Column: For political widow, a last chance to kick up her heels

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Mrs. Unruh, as she’s billed, owns Mount Baldy’s Buckhorn Lodge, where she performs with a band on weekends, doing torch songs, country songs and showtunes. She’s the widow of Jesse Unruh, who before his 1987 death was one of California’s most prominent legislators. The lodge will be closing soon. I sit in on a performance for Friday’s special-length column.

Watch 45-second videos of her here and here.

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Column: At year’s start, these items finally achieve their potential

In Wednesday’s column, in an annual ritual, I clean my desk, mostly, of accumulated newspaper clippings, press releases, reader mail and other items that piled up as I wondered what to do with them or thought I might need them later.

I wish I’d had more time, but I made a good dent in the time I had. My desk hasn’t looked this good since last Jan. 1, and maybe not even then. Confidentially, there’s still a two-inch high stack of items from 2008 to 2010. It’s too late to pick through those for column items, so I’ll essentially give up on them and file them with other correspondence. Still, 2014 will start with a neater desk, ready for the year ahead. Can’t wait.

Oh, and Happy New Year! Any particular resolutions or goals you’d care to share?

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More trending topics: Bookstores, presidents and Pomona

Friday’s column concludes my roundup of reader emails on recent(ish) columns. Topics include used bookstores, whether JFK was truly our youngest president, Pomona’s inclusion (or not) in the Inland Empire and the Upland City Council’s birthday timeliness.

I was glad to get these, and last Sunday’s, in print before year’s end. (Notice I slipped them in during a slow news week.)

I do have a third column of reader comment, on my piece from (gulp) Sept. 8 on my habit of picking up change, coming soon, but it may have to wait until the first week of January.

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JFK: Readers share their memories of Nov. 22

Friday’s column (read it here) is made up of responses from readers about where they were on Nov. 22, 1963, when they heard about President Kennedy’s death. The responses were so many and often so lengthy, some had to be left out and most had to be truncated, sometimes severely. Because space on the Internet is infinite, below is every response I received, in full. Feel free to share your own memory, or your reaction to others’, in the comments section. — DA


I was in kindergarten at First Lutheran in Pomona. We were all taken down to the principal’s office, or outside the principal’s office. She had a television that could be seen from the hallway. Of course, at 5 years old, I didn’t understand much of it. I remember my principal, Mrs. Kirby, in tears. My mother picked me up. She was so distraught, crying. We just watched the television coverage of it on Channel 2 throughout the afternoon and evening.

Steve Julian


As VP of manufacturing of a Massachusetts carpet mill I was in the US Rubber Company plant in Connecticut monitoring a trial of applying their rubber to one of our commercial carpets. The noise from the machinery running in this plant was overwhelming. Just prior to our trial run the din began receding slowly until there was complete silence. The US Rubber people with me were as baffled as I was until we were told that word had spread though the plant that President Kennedy had been shot. Without any instructions or permission the workers had independently shut off their machinery, picked up their lunch pails and left the plant for home, many in tears as I was. I had spent some memorable time with JFK on three occasions when he was the senator from Massachusetts. It was a long sad drive back to Massachusetts and it still is 50 years later.

Ralph F. Langley


My 20th birthday, Nov. 22, 1963. My husband Larry was stationed at Otis Air Force Base, Cape Cod. Mass. The Kennedys came many times to the family compound in Hyannis Port, about 30 miles from Otis. I was parked many times in view.

I was a young mother with a 3-year-old and a 9-month-old. Larry was at work, just a normal Friday. I turned on the black and white TV at 1 p.m. EST to watch “As the World Turns.” About 40 minutes later there was a Special Bulletin that the president had been shot in Dallas.

Later Walter Cronkite announced that John F. Kennedy had passed away. We were glued to that little TV for many days. It is a sad memory.

After the funeral Jackie, Caroline and John John came to Otis on a private plane, no entourage. They walked through the flight line where Larry was working. He saw them quite close. They were on their way to Hyannis Port.

I am now 70 and it is a vivid memory for us both.

Sherrill Roan

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Column: Miley Cyrus takes a dive in the 909

Friday’s column has items from all over, leading off with an anecdote from the latest Rolling Stone about Miley Cyrus skydiving in Perris and noshing at Baker’s Drive-Thru. Then we’ve got a Pomona person on CBS’ “48 Hours,” “The Butler” actor Forest Whitaker’s Cal Poly connection, a panel of Inland Empire writers in Claremont and many, many more items.

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