The Pomona Center News, published twice a week, was written by and for internees at the Pomona fairgrounds during the summer of 1942. Archived at the Public Library, its news, community notices, sports and gossip offer a window into the day-to-day life in the camp: births, weddings, talent shows and softball scores.
Wednesday’s column tells the story.
Above, a farewell page of staff portraits from the final issue. In this version, in the bound copy at the library, the names are signed in ink.
The world’s largest steam locomotive, Big Boy No. 4014, on Thursday began its journey out of the Rail Giants train museum at Pomona’s Fairplex, its home since 1962, to Wyoming. But it’s a slow journey, as the locomotive isn’t functional and it’s being towed as track can be laid. Friday’s column has the details. The Big Boy was the subject of a column in August. You can watch a 45-second video from Thursday here.
Downtown Pomona’s ticket machines for its parking lots have been controversial since their installation in 2012, as many people don’t notice the signs or realize they have to check in at the machines and thus get a $58 ticket for time that would have cost $1 or $2. Some 1,000 parking tickets per month are being issued. But the system’s perceived failings run much deeper, into unexpected territory: poor spelling.
A recently installed parking lot sign, above, said rules would be “strickly” enforced. A business owner who is a stickler for good English pointed out the mistake and a strict official made sure the error was fixed — but not before a photo could be snapped for posterity.
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. I have searched for free street parking to avoid parking in the lots because I didn’t want to have to figure out the technology, but on a recent Sunday I resolved to try it out. Shockingly, when I examined my receipt I learned that I had “payed.”
Is it possible that this misspelling of “paid” has been on every receipt since February 2012, probably tens of thousands of them, and nobody — nobody official, at least — has noticed?
Suggestion for City Hall: Use some of the proceeds from your $58 parking tickets to buy spelling primers!
Two events this next week, part of Pomona’s community read of “Farewell to Manzanar,” relate to Pomona’s own role in the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. That and other items, from Upland, Claremont and Chino Hills, make up Friday’s column.
Jason Christman has created what he calls “vintage-style travel posters for downtown Pomona,” and they’ll be on view at the Metro Art Gallery, 119 W. Second St., Pomona, starting Saturday (the monthly Second Saturday Art Walk) and continuing during business hours through December. The invitation with thumbnail images is above, and I’m looking forward to seeing the rest. An artist’s reception takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday.
Christman, who used to own the Celtic Gallery downtown and now lives in Portland, Ore., says: “These 6 prints are 24×36. Limited to 10 each numbered and signed. Plus 100 4×6 postcards of each as well. Something for everyone. Prints are $125 ($250 mounted like in the gallery). Postcards are $3 each or $15 for the set.”
The best part of last week’s “kickoff meeting” for the Gold Line light-rail extension from Azusa to Montclair was the conceptual art for Pomona’s station. Artist Steve Farley incorporated the L.A. County Fair’s old Fun Zone arch — see below — into his station design.
Not only that, but to spell out “Pomona,” Farley used individual letters, ransom note-style, from notable signs around town. Farley, who like the artists for the Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont and Montclair platforms was at the meeting, stresses that this is just an initial design and that a committee would help him refine the approach.
Farley explains his concept to me in this video. Note his Bob’s Big Boy T-shirt.
The Ontario native, who grew up across from Chaffey High School, now lives in Arizona, where he’s a rarity, an artist and a state senator. He’s friends with fellow Ontario native Charles Phoenix, the source of the image below. Phoenix says the Fun Zone arch was in existence from 1950 to 1980. “The entrance to the Fun Zone at the fair was one of Southern California’s most spectacular works of neon ever,” he declares.
The $950 million Gold Line extension may never be built, as currently there’s no funding source, but never count it out. If nothing else, they should build Pomona’s station. Put it on wheels and cart it around town.
I knew there were towns named Pomona elsewhere in the world, but I had no idea how many until recently: 25, including ours. I’ve got a list, as well as restaurant and cultural news, in Sunday’s column.
With Pomona hosting a community read around the memoir “Farewell to Manzanar,” the two first events focused on Manzanar and other World War II-era internment camps for Japanese-Americans. I attended both and write about them in Wednesday’s somewhat somber column.
Above, Jim Nakano, wearing his camp identification number, and Joyce Okazaki speak at the Pomona Public Library. A video of Okazaki talking about Ansel Adams taking her and her sister’s photos at Manzanar can be viewed here.
Sunday’s column has items on a royal visit to Pomona, an anniversary for Walter’s Restaurant in Claremont and two upcoming tributes to musician John Harrelson.
In Wednesday’s column, I profile an L.A. County Fair food vendor, Colossal Gelato, that sells gelato and uses the profits to fund nonprofits. Its parent company, Working to Give, has a website and video that explain more.