Jon Provost


Photo of former Provost residence, 1195 N. Washington Ave., Pomona, by REN

As you may have seen, today’s column is about Jon Provost, who played Timmy on “Lassie” from 1957 to 1964 and lived in Pomona from 1954 to 1959. You can visit his website and/or buy his autobiography, “Timmy’s in the Well.”

A few local tidbits were squeezed out of the column.

Provost had a role in “Country Girl” with Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly. Here’s what Provost wrote in his book concerning his activities on April 1, 1955, shortly after he turned 5:

“I made a personal appearance at the United Artists Theater in Pomona where ‘Country Girl’ was playing. According to the Pomona Progress Bulletin, I ate five cans of Camp Fire Girls peanuts that night.”

(Because he was a child, for a lot of stories he has to rely on published accounts or adults’ memories.)

He debuted on “Lassie” on Sept. 8, 1957. At first he and his family had to go next door to their neighbors’ to watch the show because the Provosts didn’t have a TV.

With “Lassie,” his personal appearances picked up. Within weeks of his debut, he was in the Pomona Christmas Parade — although unlike certain people (ahem), he wasn’t grand marshal — and the Rose Parade, and he also made an appearance with Lassie on “The Jack Benny Show.”

In 1959 he was in the May Day Parade in Cucamonga and weeks later, in perhaps a marginally more electrifying event, he was a guest at Disneyland for the dedication of the Matterhorn, Monorail and Submarine Voyage attractions. While there, he had the privilege (?) of sitting on Vice President Richard Nixon’s lap during the parade.

Not bad for a kid from Pomona.

Anyone want to share memories of the “Lassie” show or of Provost himself?

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Turns out it’s easy bein’ green

Cows annually belch about 145 pounds of methane, which contributes to global warming. In fact, an L.A. Times report last week says methane has 23 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide.

You know what this means? Chino and Ontario are inadvertently going green.

Think about it. With their cows and ranchers migrating elsewhere as dairyland is replaced by homes, the two cities are drastically reducing their contributions to climate change.

Well, except for all the commuters wholl move into those homes. One problem at a time, please.

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Soul City!

One more anecdote from “The Diamond Mine,” the radio book mentioned in Friday’s blog. In 1968, Gerry Whitehead a.k.a. Jim Diamond was doing promos for KACE-AM (1570) in Riverside. The station launched an R&B show three nights per week called “The Soul Kitchen.”

Among the advertisers: John and David’s Soul City of Records in Pomona.

Whitehead recorded the promo. After a few seconds of Jr. Walker and the All-Stars’ “Shotgun,” his voiceover went like this:

“For the best in rhythm and blues, go to John and David’s Soul City of Records. If they don’t have it, they’ll get it for you. That’s John and David’s Soul City of Records, 1110 South Garey Avenue in Pomona!”

Have mercy!

I like the era and the music, and I know Pomona’s black population was booming in the late 1960s. The idea of a black-operated store named John and David’s Soul City of Records really catches my fancy. It sounds very Tarantino-esque. I’ll have to drive by 11th and Garey and see what’s there now, but I can’t believe it will be as interesting.

* Don J. sent me a Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email