The ol’ IVDB already reported in 2018 that “The Way Back,” the Ben Affleck movie, filmed at Chaffey High for two weeks, amounting to about one-third of the movie, and returned for reshoots in 2019. But I happened to learn recently that a church near the high school was also the site of filming for the movie. I write about that in Sunday’s column, as well as dishing up some coronavirus-related items, from the silly to the serious.
I’ve been walking more during the pandemic, and you probably have too. I write about walking in Claremont while also sharing your routes and thoughts. “What a great way to become more acquainted with your neighborhood,” one walker enthuses. That’s the subject of Friday’s pedestrian-friendly, but hopefully not pedestrian, column.
Two plugs on “The Tonight Show” by Jimmy Fallon and an episode of “Ghost Adventures” give Ontario’s Graber Olives a rush of publicity and sales. Also, a former Mother of Invention band member checks in and the Rancho Cucamonga Public Library’s annual Star Wars Day event goes virtual. All of that is in Wednesday’s post-holiday column.
Like Rancho Cucamonga’s library, Ontario’s is now offering its own version of curbside service to provide materials while the facility is closed to the public. (You have to leave your car, but it’s a short walk.) I write about that in Sunday’s column, as well as providing two short Upland items.
Victoria Gardens is a strange place to visit these days, with visitors scarce and pop standards continuing to play from the sidewalk speakers, like it’s a few days after the end of the world and nobody’s living to shut them off. But two months into the shutdown, the mall is beginning to wake up. I take a look around in Friday’s column.
I was sorry to learn over the weekend that actor Fred Willard had died. He was a favorite of mine just as he was probably a favorite of yours. He performed a bunch of times at the Grove Theatre in Upland, of all places, where I once met him, and where some of you may have seen him and even met him. I write about him in Wednesday’s column.
As for the photo, the Grove was going to send me one but didn’t (sigh), and I wanted something more than just a generic wire-service portrait of him. So I clipped a portion of his obituary from our print edition, which had a thumbnail mug of him, and drove to the Grove for one of my specialties, holding up a photo in front of a building for a combo photo.
The sun shone through the thin paper, though. Improvising, I folded up the clipping to include only his face and name, the extra layers of newsprint behind serving to block the sun. Nice. The resulting photo is a little odd, but I’m hoping pleasantly so. Kind of like Willard himself.
Has it really been three years since my last Your Two Cents post? Time flies. Anyway, Sunday’s column on my favorite Starbucks closing — not my favorite coffeehouse, my favorite Starbucks — was my most popular all month based on online views, which I would not have expected.
Although I made a point of saying that the loss of mom-and-pop businesses will be felt more keenly, some people were unmoved and wondered why they should care that a single Starbucks closed (they may have only been reacting to the headline) or why I would waste space writing about a corporate business.
Here’s an email to that point, sender’s name excised:
May I ask why you chose to focus on corporate closings for your article detailing a recent Starbucks shuttering? While you acknowledged that mom and pop stores will also likely close, I feel you wasted your article space by focusing on large corporations that will more easily navigate the difficult economic period. Your article could have addressed the local businesses or coffee shops that need all the help they can get! Sanctuary Coffee is one such location that is non-profit dedicated to social change and great coffee!
May I suggest that you consider highlighting organizations that can actually use the money we spend as consumers? I have little sympathy for corporations like Starbucks losing a location in the sea of their other locations. My only concern is for the employees that are working there and if their jobs are still available to them at locations which I don’t believe you addressed in your article. What of them and the impact of the closure on their jobs? Your portrayal of being inconvenienced by the closure comes off as selfish and tone deaf to be honest.
OK, I admit I’m sharing this email mostly because when she followed up “selfish and tone deaf” with “Kindly,” I let out a horselaugh. One might even wonder if the writer was tone deaf to her own email.
When I replied to her, politely, I cut and pasted the two paragraphs about the fate of the employees, said that I write about local businesses often and that I never expressed sympathy for Starbucks or said anyone should.
But I’ll throw it out there anyway: Who else thinks writing about a closed Starbucks that I frequented was a poor use of column space?
In Sunday’s column, I write about a Claremont Starbucks that has closed permanently, and also was a favorite spot of mine.
I started writing this last Monday as a potential secondary item to appear after the lead item Wednesday about Trudi Blair’s birthday celebration. But as I wrapped up I realized I had enough to make a column and set it aside. Maybe a Starbucks closing isn’t column-worthy, I don’t know, but it’s a place I liked, and I’m sure others liked it too.
Third in a sort-of series, I write about the Rolling Stones’ third (of four) concerts at San Bernardino’s Swing Auditorium in Friday’s column, 55 years to the day of the show itself. I’m a little amazed how much information I was able to find from various sources about one 1960s concert, although I thought that the first two times too. We’ll resume this series in July 2021, the 55th anniversary of the fourth concert.
An Ontario woman asked her neighbors to step outside at noon Sunday and sing “Happy Birthday” to her for her 93rd. They did that and more. Also, many readers try to be helpful concerning the 1960s pole in downtown Upland that I wrote about, and a Chino fixture closes. All this is in Wednesday’s column.