A call came in to my desk Tuesday afternoon. The caller identified himself and said he’d recently stumbled across an old blog post of mine about “how to know you’ve lived here a long time.” I allowed as how I vaguely remembered it.
“Here is my question: Are you a person who is SERIOUSLY interested in local history?” the man said.
Something about his intensity put me off, I guess. We had a halting back-and-forth about whether he’s ever read my work (he repeated that he had merely stumbled across my blog post and immediately picked up the phone to call), how he had once set linotype for the Progress Bulletin, how he didn’t like to waste his time.
“Are you a person who is SERIOUSLY interested in local history?” he repeated briskly. “It’s a yes or no question.”
Oh brother. He had a self-serious “do I have an age-old conspiracy for you!” air about him, perhaps a complaint worrying him for decades like a pebble in his shoe, and the odds that whatever he was selling I would buy were growing poorer by the second.
I told him I do from time to time write about local history, and to my mind, yes, I’m serious. Evidently this answer wasn’t sufficiently enthusiastic.
“You just missed out on a great story,” the man informed me with a mixture of pity, disappointment and triumph.
I sighed and said, “Whatever, man,” then hung up on him before he could hang up on me.
If it turns out he knew where all the bodies are buried, and it’s not Bellevue Cemetery, I guess I blew it.
Loyal? Stubborn? Whichever, I flew in and out of ONT for my vacation. They were so happy to have me, my first flight was canceled in an effort to keep me there longer. Sigh. Wednesday’s column has the details.
Can you believe we haven’t done one of these guess-the-location photos since April 2012? (In that one I was marveling that we hadn’t done one since August 2011. I’ve gotta step it up.)
Reader Bob Terry contributes the above photo, and thankfully he told me where it is because I wouldn’t have known. Can you identify the location of this piece of public art? Submit your guess in the comment field below. The correct answer will appear here tomorrow.
* Why wait? Linda Bissonnette and Ramona both have it right, as do Xavier Torres and Kimberly Serdinsky LaHue on FB. Their comments, aside from the location, include “ugly” and “very gaudy.” Tough crowd.
What, you didn’t know I was gone? That was the point. I wrote three columns ahead and produced a few blog posts while away to fill the gap. Spent last week in ol’ St. Lou visiting the folks. Today I’ll be back at my desk in Ontario. What did I miss?
Sunday’s column rounds up comments about the end of the line for Ramon’s Cactus Patch in Ontario, which closed after 75 years. Many people ate there for decades. My favorite is the woman talking about her parents’ first taste of Mexican food!
Rancho Cucamonga is getting its first gastropub, and it’s a hot name. Slater’s 50/50 is a small chain that began in Anaheim Hills in 2009 and has expanded to four other locations with its beer (100 craft and local beers on tap) and burgers that are half beef, half bacon. Haven’t had one, but it sounds interesting, and Slater’s has won a bunch of “best burger” honors.
Now one is coming to the former Harry’s Pacific Grill building on Day Creek Boulevard on the edge of Victoria Gardens. “This summer,” Slater’s website says.
Btw, my Restaurant of the Week feature will return next Friday.
In Friday’s column, I recount a visit to the Rancho Cucamonga DMV, the one that opened a year ago. Have you been? Kind of snazzy, for a DMV, and my experience was pleasant. Yours might be too, if you make an appointment instead of merely showing up.
This might be a preview of my next Reading Log, provided I can finish the darned book. That would be “Ulysses” by James Joyce, which clocks in at 644 pages and is famously hard to read. It’s about the unheroic lives of a bunch of Dubliners on one day: June 16, 1904. It’s been called the best novel of the 20th century (and a lot of other things).
A friend, and a bunch of his friends, are trying to read it by June 16, which is known to fans as Bloomsday, after protagonist Leopold Bloom, and my friend invited me to join them. He’s planning a dinner party that night — the menu of which had better not feature kidney and liver, two of Bloom’s dietary mainstays. (I think he’s going to make corned beef.)
This was the encouragement I needed: I bought my copy 15 years ago (the receipt is inside, showing that I bought it at Borders in Montclair on July 24, 1998) and never had the nerve to read it.
I’m up to page 220, after nearly a week of dedicated reading (and a couple of weeks of nibbling prior to that). Have you ever read it, either by choice or for a class? Tried to read it? Thought of reading it?
I can see why it’s famous, although I’m admiring it more than loving it.
Wednesday’s column begins with news about traffic control cameras that have gone in at three locations on western Foothill Boulevard in Upland. They’re there to control traffic lights. Following that are some valley vignettes, an item about an Upland restaurateur’s hijinks and an item about “The Office.”
In Florida, my friend Russ Lemmon spotted this sign in a retirement community. I like how the Allen in question merits a first initial.