Driving on an unfamiliar stretch of Pomona’s Orange Grove Avenue recently, I spotted this unusual feature on the south side of the street. On the way back, I pulled over for photos. The greenery is at the T-intersection with Casa Vista Drive. There are six arches, as seen above; from across the street, below, only five could be squeezed into one photo. I wonder what the story is on them and how they were formed.
The campaign for mayor of Pomona is unexpectedly interesting this year, as it’s the first two-person race in years, and the challenger to the incumbent is putting in a strong effort. Sunday’s column delves into the race. And as noted at the end, there’ll be a fun follow-up column, probably Wednesday.
Above, Tim Sandoval, left, and Elliott Rothman speak to people after the Oct. 14 debate. This was the best I could do to get them both in one frame. I’m still kicking myself that I was seated too far back to catch what would have been a cute photo, as the debate ended with the flu-ridden Rothman not shaking hands with Sandoval, but bumping elbows. Heh.
I collected a bunch of history on the beloved Pomona restaurant, Firehouse Inn, last year with hopes of getting a tour of the place, which has been closed for decades and is at least theoretically on the market. But despite a promise, the tour never happened and neither did the column, although I did write a blog post.
Just when I was thinking, for the umpteenth time, that maybe I should try to get back to that idea, neighbors scheduled a protest last Saturday outside the property about its condition. (See above.) And then, driving past on Wednesday, I saw a cleanup. Finally, a reason to write this up! It’s Friday’s column. Here’s the link.
I was there Wednesday night when Neil Young performed in Pomona. (I wasn’t there Thursday night when Neil came back for Night 2.) Friday’s column is about the experience. Here are two bonus photos. And the setlist — 24 songs! — can be viewed here courtesy of Sugar Mountain.
* Setlists, commentary and videos can be seen via JamBase for Wednesday’s show and also for Thursday’s, in which Neil performed 18 songs, only six of them repeats from Wednesday. Maybe I should’ve gone back.
Ever wanted to see a silent film, with live organ accompaniment? Here’s your chance: A church in Pomona will screen two comedies Saturday night and use the pipe organ to provide music. Sounds like a fun event. That leads off Wednesday’s column, followed by a Literary Corner, a Culture Corner and a Valley Vignette. Note that I’ll be selling and signing “Pomona A to Z” at two places Saturday if you’d like a copy; details are within the column.
A sort of shadow fair is taking place in downtown Pomona at the dA Center for the Arts, where the exhibit “Love A Fair” pays tribute to the postwar version of the LA County Fair, the contemporary version of which is going on elsewhere in town. My Friday column tells what it’s about. There are events the next three Saturdays. Above, Barry Cisneros’ “Clock Tower, LA County Fair.”
In Wednesday’s column, a second downtown Pomona antiques store closes after its building is sold. Olde Towne Pomona Antique Mall was in business 26 years. Also: Ontario’s Fiestas Patrias event Sunday is expected to draw 12,000 to downtown, and a bailout for Farrell’s Ice Cream is my Valley Vignette.
I was minding my own business, rounding up the basic facts on Pomona’s downtown movie theaters of yore, when I stumbled upon a startling fact about the Sunkist. (See headline.) After some six months of research in fits and starts, the story of Pomona’s least-known theater is told in my Friday column.
The Thursday night concerts in Ganesha Park by the Pomona Concert Band have been highlighted by me before. But they don’t seem to be as well-known as they should. Mary P. Wallace of La Verne emailed me to make that point.
“They may be the best-kept secret in the valley. It would be a wonderful evening for families in our valley,” Wallace writes. She’s a native of Pomona and has attended the concerts off and on since the 1960s, but has gone consistently the past few years.
To her ears, the Pomona Concert Band is the best community orchestra around. “The reason is that they play wonderful Sousa marches, and other familiar pops music, plus introducing me to new and beautiful music. They are truly a class act, led by Linda Taylor,” Wallace continues.
She and her friend, Jan Van Alstine, have developed a routine, stopping first at the food trucks at the fairgrounds to try something unfamiliar, and then on to neighboring Ganesha Park for the 8 p.m. concerts at the band shell, on White Avenue just north of the 10 Freeway.
“The park is ‘safe’ and accessible. Just bring a lawn chair,” advises Wallace. She also notes a new feature this year: carvings from the logs of dead trees. There’s a bear rearing up as you approach the band shell, and an eagle perched at the top of a trunk on the rise overlooking the band shell.
As Wallace says, the eagle is “watching over us, enjoying a real piece of Americana.”
I always attend one concert each season and was there last Thursday. (Wallace and Van Alstine saw me and introduced themselves.)
Instrumental music isn’t my thing, candidly, and I’m more of a Glass House person, but the band’s ambition and range is always laudable, from modern symphonic works and showtunes to a classical song by Holst and, yes, a Sousa composition. I like the tradition too, music under the stars at our mini-Hollywood Bowl, something Pomonans have been doing since the late 1940s.
In the final meeting for six weeks of the Pomona City Council, a HUD audit comes to light that doesn’t look good for Pomona or a council member. But the city says the 2-year-old findings should work out okay. Also, another council member is said to be able to balance bulky objects on his face. It’s never dull in Pomona, as those news items and more make up Wednesday’s column.