Column: RC deli man learns what’s good about goodbye

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Above, Guido Sciortino makes a sandwich at his deli.

Sunday’s items column begins with an update on Guido Sciortino, who was inundated with customers after word got out that he was retiring. After that, I’ve got yet another “Mad Men” connection to the Inland Valley, this time in dialogue; news of two notable Pomona concerts; and a brief account of the Daily Bulletin’s team performance (in a word, lame) in last week’s Pomona Public Library Trivia Bee.

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Cucamonga deli man Guido Sciortino never fell out of flavor

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I got to spend some time with Guido’s Deli proprietor Guido Sciortino on Monday, watching him work, seeing him interact with customers and asking questions when no one was waiting. The sign says Guido’s Pizza but everybody calls it Guido’s or Guido’s Deli, since he hasn’t made a pizza in years — one of the quirks that made this story irresistible.

He’s retiring May 31 after some 57 years of serving customers at Guido’s and his earlier post at Santolucito’s. You can read about him in my Wednesday column.

Below, Sciortino talks to Anita Schroeder and her mother, Marian Michael, whom he’s known for decades. Schroeder was soon wiping away tears. Below that, Sciortino assembles a sandwich for a customer. At bottom, the Guido’s menu; click on the photo for a larger view.

Also, you can watch a short video of a customer interaction.

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Column: Shirtless Bro: a clothes encounter with a 909 celeb

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For Wednesday’s column, I found and scored an interview with Clay Narey, the Rancho Cucamonga man who asked out a KTLA reporter live on the air at the scene of the Etiwanda Fire. I didn’t know what to expect, but Narey had more depth than you would think based on the viral TV moment. (Then again, he would almost have to, wouldn’t he?)

After our interview, I had Narey drive me up to the scene of the TV encounter. He found it without much difficulty. He took off his shirt for a photo and donned the same cap he wore that day, with its logo that reads Fragile Ocean, a clothing brand.

We also shot a short video interview. He wanted his shirt on for that, and that was fine. Watch the 60-second video here.

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‘Shirtless bro’ gives IE a black eye

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By now you’ve no doubt heard about the bare-chested, puppy-holding man in Rancho Cucamonga who, asked by a KTLA reporter at the Etiwanda Fire if he lived in the neighborhood, replied, “Wow, you’re super pretty. You want to go on a date sometime?” Reporter Courtney Friel reminded him he was live on the air.

The encounter went viral. As of Friday, the search phrase “shirtless bro KTLA” had more than 26,000 results. Here’s a good one from the NY Daily News, complete with the video, a must-watch. The video has 2.6 million views on YouTube and was featured on Yahoo’s home page (fitting since he’s the ultimate yahoo).

“Another proud moment for the Inland Empire,” I remarked on Facebook and Twitter.

“The guy has plenty of confidence,” Joe Pattison wrote on my Facebook page. “The puppy trick is a proven icebreaker.”

We journalists generally hate person-on-the-street interviews, as random people have little of interest to say, especially off the top of their head, but this one was clearly a worst-nightmare scenario. Friel was flustered, probably not by the man’s physique, but she recovered and later tweeted about the encounter, joking that the man must not have noticed her wedding ring.

She asked Twitter followers for guesses where the man might have offered to take her on a romantic outing. I suggested Fuddruckers; Jeff Trobaugh brought up Shakey’s bunch of lunch deal and others said Olive Garden.

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Column: For telethon, RC Library says, ‘Let’s put on a show!’

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Wednesday’s column is about the Rancho Cucamonga Public Library’s telethon from last weekend, an unusual amateur-entertainment extravaganza, televised on the local cable channel, that raises money for the library. I was recruited for the Trivia Challenge, not as a contestant but as a judge.

Above, Robert Karatsu, the library director and trivia master, examines the answers to one question, as do I. (Answers were multiple choice.)

One question, below, involved my hometown. If you don’t know the answer, it’s in my column.

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