Mary Hill-Wagner of Montclair has published a memoir titled “Girlz ‘n the Hood,” which is about her childhood in South L.A. among 10 siblings and the mother who fiercely supported them. It’s kind of wild, sometimes sad, sometimes raucously funny. I read her book and then we had a good conversation about it and her mother for my Wednesday column.
The authors listed in the flyer above are slated to sell and sign their local history books from 2 to 4 p.m. this coming Sunday in Riverside, and through the wonders of alphabetization, you’ll find my own name at the top. Will this prove a selling point or a turnoff for Riverside County readers? We’ll see.
Anyway, if you’re reading this and want to meet me, and it’s not too distant a drive for you, hope to see you. And maybe even sell you a book, although that’s hardly a requirement. Plenty of other books for sale too, courtesy of the 19 other authors.
Personally I’m looking forward to face-to-face contact with a couple of authors to whom I’ve spoken by phone, seeing a few familiar faces among the authors and meeting some Riverside-area readers.
A local history book fair is coming to Riverside on Oct. 3 (that’s next Sunday), and among the 20 or so authors in attendance will be yours truly. It’ll be my first public event since February 2020 and my first ever in Riverside County. Huzzah! Also, the poet laureate of these United States is coming to Joshua Tree, a surprising figure was a vendor at the LA County Fair in 1936 and a recent Dodger Stadium protest has a local angle. Where can you find all this? Why, in my Sunday column.
I visit Perris to hear about its inaugural art walk, taking place Friday night. Also, free tours of downtown Riverside are Saturday morning, and Josh Groban filmed for HGTV in Rancho Cucamonga this summer. All this is in Friday’s column.
There’s some Pomona dialogue in the “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” novel, in which Quentin Tarantino completely rethought his movie and screenplay in print form. That’s the lead item of Wednesday’s column, which continues with two more examples of Inland Empire dialogue in fiction, a hit song that namechecks some San Gabriel Valley cities, and graffiti news from Palm Springs.
When I drove to Riverside for the Squeeze concert at the Fox, I looked for free parking on the street a couple of blocks north of the theater. I found a curbside spot in a neighborhood of tidy older homes with vintage street lamps. And then spotted a marker in front of a house.
This is the Ernest Day House, built in 1895 at 325 8th St. and relocated to 3894 4th St. in 1911, where it’s resided for 110 years. It’s described as a “vernacular Victorian” and is Cultural Landmark No. 101. I hadn’t even gone to the concert yet and already I was feeling more cultured.
I was there at the council meeting when the Fontana city manager was hired (February 2020) and returned Tuesday after it was announced that he’s resigning to take a new job. “I saw you come in,” I told Mark Denny, “and I thought I should see you out too.” He smiled. I write about the meeting in a relaxed Sunday column.
It’s not the real LA County Fair but the miniature, “fun size” version, and it’s going on weekends through Sept. 26. I attended last Sunday, during opening weekend, so that I could bring you a column for Week 2 (of 3), and you’ll find it here. If you go, or if you’ve been, what did you think?
BC Cafe in Claremont (701 S. Indian Hill Blvd.) closed earlier in 2021. The last Yelp review is from January; I only noticed recently while driving past and noticing how forlorn the property looked.
Kind of a shocker, since the breakfast and lunch diner used to be so popular that if you drove past on a weekend morning, you might see a dozen or two dozen people standing around outside, waiting for their name to be called. I blame not only COVID, but the presence of Norms on the other side of the 10.
I pulled over recently to take photos of the exterior, and to place my phone against a window for an interior view. A notice on the door said the business had been in Claremont for 30 years: “We all are heart-broken and deeply sadden(ed) by this.” The staff, it said, had been transferred to the remaining location in Rancho Cucamonga (10123 Foothill Blvd.), where it’s known as Kickback Jack’s.
Oldtimers will remember that the restaurant began in 1959 at 1280 Holt Ave. in Pomona, where it was called Breakfast at Carl’s. That’s where the acronym BC Cafe came from. That building still stands (see below) and in recent years has been a succession of Vietnamese restaurants. In the old days there was a Van de Kamp’s, an IHOP and a Denny’s all within a couple of blocks.
All is not lost for fans of locally owned breakfast spots: A banner has gone up outside BC Cafe saying that Sammy’s Cafe is coming soon. That would seem to be a new location for the Upland diner (131 W. Foothill Blvd.).