Attempted interview

interviewAt Fairplex last Thursday for a Cub Scout tour of the RailGiants Train Museum, I tried interviewing Gerhard Kramer’s 7-year-old son, Elijah, with spotty results, even with dad’s help. “I liked it” was Elijah’s most pithy remark, but my attempts to get him to elaborate failed, hilariously.

Trying to keep a child’s attention and elicit a comment is among journalists’ most difficult tasks. Someone captured the moment and Kramer forwarded the photo. He commiserated: “Eventually you’ll get the hang of interviewing!” Yes, eventually.

A column on the exhibit is forthcoming next month.

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How to comment

When the matter of the reduced number of comments on this blog came up, many of you regulars responded, and thank you for that. And nobody should feel obligated to comment if they have nothing to say. Comments are, of course, encouraged, and encouraging.

Reader Denise Pappas responded on Facebook: “On your blog you said that ‘the decline in comments has me puzzled.’ It could be that the change in format has some of US puzzled. As soon as I figure out HOW to post — someone changes the format. LOL, Perhaps you could post some lessons for those of us who are computer challenged.”

She added: “You have to sign in with ‘Disqus.’ When I was your age a ‘discus’ was something an athlete threw.”

Disqus, unlike our old system, doesn’t require you to decipher and type in a Captcha code to leave a comment, only to create a name and log-in. Which might be a bridge too far for some, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable, and it does weed out almost all the spam.

But! You don’t have to sign in with Disqus. For instance, if you’re on Facebook, like Pappas, you can use that. Reader Doug Evans does. He explains:

“I type my comment first and then click on the Facebook logo” in the string of tiny logos under each post. “A box opens up, I enter my my fb email and password, and then I’m taken back to the blog page, where a button has appeared: ‘Post as Doug Evans.’”

Clear? Or clearer, at least? Since we know you’re on FB, Denise, there goes your excuse for not commenting here. One can also sign in via Twitter, Pinterest and a few more social media options that appear in that string.

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Restaurant of the Week: Carlo’s Italian Bakery Pizza

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Carlo’s Italian Bakery Pizza, 9878 Central Ave. (at Benito), Montclair

I’ve noticed the relatively new Carlo’s while driving past on Central and, curious, arranged to meet a Montclair friend there for lunch. I had thought we’d be splitting a pizza, but Carlo’s sells pizza by the square, a good lunchtime size, so we did that.

Pizza is also sold by the tray, enough for a family ($15, with 16 squares), and they also have traditional thin crust and specialty pizzas. In addition, the menu has meatball and baked Italian hoagies, a couple of salads and cannoli.

Said to be Pittsburgh-style — and who knew Pittsburgh had its own pizza style? — the signature bakery pizza is similar to Sicilian pan pizza, but thinner. Carlo’s has $5 lunch specials: four squares, two squares and a side salad, two squares and a pizza roll,  or a roll and a side salad. We each got the two squares and a roll. A can of soda or bottle of water comes with, a welcome touch.

Preparation took about 10 minutes, as they’re making your pizza almost to order. With almost no seating, only a short counter with stools, you may want to take your food to go. The pizza was not my favorite, but not bad at all, and the roll, soft and layered with pepperoni, was tasty. It was a satisfying, and cheap, lunch, and it’s hard to eat anywhere for $5 these days. Worth a try.

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When a queen visited Pomona

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A request to local librarians for information on a visit to Ontario and environs by the royal family of Thailand in 1960 turned up a different but related piece of information.

In 1962, the queen of Afghanistan visited Pomona. Why, we even have photographic evidence. (She’s the woman in the sunglasses, no doubt worn for protection against the harsh Pomona sun.)

According to Kimberley Erickson of the Cal Poly Pomona University Library’s special collections department: “Here is a photo taken Sept. 15, 1962, during the Queen of Afghanistan’s visit to Cal Poly Pomona. The Queen, Her Majesty Homaira of Afghanistan, is standing next to the Arabian stallion, Poly Royal. Immediately to her left are campus president Charles McPhee and Mrs. McPhee.”

The horse was named Poly Royal? The queen must have felt right at home among fellow royalty.

So what was with all the Asian monarchs — Afghanistan, Thailand — traipsing around out here in the Kennedy years? That I can’t answer.

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Glenn Davis remembered

Glenn Davis Stadium sign

The newsmakers of yesterday can be forgotten over time. A new sign at Bonita High School in La Verne tries to rectify that in one case.
Reader Margaret Bohlka explains:
“Since you seem interested in local signs depicting history, I thought I’d share this story with you. The football stadium at Bonita High School in La Verne is dedicated to Glenn Davis. If you had to ask yourself ‘Who is Glenn Davis?’, you are not alone. After years of his name being painted on boards that were attached to the roof of the stadium restroom, a new professional sign has been installed.
“As you can see, the new sign notes the year he graduated from Bonita High School (though he graduated from the campus that is now Damien High School — minor point) and the year he won the Heisman Trophy.
“The 80-plus-year-old alumni of Bonita High who are still around to see the sign, and can actually see it, are very pleased and the younger generations no longer have to wonder, ‘Who is Glenn Davis?’”
For more on Glenn Davis, here’s his Wikipedia entry. In part:
“He and his twin brother Ralph played high school football at Bonita High School in La Verne, California. In 1942, Davis led the Bearcats to an 11-0 record and the school’s first-ever football championship, earning the Southern Section Player of the Year award. In 1989, Bonita’s stadium was dedicated in his name. The brothers were close and had originally planned to attend USC, but when their Congressman agreed to sponsor both him and his brother with appointments to West Point they decided to play football there.”
For the U.S. Military Academy’s team, Army, Davis was half of a rushing combination with Doc Blanchard, who was nicknamed Mr. Inside to Davis’ Mr. Outside. Blanchard won the Heisman in 1945, Davis in 1946. The duo made the cover of Time magazine. Davis went on to a pro career with the L.A. Rams but it was cut short by injury in 1952.
Davis’ Heisman was donated to Bonita and is displayed in the office.
All that would be a lot to put on a sign, but maybe they can paint a link to this blog post. (Kidding!)
* Update: Reader John Clifford kindly obliges with a QR code to this very blog post! Bonita can add it to the corner of the stadium sign…
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