I had only an idea of where Brackett Observatory stood, knowing it’s around the southeast part of the Pomona College campus but never having seen it. In fact, during an evening open house of the campus a couple of years ago, I stumbled around past dusk trying to find it and failed. It’s not impossible that I walked right past it.
But on a recent afternoon, I went looking for Brackett Observatory and found it, near the Sontag Greek Theater off East Bonita. The observatory was closed on a Sunday, of course, but the quiet allowed me to admire its classic dome with retractable roof, and its fieldstone walls. It’s a modestly sized place, built in 1908, and named for the same professor whose name adorns La Verne’s municipal airport.
More about it can be found on the observatory webpage, which includes a video of a solar flare.
Two thematically related items from the Claremont Courier’s police blotter, compiled by Matthew Bramlett, got my attention.
On March 3, a thief broke into a dental office and made off with about $6 in cash and “an unknown amount of plastic desk drawer organizers” before the alarm went off and he fled.
Then on March 7, two men broke into a massage studio “and stole cash and facial products.”
It seems that on the mean streets of the City of Trees and Ph.D.s, burglars want to stay organized and moisturized.
Karl Benjamin, 1987. Photo by Gary Colby.
In a nifty fund-raising idea, brushes from local artists past and present will be auctioned or sold to benefit the Claremont Museum of Art. That item leads off Sunday’s column, followed by response to my recent column on my internet provider, Culture Corner items and a Valley Vignette.
Friday’s column starts off with high school theater news, as ’80s-lovin’ students (who didn’t have to live through the decade) prepare to stage “Xanadu,” the stage version of the 1980 movie musical, in Claremont. After that: five Culture Corner items and a Valley Vignette.
I attended Saturday’s event at Bridges Auditorium in Claremont to hear Jason Alexander be interviewed onstage for Pomona College’s Parents Weekend. He was pretty interesting, enough to merit a full column. Then again, I’m a “Seinfeld” fan. Above, Alexander and interviewer Carolyn Ratteray; photo by Jeff Hing/Pomona College.
Wednesday’s all-Claremont column leads off with news that the “Seinfeld” actor is coming to Bridges Auditorium Feb. 18 for a public talk about his career, then continues with 10 (!) more items from around town.
Wednesday’s column begins with a feature on Some Crust Bakery in Claremont. It’s been there 35 years but is part of a baking tradition at that address dating to 1916. After that is an anecdote from another iconic Village business, the Folk Music Center, and a Culture Corner item disguised as a Valley Vignette.
Above, the scene outside the bakery Tuesday morning; below, general manager Scott Feemster takes a look at what’s bakin’ inside the 1940s oven one day last month.
Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen’s death reminds me that some 20 years ago he was apparently a familiar sight in the Claremont Village. (He left about the time I moved there, alas.) Sunday’s column pays tribute through color gleaned from talking to a bunch of people who saw him or waited on him. Above and below are views of the window display in his honor at the Folk Music Center.
Photo by Jeff Hing/Pomona College
Larry Wilmore’s talk Wednesday night at Claremont’s Bridges Auditorium had a different edge than most had expected when they got their (free) tickets. Rather than celebrate Clinton’s assured victory, he and the audience mourned Trump’s win. The comic, who was raised in Pomona, made some good points, and got off some good lines, as captured in Friday’s column.
Comic Larry Wilmore is appearing in Claremont the day after the election to talk about it in front of an audience. I interviewed him by phone to ask about the campaign, the event and his childhood in Pomona for Sunday’s column.