My friend Steve Portias, a San Bernardino lifer, has started work on a list of old restaurants, bars, markets and other businesses that were the popular hangouts of San Bernardino and environs back in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. It’s a work in progress, and Steve welcomes suggestions. Contact him at buffaloportias@aol.com.

Here’s his list so far …

Price Club
B&G Market
Coffees Market
Dodsons Auto Parts
Wilson’s Gun World
Gene’s Trading Post
Peebles Coins
Lazar Cadillac
Millers War Surplus
Bobby McGees
Temple Theater
Gateway Auto Parts
Cullen’s TV & Appliances
Dick Gray’s Bar
Betty & Bert’s Market
George’s Home Center
McFarlane’s Boat and Marine
Georges Smorgasbord
Price Rambler
Rose Auto Parts
Bob’s Auto Upholstery
Canada Dry Bottling Company
Mother Goose Shoes
Braviroff’s Music
Bob Brown Muffler
Evans Seat Covers
Victoria Guernsey Dairy
Colton Dairy
House of Lords Men’s Wear
Christensen Ice Cream
Squires Lumber
Stembridge Hardware
Albright Chain Link Fences
Larson’s Drug Store
Tri-City Concrete
Richards Beauty College
Norton Battery’s
Bill Bader Chevy
Friendly Chevy
L.J. Show Ford
Casey’s Portable Toilet Service
Farrington Tires
Little Mountain Tire Service
Lazio’s Sporting Goods
Skinners Restaurant
Royal Tahitian Restaurant
Ole’s Home Repairs
Precision Dyno Tuning
Home Base
Legion Caf
Big M Drive In
Santa Fe Caf
Cadillac Motel
Ivy Motel
Norton Pet Shop
Cozy Corner Bar
Pirate’s Den
L&J Liquor
San Franciscan Restaurant
Little Kitchen
J&L Machine
Dale’s Modern Cycle
Zulch Auto Works
Pail O’Chicken
Maria’s Cafe
Uncle John’s Pancake House
Rose Auto Wrecking
Merrill Auto Wreaking
Becker’s Auto Wrecking
Midnight Auto Wrecking
Wilson Auto Parts
Burn’s Automotive
Ace Radiator
Green Onion
Hudson Gas Station
Astro Gas Station
Johnny’s Steak House
Penguins Frozen Yogurt
Home Lumber
Suverkrup Lumber
Tik Tok Restaurant
Harry’s Schwinn Bikes
Pup & Taco
Coop’s Coin Store
Payne’s Corner Coins
Al’s Coin Store
Papa Joe’s Bar
Lang’s Men Wear
Lopez Studio
Muntz Stereo
Naugle’s Drive In
Van Wyk’s Volkswagen
Food Bank
Mayfair Markets
Paul’s Markets
Market Spot
Boys Market
Viva Markets
Smith’s Super Markets
Shopping Bag
Highland Farms Market
Norton Air Base Commissary
Boulevard Market
Cunningham Drugs
ABC Flowers
Currie’s Flowers
Eastside Maple Shop
Bill Logue Hi-Fi Stereophonic
Mercy Ambulance Service
Courtesy Medical Service
Arden Ice Cream
Foster Freeze
Dill Lumber
Engleman’s Men’s Wear
D&M Office Equipment
San Bernardino Camera
Western Surgical
Phillips Truck Rentals
Wrights Tire Service
House of Plastics
Arrowhead Blind Company
San Bernardino Wrestling Arena
Arrowhead Tire & Battery
Sierra Equipment Rentals
E&E Tux Rentals
Stuart Auto Parts
Jerry Berman Auto Sales
Home Lumber
Swiss Dairy
Harris’ Department Store
Ellis Ford
White Front Department Store
A.B.C. Department Stores
F.O.R.E. Department Stores
Kinney’s Shoes
Robert Halls Men’s Store
Black’s for Men
Lerner’s Woman’s Clothing
Janet’s Dress Shop
 Sammy’s Bar
Aquarius Night Club
Eros & Bogarts
Monkey’s Hide Out
The Market Night Club
Swing Auditorium
C.C. Cinnamon Cinder Night Club
Municipal Auditorium
Kaiser Dome
Ski-Land, Colton
Indigo Room
Players Night Club
Cowboy Saloon
Cop Out Night Club
Candy Legs Night Club
Ken’s Corner
Mt.Way Club
Pit Stop
Booby Trap Night Club
Torrid Zone Night Club
California Hotel
Ritz Theater
West Coast Theater
Studio Theater
Pussy Cat Theater
Baseline Drive In
Mt. Vernon Drive In, San Bernardino
Bing’s Cathay Inn
Golden Bull
Hot Dog In A Box
Queen’s Grinders
Traders Island Restaurant
Gourmet Restaurant
Heywood’s Ice Cream
La Paloma Mexican Food
Foxy’s Restaurant
Angels Home Supplies
Builders Emporium
Standard Brands Paint & Supplies
Blair’s Toy Store
Pratt Brothers Sporting Goods
Lyle’s Record City
San Bernardino Racing Equipment
Mt.Vernon Speed Shop
J&M Speed Center
Brent’s Dyno Tuning
Denvers Choppers
San-Hi Bowling Alley
Barbara Ann Bakery
Recap Cheater Slicks (Tires)
Jack Coyle Chevy
Mission Pontiac
Center Chevy
Brown Cadillac
Garner Ford
DeRoque Buick
Bob Wickett Chrysler
Bill Ellis Ford
L.J. Snow Ford
Roger Harmon Mercury
Floyd Brown Rambler
Winston Head Sales
Downtown Auto Parts
Strout’s Automotive
M&M Garage
Gene’s Brakes
Sure-Fit Auto Upholstery
Reliable Auto Wrecking
American Auto Wreaking
Richard’s Beauty College
Citrus Belt Bowling
National Dry Ice
Lindsey Blocks and Bricks
B&B Equipment Rental
McOmie Pharmacy
Royal Chrysler
Holiday Olds
American Rambler
Dales’ T.V. Repair
ARA Car Air Conditioning


Here’s the back story on my composition of the song parody, “(Take a Spin on) State Route 210,” along with the 2007 column in which it first appeared. To hear an audio-only version of the song with guitar accompaniment, go to http://www.sbsun.com/ci_6200128?IADID=Search-www.sbsun.com-www.sbsun.com and click on the “Audio” option under the headline. To view a video version, in which I sing the song without accompaniment, go to the San Bernardino Public Library’s website, sbpl.org, click on “California of the Past,” then “State Route 210.”

Imagine a day, and it will come sooner rather than later, when the 210 is just as famous as Route 66.

It will be an icon, a pop culture fixture, a treasured portion of our shared American lore and legend.

That’s what happens to roads when they come to the Inland Empire. We know how to treat them right. We know how to celebrate them properly.

One example: Our Hwy. 18, which traverses the San Bernardino Mountains, might have been just another mountain road. But no, we gave it a fancy name — Rim of the World — and we took steps to have it designated, by the United States Federal Highway Administration, as one of America’s Scenic Byways.

Another example: Interstate 10 crosses all of Southern California, from the Arizona border in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west. But we have claimed such an ownership of it, here in the Inland Empire, that for most of its length, even into the very heart of Los Angeles, it is known as the San Bernardino Freeway.

A third example: Route 66 is famous from end to end, and that’s a 2,000-mile stretch from Chicago to Santa Monica. But where is the big celebration of Route 66 held each year? A celebration that draws a half million visitors from around the world?

That’s right, the Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous is held in downtown San Bernardino, in the heart of the Inland Empire. This year’s edition starts Sept. 15. And where else but in San Bernardino County are there three — count them, three — Route 66 museums to be found? We have the Route 66 Museum in San Bernardino, the California Route 66 Museum in Victorville and the Route 66 Mother Road Museum in Barstow.

So, now that the last link of State Route 210 is in place, and the Foothill Freeway has finally and fully arrived in the Inland Empire, its fame is assured.

This road is going to get the star treatment.

One day there will be a Stater Bros. Foothill Freeway Festival that will rival the Rendezvous in size. Cruisers will line the road from where the 210 enters San Bernardino County in Upland to where it completes its journey in Redlands.

People will wear Foothill Freeway t-shirts and buy State Route 210 souvenirs. They’ll plaster their cars with State Route 210 decals and bumper stickers.

The festival will last just a weekend or two, but the Foothill Freeway will draw visitors year-round. Hotels will spring up along the highway. Restaurants will advertise “Foothill Freeway” specials. Tourists will flock to such roadside attractions as the Maloof Historical Residence and Gardens in Alta Loma, Fontana’s Miracle Mile, the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in San Bernardino, and the Citrus Plaza in Redlands.

Many more attractions will spring up. And the Foothill Freeway’s legend will continue to grow.
State Route 210 highway signs will become pop culture icons.

There will be dozens of State Route 210 guide books, State Route 210 history books, and even State Route 210 recipe books featuring the 210’s fabled roadside diners.
There will be a buddy-cop TV show called “Foothill Freeway.”

And, of course, there will be a song, an anthem, known and sung throughout the world.
It will be a little ditty that goes something like this, sung to the tune of  “Route 66″:

If you feel like a foothill cruise,
There’s only one that you can choose.
Take a spin on State Route 210.

Well, it stretches from Sylmar to Redlands,
A hundred miles of easy curves and bends.
Take a spin on State Route 210.

Well, you hit La Crescenta, then La Canada,
Pretty soon you’re parading through old Pasadena,
You’ll churn through LaVerne, and Upland, and then Ontario,
Rancho Cucamonga, don’t forget Fontana,
Rialto, Muscoy, San Bernardino.

You should take advantage of these clues,
If you choose to make that foothill cruise.
Take a spin on State Route 210,
Take a spin on State Route 210,
Yeah, take a spin on State Route 210. 


An aspiring songwriter named Bobby Troup arrived in L.A. in 1946 after a long drive west on Route 66. It didn’t take him long to hit it big. During his road trip he had written a tune called “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.” Nat King Cole heard it, liked it, and turned it into a national hit that same year.

The song mentions San Bernardino by name, and that’s just one of the interesting connections between the city and Bobby Troup.

In the 1950s he met Julie London, an aspiring singer who had grown up in San Bernardino. In 1955 he produced her first hit, “Cry Me a River,” and they married in 1959. The marriage lasted for 40 years.

London, who became one of the most famous torch singers of her era, died in 2000, one year after her husband.

Here are the lyrics of Bobby Troup’s classic song, as recorded in 1946 by Nat King Cole:

“(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66″

If you ever plan to motor West,
Travel my way, take the highway that’s the best.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

It winds from Chicago to L.A.,
More than 2,000 miles all the way.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Now you go through St. Louie, Joplin, Missouri,
And Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty.
You see Amarillo, and Gallup, New Mexico,
Flagstaff, Arizona, don’t forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernandino.

Won’t you get hip to this timely tip:
When you make that California trip,
Get your kicks on Route 66,
Get your kicks on Route 66,
Get your kicks on Route 66.


Here’s a Top 10 list, culled from delish.com and other online sources, of weird foods actually served at county fairs throughout the USA:

  • KOOL-AID PICKLES: Dill pickle chunks soaked in various flavors of Kool-Aid.

  • MEALWORM COVERED CARAMEL APPLES: Only the brave-hearted ever will know if it tastes any better than it looks. It looks pretty dreadful.

  • DEEP-FRIED JELLY BEANS: Buy ’em by the bag.

  • DEEP-FRIED STICK OF BUTTER: A variation is called Deep-Fried Butter Balls.

  • PYTHON KEBABS: That’s right, roasted snake on a stick. Seriously.

  • DEEP-FRIED SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS: Actually, it’s only one large meatball, with spaghetti bits mixed in, dipped in batter and fried.

  • A CHEESEBURGER WITH FRIED ICE CREAM: It’s a cheeseburger that includes a thick wedge of batter-fried ice cream. Better ask for extra napkins.

  • FRIED BEER: Pretzel-dough pockets are filled with beer, sealed, then deep-fried.

  • KRISPY KREME CHICKEN SANDWICH: Think chicken sandwich in a bun, only the bun is a doughnut.  And then the whole thing is batter-dipped and deep-fried.

  • FRIED COCA-COLA: Coke-flavored batter blobs are deep-fried then garnished with Coke syrup, whipped cream and cinnamon sugar.


The 1960s turned out to be a momentous decade in
San Bernardino. A lot of important things happened. In 1961 Ray Kroc
bought out the McDonald brothers and proceeded to turn their San
Bernardino burger stand into the world’s largest restaurant chain. In
1962 Bill and Vonette Bright established the world headquarters of their
growing Campus Crusade for Christ organization at San Bernardino’s old
Arrowhead Springs Hotel. In 1964 the Rolling Stones performed their
first American concert at the Swing Auditorium, on the grounds of the
National Orange Show, further establishing San Bernardino as a major pop
music venue.

And in 1965 Cal State San Bernardino opened in time for the fall
semester that year. Total enrollment at the new college was 293

Today we look back, and the original McDonald’s is long gone,
and Campus Crusade moved to Florida almost 20 years ago, and Swing
Auditorium was demolished almost 30 years ago. But Cal State San
Bernardino is going strong. For most of its almost half a century of existence, it has been the
fastest growing campus in the Cal State system. Enrollment has reached
17,000. The institution has produced more than 65,000 graduates.

The whole proud history of Cal State San Bernardino is
outlined in remarkable detail in a definitive new book, “The Coyote
Chronicles,” by my friend Michael Burgess, retired longtime librarian at
the university. He spent five years on the


project, producing a text of more than 600 pages.

“The Coyote Chronicles,” which draws its name from the university
mascot, belongs on the shelves of anyone and everyone who has an
interest in local history and education.

The cover photograph, a spectacular aerial shot of the entire
campus backed by the snow-capped San Bernardino Mountains, is itself
worth the cost of the book.

Burgess, who lives in San Bernardino, is exactly the right
person to have compiled this epic, and not just because of his 40-year
connection with the school. He also is a prodigious creator of wonderful
books. Writing under his own name or his pen name, Robert Reginald, he
has authored more than 100 titles, both nonfiction and fiction.

Here’s his mission statement for the latest: “I wanted to
compile a chronological record of what has happened here at Cal State SB
– of the great and small things and all the people who together have
made this institution something worth remembering and worth

Burgess starts the clock on Cal State’s history in the year
1960 – on April 29, to be exact – when California Gov. Edmund G. “Pat”
Brown signed the state senate bill that authorized the establishment of
the campus on a 450-acre site in the northwest foothills of San

Among the literally thousands of other key dates chronicled in the book:

Feb. 7, 1962 – John M. Pfau is named first president. During
construction of the campus he maintains an office in downtown San

Oct. 5, 1965 – Classes begin.

June 16, 1973 – The campus awards its first master’s degree.

Nov. 1, 1982 – Anthony H. Evans takes office as Cal State San Bernardino’s second president.

July 23, 1984 – The institution, originally named California
State College, San Bernardino, is promoted and renamed California State
University, San Bernardino.

Sept. 22, 1984 – The campus participates in its first NCAA intercollegiate athletic contest.

Aug. 16, 1997 – Albert K. Karnig becomes the third president, an office he still holds.

June 17, 2002 – The institution establishes an auxililary campus in Palm Desert.

Sept. 1, 2007 – Cal State San Bernardino begins offering its first doctoral degrees.

“The Coyote Chronicles: A Chronological History of California
State University, San Bernardino, 1960-2010″ by Michael Burgess (Borgo
Press, 2010, $24.99 paperback, $49.99 hardcover) is available from
online booksellers and at the excellent Coyote Bookstore on campus.


When last we met up with the Phantom Detective, he was serving up rough
justice in Redlands, Colton, San Bernardino and other locales in the
Inland Empire.

The action unfolded in “The Phantom’s Phantom,” a 2007 novel by
Robert Reginald, the pen name of Michael Burgess, who is librarian
emeritus at Cal State San Bernardino and a longtime friend of mine.

Now the Phantom Detective is back in a follow-up novel titled
“The Nasty Gnomes.” The story opens in Redlands, but the setting shifts
to New York City, where our hero is summoned to deal with a wave of
pint-sized troublemakers who spill out of the city’s sewers.

“This story is considerably darker, so I wanted a grittier
setting,” Burgess told me. “You can’t get any grittier than New York.”

Burgess is author of many novels and more than 100 works of
nonfiction, biography, bibliography and literary criticism. His latest
book is a sequel to a sequel of sorts.

The original Phantom Detective was the fictional hero of a
series of pulp mystery novels that were all the rage starting in the
1930s, before Burgess was born.

The Phantom Detective series (Thrilling Publications,
1933-1953) included 170 titles written by various writers, usually under
the pen name Robert Wallace. The tales, with outlandish


like “Servants of Satan” and “The Black Ball of Death,” chronicled the
exploits of Richard Curtis Van Loan, a wealthy New York socialite by day
and masked crimefighter by night.

Now Burgess has revived the character, penning the first Phantom
Detective novels in more than a half-century. In his first, “The
Phantom’s Phantom,” set in the year 1953, Van Loan has retired, but he
is called back to active duty when his mentor meets an untimely end in

Van Loan not only solves the crime but falls in love with the
Inland Empire. He decides to stay and re-establish his detective agency

In the new novel, though, Van Loan is compelled to return to
New York to battle the mysterious Nasty Gnomes who are terrorizing the
city. The tiny bad guys even kidnap Van Loan’s father-in-law, the former
police commissioner.

Burgess tells me he already is at work on a third Phantom
title, “The Zero Zombies,” and local readers can rejoice. The action,
Burgess says, will return “at least partly” to the Inland Empire.

Meanwhile, “The Nasty Gnomes” (Wildside Press, $15) can be
ordered at local bookstores or from online booksellers including


He’s a man of the world. He’s seen it all.

Done it all.

Finally, though, he discovers the one place on Earth that
speaks to his soul, and he knows immediately that this is where he will
settle down.

Ahhh, the Inland Empire.

“It was another glorious, gorgeous day in Southern California,
with a light Santa Ana breeze blowing down from the San Bernardino
Mountains, warming everything with its arid, zephyr-like breath. When we
stepped outside, the fresh air and the bright sunshine boosted both our
energy and our spirits.”

Meet the Phantom Detective. He’s the fictional hero of a
series of pulp mystery stories that were all the rage in the ’30s, ’40s
and ’50s.

Now, he’s back. He makes his return in “The Phantom’s Phantom,” the first Phantom Detective novel in more than 50 years.

The story is set almost entirely in San Bernardino, Colton and Redlands.

The setting, it turns out, is no mystery. The author of “The
Phantom’s Phantom” is Robert Reginald, the pen name of Michael Burgess,
longtime San Bernardino resident and librarian emeritus at Cal State San

“I picked the Inland Empire as the setting for the book,”
Burgess said, “both because that’s what I know and could easily
research, and also because most of the original pulp detectives operated
within an Eastern metropolitan environment: dank, dark, dirty and
rather depressing. I thought the sunnier environment of Southern


provided a nice counterpoint to the story and its characters.”

Burgess is to the writing game what the Phantom Detective is to the sleuthing game: a pro’s pro.

“The Phantom’s Phantom” is his 112th published book, and he
has many others in the works. He also is the author of 13,000 short

His canon includes the “Nova Europa” fantasy trilogy, the
“Invasion!” science fiction trilogy and many other novels, as well as
works of nonfiction, biography, bibliography and literary criticism.

How he came to inherit the Phantom Detective franchise is itself a worthy tale.

“In the fall of 2005,” he said, “I had a series of
conversations with John Betancourt, publisher of Wildside Press,
regarding the line of pulp novel reprints they’d recently started. This
particular program was going well for them, and he was receptive to my
idea of penning an original continuation of one of the series. He
suggested the Phantom Detective. I wrote a brief proposal, which he

The original Phantom Detective series (Thrilling Publications,
1933-1953) included 170 titles written by various authors, usually
under the pen name Robert Wallace. The tales, with sensational titles
like “Servants of Satan” and “The Black Ball of Death,” chronicled the
fictional adventures of Richard Curtis Van Loan, a wealthy New York
socialite by day and a masked crimefighter by night.

In the new book, set in 1953, Van Loan has retired, but he is
summoned back into action when his longtime friend and mentor, Frank
Havens, meets an untimely end in Redlands.

Van Loan travels cross-country to the Inland Empire, where he
proceeds not only to solve the crime, but to fall in love with the

“I was really enjoying the balmy climate and the clear air of
Southern California,” Van Loan says, as the story nears its end. “I
could see that this area would be the next logical development of the
huge metropolis that was being created by the expansion of Los Angeles
out into the suburbs. The land here was very cheap now, but it wouldn’t
stay that way. A few judicious investments during the next few years
would pay dividends for decades to come, and would be more than
sufficient to establish The Phantom Detective Agency as a going concern
into the indefinite future.”

Oh, yes, there is “sequel” written all over this book. In
fact, Burgess already is banging out the first of them (working title:
“The Gnasty Gnomes”).

“The Phantom’s Phantom” (Wildside Press, $15), available
through Amazon.com and other booksellers, is a wildly entertaining romp
of a read. There are thrills, chills and chuckles, too.

It’s especially fun for Inland Empire readers. Every page is splashed with vintage local color.

The old Arrowhead Springs Hotel, the San Bernardino County
Court House, area rail stations and landmark restaurants are all on the
tour. We visit a mid-century Redlands mansion, a nudist colony in the
Cajon Pass and even a whorehouse on San Bernardino’s D Street.

We also meet no end of oddball characters, including one fellow who claims to be Emperor of the Inland Empire.

Oddball, indeed.


When the apocalypse comes, we might as well get a good seat.

That’s what happens in “Invasion!,” a new one-volume trilogy of
novels that modernizes and continues the H.G. Wells science-fiction
classic, “War of the Worlds.”

Much of the early action in “Invasion!” takes place in the
Inland Empire. Martian spacecraft land throughout the region. Cal State
San Bernardino is reduced to rubble. Palmdale and Victorville are
attacked. March Air Reserve Base is annihilated. Lake Elsinore is
blanketed with poison gas.

Yes, the Inland Empire is hit hard.

For this we can thank the author, Robert Reginald, whose real
name is Michael Burgess. He’s retired librarian emeritus at Cal State San
Bernardino and a longtime resident of the city.

The Inland Empire has appeared previously in his fiction, and
will do so again, the author says. “I think there’s a lot to
be said about the Inland Empire and the people who live here and the
places in which they dwell. The juxtaposition of very rich and very
poor, of beauty and blight, of diversity of all sorts, of gangland’s
doom and unending boom.”

He adds, with a laugh, “One could even wax poetic, if one had enough wax.”

Don’t let him kid you. This guy has plenty of wax. He’s the
author of more than 120 other books. He is founder of
Borgo Press and an editor for Wildside Press.

“Invasion!,” published by Underwood Books, is his bold reimagining of “War of the



The 500-page trilogy begins with “War of Two Worlds,” which
updates the classic story of mankind’s valiant battle against Martian
invaders. The setting now is present-day California.

The saga continues with “Operation Crimson Storm,” in which
Earth carries the battle to Mars, then culminates with “The Martians
Strike Back!,” in which the battle rages on both worlds, and other
worlds, and takes a turn toward discovery of a new way for
interplanetary beings to co-exist.

But will they choose life?

Or will they choose death?

The Inland Empire not only serves as an important staging
ground for key early battles in “Invasion!,” but continues to reappear
throughout the epic saga.

The main hero, Alex Smith, is an academic who lives in the Bay Area, also a target of the Martians’ opening onslaught.

His younger brother, Stephen Smith, is an intern at Loma Linda
University Medical Center, and is an eyewitness to the attack on
Southern California, centered in the Inland Empire.

As the situation worsens, he flees with his future wife Cassie
and her daughter Erie toward the coast, driving on back roads through
the Moreno Valley. Eventually, after much peril, they find safe passage
on an evacuation ship as the Southland is demolished behind them.

Years later, they are able to return as the region recovers.
Stephen becomes a cardiologist. He and Cassie have children. Erie grows
up and starts her own family in Yucaipa.

Eventually, though, renewed fighting forces Smith and his
family to flee again, this time north, where they become pivotal players
in the story’s dramatic conclusion.

“Invasion!” (Underwood Books, $14.95) can be ordered at local bookstores or from online booksellers, including Amazon.com.


   I think it was the busted toilet someone had discarded on
the shoulder of Arrowhead Avenue, right under the sign that
reads, “Keep San Bernardino Beautiful.”

   Or maybe it was the half-eaten carton of cottage cheese,
complete with lid and plastic spoon, that someone had tossed on
my lawn. I hate cottage cheese. I had to use a shovel to pick it up.

   Or it could have been the sight, on University Avenue in
Riverside, of a mother tossing her fast-food trash, including
bags, cups, wrappers and napkins, from the driver’s-side window
of her car, then instructing her children to do the same with
their trash, out the passenger windows.

   Maybe it was all three events that got me thinking.

   Should littering be a capital crime?

   Should litterbugs get the death penalty?

   I know it sounds harsh, but honestly, littering is an
abomination. Most murderers, when they kill, show a
contemptuous disregard for one other person. Mass murderers
show a contemptuous disregard for a few people.

   But litterbugs show a contemptuous disregard for everyone.
Their crime is against the whole human race. Their crime is
against planet Earth.

   To them, our beautiful world is nothing more than their
private garbage pail. And they do their best, or rather worst,
to make it seem like a garbage pail for the rest of us.

   It’s one thing for them to choose to live in squalor
themselves, but by their actions they choose that we live in
squalor, too. That is not acceptable.

   Even certain animals cover their waste. Litterbugs are lower
than animals.

   Unfortunately, too many of these defects live in the Inland

   There are too many litterbugs, and too much litter.

   Our freeway ramps are a disgrace. Many of the main streets
of our cities are eyesores. Our rural byways, which should be
scenic, are instead septic.
       Sadly, I do not have supernatural powers. I probably never
will, even when I become Emperor of the Inland Empire.

   If I had such powers, I promise you there would be swift and
fierce retribution against litterbugs.

   I would wave my hand, or wiggle my nose, or whatever one
does when one has supernatural powers, and I would cause all
litterbugs to be magnetic to trash.

   Wherever they went, litter would come flying at them and
would stick like glue to them. They not only would bear the
burden of the weight, the bulk, the stench of this garbage. But
they would be publicly branded by it, disgraced, humiliated.

   Or I would mess with their television sets, so the only thing
they would see on TV is garbage. I don’t mean the garbage that
the programmers put on there. No, I mean the kind of garbage
that is seen in vacant lots and on roadsides. The litterbugs
could use their channel changers until they were blue in the
face, but the only thing they ever would see on their sets is one
unsightly mess after another. The kind of unsightly mess they
leave for us to look at all the time.

  Or maybe I would cause litterbugs to do a little
sleepwalking at night. For a month or so, until they got the
message, they would wake up each morning nestled deeply in the
nearest trash dumpster.

   They not only would be confused, but filthy and smelly, too.
Their loved ones and friends would wonder what was wrong with
them … and rightly so.

   Hopefully, they would learn some important lessons about how
unsightly and distasteful garbage really is, as well as
important lessons about where garbage does and does not belong.


There are more than 100 museums in the Inland Empire. You could visit
one each weekend and it would take you almost two years to see them

I haven’t visited all of them. But I have every intention of doing so. Some day my long list of favorites will be even longer. (Already on the list: Museum of History and Art in Ontario, San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands, Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands, Sam Maloof Historic Residence and Woodworking Studio in Alta Loma, Big Bear Discovery Center at Big Bear Lake, Heritage House in San Bernardino, Fullerton Museum of Art in San Bernardino, Original McDonald’s Museum in San Bernardino, Route 66 Museum in San Bernardino, and Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Riverside Art Museum and UCR/California Museum of Photography, all in Riverside.)

The following master list is a work-in-progress, and I welcome additions and
corrections. I want to thank and acknowledge reader George Morris for
his inspiration and assistance. He began the work by compiling a list of
50 museums, mostly in the West End of San Bernardino County. I’ve added
50 more by culling a wider area that includes all of San Bernardino and
Riverside counties, plus inland portions of Los Angeles County.


Sam Maloof Historic Residence and Woodworking Studio
5131 Carnelian St.
Alta Loma, CA 91701
(909) 980-0412

Victor Valley Museum and Art Gallery
11873 Apple Valley Road
Apple Valley, CA 92308
(760) 240-2111

Desert Discovery Center
831 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311
(760) 252-6060

Mojave River Valley Museum
270 E. Virginia Way
Barstow, CA 92311
(760) 256-5452

Route 66 Mother Road Museum
681 N. First Ave.
Barstow, CA 92311
(760) 255-1890

Western America Railroad Museum
685 N. First Ave.
Barstow, CA 92311
(760) 256-9276

Big Bear Discovery Center
Highway 38
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
(909) 866-3437

Big Bear Valley Historical Museum
P.O. Box 513
3008 Greenway Ave.
Big Bear City, CA 92314
(909) 585-8100

Planes of Fame Air Museum
7000 Merrill Ave.
Chino, CA 91710
( 909) 597-3722

Chino Youth Museum
13191 6th St.
Chino, CA 91710
(909) 464-0499

Old School House Museum
5493 B St.
Chino, CA 91710
(909) 627-6464

Yanks Air Museum
7000 Merril Ave. No. 35
Chino, CA 91710
(909) 597-1734

Yorba Slaughter Adobe Museum
17127 Pomona Rincon Road
Chino, CA 91710
(909) 597-8332

Colton Museum
380 N. La Cadena Drive
Colton, CA 92324
(909) 824-8814

Daggett Museum
33703 2nd St.
Daggett, CA 92327
(760) 254-2629

Goffs Schoolhouse
37198 Lanfair Road G15
Essex, CA 92332
(760) 733-4482

Chaffey-Garcia House
7150 Etiwanda Ave.
Etiwanda, CA 91739
(909) 899-8432

Fontana Historical Museum
P.O. Box 426
16830 Spring St.
Fontana, CA 92334

Mary Vagle Museum
11501 Cypress Ave.
Fontana, CA 92335
(909) 428-8386

Fontana Art Association
3536 Sierra Ave.
Fontana CA 92335
(909) 823-6036

11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Museum
Bldg. 222 1st St.
Fort Irwin, CA 92310
(760) 380-6607

Lilleberg Museum
33659 Green Valley Lake Road
Green Valley Lake, CA 92341
(909) 867-3434

Mt. Baldy Visitor Center
P.O. Box 592
Mt. Baldy, CA 91759
(909) 982-2879

Needles Museum
929 Front St.
Needles CA 92363
(760) 326-5678

Museum of History and Art
225 S. Euclid Ave.
Ontario, CA 91761
(909) 983-3198

Ontario Emporia Arts Walk
211 W. Emporia
Ontario, CA 91762
(877) 563-8743

Graber Olive House
315 E. 4th St.
Ontario, CA 91762
(800) 996-5483

John Rains House
8810 Hemlock St.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
(909) 989-4970

CCAA Museum of Art

Chaffey Community Art Association

(located in the North Wing of the historic J. Filippi Winery)

12467 Base Line Road
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91729
(909) 463-3733  


Wignall Museum and Gallery
Chaffey College
5865 Haven Ave.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737
(909) 941-2702

San Bernardino County Museum
2024 Orange Tree Lane
Redlands, CA 92374
(909) 307-2669

The Asistencia
26930 Barton Road
Redlands, CA 92374
(909) 793-5402

Historical Glass Museum
1157 Orange St.
Redlands, CA 92373
(909) 793-3333

Kimberly Crest House and Gardens
1325 Prospect Drive
Redlands, CA 92373
(909) 792-2111

Lincoln Memorial Shrine
125 W. Vine St.
Redlands, CA 92373
(909) 798-7632

Redlands Citrus Museum
1352 Prospect Drive
Redlands, Ca 92373
(909) 335-2853

Redlands Postal Museum
201 Brookside Ave.
Redlands, CA 92373
(909) 793-8075

Rialto Historical Museum
205 N. Riverside Ave.
Rialto, CA 92376
(909) 875-1750

Robert V. Fullerton Art Museum
California State University San Bernardino
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, CA 92407
(909) 537-5000

A Special Place/Children’s Hands-On Museum
1003 E. Highland Ave.
San Bernardino, CA 92404
(909) 881-1201

California Department of Forestry Museum
3875 Genevieve St.
San Bernardino, CA 92404
(909) 881-6984

Heritage House
792 N. D St.
San Bernardino, CA 92401
(909) 885-2204

Inland Empire Military Museum
1394 N. E St.
San Bernardino, CA 92405
(909) 888-0477

Original McDonald’s Museum
1398 N. E St.
San Bernardino, Ca 92405
(909) 885-6324

Route 66 Museum
Fifth Street and Mount Vernon Avenue
San Bernardino, Ca

Old Guest House Museum
13193 Main St.
Trona, CA 93562
(760) 372-5222

Joshua Tree National Park Visitors Center
74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
(760) 367-5500

Old School House Museum
6760 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
(760) 367-2366

Cooper Regional History Museum
217 E. A St.
Upland, CA 91785
(909) 982-8010

California Route 66 Museum
16825 D St.
Victorville, CA 92395
(760) 951-0436

Lane House and Museum
Calico Ghost Town
36600 Ghost Town Road
Yermo, CA 92398
(760) 254-2122

Oak Glen School House Museum
11911 S. Oak Glen Road
Yucaipa, CA 92399
(909) 797-1691

Yucaipa Adobe
32183 Kentucky St.
Yucaipa, CA 92399
(909) 795-3485

Yucaipa Valley Historical Museum
35130 Avenue A
Yucaipa, CA 92399
(909) 797-2489

Hi-Desert Nature Museum
57090 Twentynine Palms Hwy.
Yucca Valley, CA 92284
(760) 369-7212


Malki Museum
P.O. Box 578
11795 Fields Road
Morongo Reservation
Banning, California 92220
(951) 849-7289

Edward-Dean Museum
9401 Oak Glen Rd.
Cherry Valley, CA 92223
(909) 845-2626

Idyllwild Art Academy
P.O. Box 38
52500 Temecula Road
Idyllwild, CA 92549
(951) 659-2171, ext. 2251

Imago Galleries
45-450 Highway 74
Palm Desert , CA 92260
(760) 776-9890

Palm Springs Art Museum
101 Museum Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 325-4490

2485 Tuscan Road
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 325-7775

Orange Empire Railway Museum
2201 S. A St.
Perris, CA 92572
(909) 943-3020

Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert
71-701 Gerald Ford Drive
Rancho Mirage, CA
(760) 321-0602

Brandstater Gallery
La Sierra University
4700 Pierce St.
Riverside, CA 92515
(951) 785-2959

Quadrangle Art Gallery
Riverside Community College
4800 Magnolia Ave.
Riverside, CA 92506
(951) 222-8358

Riverside Art Museum
3425 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 684-7111

Sweeney Art Gallery
University of California Riverside
3800 Main St.
Riverside, CA 92521
(951) 827-3755

California Museum of Photography
3824 Main St.
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 784-3686

California Citrus State Historical Park
1879 Jackson St.
Riverside, CA 92504
(909) 780-6222

March Field Air Museum
22550 Van Buren Blvd.
Riverside, CA 92518
(909) 697-6600

3800 Main Street
Riverside, CA 92501
(909) 765-1223

Riverside Municipal Museum
3580 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501
(909) 826-5273

Fine Arts Gallery
Mt. San Jacinto College
1499 N. State St.
San Jacinto, CA 92583
(909) 487-6752, ext. 1531


Claremont Graduate University Art Galleries
251 E. 10th St.
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-8071

Clark Humanities Museum
Scripps College
1030 Columbia Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 607-3606

First Street Gallery Art Center
250 W. First St., Suite 120
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 626-5455

Pomona College Museum of Art
333 N. College Way
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-8283

Peggy Phelps Gallery and East Gallery
Claremont Granduate University
251 E. 10th St.
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-8071

Peterson Museum of Intercultural Art
Pilgrim Place
730 Plymouth Road
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 399-5544

Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology
Webb School
1175 W. Base Line Road
Claremont CA 91711
(909) 624-2798

Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery
Scripps College
1030 Columbia Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 607-3397

Urban Institute For the Arts
44851 Cedar Ave.
Lancaster, CA 93534
(661) 726-2884

Antelope Valley Indian Museum
15701 E Avenue M
Lancaster, CA 93535
(661) 946-3055

Lancaster Museum and Art Gallery
44801 North Sierra Highway
Lancaster, CA 93534
(661) 723-6250

Harrison Art Gallery
University of La Verne
150 Third St.
La Verne, CA 91750
(909) 593-3511 Ext. 4736

Mill Creek Gallery
313 E Palmdale Blvd
Palmdale, CA 93550
(661) 274-7839

DA Center for the Arts
252D S. Main St.
Pomona, CA 91766
(909) 397-9716

57 Underground
300C S. Thomas St.
Pomona, CA 91766
(909) 397-0218

Cal Poly Pomona
3801 W. Temple Ave.
Pomona, CA 91768
(909) 869-4302

Gallery Soho
300-A S. Thomas St.
Pomona, CA 91766
(909) 469-1599 http://www.pvaa.net/

Latino Art Museum
281 S. Thomas St. Suite 103
Pomona, CA 91766
(909) 620-6009

Millard Sheets Gallery
1101 W. McKinley Ave.
Pomona, CA 91768
(909) 865-4560

Palomares Adobe
491 Arrow Hwy.
Pomona, CA 91767
(909) 620-0264

Phillips Mansion
2640 Pomona Blvd.
Pomona, CA 91768
(909) 623-2198

Pomona Ebell Museum of History
585 E. Holt Blvd.
Pomona, CA 91767
(909) 622-2911

SCA Project Gallery
281 S. Thomas St.
Pomona, CA 91766
(909) 620-5481

Old Fire Station Museum
6000 Cedar St.
Wrightwood, CA 92397
(760) 249-4650