RV in RC, RIP

Since our office used to be on Fourth Street in Ontario, and now is only a bit farther east at Archibald and Fourth, I’ve passed this RV and Off Road shop at 10234 E. Fourth for, it seems, my entire 22 years here.

I don’t know the first thing about this shop, other than “gear, parts, repair,” but the sign’s lettering always caught my eye. And I have a recollection that in its latter days there was a cross on the facade, presumably to signal that the owner would treat you fairly.

It’s been closed a while with a construction fence around it. I’d meant to stop for a photo for posterity, but there was no obvious place to park. Recently, though, driving east to lunch past the building, I realized I could park at the Havengate complex immediately east at Center and Fourth streets. On my way back, I made a point of doing so.

According to the official sign, the building is going to be demolished for a new one at 58,000 square feet for industrial, office, manufacturing and warehousing. The site, 2.76 acres, is enormous compared to the size of the existing building, so I’m sure it will be a better use of the property.

Farewell, RV and Off Road. You no doubt left a larger mark on the world than this blog post, and probably did so with big tires, but you are memorialized here anyway.

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Column: In RC public comment time, tedium has no prayer

About the only thing that happened at the June 19 Rancho Cucamonga City Council meeting, which I attended, was an amusing public comment period. I sat down this week to see if I could pull something out of that without naming and/or glorifying anyone involved, and what I came up with seemed to work. That got me started on an items column. I followed with an account of some concert patter by musician John York in Claremont, a correction of my premature report of the demise of two long-lived Pomona-area clubs and an Azusa angle to an Oakland tragedy. Read all that in Friday’s column.

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Column: Library tutors boost young readers. Comprehend?

The Back 2 Basics literacy program at the Rancho Cucamonga Public Library (both branches) offers free tutoring in reading to qualifying youngsters who are behind a grade level. I write about the program in Wednesday’s column. After all, library officials had invited me to address their pint-sized graduates, and first I had to learn what Back 2 Basics was all about.

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Column: Long and short of a 20-minute RC meeting

After a few weeks of wanting to get to a Rancho Cucamonga City Council meeting, I finally made one on Wednesday. It was super short and almost nothing happened, naturally. But I wrote about it anyway (and got ideas for future columns), as well as adding some cultural notes and a vignette, for Sunday’s column.

Speaking of cultural notes, one of them is that I’ll be speaking at 11 a.m. May 11 at Chino’s Old Schoolhouse Museum, 5493 B St. It’s my first and possibly only Chino Valley appearance for my book “On Track.” Come see me!

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Column: It’s hooray for Cucamonga at Chaffey College

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.

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When Ronald Reagan and Bob Hope visited Chaffey College

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.

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