In Pomona, I visit Church of the Brethren, whose aging and shrinking congregation has sold its longtime home to a developer and plans to leave next month. Their history and fond farewell is my Sunday column.
A reader’s fond email about ’50s-’60s KFWB disc jockey Elliot Field was not only funny, in recounting the various on-air characters Field invented, it led me to a surprising find connected to two recent columns. Also: more about Biddy Mason and a personal recollection about Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s visit to Claremont, all in Sunday’s column.
I follow up my recent Ritchie Valens column with, well, another Ritchie Valens column, this one largely based on another find: A Pomona High student’s meeting with Valens a week before his Pomona concert. That and a few other stray comments, plus a brIEfly item out of Upland, make up Sunday’s column.
I return to the subject of Ritchie Valens on the anniversary of his death — Feb. 3, 1959 — after a useful fact dropped into my lap: the heretofore-unknown date of his concert at Pomona’s Rainbow Gardens…which turned out to be less than a month before his death. I fill in that historical gap in Wednesday’s column.
Joe and Helen Draper of J & J’s Fish & BBQ in Pomona have always had posters of Barack Obama and his family, MLK and other Black figures in their restaurant. Now they’ve added Kamala Harris images. I talk to the couple, both 75, about their lives and their hopes for the Biden-Harris administration in Sunday’s column.
Father Bill Moore, the painter about whom I wrote in September, died last week of cancer. I write about him in Friday’s column, followed by items about filming in Claremont, a singer from Pomona and a famous skeptic’s death that has an Upland angle.
With its 73rd summertime concert series scrubbed, five members of the venerable Pomona Concert Band are rehearsing in a driveway each week. They range in age from 27 to 93, and they’re used to playing in the open air, but usually from the Ganesha Park bandshell. I visit with them in Wednesday’s column.
The LA County Fair would’ve ended Sunday after 19 days, had it not been canceled. Looking back, though, the fair might’ve had to close one or two days due to bad air. And remember the weekend it was 116? That would have been a blast (as in furnace). I look back at the fair that wasn’t in Sunday’s column.
Father Bill Moore has a retrospective show of 50 years of paintings at the Progress Gallery in downtown Pomona. The priest once had a studio and loft in the neighborhood. The beloved figure is at the end of his life due to cancer and says he’s at peace. I interview him for Wednesday’s column.
The LA County Fair would have started today but for coronavirus, which caused officials to cancel the event back in May. I visit anyway to see the strangely quiet fairgrounds, find out what we missed and memorialize the absence of the annual event, for the first time since World War II, in Friday’s column.