Column: Charles Phoenix shows slides from near and far

I attend a slide show by (Ontario native, LA resident) Charles Phoenix in Brea, present a few bon mots from the late sportswriter Jim Murray, quote a letter from a peripatetic reader that supports the idea of a borderless Inland Empire column, and offer some bittersweet news from Upland, all in my Friday column.

Incidentally, this is the first of three columns penned before the vacation I’m now enjoying; they’re composed of items either written in recent days/weeks and unused, or in items spun from recent reader emails, or in a few cases, like the Charles Phoenix item, of bits that would not have been written had I not needed copy for these columns. (I was just there for fun but did take a photo, and jotted down one bon mot for possible use; writing a long item as I did was not in my plans.)

I’ll be curious to hear the reaction to these columns: Does it seem like I’m reaching or scraping the bottom of the barrel, or are these three low-key columns as enjoyable, or (horrors) more so, than the ones in which I’m out interviewing folks and trying harder? There is no wrong answer.

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Column: Euclid median torn up for widening, dig?

If you drive through the Euclid Avenue interchange in Ontario and Upland, you’ll see a lot of activity and a lot of bare dirt where grass and trees once grew. (And where brick planters rose in the portion over the freeway.) I visit and take photos of the work, which will result, eventually, in a wider freeway and an improved interchange. Also, a favorite haunt of mine, Nancy May’s ’50s Cafe in Rancho Cucamonga, opened Monday for the first time since mid-March. I write about both in Wednesday’s column.

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Column: For Graber’s, windfall of TV publicity isn’t the pits

Two plugs on “The Tonight Show” by Jimmy Fallon and an episode of “Ghost Adventures” give Ontario’s Graber Olives a rush of publicity and sales. Also, a former Mother of Invention band member checks in and the Rancho Cucamonga Public Library’s annual Star Wars Day event goes virtual. All of that is in Wednesday’s post-holiday column.

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