Soup, salsa, signing and slides

On Saturday afternoon I attended journalist Gustavo Arellano’s talk at Upland’s Carnegie Cultural Center, the repurposed original library (after lunch at Molly’s Souper across the street). About 100 people attended the talk.

Arellano, author of the new book “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America,” traced the history of Mexican food in the United States. Did you know salsa has outsold ketchup for 20 years? That was one of the memorable factoids.

He ran out of books to sell long before the line ended and instead presold a few, which he promised to sign and mail to the customers. I had him sign my copy of “Orange County: A Personal History.” While I was in line, one woman had me sign a copy of my Friday column about Arellano, which she’d already had him sign. Another had me pose for a photo with her. Ego-wise, I made out all right.

(I assumed the librarians took Arellano out for dinner afterward, but no. “Sadly, we encouraged him to go to Bakers. He had never been there. But we weren’t able to go with,” principal librarian Shawn Townsend reports.)

That evening, I went to the Ebell Club building in Pomona for a dinner for Pilgrim Congregational Church’s 125th anniversary. I was seated by Charles Phoenix, which was a treat. He gave a well-received and amusing slide show about Pomona Valley iconic buildings. It was a neat event and I got to meet some new people and say hello to some longtime friends.

So, not a bad Saturday at all. Hope you enjoyed yours.

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  • bub

    Did Gustavo give the blessed sacrament of a lard-fried tortilla chip and offer a sip from the chalice of menudo?

    [No, but he did talk about the Virgin’s appearance on a tortilla. — DA]

  • A native Pomonan, I’d love to see the slide show of Pomona Valley iconic buildings. Think Mr. Phoenix would allow you to post it here?

    [Really, only half of the entertainment is the slide show. The other half is his live narration about the businesses and the photos. You should visit his website from time to time, and of course keep reading my column, to see when he’ll next be out here. He seems to do a show a year at the NHRA Museum in Pomona. — DA]

  • Thank you, David. I looked him up and understand better now what he does. My dad ran a store on the old Pomona mall back when it converted from street to pedestrian. I have so many great pics in my head of the old buildings that this sounded like fun. I’ll keep an eye out for him, and will of course keep reading your column.

  • John Clifford


    A plug for the Pomona Public Library’s special collections. You can browse through a treasure trove of photos of the historic buildings in Pomona. Many of them are the Fasher postcards of which Pomona’s library is the repository.

    You can view them at:

  • John Clifford

    Sorry, misspelled Frasher. Note that there are a lot of great collections at our wonderful library.

    [Agreed. — DA]

  • In case you missed it, the URL link is to a 5 minute piece on the book from NPR from 5/24/12.

    Fresh tacos from Gourmet food trucks are the the best!