It’s been a while since I presented any literary references to the Inland Valley, but Sunday’s column brings two, plus some Culture Corner items and a Valley Vignette.
I knew about Cal Poly Pomona’s WWII history, as do readers of “Pomona A to Z,” but I didn’t know that some rescued horses from Poland ended up there. Not until a talk earlier this month by writer Elizabeth Letts, that is. I tell the story in Friday’s column.
Ah, Pomona, city of wonders. In a warehouse of the Museum of Neon Art, a neon dragon sign that used to perch above the marquee of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is being restored. I visit to watch two craftsmen at work and hear about the project, for Wednesday’s column.
A few hundred people gathered Saturday night at Claremont’s Bixby Plaza to watch a replica microbus (made of papier-mache) burn as part of Pomona College’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA art show.
The bus was pulled into place, then fireworks began going off at ground level. Recorded sounds of gunfire, breaking glass and shouted Spanish were played, the better to replicate the chaos of drug cartel violence in Mexico. It was eerie and slightly disturbing.
At the end, the “It’s a Small World After All” song played, perhaps to puncture the tension, perhaps to remind us that such scenes take place in our hemisphere, or perhaps to stick that song in our heads and drive us up the wall. (I was still catching myself humming it the next day.)
The bus was largely still intact, which I don’t think was the plan. We were all directed to repair to Frary Dining Hall for refreshments and a look at the “Prometheus” mural. When we left Frary, the bus was down to a skeletal frame. Hmm, what did we miss?
There’s an electronic billboard along the 10 at Mountain Avenue, as motorists have discovered this past week. Blight or bright? I report, you decide, to quote a phrase. Also: reports from author events in Claremont for Hilton Als and Chris Matthews, a Culture Corner of events taking place today, and more, all in Sunday’s column.
I took in the buzzed-about opera version of “The War of the Worlds,” which used parking lots, air raid sirens and Disney Hall in an unusual, fun production at multiple sites. I write about it in Friday’s column. Watch the skies!
Bert and Rocky’s Cream Co., 242 Yale Ave. (at Bonita), Claremont; open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Ice cream and candy shop Bert and Rocky’s started in Upland in 1989 and expanded to Claremont in the late 1990s; the Upland location, by the high school, has closed, leaving the Claremont shop as the mainstay.
It’s a popular spot with a lot of foot traffic, great homemade ice cream and a community-oriented outlook with school fund-raisers and the like.
I’ve gone to Bert and Rocky’s since its Village location opened — not frequently, but probably once a year. It wasn’t until meeting a friend there during October’s heat wave that it occurred to me to make it a Restaurant of the Week.
They’ve got a couple dozen ice cream flavors, plus sorbet and other non-dairy permutations, at any given time, available as cones (their waffle cones are housemade), dishes, sundaes, banana splits, freezes and milkshakes.
I went for Butterfingers and cream in my go-to size, junior scoop ($3.45). Seems plenty big to me.
Bert and Rocky’s also has fudge, bark, caramel apples, chocolate-dipped items, scooped candy and nostalgic packaged candy like Necco wafers. There are a few tables, a bar, some outdoor chairs and, on most afternoons, a crush of customers — but also a friendly and patient staff.
You may be at least marginally aware of the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA art exhibits scattered around Southern California. I visited the eight shows in our area, in Pomona, Claremont and Riverside, and wrote capsule summaries for Wednesday’s column. This weekend brings free admission (although many venues are free anyway) and special events to the IE-area spots, so it’s timely.
(To be candid, I’m guessing this column will get fewer clicks than normal while requiring more time and mileage out of me than normal. But it seemed worth doing, so I did it anyway.)
The old Pomona YMCA was part of the Home Tour Nov. 5, and I was there. Here are a few photos. The one above was shot a few days before from inside the American Museum of Ceramic Art, directly across from the Y. Handsome building, isn’t it?
The Y was bought for $2.65 million by the Spectra Co., a Pomona-based builder that specializes in historic preservation, and which plans to give the 1922 building a badly needed renovation before using it as its headquarters. Work has begun and original details that have been long buried are coming to light.
Inside, we were told that this neat white hexagonal tile was revealed in spots where a later layer of flooring was removed.
Above, a view of the basketball court. Note the elevated area on three sides…
That elevated area above the basketball court is a running track with, how fancy, banked turns. This is a view from above of both.
The basement pool is where generations of Pomona kids learned to swim.
Best. Cornerstone. Ever.
Not strictly speaking a historic detail, but this signs in a recreation room are wonderful. Unlike the Village People song, apparently you couldn’t “do whatever you feel.”