Jack Benny’s radio show made Cucamonga famous as part of the train station announcer’s cry, “Train leaving on Track 5 for Anaheim, Azusa and Cuuuucamonga!” Supposedly — according to an article on an Anaheim history website — this line was first heard on his Jan. 7, 1945 broadcast and it became a running gag, continuing when Benny transitioned to TV.
The three tiny communities loved the attention. Benny was made honorary mayor of all three a year later. He visited Anaheim at least twice, in 1947 and again in 1963. He was made an honorary citizen of the three communities in 1965, in a ceremony held in Azusa.
But did he ever visit Cucamonga? I can’t answer that. But it seems he did visit Etiwanda.
The accompanying photo was taken in either 1966 or 1967 at the Regina Winery. Gino Filippi, who sent it to me, said it was given to him by Mr. C. Boesen of Alta Loma. “The white-haired man opposite Mr. Benny is Tip Browne, GM of the Regina Grape Products Company. I think the event was a promotional event for the grand opening of the Regina Winery Restaurant, ‘California’s first winery restaurant.’ ”
Anaheim, Azusa and Etttttiwanda!