Author Nicholson Baker had his own ideas of how education ought to be fixed, but he realized he was an impostor because he was coming at it from a theoretical angle. So he signed up as a substitute teacher. Promoting his book “Substitute,” he spoke in Claremont, a talk that leads off my Friday column. After that, I update my recent column on Ontario’s Meredith Property and add two short items.
Chet Jaeger is a Claremont fixture, moving there as a boy in 1931. He’s also leader of the band Night Blooming Jazzmen, which is playing its annual concert at Memorial Park in Claremont on Monday. Sunday’s column profiles him and the band.
Above, he blows a few notes for me in his yard. Be sure to watch the two videos attached to the column too.
In my first column since returning from vacation, I write about Claremont’s Independence Day parade and Speakers Corner, both quaintly homespun activities. Also: Culture Corner items and some notes on reminders of home during my vacation. All this in Wednesday’s column.
Susan Wood worked for Peter Sellers when she was Sue Evans and living in London, hired as his personal assistant and spending a decade minding his affairs. She tells me about it for my Sunday column.
(Secrets behind the columns: I wrote this prior to vacation but held it to help the editors fill up the paper since there’s a minimal staff for the long weekend.)
Perhaps the most unusual Independence Day activity locally is the Speakers Corner in Claremont, meant to celebrate the First Amendment. Wednesday’s column starts with a few words about that, followed by two culinary items with Chino Valley connections, an update on an old-time journalist mentioned here recently and a note that I’m on vacation.
Friday’s is an all-Claremont column — how did you stand the wait? First, a long item about a ceremony honoring the late Judy Wright, who championed the preservation of the city’s 1927 train depot when it was not a popular cause. Then, six short items from around the city. Read it here.
Allen Callaci was dying of heart disease at only 46 when he qualified for a heart transplant. Four years later, he’s doing well and has just published a memoir about the experience. The story is in my Wednesday column. Above, this is the six-inch stoop that seemed almost insurmountable in the days after his return home. You can listen to an interview with him on KSPC here.
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.
Friday’s column begins with the oddball news that the owner of a Claremont clothing store was interviewed by Morgan Freeman for his “Story of God” miniseries, seeking his views on Zoroastrianism. After that, I’ve got a bunch of Culture Corner items, most about events on Saturday, and a Valley Vignette.
An author in Claremont (who’s a former Brit) has distilled decades of research into a tome on the Jack the Ripper killings. Friday’s column tells his story. Above, Simon Wood in his study.