Nancy May’s ’50s Cafe marks dual anniversaries Saturday: 25 years since its founding as Nancy’s Cafe, and 10 years since its reopening under its current name. Both openings took place, improbably, on April 20, and with the same Nancy in charge. I pay tribute to a Rancho Cucamonga institution, and favorite lunch spot, in Friday’s column.
Rancho Cucamonga now has its own Hollywood-style “Cucamonga” sign on the Chaffey College campus. The whimsical piece by artist Amy Maloof has been up for a few weeks but is now finished with lighting and landscaping. I write about that, with a bit about the adjacent Wignall Museum’s renovation and opening, in Friday’s column. Also: Hooray for Fridays. Above, Maloof with her piece, partly blocked by an annoying pole.
Photos courtesy the Images of Pomona blog
On Nov. 3, 1990, former president Ronald Reagan came to Chaffey College to stump for fellow Republican Pete Wilson, who was running for governor.
“You have to make sure people know they are violating their heritage by not going to the polls,” Reagan told an audience of 400, according to news reports. “They are supposed to be telling people elected to office what to do.” He contrasted this with other countries, where he said people in office tell the public what to do.
Wilson was there, as were many other Republicans seeking office. Bob Hope warmed up the crowd. “We’ll all be glad when this election is over,” Hope said. “Pete Wilson will be governor, and the rest of us will be able to get our regular commercials back on television.”
Reagan made at least one phone bank call, to Ontario resident Vena Stout, 78. “Hello, this is Ronald Reagan,” the call began. He urged her to get out and vote, which the lifelong Republican promised to do.
If you’ve forgotten, Wilson did indeed win.
Thanks to the Chaffey College library staff for digging up news clippings of the event, just in time for Presidents Day.
A day before his services, I write a few words about Bill Alexander, the Rancho Cucamonga politico who left office in December and died in January. Also: a Culture Corner and a Valley Vignette, all in Friday’s column.
You may have heard or read over the years about a reputed Sears kit house in Rancho Cucamonga, a 1908 landmark. But is it really a Sears kit house? We may never know, but two experts say it’s unlikely. I assemble the story (folding Piece A into Slot B) for Wednesday’s column.
I’d seen photos of an electrical star on an old, picturesque tower off Base Line Road in Rancho Cucamonga, but I wasn’t sure where it was. A Facebook post gave a closer idea and, thinking a Christmasy column would be a good idea, I went looking for it — successfully. The story of a charming neighborhood feature occupies Sunday’s column.
To the question of where my ideas come from, sometimes they come from my nightstand. I was reading my annual Jack Smith book when a local reference therein sparked my curiosity. The result, a few weeks later, is Sunday’s column. Above and below, the covers of Henry Childs’ book, viewed at Chaffey College.
I was on the Chaffey College campus earlier this week, researching a column (coming Sunday), when a new and amusing art piece was pointed out to me. That kicks off Friday’s column, followed by more items for your post-Thanksgiving reading pleasure.
It had been a few months since I’d attended a Chino City Council meeting, and two years (!) since I’d been to a full-fledged Rancho Cucamonga City Council meeting. (Last year I did attend an afternoon workshop, though — as part of my effort to attend a council meeting in all nine of our cities.)
So I hit Chino on Tuesday and Rancho on Wednesday, finding enough material, and commentary, for Sunday’s column.
Diane Williams and Bill Alexander will leave the Rancho Cucamonga City Council after the November election. They’ve been in office a combined 54 years. I talk to them both for Wednesday’s column. (In a hometown touch, I ran into Williams at the drugstore and she gave me the story.)