As usual, many singers and bands performing at Coachella next month will also give concerts in Pomona. I’ve got a list. I’ve also got other items from around the valley, a couple of them about music for the older set. That’s all in Friday’s column.
John Clifford finished his quest of dining at every restaurant (and restaurant-ish place) on Pomona’s Garey Avenue with this week’s post on his blog Eating Garey Avenue about Castaneda’s. He wasn’t especially impressed. Last week’s penultimate eatery was a Jack in the Box.
“It’s done, stick a fork in it. Yay, I’ve successfully eaten at all 56 currently open eateries on Garey Avenue…” he begins. He ends with a note that starts like this: “Thus ends the GREAT ADVENTURE. I hope that you’ve enjoyed following as I visited some good, some mediocre, some questionable, and some exciting spots along Pomona’s main north-south corridor.”
He may continue blogging, but about random restaurants around town about which he’s curious, or even about other matters. For now, he says, he’s going to take a well-deserved break from worrying each week about getting to the next restaurant up the street.
My column about our interview at Los Jarritos about his project can be read here. The photo above is from Los Jarritos as John prepares to take a photo of his food.
To check out the sad state of the Pomona City Stable recently, the 1909 brick building that’s collapsing, I drove down White Avenue, parked along Second Street and strolled down the sidewalk on the east side of White under the railroad overpass for a better look at the structure on the opposite side of the street.
The east side is where I noticed this piece of concrete (below) that’s newer than the original 1960s sidewalk. It’s full of the kind of graffiti that gets drawn into wet cement, with “1982” written in one corner (partly visible in the photo).
The best readable graffiti (seen above): “The Go-Go’s forever.” Now that’s 1982!
Just under that: “I’m too hip.”
The 1909 Stable may or may not survive, but as far as history goes, at least there’s this fun 1982 sidewalk…
John Clifford, a regular on this blog, is also the blogger behind Eating Garey Avenue, in which he’s been documenting his quest to eat at every restaurant on that Pomona street. He’s almost done. I offer early congratulations via Wednesday’s column. Above, Clifford takes photos of his plate at Los Jarritos while “the lovely Mrs. C,” as he calls his wife, Deborah, watches.
A man’s quest for photos of his late wife led him to the Pomona Public Library, where a vast collection of photo negatives turned up a packet of photos from their 1957 wedding. The story makes up Sunday’s column, an early Valentine’s Day edition. Above, senior librarian Pat Lambert holds up one of the negatives; below, a scan of one of the negatives, showing Jess Kraus and his bride, Janet.
Jokes about Pomona were such a staple of 1930s entertainment that top-rated radio comic Fred Allen mocked them. Dialogue from one of his shows offers a fascinating glimpse of the times. That leads off Wednesday’s column, followed by Culture Corner items and more.
This ad from the Sept. 3, 1954 Pomona Progress-Bulletin would seem to settle a trivia question. Because McDonald’s, which was established Dec. 12, 1948 by the McDonald brothers in San Bernardino, opened restaurants in Pomona and Azusa that month, it’s been unclear which was the seventh and which was the eighth.
Give Pomona the bragging rights. The ad proclaims: “Our New Pomona Unit is the 7th in the McDonald system that will soon be coast to coast.”
The ad also pins down the date the Pomona location was to open: that very day, Sept. 3. Ideally, someday someone will look through microfilm of whatever newspaper served Azusa to find an ad for the opening of its McDonald’s. * Update: Someday is now: Hank Fung pinned down Azusa’s opening to Sept. 17, 1954, based on a newspaper story in the Azusa Herald. The story says Azusa’s would be the eighth. See below.
Thanks to the Pomona Public Library’s Allan Lagumbay for finding the Prog ad. Click on it for a larger version. Some of the text is amusing by modern standards. Its french fries would be “heat protected by infra-red lights” — gosh!
A SoCal Honda Dealers commercial shows a donation of shop equipment to an artist who makes simple wooden cars out of scrap for children. He’s unnamed, but he’s Richard E. Nunez of Pomona, who goes by the nickname Ren.
After scrap became scarce, Nunez tells me, he wrote Honda asking for wood when the dealers group solicited pitches on Twitter. The Helpful Honda Guys responded within two weeks and came out to his house.
The filming lasted all day but was enjoyable. (The cameraman, he said, worked on “The Da Vinci Code.”) The equipment he got was “like a mini-Home Depot … table saw, two hand sanders, skill saw, different kinds of paint, all sorts of different sizes of wood, paint brushes. The list goes on and on.” He was also paid for the commercials, done in English and Spanish.
Many of us have wondered what the interior of the old United Artists/California theater in downtown Pomona looks like these days, but as it’s a Spanish church, we’re unlikely to feel comfortable wandering in. But photographer Richard Nunez did go in and snapped a few photos, which he shared with me.
The auditorium has been significantly altered, and the seats appear to be chairs, not theater seats. And that’s all understandable. Ontario’s Granada is the same shape. But if you were ever in the theater (I wasn’t), you may decide its feel isn’t entirely different. The grillwork by the speaker looks nice.
In the lobby, below, there’s an area that may have been a candy counter.
Pomona has had multiple movie theaters in its history, dating to the silent era. I round up some pertinent facts about each for Wednesday’s column. Above, a view of the State Theater in 1945.
By way of background, I researched and largely wrote this material last spring and summer, unsure if it should be a blog post or column; when the Sunkist Theater background turned up, I focused on that for my column (read it here) and decided to come back to the other theaters on another day, maybe during a vacation or for the holidays. Now, needing a column after a three-day weekend, its time has come.