I’d been wanting to write about John York for at least a year, and probably longer; I first saw him perform in 2007. The longtime local musician was in a famous band, the Byrds, albeit after their hit-making days were past. Finally, he’s the subject of Wednesday’s column in advance of a benefit concert Saturday at the Claremont Forum.
For those paying attention, my apologies for missing the (semi-) weekly Restaurant of the Week feature here last week.
It wasn’t for a lack of restaurant meals: I had notes on three different places. But after three busy workdays Monday to Wednesday, one of them 12 hours long, I ran out of time to write up a restaurant post. Hopefully none of you starved. Yesterday afternoon I spent an hour writing that post, so we are good to go for Thursday.
Meanwhile, I finished only one (but long and complicated!) book last month and am nearing the end of a second book started in November that I want to count toward that month. Look for my Reading Log post Monday.
Wait, a column on a Monday? Well, after hearing from three heartbroken readers that the Marie Callender’s in Claremont had closed after 45 years, I stopped by the restaurant Friday morning, thinking that if they’d lost their lease, and that was the last day of the month, that might be the last day I could find someone on the premises.
The owner happened to be there, answered all my questions and posed for a photo. I already had a Sunday column mostly done, which couldn’t wait, and have a column planned for Wednesday. What to do?
So, after filing Sunday’s column Friday and breaking for lunch, I returned to the office and cranked out a Callender’s column, with photo gallery, in a breakneck 90 minutes. Bonus! I wish they were all this easy.
I attended the retirement luncheon for Pomona cop Ron McDonald and got Sunday’s column out of it. Frankly, McDonald is so low-key and had such a let’s-get-this-over-with attitude that I didn’t expect much. But the event was quite nice.
Mary Ann Borer of Pomona competed on “Jeopardy!” five days — days that were scattered throughout this month, by the way. I interview her about her experience, her silly hand gestures and her $88,500 in winnings for Friday’s column.
Above, an Instagram post by John Pena, as seen on Eye on Pomona
One Pomona business owner who considered the arrival of Bird scooters on his property a scourge took matters into his own hands.
John Pena, who owns the Mission Promenade mixed-use center at Mission and Garey, wasn’t happy to see the scooters on his property, where a sign reads “No skateboards, no bikes.” He called the city and learned Bird had no permits.
(The company dropped scooters off around the city overnight Tuesday and then alerted City Hall that it would apply for permission, as my colleague Liset Marquez reported.)
I happened to be sitting by Pena at a luncheon event at the Sheraton on Thursday and he told me about the scooters. He said he had phoned Bird on Wednesday asking that the scooters be removed and the company assured him it would do so. Two hours later, he phoned again and they told him they’d already collected them. No, they hadn’t.
Pena said if the scooters weren’t gone in two hours, he’d throw them in the trash. That got no response either.
He didn’t want to damage them, so no throwing was involved. Instead, he placed the eight scooters upright in the trash enclosure and texted a photo to Bird.
“Guess what? Two hours later, they were gone,” Pena said. “They probably thought I was bluffing, but I wasn’t bluffing. And now this morning they’re gone. So they understood.”
I’d have attended Monday’s Upland City Council meeting simply because council members were set to hire a city manager, and the first woman in the job to boot. But then the anticipated move became controversial because the lame-duck council was doing something so important. I report the results of another contentious, weird and sad Upland council meeting in Wednesday’s column.
This vivid photo of the old Owl Drug Co. in Pomona was posted by Darin Kuna on his fabulous Growing Up in Pomona in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s Facebook page.
The view of the storefront was a landscape photo, so large Darin split it in two. (The man’s sleeve is barely visible above on the right, with his complete figure seen below.) Click on either photo for a bigger view.
As the car is said to be a 1938 Plymouth coupe, the photo may date to that year or thereabouts.
The Rexall store was at 102 E. 2nd St., which I believe was the southeast corner of Garey and 2nd. It’s long gone and that lot is now a parking lot.
In the comments on Facebook, Elizabeth Cole said she remembers the store from childhood and “how beautiful” it was. “When you entered it, it had a tobacco counter, made of polished dark wood, with the smell of all kinds of tobacco and pipes with a person selling it inside,” she wrote.
A mysterious sign on the door advertising “Hot Chemm” was explained by Kenny Soper: “Hot Chemm was a vitamin food drink that was sold at drug store fountains. It was something new around the time this photo was taken.”
Another interesting feature is the ramp visible from the sidewalk into the street, meant, Kuna tells me, to allow pedestrians to cross in wet weather without stepping into a puddle or stream of water. Must have made for an obstacle for cars like that Plymouth trying to pull into traffic.
Also, I asked about the striking building visible in the reflection of the sign next to the word “Co.” See that ornate tower?
That, Kuna says, was the Pomona Implement Co., located on the northwest corner of 3rd and Garey, opposite the Fox on the southwest corner and the Mayfair on the northeast corner. He had a photo of that, too. The towers were sheared off in a later remodel and the building was, alas, torn down in the early 1970s. It’s remained a parking lot — there’s a lot of that going around in this post — for the adjacent bank ever since.
How that’s for a blast of Pomona architectural history?
UPDATE: Soper adds via Facebook: “I don’t know if you are aware of it or not, but the 2nd floor of the Pomona Implement Co. building was the location of the Municipal Court. The entrance to the courtroom was through the stairway on the south side (Third St.), which is behind the tree in your photo. One of the judges was Harry Westgate whose home was on the southwest corner of Lincoln and Washington. It was later the home of Jon Provost.”
More proof that everything is connected, or at least everything I’ve ever written about.
To the question of where my ideas come from, sometimes they come from my nightstand. I was reading my annual Jack Smith book when a local reference therein sparked my curiosity. The result, a few weeks later, is Sunday’s column. Above and below, the covers of Henry Childs’ book, viewed at Chaffey College.
I was on the Chaffey College campus earlier this week, researching a column (coming Sunday), when a new and amusing art piece was pointed out to me. That kicks off Friday’s column, followed by more items for your post-Thanksgiving reading pleasure.