More than 50 food trucks will roll into Ontario on June 18 for the inaugural Inland Empire Food Truck Fest at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Here’s the list:

Grilled Cheese Truck



White Rabbit



My Kabob Express

Fish Truck 



Greasy Wiener


Greek Gourmet ToGo

Piaggio Gourmet On Wheels




Sushi Van


Boba Truck

Meet N’ Potatoes

Chomp Chomp


Curbside Cravings


Mandoline Grill

Twist Burgers



Che’s Argentine Cuisine

Jodas Kitchen

Tropical Shave Ice




India Jones

Short Rib Taco

Tango Mango

Organic Oasis



Waffles de Liege


Longboards Ice Cream

Lime Truck

Chow Tacos

No Tomatoes


Balls On Tires

Suite 106 Cupcakery

Stella Pierre’s Gourmet Grub

So Hungry

Slammin’ Sliders

Valentino’s Pizza Truck




I worry about the youth of today who will become the leaders of tomorrow.

Most of them, anyway.

But I don’t worry about the kids at Lankershim Elementary School in San Bernardino. They are in good hands.

Gail Shaw is coordinator there of the most awesome career awareness program ever. It’s not just a Career Day, like most schools put on. No, it’s called a Career Awareness Week — a whole week, mind you — and it has been held each June for the past 17 years.

This year’s edition began Monday with an assembly program featuring musical entertainment and a pep talk by San Bernardino Councilwoman Virginia Marquez.

The action then moved to the classrooms where a huge cast of local working people has been taking turns all week visiting with students and talking about their jobs. The schedule includes more than 150 presentations, representing an amazing variety of vocations ranging from chaplain to farmer to engineer to restaurant manager to cop to disc jockey to public relations specialist to fire fighter to professional musician and many more.

I took my turn earlier today, speaking to about 60 third-graders about the news business. They asked good questions, and nobody fell asleep.

Who knows, one of them may grow up to be a journalist. Hey, he or she can take over this blog! I’m sure I’ll be blogged out by then. But I’ll be happy to let one of those sharp kids from Lankershim take over.



Robert Plant, the first of the golden-haired rock gods, who fronted Led Zeppelin, has sold a third of a billion albums, is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and the recipient of multiple Grammy Awards, performs June 9 at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in Highland.

Plant is no stranger to San Bernardino County. He has made quirky appearances at one of the smallest venues imaginable, Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, a honkytonk saloon in the desert north of Yucca Valley.

As it turns out, a number of rock ‘n’ rollers have some desert rat in them, and this is one of the places they like to come. Among the faces in the crowd: Eric Burdon, Leon Russell and Johnette Napolitano, lead singer of Concrete Blonde.

Here’s an item on Robert Plant that appeared in February 2006 in Tight But Loose: The Led Zeppelin Magazine (

More on the Robert Plant appearance last week at the small club Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown, near Joshua Tree. Robert had been there the previous evening to see Wanda Jackson perform at the venue, and hearing of the loose jam atmosphere the next night, said he would call in. Sunday night features local friends and musicians who go under the name “Thrift Store All Stars.” The band did their first set and was joined at the end by Robert for a run-though of Elvis “Love Me Tender” and “Fever” and closing the first set with Zeppelin’s “Thank You.” After the band took a break they returned for a second set with Robert again joining them at the end for versions of  “Sea Of Love” and “Money,” after which Robert was handed the “tip jar” to pass amongst the hundred or so audience members. “If I Was A Carpenter” was next for the band, followed by “For What It’s Worth” and “Season Of The Witch,” before finishing off with the gospel song “Oh Happy Days.”

Here’s an item from the April 2011 issue of American Way, a magazine published by American Airlines:

About 125 miles east of Los Angeles and 32 miles north of Palm Springs, Calif., there is a cinematic mirage. Here, on the desert floor among the tumbleweeds and Joshua trees, lies an Old West-style town straight out of “Little House on the Prairie.” But one thing is not a hallucination: That long, curly mane of untamed locks that’s slinging sweat onstage at the tiny, little-known roadhouse in the center of “town” does indeed belong to Robert Plant. And, yes, he really is spitting out Zeppelin tunes for a mixed crowd of leather-clad bikers, urban hipsters and cane-wielding retirees.

It’s just another typical night at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace. Pappy & Harriet’s mythological evolution from a film set “cantina” in the 1940s and ’50s to an outlaw biker burrito bar called Cantina in the ’70s to the Tex-Mex-flavored Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace during the ’80s might be the stuff of Hollywood legend. But thanks to its latest owners, two ex-New Yorkers from film and music backgrounds, its rising status over the last few years as an intimate, cult-classic venue where some of the world’s most recognizable musicians forget they’re famous and kick back and relax among fans and Santa Maria-style barbecue is approaching mythological.

On any given weekend night in Pioneertown (the town is best known as the backdrop for classic Western flicks and TV shows like the 1950s “The Cisco Kid”), you can stroll into Pappy & Harriet’s for some ‘cue and a cocktail, and perhaps sit by the fire chatting with the likes of Plant, the Arctic Monkeys, Billy Corgan (of Smashing Pumpkins) or Victoria Williams. All without the crowds, bodyguards or Ticketmaster. 53688 Pioneertown Road, 760-365-5956,


In my June 8 print column I vowed not to miss the Robert Plant concert at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino. It would be the Second Biggest Mistake of My Life, I said. It would be almost as bad, I said, as the Biggest Mistake of My Life, which was missing the Rolling Stones in San Bernardino, way back when. It’s a story I’ve told before, as seen here in a column of mine first published in November 2005. Please remember, as you read it, that it’s a six-year-old column. The Rolling Stones are not really appearing “tonight” at the Hollywood Bowl. But they were in 2005, when this column first appeared:

The British Invasion of the I.E.

   I’m heading to the Hollywood Bowl tonight to see the Rolling

   They probably won’t remember me.

   I sure remember them, though, and how they managed to gain a
prominent, permanent place in the pop history of San

   On the night of June 5, 1964, the Stones began their
first-ever tour of the United States with a performance at San
Bernardino’s Swing Auditorium.

   That’s right, their American debut took place right here in
the Inland Empire. Local promoter Bob Lewis had tried gamely,
but unsuccessfully, to book the Beatles for a San Bernardino
date. His negotiations were with a New York booking agency,
which offered him the Stones instead. He accepted the
consolation prize.

   I vividly remember the day of the concert. San Bernardino
radio station KMEN, sponsor of the event, hyped the Stones all
afternoon as “British bad boys” and “the ugliest band in

   Tickets for the concert, which co-starred the Byrds, were
$5. As it turned out, a less-than-capacity crowd of 3,500 fans
showed up at the Swing, but they were enthusiastic. They rushed
the stage four times as the Stones performed a set of 10 songs,
including the local audience favorite, “Route 66.”

   For me personally, the most amazing thing about the concert,
as I look back on it, is that I wasn’t there. True, I was only
15 at the time, and I had no wheels. Still, I should have been
in that crowd.

   Let me tell you why, and it’s a secret about me that few
know. I was president of the official Loma Linda chapter of the
Rolling Stones Fan Club, probably one of the first chapters in

   I had bought the debut Stones album, “England’s Newest Hit
Makers The Rolling Stones,” the day it came out in April 1964,
two months prior to the band’s appearance in San Bernardino.

   I had responded immediately to an offer, included with the
album, to start a fan club chapter. Soon I received, from
England, a kit that included stickers, posters, flyers and a
proclamation duly authorizing me to form a chapter.

   Which I did. I called it the Loma Linda chapter because
that’s where my family lived at the time. And I named myself

   I must confess, the chapter never amounted to much. I didn’t
do anything with the cool stuff I had received, except plaster
it all over my room. I didn’t muster any recruits, or schedule
any meetings or activities.

   In fact, I not only was the president, I was the sole

   And that’s not the only goofy thing I ever did when it comes
to the Rolling Stones. Let me reveal another little-known
secret about myself.

   The Stones returned three times to Swing Auditorium, in
October 1964, May 1965 and July 1966. And I didn’t make it to
any of those shows, either.

   On one occasion, though, I came close.

   My date and I were torn one night, in May 1965, between
going to the Swing to check out the Stones, or going to see the
new James Bond movie, “Thunderball.”

   Bizarrely, we chose “Thunderball.”

   How stupid was that? We could have seen “Thunderball” any
time. How many chances were we going to get to see the Rolling
Stones in San Bernardino?

   For me, none, as it turned out.

   I still look back on that as one of the dumbest decisions I
ever made.

   Hopefully, I’m making up for it tonight. The Stones are on
their umpteenth American tour, and I’m catching them during
their Southern California swing. They were at Angel Stadium on
Friday night, and they’re at Hollywood Bowl tonight and
Tuesday. Later in the week, on Friday, they perform at Petco
Park in San Diego.

   It’s too bad tickets aren’t $5, like in the old days.

   But you know, a lot of things haven’t changed a bit in 41

   Those guys are still the ugliest band in England.

   And to the best of my knowledge, having never officially
relinquished my post, I still am the president of the Loma
Linda chapter of the Rolling Stones Fan Club.


        1. Comedian Robert Orben: “A graduation ceremony is an event where
the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in
identical caps and gowns that ‘individuality’ is the key to success.”

        2. President Theodore Roosevelt: “A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car, but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”

        3. Football coach Vince Lombardi: “If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.”

        4. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau: “Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated.”
       5. Comedian Milton Berle: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

       6. Author Oscar Wilde: “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”
       7. Columnist and author Erma Bombeck: “Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries.”

       8. Comedian Woody Allen: “The future holds great opportunities. It also holds pitfalls. The trick will be to avoid the pitfalls, seize the opportunities, and get back home by six o’clock.”
        9. Bandleader Les Brown: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
        10. Author Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”