The 50th Laura Ingalls Wilder Gingerbread Sociable, celebrating the “Little House on the Prairie” books and the unlikely tie between Wilder and the Pomona Public Library, takes place Saturday. That tops Friday’s column. Also: cultural notes from around the valley.
Above, the manuscript of 1932’s “Little House in the Big Woods,” handwritten on a tablet, was donated to the library by Wilder and is on display along with correspondence, foreign editions of the books and more. Click on the photo for a readable view. Same with the letter below, sent by Wilder to be read at the dedication of the library’s Laura Ingalls Wilder Children’s Room.
Friday’s column collects some items that have moldering in my computer for a while, as I start off with some documented star sightings of the 1930s. Concerning my headline, I have to say, those three names certainly provided a close proximity to the “Oz” line. The KPCC and Chino Hills items at column’s end are obviously recent.
Also: Happy New Year!
Friday’s column has news about Saturday’s Pomona Christmas Parade (I’m in it), various holiday concerts and more, including a guest shot by Ontario in next Monday’s “Supergirl” episode.
Friday’s column begins with a tidbit about the Cos, a week after the CSU system rescinded his Cal Poly Pomona honorary doctorate: He also filmed parts of an “I Spy” reunion movie on the campus. After that, six items round out the column.
By the way, the Cosby factoid is one I’d come across maybe a year ago while doing some research on Cal Poly’s 75th anniversary. The hyperlink in the column will take you to the website I got the trivia from. I hadn’t figured out what to do with it in all this time, the fact being rather random. Suddenly, the perfect excuse arose to use it.
Ron McDonald, 74, has worked for the Pomona Police Department since 1965. “It wasn’t a target,” he says of his 50 years. “It just happened.” (Photo by David Allen)
Ron McDonald’s first day with the Pomona Police Department was Sept. 1, 1965; his assignment was foot patrol of the downtown pedestrian mall. Fifty years later, McDonald, now 74 and a lieutenant, is still on the job. “Time flies,” he says. His remarkable longevity is the subject of my Wednesday column.
Ron McDonald is seen here in an undated Police Department photo from the 1960s. (Courtesy photo)
Sunday’s column starts with news about a CHP pursuit that ended in Pomona in unusual fashion when the motorist turned himself in to a competing agency, the Police Department.
(This took place Oct. 20 but when it became clear it wasn’t going to make the paper unless I wrote it, I did. And now it can become a candidate for the year’s Top 10 weirdest local news stories.)
After that: items about local culture, about the advisability of leaving your engine on while pumping gas, about a famed architect’s Upland work and about Vince’s Spaghetti’s grand prize drawing on Sunday. You’ll never guess who’s drawing the names!
It’s been First Baptist Church since 1883, but a few weeks ago, the congregation changed its name to Purpose Church. Why? I ask the question and talk about the history in my Wednesday column.
Sam Calderwood, in the cab of the Union Pacific 9000, chats with a patron of the Rail Giants train museum. (Photo by David Allen)
Wednesday’s column presents an update on the train museum at Pomona’s Fairplex. Two years after giving up its centerpiece, the 1941 Big Boy locomotive, how is the museum doing? Fine, as it turns out. It’s got other rare trains, and a modern diesel locomotive that actually runs.
The former Arby’s at 2250 N. Garey Ave. in Pomona, which dated to 1970, closed in 2012 and almost became a Boost Mobile store in 2013, reopened recently as a Sprint store. The building has been cleaned up and painted gray with yellow trim, matching the adjacent McDonald’s. The result looks appealing, actually. But the Conestoga wagon roof and original poles, now holding a modest sign, betray its Arby’s origins. Check it out and see if the staff is sick of Horsey Sauce jokes yet.
Did you know there’s a nearly 3,900-student collection of medical schools in downtown Pomona? Well, maybe you did, but if you didn’t, you’ve probably heard the name or seen the signs for Western University of Health Sciences and wondered what it was. It began 38 years ago under the direction of founding president Philip Pumerantz, and despite long odds, it succeeded. With Pumerantz’s retirement, I ask him how he did it. One answer: a motivational showtune. Find out more in my Sunday column.