This potential column item has languished for a couple of weeks, so I’ll use it here.
At the library telethon in Rancho Cucamonga, two readers introduced themselves separately and offered commentary. The first rushed up to meet me and said she’d wanted to make a point of doing so after reading that I would be there.
“Your columns are kind of funny, when I get it,” she said. I thanked her but felt a little bad if I’ve confused her.
Some time later, a second woman cheerfully nattered on for a while on various topics. At one point she said, “Where did you park?” Um, in the garage. Why? “I’d like to see your new car,” she said. Referring to my former car, a Toyota Corolla, she continued: “I once saw that crummy car you used to drive. I’m so glad you got rid of it.”
I wouldn’t have thought I’d be writing a second item about “True Blood,” a TV series I’ve never watched, but around the same time they were filming a few scenes in Pomona, which I wrote about, they were asking permission to film in Chino Hills. Sunday’s column explains what happened to that.
Also, the recent Padua Avenue sign news in Claremont reminded me of a similarly odd sign near the same location; and I present a few vignettes.
In Pasadena a few weeks ago, I chuckled at Pizza Man’s sign, saw the possibilities and couldn’t resist a selfie that includes the relevant portion. And here the photo is today, my 50th birthday. I’m glad not only that I’m still around, but that I have it together enough to remember that I took the picture.
Claudia Lennear was one of the backup singers featured in the documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” which won the Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary earlier in March. Back in the day, she sang with the greats. These days she lives in Pomona and teaches at Mt. San Antonio College. We sat down for an interview about her life and career for Friday’s extra-length, Page One (!) column.
Tio’s Tacos, 7305 Day Creek Blvd. (at Base Line), Rancho Cucamonga
A small chain of family-owned Mexican restaurants, Tio’s has two locations in Rancho Cucamonga (10451 Lemon Ave. and the Day Creek location above), one in Riverside and one in Fontana, the latter of which I wrote about in 2011. I’ve visited the Day Creek Tio’s once or twice in the past but never wrote about it. I was pleased when some friends wanted to meet up for lunch there.
Like the other Tio’s, the decor incorporates folk art and colored tile, making for a nice visual experience, and has the sort of seating you’d expect at a sitdown restaurant. Among the decorative objects on the walls are photos of Cantinflas, one of Mexico’s greatest exports. We ordered at the counter — you can see the menu here — and the food was delivered to us. (I got a large horchata for $1.75, the result rivaling an oil tanker in size.) Three of us were given baskets of chips. We did not lack for chips. Good ones, too, and with a salsa bar.
I had a chile verde burrito ($4.99, bottom), which was really good and really filling. A vegetarian had potato tacos ($2.09 each; “tasty salsa”); one had a combo plate with a cheese enchilada and a fish taco ($7.39, below; “I thought it was fantastic”); the fourth had the Mexican chicken salad ($5; large but “very generic, soggy”). He added that he’d been to Tio’s before and would return.
Me too. After lunchtime conversation came to a close, your burrito-infused blogger went home, took a nap and didn’t need to eat again the rest of the day.
Friday’s column will be big. I know this because it was going to run Wednesday, as usual, but the editors held it to get more photos, which we weren’t able to accomplish on the fly Tuesday. It was too late then to write a substitute column, so you’re column-less today.
In the meantime, as a teaser, here’s a video of Claudia Lennear that will accompany Friday’s column about her. (I like the part where I have to prompt her to brag.) Alas, “20 Feet From Stardom” was only playing last weekend — we shot the video Friday — but it’s available on DVD if you want to see it…
Tate Cadillac, at Holt and Reservoir in Pomona, was built in 1957. Architects were Arthur Lawrence Millier and Ted Criley Jr. “The glass rotunda on the corner displayed new cars,” writes Alan Hess in “Googie Redux,” where Tate Motors was one of 10 notable Pomona Valley midcentury landmarks listed.
More expansively, Charles Phoenix writes in his “Cruising the Pomona Valley 1930 Thru 1970”:
“Round and ‘floating’ just above the ground, this futuristic two-story floor to ceiling glass showroom was the ultimate space age Cadillac and Pontiac display case. Ultramodern in shape and style, the high fashion look was completed by a towering sign, state-of-the-art service department and a sidewalk garden of clustered exotics planted in a bed of gravel. Inside, four flying saucer-like hanging fixtures each 12 feet across provided dramatic lighting and added to the out-of-this-world look. In 1985, the agency moved to Claremont.”
After years of disuse and broken windows, an outlet store, Santa Fe Outlets, replaced the glass and moved in circa 2006. They’ve kept the building up well. A video commercial shows some of the vast array of merchandise. No cars, though.
Today marks 17 years for me at the good ol’ Daily Bulletin. (One more year and I’ll graduate!) It’s been a good run and I hope it continues. I’m still having fun.
Sunday’s column is all-Ontario, quickly summarizing some news around town but mostly focusing on Tuesday’s City Council meeting and a Friday event for three council members’ joint re-election campaign. Surprises are guaranteed.
Friday’s items-filled column fills you in on local connections to “The Walking Dead,” “Marriage Boot Camp” and Bitcoin, as well as alerting you to three Culture Corner events. The column has numerous hyperlinks to other media. You could spend all day reading it, although I wouldn’t recommend it.