Can we get an Amen Guy?

Photo by David Thomas at 19th and Carnelian, 2007

He’s sort of a local legend, although his name isn’t widely known. Certainly I don’t know it. He’s the streetcorner evangelist with a van and a megaphone. The Filipino-American has been operating in the Inland Valley for years, probably since the 1990s, often with his wife at his side.

Reader David Thomas saw him most recently last fall. He calls him “the Amen guy…because when we see him holding his religious signs, we’ll give a supportive honk and he’ll reply through the megaphone ‘Amen!'” The man had a 7-foot pole with multiple signs and drives what Thomas called a Jesus van based on its signage.

He saw the Amen Guy at Carnelian and 19th, heard he’s been seen at Haven and Lemon and recalled years ago seeing him at Arrow and Archibald. He asked if the man had ever been profiled in our newspaper, and I said not to my knowledge.

I had tried, in 2003, after a tip that he lived next to a drive-through dairy on Grove Avenue; the operator promised to pass along a message from me, but the man never got in touch. Perhaps he prefers not to have his story out there, or maybe he’s just shy.

I have not seen him in a decade or more, I don’t think, so it was nice to hear he’s still around and shouting. Have any of you seen him? Do you know anything about him?

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Who let the dogs out?

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A woman and her daughter were leaving Waba Grill in Rancho Cucamonga last Thursday and encountered this parked car “with three cute canines who appear to be trying out for a Subaru commercial,” reader Louise Shane, who passed along the photo, reports.

“The German Shepherd remained calm and quiet in the rear, the ‘driver’ Pit Bull appeared to be looking past the steering wheel to get a better look at my friend, and the ‘passenger’ was standing guard barking and barking, protecting the car and his/her car mates.”

As long as they don’t slip the car into neutral, everything’s cool.

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Column: RC treat: Donut shop named California’s best

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A couple in Rancho Cucamonga are almost constantly at the bakery they opened just over a year ago. They unexpectedly got a reward when BuzzFeed named their little-known Cake Among Us Bakery & Donuts as the best donut shop in California. Their story is in my Friday column. Above, co-owner Scott McCaslin has just made some vegan pistachio doughnuts.

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Column: For your reference, RC librarian leaves

Sunday’s column starts with news from Rancho Cucamonga, from the departure of its top librarian for Pasadena to development items and more. Then come five Culture Corner items, one of which involves an Ontario concert with which I’m participating, plus a Valley Vignette.

As a behind-the-scenes tidbit, some of these RC items, just as with some of the Chino Hills items Friday, were written weeks or even months ago. This is a year-end move to take some material that has been bumped from previous columns, or saved for future use, and clear it out.

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Column: Soup is still on at Souplantation despite Ch. 11

The Souplantation in Rancho Cucamonga was a favorite spot when I moved here, and I still go now and then. I ate lunch there last week after news of the chain’s bankruptcy, which is supposed to spare the Southern California locations, and write about it to kick off Sunday’s column. After that: four items from Victoria Gardens, three from a Chino council meeting and a Valley Vignette.

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Column: She grew up in Route 66 motel

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In a follow-up to my column last week on the Red Chief Motel in Rancho Cucamonga, Wednesday’s column is about Michelle Lindley, a woman who grew up at the motel when her grandparents ran it. She talks about its latter days in the 1970s and about the recently unearthed mural from the motel’s cafe, which she remembers well.

Above, Lindley says the doorway to the kitchen separated these two unmatching portions of the mural. Below are two fobs from room keys at the motel, which had been renamed the Sycamore.

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The Red Chief Motel dining room

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Two photos of the Red Chief Motel (1936-1977) dining room have turned up courtesy of Darin Kuna, the history buff and photo collector behind several local Facebook pages. The one above is dated 1939. The one below is from a 1951 Claremont Colleges yearbook ad, obviously after the mural was installed in 1950. Finally, a chance to see a portion of the mural in its natural state! Thanks, Mr. Kuna.

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