In November 2009, Jack Lam, the city manager of Rancho Cucamonga, and his wife, Linda, both enthusiastic travelers, vacationed in Antarctica.
Before they left, I suggested they pack a newspaper for our “Daily Bulletin on Vacation” feature. They did so, as this photo shows. Although the scene appears to be full daylight, the sun went down minutes later. Dig the crazy penguins!
This photo appeared in the newspaper after their return and I’m presenting it here to mark Lam’s retirement, effective today. (My column about Lam can be read here.)
When I saw Lam at the dedication of the Haven Avenue underpass shortly after his return, he quipped, “I was happy to go on assignment for you.” Since the Lams will next be traveling to Kenya and Rwanda, we await their next “Bulletin on Vacation” contribution.
A Comedy Central sitcom, “Workaholics,” is set at a fictional telemarketing firm, TelAmeriCorp., in nonfictional Rancho Cucamonga.
The stars, Adam DeVine and Anders Holm, recently produced a short spoof video for Fuel TV in which they mock-tout the attractions of Rancho Cucamonga, described as “conveniently located 38 miles east of Los Angeles.” (The video must contain the single most unattractive angle for Victoria Gardens.)
Proving there’s no hard feelings, the city’s redevelopment agency posted the video on its website, despite the description by the Fuel TV host of Rancho Cucamonga as “an industrial working-class city.” Uh, really?
Watch the video here.
“Rancho Cucamonga? It’s Cucamongo!!” the duo exclaim at the end.
A Google search for Looney Tunes references to Cucamonga (how many people can consider something like this part of their job duties?) turned up a “Did You Know?” page about Rancho Cucamonga from a tree service directory, of all places. Here’s the link.
I suspect all the “facts” aren’t 100 percent accurate. The trivia note that Frank Zappa made Cucamonga “his part-time residence for much of the ’60s and ’70s” makes it sound like he had a summer home there, when in reality he lived there about a year circa ’64. So caveat emptor — but much of the other info sounds right.
Seen Thursday on Foothill Boulevard west of Hellman and east of Big Lots, a strawberry patch is being plowed under for a minimall. Whew! I’d been worried Rancho Cucamonga didn’t have enough of those.
* The grower tells me that despite the sign and construction fence, the activity relates solely to the Hellman Avenue pipeline project a few yards away. OK, we can stand down.
Did you hear about the 1965 Volkswagen bus stolen in 1974, found in 2009 and recently returned to its owner in Spokane?
The Wall Street Journal’s version, forwarded by reader Will Plunkett, notes that in its months of legal limbo, “The van sat in a Copart.com warehouse in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.”
Had dinner with a friend at Panda Express (hey, it wasn’t my idea) in Rancho Cucamonga at Vineyard and Foothill, in the Albertsons center. We’ve been there before (also not my choice). It’s a surprisingly popular place, one where people drift in and out all evening.
This time, on a warm January evening, the front door was propped open and the line of 10 or so people actually stretched out to the sidewalk.
A line out the door? At a Panda Express? Those two-item combos really pack ‘em in.
Photo: Will Plunkett
“At the intersection Base Line and Milliken in RC, there’s some construction going up, mainly a strange metal tower-thing,” reports reader Will Plunkett. His next trip past, he shot a photo, lamenting that scaffolding had obscured what he called its “Martian Chronicles-style architecture.”
Other readers have likewise asked about this tower cater-corner from Rancho Cucamonga’s Central Park. Pat Longuevan has asked what the heck it is, while Diane Martin jokes, “I hope it’s not another electronic billboard.”
I can tell you exactly what it is: a cell phone tower that will be disguised as a clocktower. I wrote about it last August.
More fun, though, would be if you took guesses as to what it might be, the sillier or more cynical the better. (Diane Martin, above, had the right spirit.)
Longtime readers may recall a similar guessing game a decade ago in my column regarding the tile-clad cell tower rising across from Montclair Plaza. I dubbed it the Montclair Mystery Tower. Plunkett suggests we open the floor for ideas about the RC Mystery Tower, and I agree.
What do you think it is?
The Sizzler at 9588 Base Line Road in Rancho Cucamonga looks forlorn these days. A sign on the door reads “We are temporarily closed. Sorry for the inconvenience.” Yes, this Sizzler has fizzled. (Fizzler?) RC will have to trek to Malibu for chicken.
“Do you know why Sizzler in Rancho closed?” reader Sharon B. asks. “We used to go there at least once a week for the salad bar. I know about 6 months or so ago they lost their liquor license, then a few months back, we walk up to the entrance door only to find a handwritten notebook paper note stating ‘Temporarily closed, sorry for the inconvenience.’ Well that was about 3 months ago. They are still closed. Any idea as to why they shut down?”
Not really, although obviously the location was ailing. My visit to the property left me thinking it really needs a makeover: faded paint, ’80s look, cracked asphalt, weedy lot behind chain link in the back. Not very inviting.
I contacted Sizzler for an explanation and all they’d say is: “Please let your readers know the closure is temporary. The location is targeted to reopen in the future.”
Normally a Sizzler wouldn’t merit a mention here but this one opened circa 1982 (thanks to the Ontario Library for looking that up for me) and was one of the few sitdown restaurants in the community in the 1980s. So it has a place in the hearts of longtime residents.
Anyone want to share a memory of this Sizzler?
As an admirer of the band They Might Be Giants, whose fans shorten its name to TMBG, I was amazed to see this vanity plate. Quite a coup to get the perfect plate to express the sentiment that its owner likes They Might Be Giants. The frame, which notes the title of one of the band’s best-known songs, is icing on the cake. Seen recently near a sushi bar in Rancho Cucamonga.
“The most expensive American-made mattress set on the market” is made by a Rancho Cucamonga company, according to a Wall Street Journal story. That would be the E.S. Kluft & Co.’s “hand-tufted, king-size Palais Royale mattress and box spring,” which retails for (gulp) $33,000.