Wednesday’s column starts with a silly item from a reader who relates how he came into possession of the Senate Watergate transcripts, and how he disposed of them. Also: four Chino Valley items, two Culture Corner items and details of my next book signing — at the Fair.
Hope you had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend, whether you labored or not. I didn’t leave the confines of the Inland Valley; in fact, I think I stuck exclusively to Claremont and La Verne after scratching the idea of a Metrolink day.
Mostly I read, sought air conditioning and watched movies, catching “Boyhood” and “A Most Wanted Man” at the theater and watching 1921′s “The Phantom Carriage” and 2010′s “The Trip” at home. Also, I booked a flight and made reservations for a vacation in November, and cleaned my bathroom.
How was your weekend?
Wednesday’s column bids farewell to actor Ed Nelson and Chaffey High icon Ed Berryman, both of whom died recently. Also, I plug my next book talk, and I briefly recount my vacation activities.
Sunday’s items column touches on Harlan Ellison, the defunct Espresso Yourself local coffeehouses, the latest from Montclair, cultural events of note, recent filming at Fairplex and a funny reader encounter.
Friday’s column kicks off with an update about Ken McNeil, a former San Antonio Heights man who made our news pages now and then with his activism. After that, I have items about the past: the 1950s “Burns and Allen” show, visits to Pomona by foreign delegations in the 1950s and 1960s, and a local reference in the 1995 Disney movie “A Kid in King Arthur’s Court.”
Sunday’s column begins with the May 1 population estimates by the state; in an annual tradition, I list all our local cities’ new population figures. Also, I present some Culture Corner items, offer my weekly plug for this blog and report on Claremont’s response to the joke about Upland invading.
Friday’s column starts with news about the 5 Second Film Festival, now in its sixth year in Claremont. It takes place May 8. After that, I have items about three cultural events all taking place Saturday (Free Comic Book Day, California Bookstore Day and National Train Day/Union Station 75th anniversary), and an item about an inadvertently hilarious editorial in a Rancho Cucamonga newspaper.
Vacation went well, thanks, and I hope to write about that soon (although two of my three columns this week are already committed to time-sensitive topics, so this might be tricky). In short, though, good food, some culture, a lot of walking, a lot of transit, a visit to the LBJ Presidential Library and a fascinating boat tour to watch the bats leave the Congress Avenue bridge at dusk.
What did I miss around here?
Above are John Fatini’s penny bottles. Friday’s column starts with an item on two other local men who save pennies and a third who makes a game of picking up change. After that, a long list of Culture Corner items and a plug for this blog.
Most Fresh & Easy stores remain open after their September 2013 sale, but a handful closed, and some had closed last year as the chain struggled. Upland is home to one shuttered location, and Ontario to two.
The closed one in Upland — at Foothill and San Antonio, seen above — won’t come back as a grocery because a Sprouts market is going in next door into a former Office Max. (Upland also has an operating Fresh & Easy on Mountain and Eighth.)
The real-estate market has by and large turned empty Mervyns into Kohls, and Circuit Citys, Price Clubs and theaters into churches and gyms. It’s still trying to repurpose Borders stores (the one in Montclair now sells furniture) and closed Best Buys, like ones in Ontario and Chino Hills.
What to do with these empty 10,000-square-foot Fresh & Easy markets?
Suggesting I write about this, a friend came up with a list of potential uses that, coincidentally I’m sure, mirror my interests: “Used book stores, comic book shops, frozen custard joints, art house cinemas, pie shops, a lunch spot where all waitresses wear glasses, bowling alleys…” Be still my heart!
Any further ideas, fanciful or not, for these vacant spaces?