After my column on the long-lived Shakey’s in Montclair, a Riverside woman who worked at her city’s Shakey’s when she was a student got in touch to say she has an album of photos and other memorabilia from the 1970s. I couldn’t resist taking a look. She reminisced and shared stories for my Sunday column.
Riverside’s Judy Lewis has run marathons in 49 states. This weekend, she’ll compete in her 50th — in Hawaii. I talk to Lewis about her 30 years of marathons, which she began in her 30s, and what this race means to her for my Friday column.
Last Saturday I headed to Santa Ana to see an appearance by Riverside writer Susan Straight, who would be interviewed by a journalist friend, making this event a twofer. Then on Monday night I headed to La Verne to see an appearance by writer Reyna Grande, who’s not local (nobody’s perfect). Why did I cover two events during my off-hours? Whatever it takes, baby, especially during a shortened workweek. Read about ’em in my Friday column.
Not being a runner, I walked in a 5K (my first), Riverside’s Mission Inn Run, on Sunday. This seemed worth doing because the run was drawing the most participation in its 46-year history, and also because the sponsor and the namesake hotel are at odds, the subject of a front-page story Sunday. I write about the event, the dispute and what I saw on my 3.1-mile walk in my Wednesday column.
The collection of six statues of peace or civil rights figures along Riverside’s downtown pedestrian mall has been an occasional topic of mine. Now the MLK statue is surrounded by a construction fence. Why? The plaza around it is getting $250,000 of improvements to be unveiled next month. I go into that, as well as the story behind the 1999 statue, in my Sunday column.
Twenty-five years ago, a gunman opened fire in a Riverside City Council conference room, wounding seven, and somehow not killing anyone. Survivors recall the day at a commemorative luncheon and in conversation. The mayhem shook up elected officials around California and led to greater security at council meetings. I write about the event in my Wednesday column.
I hike up Riverside’s Mount Rubidoux for the third time in three years (apparently I am making this an annual event, although I mean to go more often) and write about my outing, and the encounters and observations along the way, in my Wednesday column. This was actually intended as part of Sunday’s column, but I wrote enough about the hike that, rather than cut everything to fit it all in, I decided to excise this portion, rewrite it and expand it a bit, and make it its own column. Here it is.
Last weekend I attended the dedication of the 60-foot “Historic Riverside” mural one night and the premiere of a documentary on Mount Rubidoux the next afternoon. Here’s how it went, as chronicled in my Sunday column.
From the 500 artworks donated by Cheech Marin to his startup museum in Riverside, about 100 were on view for the first year. Now another 64 are on display, along with 22 holdovers, for the second-year show, “Cheech Collects: Anniversary Edition.” I walk through the exhibit with the curator and sit down with Marin for a chat. The results are in my Sunday column.
Here’s a little backstory: I interviewed Marin in mid-June at the museum’s anniversary event and wrote about the anniversary, intending to return to those notes for a follow-up on the show. It took longer than I intended, with interruptions for travel and a zillion other columns, but finally I pulled it off.
The volunteer group Friends of Mount Rubidoux, around since 1994, isn’t sure what its future may be, if any, as their goals have been accomplished. The last is that the documentary they commissioned to tell the mountain’s story is done and ready for its premiere on Sunday. I write about the film and about Friends in my Friday column.