Of boundaries and bus(s)es

This e-mail came in response to a column a few weeks (yikes) ago about the Ontario house with the topo maps. I meant to post the e-mail here but it slipped past me. Well, better late than never, here’s what George Ehrnman had to say. I like the part about how he and his wife met:

Read with interest, as always, your column on the house on Rosewood Court with the wall of topographic maps. I would like to elaborate on a couple points.

When my wife, Sammy, and I were students at Chaffey High School (Class of ’54) she and her family lived on Mills Avenue, which formed the boundary line between Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. West side of the street — Pomona. East side of the street — S.B. Co.

Had they lived on the other side of the street she would have gone to Pomona H.S. and we would likely never have met. But instead, she was bused to Chaffey H.S.

I used to drive her home after school, going along 4th Street which became San Bernardino Road; if memory serves me the change point was Central. This was, and still is, like Mission Boulevard becomes 5th St. in Pomona. (She may have been “bussed” on the way home too!)

During that time the greater now Montclair area was not known as Narod. Narod was a much smaller area along Central. I believe the larger area was known to the residents as Monte Vista, after the name of the Monte Vista Water District that serves the area. But there was no Monte Vista Post Office and my wife’s family got their mail at a box in the Pomona Post Office.

At some point, late ’50s or early ’60s, the good folks of “Monte Vista” decided to incorporate as a city, but they were denied a post office by that name because it was already taken. A check of a current AAA map of California reveals no city called Monte Vista — perhaps it has been swallowed up into a larger city. So they looked to their neighbor on the west and turned Claremont around to Montclair and got their post office. I think Montclair sounds better than Omapom, don’t you?

A final irony. My wife and I now live in one of those tiny spots on the old maps, Alta Loma, on a street called Monte Vista.

Thanks, George. And nice of you to provide your future wife “buss” service.

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  • “Hal Linker”

    Very interesting piece with regards to early Montclair and such. Great!!

    Narod still exists, not as a city, but an area. It’s the unincorporated area between Chino and Montclair. I believe it includes the Deja Vu and that area of Mission and Holt near Central. Perhaps it’s the reason for the adult businesses and massage parlors in the area.

    The Casa de Narod’s and the old Narod’s Saloon took their names from this area. While Casa de Narod’s was in Chino, Narod’s Saloon may well have been in Narod. I’m not sure where this area’s boundaries are defined. Anybody know?

    [There’ll be a bit more on the blog about Narod on Tuesday, so check back and add comments then. — DA]

  • Brian

    Narod’s is the area around Central Ave. and Mission Blvd. It has become smaller over the years as Montclair and Chino incorporated. As for boundaries, think the unincorporated area between Montclair and Chino, it’s County area, hence the lesser restrictions as to the types of businesses allowed.

  • ray

    A gentleman named Gene Skiles is nicknamed “Narod.” He invested in restaurants & nightclubs & chose the name “Narod” because of his ties to the area. I will try to see if Mr. Skiles has family ties to Narod.

    Gene also has a great interest in “street rods” & from what I understand has some awesome car shows.

    Speaking of the DEJA VU, my parents owned the property just north of the giant brick structure. Boy could I tell you some Deja Vu stories, but I’m sure Mr. Allen would not approve X-rated material. [Correct. — DA]

    Living next door to the monster building we saw & heard everything imagineable. My parents eventually sold their little postage stamp lot/house to Deja Vu for a whopping $500,000, as is, get out in 30 days. We couldn’t pack my parents fast enough.

    Believe it or not, I never stepped foot into that establishment. But was always curious what the 3 ugly girls looked like ?? More on this later.

  • “Hal Linker”

    Ray: Interesting comments on the Narod / Deja Vu area. Obviously, since you lived there, you remember The Eyeful which was the little shack that spawned the Deja Vu.

    This Gene Skiles guy sounds fascinatin’. I take it from what you’re saying that he was the owner of the Narod’s businesses.

    Did Gene wear eyeglasses? Just curious, because a long time ago a guy introduced himself to me in a bar on Central and Schaefer in Chino (can’t recall if the bar was called Gene’s Cafe, Bart’s Lounge or whatever, it’s now called The Corner) and said he was owner of Narod’s.

    I also seem to remember that the Chacone family had an interest in the Casa de Narod’s in Chino, but I’m not sure if they were partners or managers. The Chacones used to live in a nice home on Riverside Drive west of East End way back when. They had a daughter named Susie (excuse spelling if incorrect) who was pretty hot circa the mid 1960’s. The father (can’t remember his name) died young and the mother, I think her name was Marcy (excuse spelling if incorrect), was a fixture at Narod’s in Chino. Susie’s mom was cool and was known to fix breakfasts at 3:00AM for some of her daughter’s suitors.

    Unrelated subject: anybody out there remember a topless joint called My Sin? If my brother’s memory serves him correctly, it was on the north side of Mission just east of Garey Avenue.

    At that time (December 1968), my brother was on a Christmas leave from basic training in Fort Ord. The leave only permitted him travel a maximum of 350 miles from the base. He violated that restriction by coming home to Chino for the leave. He and a friend of his had just bought a case of beer at a liquor store on Mission. They were on their way to Pom Lanes to meet some friends who were there bowling, when his (nearly legally blind) friend crashed his car while making a left turn onto Garey from Mission. His friend was perfectly sober, no beers had been opened yet, but blind as a frickin’ bat and trying to beat a yellow light that they were some distance from.

    Since my brother was violating the terms of his leave from Fort Ord, he excused himself from the scene of the accident and walked up Mission a bit and dove into My Sin. From there he called Pom Lanes and informed his friends of the situation and they subsequently rescued him from that den of iniquity after taking a good look around themselves.

  • Kristin McConnell

    I wonder the same thing about Deja Vu–what DO those 3 ugly ones look like? I do not like girly clubs like that, but the schtick does grab interest. 🙂


  • ray

    Hal, Gene had blonde hair & a butch haircut. Yes, he did wear glasses. Let me think about MY SIN ???

  • “Hal Linker”

    Ray: Gene must be the same guy who introduced himself to me back then at the bar on Central and Schaefer. I remember being somewhat taken aback because he didn’t look like the type of guy that I would picture being the owner of Narod’s. For some reason I expected him to look way more suave and debonair. I told him as much when I met him and he was a good sport about it.

    I didn’t know about his interest in street rods.

    Speaking of cars and speed. Anybody remember ace drag racing mechanic Harvey Lawson who lived off of Spruce Street near Philadelphia and San Antonio in Ontario? He died quite some time ago. What a great guy he was! He did work on many friends’ cars.

    Jack Bayer in El Monte was another ace mechanic. I heard he moved out to Hemet near the airport. Still alive, egotistical and ornery last time I checked in on him. He did drag boats and cars, among other things.

    [“Hal” then went on for a few paragraphs about topless bars, sex toys, etc. but it was a little racy for this blog. Sorry, “Hal.” — DA]

  • Desdave

    That original ‘Eyefull’ building was hilarious! I never went in… but it looked so small from the outside I couldn’t imagine me AND a stripper, er… dancer, could both fit in there at the same time!

  • “Hal Linker”

    The original Eyeful was a disgusting little peep show joint. I don’t know this from personal experience. But I believed my sources.

    When it got to sleazy phase two, and I have only heard about this from one of my past employees, the place had dancers behind two-way mirrors. This ex-employee was about 20 years old and curious. He told me that the guy in front handed him a couple paper towels after he paid for the “other side of the glass” dance. Rather than endure the debasement, he left.

    I think now the place has a standard strip show and lap dance operation on the ground floor and I know they have an adult toy store up top. The parking lot is usually pretty full whenever I drive by the place.

    Strip joints have no appeal to me. Too many men in the audience perhaps being aroused en masse. It’s kinda homosexual if you think about it. Whatever it is, it ain’t love or romance. Not even close … as far from it as one can get.

    I have never paid for sex or strip shows. Never will. There are far too many wonderful women out there that are in possession of the real attainable thing and so much more.

    That being said, Hadla feels Andrew Blake has done some fine erotic films. She also loves the Emmanuelle softcore series with Sylvia Kristel. I find some of the Russ Meyer stuff humorous and, er, titilating. But I dig B movies in general.

    I love The Born Losers biker movie. That is classic B-movie trash that works like a demon. It even has Tom Laughlin as Billy Jack (the character’s first appearance). Plus a completely over-the-top performance by an aging Jane Russell. Some of the cheesiest crap ever. Howlingly delightful and, at times, oddly erotic, despite some classic wooden acting!!!

  • “Hal Linker”

    [“Hal” then went on for a few paragraphs about topless bars, sex toys, etc. but it was a little racy for this blog. Sorry, “Hal.” — DA]

    Jeez, Dave you make it sound more scintillatingly ribald than it actually was. Thanks! Let ’em wonder!

  • Maryann

    Anybody still around that worked @ Narod’s Saloon about thirty years ago? Jake & Snake? Butch? Gary? How about Phil Lee @ The Jade Palace? I have fond memories [what I can remember!] of my six months in the neighborhood! Tell ’em “Nubs” said HI!!

  • Leslie

    Gene “Narod” Skiles is my Dad. He still has the butch haircut and quick wit. He was named after the area he was from, Narod, around the Montclair area. He did own Narod’s in Chino and also Narod’s saloon in Montclair, as well as other bars in the area. He still resides in Chino with my Mother. The bar on the corner of Schaefer and Central is owned by his best friend Eddie Hart. They have been friends since high school.

  • Greg

    Interesting factoid: According to Wikipedia, in 1981, the ’80s singing sensation Tiffany made her singing debut (with country singer Jack Reeves) at Narod’s in Chino when she was about 10 years old. I grew up in Chino, but don’t remember Narod’s. Where was it located?