Zorro in Pomona

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Friday’s column (read it here) is about the community-led effort in Pomona to encourage people to read the novel “Zorro” by Isabel Allende and to take part in related activities.

You can read more about the character Zorro here and find the calendar for Pomona Together We Read events here.

The Nov. 1 appearance by Isabel Allende and Nov. 10 Chalk Art Festival are the two big events still to come.

A few other highlights:

* This Saturday brings a chance for the community to see a one-hour version of “Don Giovanni” at 2 p.m. at First Christian Church. Tickets are $20.

* The Diamond Bar Library will screen “Mask of Zorro” with Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones on Nov. 5 and the animated “Puss in Boots,” about a swashbuckling cat, on Nov. 9.

* A Pomona screening of the 1940 version of “Zorro” with Tyrone Power is in the works.

* At 2 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Pomona Library, a genealogical talk traces Allende’s family — which includes overthrown Chilean president Salvador Allende — and at 7 p.m. at Pilgrim Church, a presentation on the rancho era of California will be given by Bob Smith.

I didn’t have space in my column to talk about the book, but I liked it. It fills in the gaps in the Zorro story by recounting his childhood, adolescence and young adulthood in California and Spain and expanding his sidekick Bernardo’s role. We see Zorro slowly acquire his costume and his skills. At almost 400 pages, it’s probably too long, and action is at a premium, but it’s there.

If you’ve read it, what did you think?

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  • John Clifford

    Read it, loved it. Which is why when asked what book I thought would make a good choice for a community read, I suggested it.

    Having grown up with Guy Williams as Zorro, with the bombastic Sgt. Garcia, and the sidekick Bernardo, and, of course, the stallion, Tornado, I’ve been entranced with the idea that right here in our area (Zorro is set in the tiny Pueblo of Los Angeles with frequent visits to the Mission San Gabriel) was this swashbuckling masked hero.

    Allende’s book does a great job of giving Don Diego Vega a back story and a reason for his taking on the persona of the Fox (Zorro) to right the wrongs against the native populace.

    Please, read the book and participate, it’s a great way to not only enjoy good literature, but to get a feeling for our unique California past.

    • SAWZ

      Did you see the version with Antonio Banderas and, if so, was he as good as Tyrone Power and Guy Williams?

  • Doug Evans

    I bought that book for my wife (in Spanish!) back when it first came out… She hasn’t tackled it yet, but I’ll let her know it’s Pomona’s Book To Read and she’d better get on it.

    This column deserves be front page news… A whole community bands together to keep a Together We Read program going? AWESOME.

    Is the John Clifford in the article the same fellow as frequent blog commenter John Clifford?

    Viva Zorro!

    [Yes, it's the same John Clifford in the article, Reading Logs and above comment! Accept no substitutes! -- DA]

  • Doug Evans

    (Follow-up: Didn’t realize John Clifford had commented… I’m going to assume the answer to my question is “yes.” Which I was already assuming anyway.)

  • Ygnacio Palomares

    Si Senor David, Zorro is a fine book to read, especially for those interested in the glory days of early California. One of my sons, Tomas, was quite the “swashbuckler” in his day…and a little reckless, too. Oh how I long for the parties and celebrations we used to have “down there”…but we still have a pretty good time “up here”, too. Vaya Con Dios!