A fair-sized crowd turned out Thursday evening for the Charles Phoenix slide show at Fairplex’s NHRA Museum. I was told that 60 or 70 people, or more than half, had reserved spots after seeing a mention in Wednesday’s column, which was nice to hear. Nobody glared at me afterward so they must have had a good time.
Phoenix narrated vintage slides from his collection of various Pomona and Ontario landmarks. Among them: Tate Cadillac, Sears, Vince’s Spaghetti, the Fox Theater, Betsy Ross, the Agitator Shop, the Valley Drive-In, Donahoo’s Chicken and L.A. County Fair attractions such as the Fun Zone, the Flower and Garden Pavilion, the Clock Tower, the Garden Railroad, the Grandstand and the Monorail.
Ah, yes, the Monorail. It was built in 1962 — “Richard Nixon rode on it,” Phoenix said — and removed in the 1990s. It hung from an overhead track and plied the fairgrounds. The original design was by sculptor John Svenson, of all people.
A success? Not exactly.
“They forgot one thing. There was no air conditioning,” Phoenix said. “And the windows didn’t open.” As Quizno’s likes to say: “Mmmm…toasty.”
Anyone ever ride the fair’s monorail? And do you know if the ski lift replaced it and follows the same route?