Sunday’s column pays tribute to Besse Fogle, a Rancho Cucamonga woman who died the other day at 101. She operated old-time restaurants in Ontario and Pomona, where she knew Lucy and Desi and met Eisenhower and Patton. I got to know her the past three years.
Wednesday’s column starts with an update on the Rancho Cucamonga dive bar whose impending sale was reported here in October. After that I have three Claremont items, two Culture Corner items and news about Ontario’s spruced-up Christmas events this weekend.
A long-lived dive bar in an untrendy portion of Rancho Cucamonga is expected to close next month. Wednesday’s column pays tribute to Gilberto’s Lounge and owner Ken Gilbert.
Tuesday was a dark day for education as I was named principal for a day at Rancho Cucamonga High School. I write about the experience in Friday’s column.
Sunday’s column starts with news about the Rancho Cucamonga Public Library’s 20th anniversary, with a celebration Friday evening. (Yours truly will be there selling books.) Plus: items from around the valley.
Hamilton Family Brewery, which opened June 21 in Rancho Cucamonga as the city’s first craft brewer, required unusual sacrifices to become reality: The family in question sold their home and most of their possessions to raise money, then moved in with her folks. The story is my Wednesday column.
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.
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.
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.
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.