Readers with sharp memories may recall a fanciful column of mine from New Year’s Day 2006 consisting of an imagined (duh) dialogue among various Inland Valley statuary. You can read that one by clicking below.
Wednesday’s column is a New Year’s Eve reprise of that strange idea. I’ll be interested to hear whether people like it or think it’s the biggest waste of space since, well, whatever my last column was.
Headline: Our local icons don’t take things for granite
AS WE awake to a new year, so, perhaps, do the embodiments of our local cities: their statuary. Let’s listen in.
GEORGE CHAFFEY: O, what a beautiful moooorning! O, what a beautiful daaaay!
MADONNA OF THE TRAIL: George, could you hold it down? This pioneer woman had a rough night.
GEORGE: You lived it up on New Year’s Eve, eh, Maddy?
MADONNA: Hardly. My two children kept me up all night. They won’tleave a body alone. Why, I can’t get away from them for a second.
GEORGE: No wonder — you’re all on the same pedestal.
MADONNA: Isn’t it time they moved away from home? Anyway, here’s to your first New Year’s on Euclid Avenue, George. You look so nice there outside City Hall. My poor tired eyes can just about see you from here at Euclid and Foothill.
GEORGE: It’s good to be here, Jay — er, Maddy. I plotted Euclid back in the 1880s, when this land was nothing but dirt. That’s why I’m holding these surveying tools, you know.
MADONNA: Quite a job you did, George. Why, I never get tired of looking at this lovely street. Which is a good thing, since I can’t turn my head.
GEORGE: You’ve been there since 1929, I understand, so you’ve certainly seen Upland change.
MADONNA: 2006 will be Upland’s 100th anniversary as a city. Should be quite a year. La Verne will also turn 100 and Montclair will hit 50. I don’t believe either of them has a statue, but La Verne does have a replica of the Liberty Bell.
LIBERTY BELL: Clang clang!
GODDESS POMONA: Is this a private party, or can a poor Roman goddess join in?
MADONNA: Bless my soul, it’s Pomona! Happy New Year!
GODDESS: Thank you, dear. Who’s your handsome friend?
MADONNA: This is George Chaffey. George, this is Pomona. She’s in a glass case in the Pomona Public Library.
GEORGE: Pleased to meet you, ma’am.
GODDESS: Charmed, I’m sure. Here, have a grape from my laurel. I’m the goddess of fruit, you know.
GEORGE: These are quite, um, crunchy.
GODDESS: Like them? They’re made of marble.
MADONNA: You must be snug as a bug in a rug inside the library. Land o’ goshen, George and I are out here in all kinds of weather. How is Pomona, Pomona?
GODDESS: Oh, we can’t complain. It’s seen good times and bad since I arrived in 1889 — I was carved in Italy, you know — but 2006 looks to be a good year.
MADONNA: I haven’t seen Pomona in years.
GODDESS: You’re not a snob, are you, dear?
MADONNA: No, I’m just immobile.
GEORGE: Perhaps I’ll, ahem, pay you a visit sometime, Miss Pomona.
GODDESS: Bring your sextant, big boy. Mrr-rowr.
MADONNA: Ugh. Get a room, you two!
INNKEEPER: There’s no room at the inn. I already said so to that young couple: a husband and a pregnant woman on a donkey.
MADONNA: Oh, hello, Innkeeper! I forgot you and your friends were in Ontario this season. How are Euclid’s Nativity scenes?
INNKEEPER: Somebody carted off the adult Jesus. We assumed he’d return in three days — sorry, a little Easter humor — but no such luck. Other than that, downtown is sweet paradise. Bear in mind I’m in storage 10 months out of the year.
JACK BENNY: Oh, Don! Oh, Mary! Oh — hi everyone.
GODDESS: Jack! I didn’t see you standing there at Epicenter Stadium. What’s new in Rancho Cucamonga?
JACK: Homes, homes, everywhere you look. Not that I could afford one. I have to get money from my vault just to buy a hot dog at Victoria Gardens.
GEORGE: I haven’t seen your Gardens. How are they irrigated?
JACK: C’mon out, all of you. I’ll give you the grand tour, no expense spared. Bring a sack lunch.
GODDESS: Good old Jack Benny, Mr. Generosity.
MADONNA: You’re looking well, Jack. In fact, you don’t look a day over 39.
JACK: Thank you, ladies. Hey, it’s New Year’s Day and I feel like celebrating! How ’bout I play a tune on my violin?
(David Allen writes Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Clang clang!)