Column: Shoppers saddened by loss of local Nordstrom stores

A reader said I should write about the demise of the Inland Empire’s two Nordstrom stores, which closed in May (but were essentially already closed) without fanfare. That was a good idea, and I took her up on it for Wednesday’s column. It didn’t hurt, naturally, that the column might appeal to readers across a geographic span.

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Memories of the Midway

Reader Harry Wright emails about a favorite topic here on the blog, the long-gone Midway Bar in Montclair, just past Claremont on Foothill Boulevard:

“The Midway was a flourishing establishment when I arrived at the Claremont Colleges in the fall of 1967. An extremely liberal attitude regarding proper identification ensured a regular clientele of baby-faced collegians. Both the Midway and the nearby eatery Stinkys were convenient to the colleges and for bikers speeding up and down Foothill between Pomona and San Bernardino. A belly full of greasy burgers from Stinkys then the Thursday night special — 50-cent pitchers at the Midway — was a stellar evening for the economy minded.

“There was an uneasy truce between the school boys and bikers that at times boiled over, resulting in fists flying, but never weapons, at least that I witnessed. Law enforcement visits were infrequent, but spurred a mad dash of college kids out the back or standing on the seat in a toilet stall, while an older patron also in the stall could exit if summoned by the cop to present proper ID.”

The world is always in need of stellar evenings for the economy minded. Thanks for the note, Mr. Wright.

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Column: Drive-in to stay open through summer 2020

Some good news for fans of drive-ins: Montclair’s Mission Tiki Drive-In won’t close near Christmas after all but will remain open through next summer. The developer doesn’t need the property right away, so the drive-in will keep showing movies and hosting a swap meet through winter, spring and summer. I write about that in Friday’s column, along with sharing some of the reaction to its closing.

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Column: ’90s nostalgia, not ’80s nostalgia

I revisit the Montclair Plaza sign, which came down last Friday, by rounding up some reader comments, determining that the sign wasn’t quite as old as originally stated and, going farther back, noting the Christmas star that was placed on the original sign annually. That’s all in Wednesday’s column, along with a Valley Vignette from neighboring Upland. Above, a portion of the story photocopy referenced in the column that has the sign images, the middle one being the almost-forgotten mid-period sign.

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