Stephen Neil Hyland Jr. in the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial

pentagon1

I visited the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial in November, the subject of my Wednesday column. Lt. Col. Stephen Neil Hyland Jr., a Claremont native, is honored there. Here are photos of the scene. Above is the explanatory display outside the memorial.

pentagon2

Victims’ names are in alphabetical order and their year of birth is noted.

pentagon3

The memorial itself.

pentagon6

Around the perimeter of the memorial, a wall rises from 3 inches to 71 inches, the age range of the victims. Panels show each birth year. 1955 was Hyland’s.

pentagon7

I turned and saw this line of benches. Some years have one, some have many. Benches for Pentagon employees face the building; ones for passengers on American Airlines Flight 77 face away, along the path the plane took, according to Wikipedia.

pentagon5

This is Hyland’s.

pentagon4

Above is another view, Hyland’s bench in the foreground.

pentagon8

On my way out, I noticed this panel. Someone had used ground cover to spell out “Love.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Bummer! Hip Kitty jazz club to close

hipkitty3

hipkitty1

Hip Kitty, a Claremont lounge specializing in fondue and live music, will soon end its run. The business is in the process of being sold and is expected to close Jan. 31.

I was there with friends on Saturday celebrating a birthday. (Hi, Allison Evans!) Owner Nancy Tessier came over to say hello and I gave her the third degree. Ehh, it’s what I do. She confirmed that the club would soon close.

She opened the club in April 2007, shortly after her husband, Jerry, had finished renovation of the old citrus packing plant and opened it as the Packing House, which has businesses and lofts. She’d like to focus on her family, and maybe expand it, and decided she was better off selling the business, which is still successful, as the full house showed.

The new owners plan a speakeasy theme and may call the place Whisper. They will serve small plates and concentrate on cocktails. No fondue and, more crucially, no live music. Tessier was sorry about that and so are musicians: She’s always booked jazz and swing bands for the retro-themed club.

That night, the Lindy Sisters, a trio in the mold of the Andrews Sisters, performed, backed by the Hepcats. Watch a video here of them performing “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” Tessier said she’s booked other favorites for farewell appearances through January. The last night is undetermined but may fall in early February, depending on when the sale closes.

I’m sorry the lounge is closing, but at least it’s going out in style, and while it’s still popular. Check it out one — or more — last times before Hip Kitty slinks away into the moonlight.

* Update: The club is now expected to close in late March. My colleague Wes Woods wrote a feature on the place with photos.

hipkitty2

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

‘Christmas’ in Claremont

achristmasstory

“A Christmas Story” will screen at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Garner House Courtyard in Memorial Park, 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., courtesy of Claremont Heritage. Dress warmly as the screening is outdoors — although with a storm expected, the screening will be moved indoors at the same location. Admission is free and hot cocoa and cider will be provided. Film-specific attire is encouraged — but please, don’t bring a BB gun.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Column: The life artistic? Bill Murray-themed art show coming

A small art show Dec. 13 in Claremont is causing a stir because it will consist of artists’ views of actor Bill Murray — and because some misconstrue the wording of the flier to think Murray will attend. I set the record straight on this crucial matter, as well as offering items from Pomona, Montclair and the cultural scene, and plugging two “Pomona A to Z” events, in Friday’s column.

(Look for references to four examples of Murray’s work, one of them in the headline, although I kept the nods subtle, as Murray would. Can you identify them all?)

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

An artistic ‘no thank you’

goaway

This whimsical but pointed placard decorates the front door of John and Karen Neiuber’s home in Claremont. (Nobody says “get lost” like a Claremonter.)

The placard was made by artist Fred Babb, who had a store in Cambria and who died in 2006. The Neiubers own a second Babb piece, which reads, “Art is working on something until YOU like it and then leaving it that way.”

John says of the piece above: “The no-soliciting sign works really well. We get stuff dropped off on our porch, but even the Jehovah’s Witnesses pass us by.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Column: Girl Scouts show their grrl power, politely, in Claremont

An unusual protest at a city council meeting is the top item of my Friday column, as Girl Scouts showed up en masse in Claremont to speak up for their campground, La Casita, in the foothills. The larger Girl Scout council in L.A. wants to sell it off and the girls were enlisting the City Council’s support. Also: three Pomona items and a comment about comments at council meetings.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Column: Air raid siren has left Claremont without warning

Sunday’s column begins with a long item about a hiding-in-plain-sight air raid siren on the Claremont McKenna College campus, left over from the Cold War days. The siren was uprooted last spring and donated to a Cold War museum in Culver City. (My blog post from 2010 on air raid sirens is here.)

Also, my column has three Pomona items and two Culture Corner items, plus a plug for this blog.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Column: With tribute, coffee house regular gets one last perk

cbtl1

A tribute at Claremont’s Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to a regular who died leads off my Friday column. There’s a photo with the column of Anthony Raya at the coffee house. If you’re a regular in that area, you’ll say, “Oh, that guy!” And here are two photos from Wednesday morning of the scene so you get a sense of the memorial and Raya’s regular spot.

I happened on this by accident. On a whim, I got breakfast at Jamba Juice that morning before going into work and sat down at one of the outdoor tables. I spotted the memorial across the walkway, walked over and realized who it was for. As a frequent customer at Coffee Bean, I could fill in some of the rest. An employee and the manager came out to check on the table and I got Raya’s name and details from them.

Wish I’d known about the memorial tribute that took place the night before, but I felt like I’d lucked out by seeing the memorial table and by knowing some of the story already. This is one of those small moments in the life of a community. They happen all the time; the general public (and us as journalists) rarely know about them and the people involved don’t think “this is news,” but once in a while, we find one and can make something from it.

cbtl2

* Update: I saw this addition on Friday. Click on the photo for a more readable view.

cbtl3

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Column: Mandolins, muffins: Just another day in Claremont

Friday’s column is partly about a “Good Day L.A.” segment Tuesday on the Claremont Village that was charming, if a little overdone. You might get more sugar shock from the coverage than from Some Crust. After that: news items from Upland and the cultural scene, and a promo for this blog. If you’ve read my blog this week, my summary of the biggest news is kind of an inside joke for your benefit.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email