Column: Her messages are a sign of our times

Jo Ann Banks has been posting messages in her kitchen window throughout coronavirus, sometimes hopeful, sometimes frustrated. She was writing them for herself, but then “people walking by would introduce themselves …then I thought, this isn’t just for me.” I write her light box messages in my Friday column — one that you could say has been in the works for six months. Also, I could walk to this interview (for a story I found while out walking) and it’s not often I’ve been able to do that.

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Column: Health club throws in the towel after 47 years

The venerable Claremont Club shut its doors Friday. Of course its doors were already shut due to coronavirus, which was the problem. With no revenue coming in, owners decided to shutter for good and sell the 19-acre property. I write about that in Sunday’s column.

You might like knowing that I’d written a draft of a column about “The Twilight Zone” Thursday afternoon, intending to finish that on Friday. But news had broken about the club’s closing, the Courier had a short story online, and I thought I might as well drop by the club Friday morning on my way into work and see if I could snag enough people to turn a column around quickly. Sure enough, I spoke to a couple of people in the parking lot and the club’s CEO let me in for an interview and photos.

Sorry, “TZ” fans, but your day will come, maybe next Sunday. In the meantime, it was kind of fun to report and write a column from scratch, and take photos, all in a few hours.

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Column: Where Marx Brothers filmed game is a football itself

Local angles to football movies starring the Marx Brothers and Red Grange and an episode of Columbo, plus a man’s website tribute to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre grows more elaborate, and a survey of young people regarding John Wayne and Elton John has dismaying (but not unexpected) results, all in Wednesday’s column.

This is all Inland Valley-focused research done earlier this year, largely in March and April, but not compiled or written up until now. Figured I oughta get it all cleared out while my new Press-Enterprise readers are more forgiving.

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