Column: Rooster figure offers something to crow about

After an item last month about a rooster figure atop an Upland grain elevator in the 1960s and ’70s, a few readers pointed out other examples of fiberglass poultry in the area. I round those up, so to speak, for Friday’s column, along with news of a penny found in a real chicken, a local woman on “Wheel of Fortune” and the haves and have nots of Chino Hills.

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Column: A Fiat must really be foreign in Joshua Tree

My latest column begins with an anecdote from my mini-vacation involving my car that I liked but that I’d cut from my first column for space reasons. Then we segue into reader comments on my columns about Joshua Tree, its national park and the bookstore in Twentynine Palms. It all ends with an item from Upland — that involves the desert. All that is in Sunday’s column.

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Column: This oracle peers into Mojave myths

I recently discovered and became an admirer of Desert Oracle, a journal published from Joshua Tree, as well as a hardcover book collecting its best writing and a podcast/radio show. I write about the weird, wonderful publication in Sunday’s column. (And this will explain the reference in Friday’s column to taking an unnamed book into the national park as the appropriate scene for a photo.)

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Column: Visit leaves a deep, sandy impression

I spent three nights in Joshua Tree last week and wondered why I never went there until now. Have you been? I write about my mini-vacation in Wednesday’s column. (The national park will get its own column, probably Friday.)

One of my visions for my column after its geographic expansion last summer is that I would explore portions of the Inland Empire beyond simple there-and-back reporting trips to Riverside or San Bernardino. A little tough to accomplish with three deadlines per week — even getting to Riverside or San Bernardino on a weekday takes some planning — but it’s finally been done. Let me know what you think.

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Column: Judy Chicago’s planned desert art goes up in smoke

Friday’s column repeats some art-world news from Palm Desert in the service of freshening up a biographical item about the artist that I wrote in the early days of the pandemic and set aside, since it seemed less relevant by the day. Then comes a long-ish item about annoying modern expressions, which I wrote last summer (?) and likewise didn’t use, but freshened up for publication. After that is a brand-new item.

What can I tell you, I’m in the midst of a few days off (although as you can see, I’m writing this!) and thought I may as well clear out some material rather than vacate my space in the paper.

If you’re curious, I have a Google doc of items, potential items, column ideas and discarded bits that is extremely long and mostly useless after page 12 or so — although the latter pages will bear a closer look. The file is overdue to be purged and its rainy-day material shown the light of day.

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