Evel Knievel’s Feb. 28, 1971, jump over 19 Dodge vehicles (18 cars, one van) at Ontario Motor Speedway is seen in the photo above. And here, you can see a short video: the opening of the “Evel” biopic that mixes a few seconds of the actual jump with stuntwork, stand-ins and scenes with George Hamilton as Knievel. The jump was part of the entertainment at the Miller High Life 500 at the speedway. There will be more in Sunday’s column. Do you remember the jump? Were you there?
Monopoly’s decision to retire the iron, one of its eight original tokens dating to the 1930s, reminded me that Ontario had an important role in the electric iron, through GE’s Hotpoint factory, and that a permanent exhibit at the Museum of History and Art (225 S. Euclid Ave.) is devoted to the household appliance. All that is the subject of my Wednesday column.
At the Ontario library, they gave up email for a week, and (gasp) survived. You can read about that in Sunday’s column. Also, elephant rides won’t return to the Upland Lemon Festival, and I present a half-dozen restaurant and cultural items.
George Muecke, above, has opened Ontario’s first tattoo parlor in recent memory. You can get inked in virtually all our local cities, but only now can you do so in Ontario. Friday’s column is about Muecke, his shop and his oddly unique status in Ontario.
Wednesday’s column kicks off with the belated news that the London double-decker bus parked outside a restaurant on Ontario’s Mountain Avenue has left the building for good after the eatery’s sale. Then there’s a clutch of cultural items of note and word that a woman claiming to be Jesus recently visited Upland. Heh.
Sunday’s column recounts highlights of last week’s Ontario council meeting, which offered (mostly) intentional humor from Paul Vincent Avila. Also, a look at the special collection holdings of the Honnold /Mudd Library in Claremont and a few short items from around the valley.
Friday’s column is about Paul Avila, the newly seated Ontario councilman, who ran off his mouth at Tuesday’s meeting in entertaining and sometimes bewildering fashion. “I like to talk,” Avila admitted.
When I shot the photo recently of all the campaign (and other) signs at Fourth and Via Asti, west of Ontario Mills, I was struck by the dead office building there and the state of the landscaping. Part of the Piemonte master planned development, the building, circa 2006, is kind of snazzy but appears entirely vacant, the parking lot is cracked and weeds are about the only thing growing from the dirt.
A few yards to the southeast lies the Best Buy that closed earlier this year; east of that is the still-operating Target, El Pollo Loco and other businesses hanging in there despite the housing crash that prevented hundreds of dwellings from being built to the south. The business center above is our own little ghost town. Call it Ontario’s answer to Bodie.
Sunday’s column (read it here) has items about a trio of Bond movies to screen for free at the Ontario library; a couple of pleasant physical changes to the same facility; some valley vignettes (one about the new sign in front of our building); an anecdote about the “Argo” filming at ONT; and a local astrologer’s prediction for the presidential race.
Just in time for the dog days of summer, Crossroads Car Wash by Ontario Mills has installed a do-it-yourself doggy wash.
On-the-spot correspondent James Rodriguez of Fontana, who recently found the roadside mannequin beckoning customers to an auto glass shop, discovered this oddity while getting his car washed and contributes the photos.
“Upstairs in the same building is a hair salon,” Rodriguez continues, “so a lady can get her Mercedes washed while she washes poochie, then get her hair and nails done all in one outing. Sweet.”