Last year I wrote about the man who got the DiCenso family recipe for lasagna as a comfort to him as he lay dying of ALS. He died last week. Plus: more items from around the valley, all in Friday’s column.
Reader Yvonne Cheyney writes that on her walk last week in the 1300 block of Upland’s North Quince Avenue, she saw “a beautiful white heron. It was on a neighbor’s lawn, then flew very low across 14th Street and settled on the lawn of a neighbor who has twin palm trees that are over 80 years old. I was very quiet and hid behind one of the palm trees to take pictures.”
Thanks for sending them, Yvonne.
Update: More specifically, this heron is a Great Egret, reader Cliff Hutson informs us. We egret the omission.
An unusual Inland Valley phenomenon of the 1980s was named The Void. I had heard only passing references to it over the years until a description by Kent Crowley in his Foothills Reader history column in 2015 about local Halloween-ish spots. Let me quote him in full (with one interjection).
“Ghost hunters are warned to stay away from the corner that extends from Route 66 north to Base Line Road along Benson Avenue near the Upland/Claremont border” — can you follow that? — “because in the 1980s thrill seekers sought a rumored mysterious ‘void’ on the property that gradually enveloped people in total darkness and unearthly silence. Some say the void was a gateway between dimensions or between the spirit and material worlds.”
Some say, eh? What about the rest of you? Did you ever experience The Void? Have you heard stories about it?
Update: On Facebook, where almost no one had heard of this — not surprisingly, since it can’t possibly exist — one man invoked the alternative name for the phenomena: The Warp Gate. He wrote: “Still there…south of 210 where they’re building new homes. Does that mean the new homeowners will disappear? Lol.”
We’ve written about “the dips” on Base Line/16th Street (and 19th Street too) and other bits of local lore or urban legends beloved by people who were teenagers here at the right time, like the Green Mist in Chino Hills and rumors of a town for little people somewhere in the foothills. Here’s another one: Gravity Hill.
The handiest description I have came from a 2015 letter to me from reader Jerry Terrill of Claremont in which he commented on various historical subjects. Here’s what he had to say:
“This was a narrow isolated street in the north end of Upland, now gone but probably in the area of the dam. In the daytime or at night, the street definitely had an uphill appearance, but if you stopped your car, or got out and put a round object (most often an orange) on the pavement, it (the car or the object) would seemingly roll uphill, countering the gravity. Thus, Gravity Hill. It was some sort of optical illusion caused by the surrounding terrain, but it sure was convincing.”
Shades of the Mystery Spot! Do any of you remember Gravity Hill or have your own stories about it?
Upland’s Second Avenue becomes Candy Cane Lane at Christmastime, and more candy canes are out than in many years thanks to an effort by two families new to the neighborhood who wanted to revive the tradition. Sunday’s column tells the story. Merry Christmas!
Wednesday’s column is a report from Monday night’s Upland City Council meeting, in which Debbie Stone became the city’s first woman mayor and Janice Elliott’s swearing-in as a councilwoman gave the council a female majority.
In Friday’s column, Upland’s fired city manager (with a name that I love to pun with; see headline above) gets a new job that may seem a lot like his old job. Also: five Concert Corner items, two Culture Corner items and a Valley Vignette.
Big doings in Upland, where the City Council embarked Monday on a path that may lead to contracting out for fire protection. I report on that in Wednesday’s column.
Goodbye events took place last Thursday for the mayors of Upland and Chino. The former, for Ray Musser, was at the Carnegie Building. Above, he gets a plaque and is applauded by council members, with his wife, Fern, to the right.
Dennis Yates’ more formal event was at Chino’s Planes of Fame Museum, a unique setting. For the speeches, Yates was sat in a rocking chair, not his usual position of authority, as speakers praised and mocked.
There seems to be a spider problem at 1496 Bibiana Way in Upland, where some 200 of the insects, small and large, are crawling around and hanging from the exterior. It’s been a tradition for Don and Kathy Kane for about 15 years, starting with a single fake-spider purchase at Target at the urging of a 2-year-old grandson.
“It kind of expanded from that point,” Don told me in an understatement. Some have been purchases or gifts, and he’s made many of the spiders himself out of PVC pipe, using reflectors from Pep Boys for the eyes and in some cases styrofoam and even medicine balls for heads and bodies.
I learned about them from reader Susan Winderman, who was at a yard sale nearby and stopped to gape at the house, as others did.
I visited one afternoon and left my business card in the door after fighting my way through the spider-festooned porch to the door. Don called me back the next day, too late for a pre-Halloween column, but not too late for a blog post.
“Some people think they’re real,” he admitted, especially when the breeze makes them move.
He’s seen neighbors out for a walk on his side of the street who will get to the corner, cross to the other side for a half-block, then come back to his side of the street.
“A couple of years ago, we had a fellow work on our refrigerator. He was standing in the front yard when my wife answered the door. He said, ‘There’d better be another way into your house or I’m not coming in.’ Apparently he had arachnophobia.” Kathy let him in through the garage.
Most other people seem to like the spiders. The Kanes have been asked as early as August when the spiders would come out. “People thank us. People appreciate the effort,” Don said.
The spiders went up at the end of September and will come down probably Nov. 5 or so — unless they decide to crawl down on their own. Check ’em out on 15th Street (corner of Bibiana Way) halfway between Benson and Central avenues.