Column: Alta Loma High alums recall school, town of the 1960s

Alta Loma High School opened in 1963, with its initial three grade levels graduating in ’65, ’66 and ’67. When the organizer of the joint 50th reunion contacted us about coverage, the topic seemed like it might make for a good nostalgia column. What was Alta Loma like before the growth boom? I talk to some alums, one of them the mayor, and write about it in Sunday’s column.

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Detour from what?

Reader Mary Jo Kunkel submits the above photo, looking north from the corner of Archibald and Highland avenues in Rancho Cucamonga, and wonders what the detour sign is all about.

She doesn’t know what the detour was or why the face-down sign said the sidewalk is closed, although she wonders if the So Cal Gas leak in the area earlier this year was involved. “These have been on this corner for months and months,” Kunkel writes. “I’m hoping you will post this picture … so someone will come by and pick them up. Obviously no one is paying any attention to them but me.”

I happened to drive past Monday on my way to an appointment and the signs were still in the same position.

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Column: Base Line, the long and winding interchange

A view looking north on East Avenue in the left turn lane that seems to be on the wrong side of the freeway pylons.

I marvel at the improved but still confounding Base Line Road interchange in Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana in Wednesday’s column, while also tossing in a list of notable upcoming local concerts and a Valley Vignette. If you’ve had any experience with that interchange, past or present, I’d like to hear about it, in hopes that it isn’t just me.

Secrets Behind the Columns Dept.: I wrote the interchange item as long ago as May and revised it a few weeks later but, unsure if it was column-worthy, saved it for a rainy day. I’m on call for jury duty this week and don’t know from day to day if I’ll be working the next day or serving. Learning Monday night that I’d be working Tuesday, and thus would need to file a column by 1 p.m., I hauled the interchange item up from the depths.

Will I have a Friday column or a Sunday column? Only court administrators know for sure.

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The Anchor Lounge?

An email query arrived from Carolyn Inhoffer Montes, who asks:

I hope you can help answer a question for me. My dad, a Marine, was chatting with a fellow Marine, who asked him if he knew about the ‘Anchor Lounge’ in Rancho Cucamonga, owned by a Navy guy (thus the name) that was ‘in the middle of a vineyard. My dad and I are assuming it was a ‘seedy’ place…

Nonetheless, he keeps asking if I have learned where it was located. I’ve googled to see if anything would pop up, but nothing does. I saw your blog and thought you might be able to help me, given your historic knowledge of Rancho.

Any thoughts? Or insight?

I’ve never heard of this, but that doesn’t mean much. Have you any of you?

Update: via the Alta Cucawanda Friends Facebook page, Chris H. Boesen says the Anchor Lounge was on Foothill Boulevard, just west of Hermosa Avenue, on the north side, in what is now a patio furniture store. “I know it was there in the mid-’70s. Don’t remember when it closed,” Boesen writes. “It was a dive bar for sure.” And Jane Vath O’Connell says: “I remember it as a place called Capt. Shinks!”

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Column: One last grape harvest in RC vineyard

One of the most visible vineyards in the area is the one in Rancho Cucamonga at the corner of Haven and Fourth. The harvest this week is likely the last, though, as hotels have been proposed for the site. I watch as grapes are picked and write about it in Friday’s column (with great photos by Will Lester). Above, a field worker totes a tray of grapes to the truck. (I shot that one.)

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Column: Sale finally ends at RC mattress shop

The mattress shop at Foothill and Archibald in Rancho Cucamonga finally expired after a so-called liquidation sale that dragged on for years, under more than one business name. Huh! That leads off Friday’s column, followed by a bunch of cultural notes and one explaining that I’m on vacation. If I’m posting this late, that’s because I’m more than a few time zones away. The photo above was shot Tuesday afternoon. The interior was vacant.

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