Tribute in purple

prince

Flowers and a candle were placed on a ledge outside Claremont’s Rhino Records by a fan to accompany the poster in the window, turning the whole thing into a makeshift, and touching, memorial. The singer (and so much more) died April 21. That day, the Prince bin quickly emptied as people snatched up the CDs in stock. Fans filled the space in the P section with flowers, another sweet touch. The interest was even greater than when David Bowie died in January.

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KPCC-FM on the absent Claremont Nativity

On Christmas Eve, KPCC-FM’s Patt Morrison interviewed me, the artist and the pastor about the Claremont United Methodist Church’s decision not to install a Nativity this year that would have commented on gun violence. This had been the subject of my column the previous day. You can listen to the segment here. It was a small thrill being quizzed by Morrison, and the segment (17 minutes long) was generous in letting people talk. I’m in it twice, starting about halfway through.

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Column: Gun-protest Nativity canceled in Claremont

Remember the controversial Nativity scenes at a Claremont church in recent years, the subject of columns here the past two years? This year’s didn’t happen, a fate that became the subject of my Wednesday column — with a rendering of the startling scene the artist proposed. I can see the pastor’s point as well as the artist’s. Where do your sympathies lie?

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Column: Claremont High’s unclaimed celebrity: Frank Zappa

This talent show photo from the 1954 Claremont High yearbook is said to depict Frank Zappa.  He is not officially recognized as an alumnus, but many in the Class of 1958 remember his having attended briefly. (Courtesy photo)

This talent show photo from the 1954 Claremont High yearbook is said to depict Frank Zappa. He is not officially recognized as an alumnus, but many in the Class of 1958 remember his having attended briefly. (Courtesy photo)

Did Frank Zappa ever attend Claremont High School? No official record has ever surfaced, and he’s not considered an alumnus. But Zappa once listed Claremont among the four schools he attended (his family moved frequently), and many 1950s classmates say they remember him. And have they got stories. My Sunday column explains.

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