. The fliers also promised “Naked Farm Girls” who actually materialized!! If you didn’t blink. Cars would be parked on both sides of Pomona Rincon for a mile on each side!! The walk to get to the party was so long that kegs were tapped on the side of the road to quench party goers’ thirsts on the long journey to the event. They used to have a fully lit up stage made of hay bales with a huge Union Jack flag behind it. This could be seen from the old Highway 71 expressway and also drew people in. These were definitely sex, drugs and rock and roll celebrations. I remember seeing about 30 empty kegs stacked in a pyramid on the front porch of the home there. Inside the home was the reason that Randy Newman wrote, “Mama Told Me Not To Come!!” To the 12th power!!! The fee?? Guys three dollars – chicks – free.

    On the same street, and sometimes on the same nights, country concerts were held at the old Chino Downs thoroughbred training track. Concerts held there in the late 1970s / early 1980s were Merle Haggard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Paycheck, Charley Pride and many more. They also held Battle Of the Bands contests in the early 1980s metal era.

    And of course there were the huge regularly held parties out on Arrow in Montclair with bands and multiple kegs. Van Halen played one of these circa 1976 when they were doing Aerosmith, ZZ Top and Bad Company covers. Not on the David Lee Roth website but confirmed by those who were there, including me.

    And let’s not forget the Mountain Meadows parties out Pomona way!!!!!

    • Suzanne Castillo Devlin

      Johnny was Manuel’s younger brother by about 4 years.

  • “Hal Linker”

    As a side note about dairy farmers migration from the Bellfower / Artesia area to the Chino Valley:

    The city of La Palma originally incorporated as Dairyland in the mid 1950s. The City of Cypress originally was named Dairy City upon its incorporation in 1956.

    The migration has continued. Most of the dairies which have left (and continue to leave) the Chino / Corona area have gone to the Tulare area, Bakersfield, Idaho, or Roswell area of New Mexico.

  • Bob House

    Sorry “Hal,” I’m not blessed with the legendary “Linker” Total Recall I gave the Manuel meeting my best shot at the details in the original post.

  • “Hal and Hadla Linker”

    Bob House, were you ever able to dig up the Firesign Theatre “Everything You Know Is Wrong” LP?

    Also, with regard to those parties on Pomona Rincon Road, one of the bands who performed at these rampant, debauched shindigs was Great White. Now infamous for their connection to the tragic Providence, Rhode Island, Station nightclub fire, the band played twice at the Chino location, once under their previous moniker, Dante Fox. This was before their fame came in the mid 1980′s.

    On another totally unrelated subject: What about the dirt bike motorcross craze of the late 1960′s early 1970′s. The relation to Pomona was Claude Osteen’s Cycle Park at the junction of the I-10, I-57, and Highway 71. Anybody recall Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Osteen’s short-lived hillside motorcycle park (now probably a housing tract)?

    (And what of the classic mid 1960′s Dodgers pitching rotation of Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Claude Osteen, Don Sutton and, sometimes, Joe Moeller and/or Bill Singer.)

    Is anyone old enough to remember the motorcycle races held in the Prado Dam basin in the 1950′s and early 1960′s? I went to a race during this time frame. One of the turns in the track had a sign before it which read “Watch This Turn! It’s a Gasser!”

    Also does anyone remember the city of Rincon which was destroyed to build the Prado Dam in 1941?

    More wild random thoughts. Potential fodder and inspiration for future columns by David Allen, perhaps.

  • Jim L

    The Claude Osteen Cycle Park was located where the Phillips Ranch section of Pomona is today.

  • Mo

    I am very late in the game here but just started reading this blog last night.

    Harvard Square was Square One before it was Harvard Square. There was a candy shop called The Candy Bar down a short hall in the back. That is a little knickknack shop now. (I think it is called A Cat In The Window.)

    Between the two was the original location of Nick’s Cafe. I’m not sure what that space is now. It changes often. I think most recently there was a purse shop and an insurance agent in that spot. Nick’s Cafe moved behind the old garage on First St. I am about positive that it is no longer there.

    Claremont also had a freestanding Orange Julius. It was on the SE corner of Foothill and Berkeley across from the old Griswold’s Smorgasbord. It was torn down, was a Christmas Tree lot for many years and is currently a real estate office.

    [Glad to have you with us, Mo. Regarding Nick's, the name changed, alas, when it was sold a few years back but I believe it's still in business. -- DA]

  • Leonard

    I worked at the Union 76 on Foothill — Soups On was across the street. I had dark hair then! You guys bring back memories.

  • hoss

    Hey Hal,
    my first job on saturday morning while working at alta-dena was to clean up the mess on bickmore. great for me, I was able to collect all the full beer bottles and other things for sat. night. did you mention remington bridge & harrison street? I thought I was the only one to remember golden gate & the wash. by the way I met my wife at the car wash! must have been my multi colored ford 4×4. remember Henry? he is now working the car wash in norco.

  • Howard “Dusty Keg” Kagebine

    The Chino Champion has just published an article about an author looking for information about Manuel & the Renegades. There seems to be a few of you bloggers who fit the description. Contact: Ms. Rosendahl at 909-627-7351 if you can help. Regards, Dusty Keg

    • Suzanne Castillo Devlin

      I knew Manuel and the Renegades. They went to Chino High School. Manuel Rodrigues (Portuguese) , leader and lead guitar, Corky Ballenger, drums, Manuel’s cousin played guitar also. I think he was from Santa Fe Springs. Bobby Saldana played base guitar for a while.

  • Randy Potter

    Random memories…slot cars, in Ontario there was a hobby store specializing in slot cars. It had a “drag race” area and a track advertised as the largest in California. It was owned by a man named Tony…always great with us kids. He had kids of his own who worked there. I think it was called the Ontario Hobby Center…not quite sure.

    What was the name of the music store across from Vons at Euclid and I think G street? A small place, just can’t remember the name. I remember spending a lot of time at the Ontario Plaza. Woolworths had model car contests and I would always enter a car. In one, I won 2nd place the the painting contest and in another one I came in 1st place for paint and detailing. Went to dinner there many times at the coffee shop. I don’t remember the original name but in one incarnation it was the Thrifty Coffee Shop.

    Enough for now…I love reading this site…it clarifies so many cloudy memories. Thanks to everyone involved. I will add more as I have time. I was born in Upland in 1950 and moved away in 1978. All the important growing up time was spent there.

    [Thank you, Randy. I like your comment about this blog clarifying so many cloudy memories. That's one of its benefits, I think. -- DA]

  • julie

    Hi gang, I was born in Pomona in 1955 and lived there into the mid 70s and reading all these memories prompted me to write up a big long remembrance thing but it got lost trying to post it so I will just say hi and I used to live on Elaine street which was in the northeast part of town between Indian Hill blvd and Mills Avenue just below the 10 freeway. I cried when the Chicken Delight burned down in the mid 60s. Also near me back then as a kid was Alpha Beta grocery store, the Tastee Freeze ice cream and burger joint, Mr. Milkbottle drivethrough, and I remember everything about the whole wild experience. Please post more and I will come back and visit again and post more memories when I can. here is the magic number for today: 47

    [Julie, sorry you lost your comment (it's always wise to Control+C copy any comment before hitting "send" just in case), but please come back anytime. -- DA]

  • julie

    Also, here is an awesome free history book that you can download about early Pomona that will blow your mind with details about the early Pomona from around 1850 to 1920, the men and women that a lot of the streets are named after, how the land was partitioned, how the water works were created etc etc..

    http://www.archive.org/details/historyofpomonav00brac

    [F.P. Brackett's book is an essential tome. -- DA]

  • Bob Moreno

    Walter Mitty’s, Pomona, CA, mid ’70s, hung out there for most of the ’70s, great memories!

  • Bob Moreno

    Anyone else here from Walter Mitty’s days?

  • bflaska

    I loved Marie’s Basque restaurant in Chino, although my parents didn’t haul me there often. Looked like a house. Inside, family style seating at long tables. And the appetizer was a plate of marinated tongue mixed with large slices of tomatoes and onions.