Postcard perfect above Upland

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I was in the northern reaches of Upland on Friday when I decided to eat at Giuseppe’s a little further north in San Antonio Heights. Afterward, at my car, I noticed the church across the street, its white paint and quaint style standing out against the mountain and greenery rising behind it, and had to take a photo.

What sort of church, though: Methodist? Congregational? Nope. A sign identifies it as Elevation of the Holy Cross, Romanian Orthodox Church. Impressive.

Obviously the building predates the current denomination. Nosing around online, I found a copy of the April 2013 issue of the San Antonio Heights community newsletter. It explains that the church began as Community Church in 1906 — although 1916, the date Megan Hutter gives in her “Images of America” history of San Antonio Heights, may be more reliable.

The great-great-grandmother of current resident Barry Turner donated the church to the community. Also, “this was the location of the first stop for trolley cars coming up Euclid Avenue in the early history of San Antonio Heights.”

When the congregation outgrew the building, it served as a chapel and was used for weddings. The building was known as the Chapel of the Wildwood. It was acquired in 2010 by the Romanian Orthodox Church, which was founded in L.A. in 2001. Services apparently began in 2013. They have services Friday nights, Saturday nights and Sunday mornings.

And the church looks lovely 24/7.

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Welcome to San Antonio Heights

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There’s a new welcome sign in San Antonio Heights. It’s at Euclid Avenue and 24th Street, outside the fire station, and as impressed reader Martin Hildreth puts it, the sign gives the corner “presence and impact.” He sent me the above photo and writes:

“Rudy Esparza (Upland) took the photo this morning with the San Antonio Walkers and dogs in force: left to right, Barry Turner (SA Heights), Michael Liu (Ontario), Martin Hildreth (Upland), Stan Dolinski (Upland) and Rusty Cushing (Upland).”

He adds that Supervisor Janet Rutherford is responsible for the sign.

I hope sensitive Heights residents won’t mind that I’ve posted this photo in the “Around Upland” category. After all, the Heights are “around,” i.e., near Upland. Or should I create a new category, “Above Upland”?

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Goodbye, and good riddance, to the Mustang

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A former adult bookstore building was being torn down last Thursday on Central Avenue below Foothill Boulevard in Upland. It was once Mustang Books and Video, a thorn in the side of Upland City Hall and residents. The area was outside city limits for most of its existence. San Bernardino County negotiated the 2010 closure of the store, which had bedeviled them since at least the 1990s. And now, the vacant building is nearly gone. Its black-wrapped pole sign seems to be in mourning.

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Up, up and away, in our beautiful balloon

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My Saturday morning flight in a hot air balloon from Upland’s Cable Airport to the best landing spot we could find in Claremont is the subject of Wednesday’s column. Here are some additional photos. And you can watch a short video from near the end of our flight. Above, I’m hanging on for dear life and we haven’t even left the ground.

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And we’re off! This photo and the one at top are by Christine Canepa.

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Here’s my view of essentially the same scene: a former (?) homeless encampment southwest of Cable.

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Here’s pilot Paul Cheatham with (I think) Pitzer College in the background.

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That’s the Arco station below at Foothill and Claremont Boulevard. We were drifting northwest and hoping for a decent patch on which to land, which we found at Chaparral Park.

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Above, the Eagle has landed. Actually, it’s not the Eagle, it’s the Hummingbird, Cheatham’s name for his smallest balloon. The balloon was deflated and packed away. Thus ends Dave and Paul’s Excellent Adventure.

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Foothill and Mountain, Upland

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These two old-time photos were sent to me by reader Joe Mannella. The one above is said to date from 1946. The future Stinky’s is on the left. The view is looking east on Foothill, or Route 66, with Mountain Avenue beyond the building.

An even older view is below. This is said to be from 1934, looking north on Mountain from Foothill.

These are not the best photos — they’re reproduced the size I got them, if you click on the images for a larger view — and yet they give us latecomers a glimpse of how rural Upland once was. It’s hard to reconcile these views with today’s busy intersection with retail stores, restaurants and gas stations and multiple lanes of traffic.

Thanks, Mr. Mannella.

Upland - Foothill @ Mountain - Looking up Mountain - 1934

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