I write about Gus Grebe, whom I knew slightly, and who died last month. His death was news in Kansas, where longtime college sports fans still revere him. That and a few more items make up Wednesday’s column.
Bob Scudder will lead the Upland Christmas Parade this Saturday as its grand marshal. He’s 101, lives independently, manages properties and drives. In the parade he’ll concentrate on waving. I interview the surprisingly with-it Scudder for my Wednesday column.
Hokey smoke! Bullwinkle’s is near to reopening its amusement park in Upland under the original owners. I preview the plans in my Wednesday column. Don’t let it fall into enemy hands!
For my Christmas Day column, I write one of our Holiday Heroes stories about a local do-gooder. In this case, it’s Linda Trawnik, a force in downtown Upland who is largely responsible for the holiday decorations and music there, and whose food deliveries this year have helped many. (She also willingly suffers the headache of running a community Facebook page.)
The saga of downtown Upland’s Big U sign, a column topic in May, is revisited with more, y’know, facts and dates and such, including a couple of startling photos, in my Dec. 6 column.
In the middle of a pandemic, Lucky’s Coffee Roasters in downtown Upland tries its luck at a former Starbucks location in Claremont (665 E. Foothill Blvd.) that closed in March. The popular shop has done well in Upland despite coronavirus. I wrote about the Starbucks, now I write about Lucky’s in Friday’s column.
Trevor the T. rex, a 9-foot plastic Tyrannosaurus skeleton in an Upland homeowner’s front yard, was felled by a vandal or would-be thief, but this community mascot is back in one piece. My Sunday column is about a homeowner’s goofy gesture that has helped Upland have fun during coronavirus.
In Sunday’s column, I write an obituary of sorts for the beloved family entertainment center in Upland that was most recently Boomers and originally the Upland Family Fun Center but best recalled as Bullwinkle’s.
I was sorry to learn over the weekend that actor Fred Willard had died. He was a favorite of mine just as he was probably a favorite of yours. He performed a bunch of times at the Grove Theatre in Upland, of all places, where I once met him, and where some of you may have seen him and even met him. I write about him in Wednesday’s column.
As for the photo, the Grove was going to send me one but didn’t (sigh), and I wanted something more than just a generic wire-service portrait of him. So I clipped a portion of his obituary from our print edition, which had a thumbnail mug of him, and drove to the Grove for one of my specialties, holding up a photo in front of a building for a combo photo.
The sun shone through the thin paper, though. Improvising, I folded up the clipping to include only his face and name, the extra layers of newsprint behind serving to block the sun. Nice. The resulting photo is a little odd, but I’m hoping pleasantly so. Kind of like Willard himself.
Have you ever seen downtown Upland’s 40-foot pole, and if you have, have you wondered why it’s there? The historical record is scant, but I do what I can to piece together the slightly silly story, which includes a feature that fell off in a long-ago windstorm, in Friday’s column.