That’s a wrap as Super Burrito owner retires in San Bernardino – San Bernardino Sun


Art Santoya prided himself on his personal service behind the order window of San Bernardino favorite Super Burrito. He remembered regular customers’ names and orders. He was delighted when the loyalty extended to a family’s second or third generation.

But when Santoya retired Dec. 31, he kept it quiet. Only a handful knew. His last day passed the way he wanted it, without fuss, without fanfare.

We spoke in person Dec. 27 at his Waterman Avenue restaurant, a fixture since 1978. I’d planned to get this into print before his last day, but he asked me to hold off until he was gone. The prospect of being besieged by regulars was emotionally overwhelming.

“I really haven’t told anyone I’m retiring,” Santoya said. “It’s hard for me to say goodbye.” And, because he’s selling to his cook, and the food won’t change, “I don’t want people to think it’s going to be different.”

The new owners are Fred Anguiono, a Super Burrito mainstay for more than 30 years, and Anguiono’s wife and stepson. They’ve had experience with Tres Jalapenos in Highland and Zorro in Redlands.

“It’s in good hands,” said Suzanne Santoya, Art’s wife.

What if people ask, “Where’s Art?” Daughter Arlene volunteered a cover story: “On a break.”

Dan Watkins, a customer at Super Burrito for more than 40 years, places an order with Arlene Santoya for a jumbo burrito with pork and ground beef. (Photo by David Allen, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

I’ve eaten at only four restaurants in San Bernardino, and — what are the odds? — Super Burrito is one of them. It’s a walk-up stand with a small patio and picnic tables and steady business at the order window.

I was tipped off to Art’s impending retirement by Olivia Tierney, a first cousin of Suzanne’s. Because Dec. 27 was cold and rainy, Art, Suzanne and I spoke inside in a corner of the kitchen, standing up.

At age 63, Art felt like it was time to give up the stress of working 12 hours a day, six days a week and to enjoy life with his wife, four kids and seven grandchildren.

“His mind is always on the business,” Suzanne said.

Once, she said, she awakened in the night and Art, sleepwalking, was standing in front of their bedroom closet, its door open, asking the racks of clothes, “Do you want cheese and salsa on your burrito?”

I burst out laughing.

“My mind’s not always on the business,” Art demurred.

“Even while you were sleeping!” Suzanne exclaimed.

The business, started by his parents, is so intertwined with his life, it always felt more like his home than the house he grew up in.

“It was my mother’s adventure,” Art said of Carmen, a hairdresser who loved cooking and whose dream was to own a restaurant. His father, Raymond, worked at Norton Air Force Base.

When she was looking at restaurants for lease, young Art came along. She asked which one was the best. He picked the burger stand at 449 N. Waterman Ave.

“We were living in Colton at the time. So I said this was the best because it was closest,” Art recalled.

The family started the newly named King Size Burger in 1968. Carmen was there seven days a week, cooking, taking orders, buying supplies, mopping the floor, whatever needed to be done.

When his mother wanted to retire in 1978, Art leaped at the chance. He had briefly worked for the Colton parks and recreation department and didn’t care for it. But he’d always liked his time at the restaurant as a teenager.

Because customers were asking for more Mexican food, he de-emphasized burgers (although they’re still on the menu), shifted to burritos and tacos, and changed the name from King Size Burgers to Super Burrito.

“We did everything super-sized. We gave bigger portions and everyone loved it,” Art said.

A red pork burrito on the patio of San Bernardino’s Super Burrito. (Photo by David Allen, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

First came the jumbo burrito, then the other signatures: the Dino Burrito (named for San Bernardino), the I.E. Burrito and The Bomb.

“I had the radio on,” Art said of his inspiration, “and they were playing the song ‘You Dropped a Bomb on Me.’ I thought, ‘That would be a good name for a burrito. I’ll put everything in it’” — pork, beef, steak, beans, rice and sour cream. The Bomb weighs about two pounds and is served wet.

The junior burrito is the size of a normal burrito anywhere else. It’s just right.

The clientele ranges from judges, lawyers, cops and county employees to people who can barely afford a meal. Art used to extend credit to people out of compassion and was surprised how many came back at the end of the week to settle up.

He’d give the destitute a task like picking up around the parking lot in exchange for a hot meal, or treat someone just out of jail before they got on a bus.

Suzanne said, quoting her husband: “It’s not going to break me to give them a bean burrito.”

Art said Super Burrito always gives the customer a little extra, without skimping, because his mother’s philosophy was that “it doesn’t cost you a lot and they’ll appreciate it.”

Friendliness is equally important. “If you’re friendly, and you make a mistake, they’ll give you a second chance,” Art said. “If you’re rude, they won’t, even if the food is good.”

Super Burrito has weathered a lot, including the closing of Norton and the onslaught of COVID. Because it’s a takeout place, business is up during the pandemic.

People all over the area know Art. He’s been recognized in Las Vegas and at the LA County Fair. When he got his first COVID shot at Loma Linda, one of the nurses saw him and exclaimed, “Super Burrito!”

“He doesn’t think so,” Suzanne said, “but I think he’s pretty popular.”

His local fame helped during one tricky situation in San Bernardino in the 1990s. His white truck was mistaken in the Smart & Final parking lot for a stolen vehicle. Police ordered Art out of his truck at gunpoint.



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Find sun and seclusion by beach-hopping on Puerto Rico’s west coast


My rental car shook violently as it slowly crept down the bumpy dirt road along the southwestern tip of Puerto Rico. When the road ended, I set out on foot up a dirt path that led to the gray-and-white Los Morrillos lighthouse, built on the edge of a cliff in 1882. The windows and doorways were the same shade of turquoise as the water crashing into the rust-red sandstone cliffs below.

The lighthouse was my first stop along Puerto Rico’s west coast in early November. After spending a few days of my first trip to the island exploring Old San Juan and nearby tourist sites, I fled the cruise-ship crowds and congested highways for the remote west coast’s narrow two-lane roads and secluded beaches. My goal was to explore this less-crowded part of the island, known for surfing, hilly terrain and an endless surplus of sunny, 80-degree days. Learning to surf was another priority, but rough seas with waves too big for my novice skill level crushed those plans. Instead of a surfing trip, this would become a relaxing 10-day beach and hiking trip.

From the eastern side of the lighthouse, I could see stretched out below a pristine, crescent-shaped beach that belonged in a Jimmy Buffett song. I walked across the undeveloped, tree-lined beach and followed a trail up another set of cliffs to photograph the lighthouse from across the bay. Then, I couldn’t resist a dip in the water to cool off. Even though a dozen people were on the beach, it still felt isolated. It was only Day 1, and I had already found my favorite beach in western Puerto Rico: La Playuela.

After another bone-rattling drive, I stopped at the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats and walked along the catwalks between reddish-pink salt ponds. The 1,249-acre area was added to the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge in 1999 and includes trails for biking and hiking around the two main lagoons, Fraternidad and Candelaria. A private operator harvests the salt, which is left behind when the water evaporates from exposure to the sun, wind and heat. The lagoons are home to a variety of microorganisms, including Dunaliella salina, an alga responsible for the red hue.

“Although it is a green alga, it creates a large amount of carotenoids (beta-carotene) to survive and protect themselves against the intense light,” Ana Roman, deputy project leader at the Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex, said in an email. “High concentrations of carotenoids (red-orange pigment) are what creates the pink color effect in the salt flat ponds.”

The water of the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats has a reddish hue because of an alga called Dunaliella salina.

The water of the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats has a reddish hue because of an alga called Dunaliella salina.

(Anna Mazurek / For The Washington Post)

This alga is a critical food source for brine shrimp and other salt-tolerant species, which attract migratory shorebirds. The salt flats, with their prevalence of food, are one of the most important stopover points for these birds in the entire Caribbean. Cabo Rojo’s lucrative salt-collection business has resulted in several historical conflicts, according to Roman. There have been numerous ownership and exploitation issues involving not only the Spanish, who colonized the island after the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493, but also the British and Dutch, among others. In 1769, a bloody fight broke out between local communities over land ownership of the salt flats, leading the area to be named El Combate, which translates to “the battle.”

For another history lesson, I visited the sleepy town of San Germán, the second-oldest city on the island, after San Juan, known for its well-preserved colonial Creole architecture. Founded on the coast in 1511, it was moved inland to avoid plundering pirates in 1573 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The centerpiece is the 1692 Iglesia de Porta Coeli, one of the oldest church structures in the Americas, which was originally used as a monastery chapel but now houses a small museum.

After a morning of exploring, I drove about 13 miles to Joyuda, a three-mile strip of seaside seafood restaurants known as the Gourmet Golden Mile, for lunch. I snagged a table on the shaded waterfront patio at Náutica by Poly’s and ordered a delicious conch mofongo relleno, fried mashed plantains stuffed with conch and served in a tomato-based sauce. By the time I finished my meal, there wasn’t an empty seat on the patio, and the hum of both English and Spanish conversations filled the air.

The ocean got rougher as I headed north to Rincón, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic. The surfing haven covers about eight miles of coastline and skyrocketed to fame after hosting the 1968 World Surfing Championships, which earned it a mention in a Beach Boys song.

Domes Beach in Puerto Rico is a popular surfing spot in Rincón.

Domes Beach, named after a defunct, dome-shaped nuclear facility that dominates the skyline, is a popular surfing spot in Rincón.

(Anna Mazurek / For The Washington Post)

Because winter is peak surfing season, I watched experienced surfers ride large waves at Domes Beach, named after a defunct, dome-shaped nuclear facility that dominates the skyline. By 8 a.m., the parking lot was already overflowing, and there were 27 surfers in the water. Like many of Rincón’s beaches, Domes is a small, secluded, palm-tree-lined strip of golden sand stretched between cliffs and rocky outcroppings. One of the few exceptions is the seemingly endless Sandy Beach, which is bordered by rows of hotels and restaurants.

Another highlight was the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve, home to the endangered reef-building elkhorn coral, as well as colorful marine life including parrotfish and blue tangs. The reserve encompasses three beaches and is an excellent snorkeling spot during the summer, when the water is calmer. The most photogenic of the three beaches is Steps, known for a mysterious set of concrete stairs sitting at the edge of the beach.

The beaches weren’t the only thing worth visiting in Rincón; the craft beer at Rincón Beer Co., fish tacos at Jack’s Shack and Sunday brunch at the English Rose were also pluses.

Crash Boat Beach in Aguadilla has a party beach vibe.

Crash Boat Beach in Aguadilla has a party beach vibe.

(Anna Mazurek / For The Washington Post)

Despite congested parking lots, the Rincón beaches never felt crowded. That changed when I drove about 14 miles north to Aguadilla’s Crash Boat Beach, famous for a uniquely shaped blue pier once used to dock rescue boats that were sent out to save downed pilots from the nearby U.S. air base. Food stalls filled the parking lot, and speakers were blaring. This was the party beach packed with locals and a few tourists.

The farther north I went, the rougher the water got; a riptide warning kept me out of the ocean for the rest of my trip. I decided to hike from Surfer’s Beach to Survival Beach, a sliver of shoreline accessible only by foot. I started my hike at the Surfer’s Beach parking lot and meandered through the tropical forest along a makeshift trail that spiderwebbed in all directions, staying on the path that hugged the coast. I shared the trail with a retired New England couple who moved to the island to perpetually escape winter.

The beautiful Survival Beach in Puerto Rico is only accessible by foot.

The beautiful Survival Beach is only accessible by foot.

(Anna Mazurek / For The Washington Post)

Lizards scurried into the bushes as I made my way to a section of beach filled with giant rock formations and caves reminiscent of a scene from “The Goonies.” Then I entered the forest again and climbed upward along a tree-root-lined path until I caught a bird’s-eye view of the windswept sands of Survival Beach. Despite trying numerous trails, the tide prevented me from reaching it. Regardless, these beachside trails and secluded coves became one of my favorite aspects of Puerto Rico.

After the hike, I treated myself to the mango salad at Ola Lola’s Tiki Bar & Grille, a mint-green, open-air eatery on a narrow, tree-shaded road that became my regular lunch spot. It was the exact kind of bar my 20-year-old self dreamed of opening on a tropical island.

On my last morning in Puerto Rico, I went for an hourlong sunrise walk on the beach in Isabela, on the northwest coast. Aside from a lone jogger’s, my footprints were the only ones in the sand as I walked along the water’s edge, past towering hotels that soon faded into trees. The gently sloping shore was one of the most expansive beaches I had visited, wider than many roads. Every day of my west coast road trip was spent at a different beach, and the island’s large size — about 3,500 square miles — made it easier to escape crowds and find solitude than the smaller Caribbean islands I’ve visited, such as Saint Martin, Anguilla and Saint Barthélemy.

After my walk, I reluctantly climbed in my rental car and drove to the airport listening to Jimmy Buffett. As a beach lover who loathes cold weather, I could envision many more winter trips to the island’s laid-back west coast.

If you go

WHERE TO STAY

Combate Beach Resort: Carretera 3301 Km 2.7 Interior, Cabo Rojo; (787) 254-2358; combatebeach.com

This expansive beach resort offers a variety of spotless rooms that sleep one to six people. Amenities include private beach access, pools, a sand volleyball court and a half basketball court. Kayak and bike rentals available for a fee. If you stay for three nights, the fourth one is free with their yearlong promotion. Rooms from about $109 per night.

WHERE TO EAT

Rincón Beer Co.: 15 Calle Muñoz Rivera, Rincón; (787) 280-8866; rinconbeercompany.com

Located in a colorful town square, this brewery serves up delicious bites, such as burgers and fish tacos, as well as tasty craft brews. Open Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Bar food from about $9, beers from $5.

Jack’s Shack: Rt. 4413 Km 0.5 Bo Puntas, Rincón (in front of Pools Beach); (939) 274-8066; facebook.com/jacksshackpr

The fish tacos from this food truck across from Pool’s Beach are some of the best in town. The owners focus on fresh, local ingredients. Open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Food about $9 to $12.

The English Rose (La Rosa Inglesa): 413 Carretera Bo, Rincón; (787) 823-4032; theenglishroserincon.com/eat

The go-to brunch spot in Rincón is a villa on a hilltop that serves up breakfast favorites and mimosas with fresh-squeezed juice. Reservations recommended. Open 8:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday to Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Entrees from $10.50.

Ola Lola’s Tiki Bar & Grille: 332 Barrio Bajuras, Isabela; (715) 303-9938; olalolaspr.com

This mint-green, open-air tiki bar is a great place to grab a drink or a bite after a long day at the beach. Reservations recommended. Open 2 to 9 p.m.; closed Wednesday and Sunday. Cash or digital payment only. Entrees from $9, cocktails from $6.

The conch mofongo relleno from Náutica by Poly's in Joyuda.

The conch mofongo relleno from Nautica by Poly’s in Joyuda, a three-mile strip of seaside seafood restaurants known as the Gourmet Golden Mile.

(Anna Mazurek / For The Washington Post)

Náutica by Poly’s: 4 PR-102, Cabo Rojo; (787) 381-7659; facebook.com/Rest.nautica

Located on Puerto Rico’s Gourmet Golden Mile in Joyuda, this waterfront restaurant serves up mouthwatering seafood dishes and local favorites. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Tuesday. Entrees from $14.

WHAT TO DO

Lighthouse of Los Morrillos: 301 PR Llanos Costa, Cabo Rojo; (787) 851-1025; caborojopr.net/faromorrillos.htm

A bumpy dirt road leads to a parking lot that’s a short walk to the historical lighthouse, which is closed for remodeling. Also accessible by foot. Road open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but hours can vary unexpectedly. Free.

Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge: Rd. 301 Km. 5.1 Bo. Corozo, Boquerón; (787) 851-7258; fws.gov/refuge/cabo_rojo

The highlights of this scenic wildlife refuge are the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats and hiking and biking trails. The main visitors center and the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats interpretive center are closed because of the pandemic; check website for closures. Ungated trails open daily 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free.

MORE INFORMATION

Details: discoverpuertorico.com

Mazurek is a freelance writer. This article originally appeared in The Washington Post.





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Share a tip for late summer sun holidays in Europe for the chance to win a £200 voucher | Travel


As the UK summer begins to wane, we want to hear about your favourite places to find sunshine in Europe into September and possibly beyond. Perhaps there’s an island you love where warm days last well into the autumn, or a coastal resort where sunshine tends to linger after the main tourist season ends. Send us your sunny suggestions for a chance to win a holiday voucher.

If you have a relevant photo, do send it in – but it’s your words that will be judged for the competition.

Keep your tip to about 100 words

The best tip of the week, chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet, will win a £200 voucher to stay at a Sawday’s property – the company has more than 3,000 in the UK and Europe. The best tips will appear on the Guardian Travel website, and maybe in the paper, too.

We’re sorry, but for legal reasons you must be a UK resident to enter this competition.

The competition closes on 24 August at 9am BST

Have a look at our past winners and other tips

Read the terms and conditions here

If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here and privacy policy here



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Timed Tickets to Manage Traffic on Glacier Park’s Sun Road | Montana News


By AMY BETH HANSON, Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana‘s Glacier National Park will implement a timed ticketed entry system again next summer — from Memorial Day weekend through the weekend after Labor Day — to manage traffic on the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road, park officials said Monday.

The park first used a ticketed entry system this year to spread out traffic on the popular alpine highway as more than 3 million people visited. Going-to-the-Sun Road takes visitors over Logan Pass on the Continental Divide, at an elevation of 6,646 feet (2,026 meters).

One ticket per vehicle will be required to travel on Glacier’s Going-to-the-Sun Road from the West Entrance and the new Camas Entrance from May 27 through Sept. 11. Tickets won’t be required at the St. Mary Entrance on the east side of the park until the Sun Road is fully open, which is typically in late June.

The 2022 entry tickets will be valid for three days rather than seven, as they were this summer, and may allow for more tickets to be sold, park spokesperson Gina Kerzman said Monday.

Political Cartoons

Park officials expect to have about 4,600 vehicles per day on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, spread out over the day. There will be hours outside peak operating times where entry tickets will not be required, but those times have not yet been set, Kerzman said.

In addition to the timed entry tickets, which can be reserved for $2 after setting up an account at Recreation.gov, visitors must have an entrance pass. Seven-day vehicle passes are $35. People can also enter with an annual park pass or an Interagency Annual or Lifetime pass.

The park anticipates a portion of the 2022 entry tickets will be available online in early March.

Tickets will also be required to enter the northwestern part of the park at Polebridge in 2022. The Polebridge Entrance was closed at some point every day this past summer due to a lack of parking at Bowman and Kintla lakes and a limit to the number of visitors allowed in the area, park officials said.

The Polebridge Entrance leads to the rustic North Fork area of the park, where travel is on rough roads and there are no modern conveniences, including cellphone service. Four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles and the ability to change a tire are recommended for North Fork visitors, the National Park Service said.

Tickets will not be required at other eastern entrances, including Two Medicine and Many Glacier, but entry will be restricted when those areas reach capacity, park officials said. People are encouraged to plan their visits outside of peak hours, which run between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Other national parks are working to manage increasing visitor numbers as well.

Arches National Park in Utah announced last week it is implementing a timed entry system next year while Zion National Park is holding a lottery for reservations to hike a popular trail.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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Sun Devils Open First Pac-12 Road Trip at Oregon


Good news: The Arizona State Sun Devils (probably? hopefully?) can’t possibly play worse than they did in Wednesday’s loss to the Washington State Cougars. 

ASU was humiliated from start to finish, scoring just 29 points over the course of two halves, including a mere 10 points at halftime. 

The last time Arizona State scored only 10 points in a half was on Feb. 25, 2016, when they trailed Utah 44-10 at halftime.

The 29 total points scored by the Sun Devils was the lowest amount of points Arizona State has scored in the shot-clock era, as we have to travel back nearly 80 full years to see the last time the Sun Devils scored less points in a complete game.



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Winter sun: Britain’s sunniest city named – ‘it all happens here!’ | Travel News | Travel


Britain’s weather may be one of the country’s favourite topics of discussion, but it’s rare to be positive. However, the grey skies and cold and wet weather could be nothing more than clichés.

A new study has named the sunniest cities in Britain, and they could be the perfect winter sun escapes for Britons in need of some rays.

Smart Energy GB partnered with climate activist and Springwatch star Chris Packham to commission a report compiled by Dr Tim Forman of the University of Cambridge.

The sunniest area of Britain was Southwest England, while the least sunny British area was Northwest Scotland.

The UK’s sunniest city was Plymouth.

Chris said: “Britain is blessed with four distinct seasons with clear changes in the weather, which is full of energy, notably the wind and – although it feels rare – the sunshine.”

READ MORE: British expats in Spain: Christmas food warning

The Devon waterfront city of Plymouth could be the best bet for Britons in search of UK winter sun.

In Plymouth, holidaymakers can go to the beach at Wembury or explore the largest park in the city, Central Park.

History lovers will want to go to the Mayflower Steps, the departure point of Sir Francis Drake and the 102 pilgrims who sailed for North America in 1620.

On Tripadvisor, Steve and Andie said: “Good to see this area has been refurbished and keeping history alive.

“It may not have been the original site where the Mayflower set off from but very close to it, that being situated in the ladies loo of the nearby pub!”

DON’T MISS

Other points of interest in the city include Smeatons Tower, a lighthouse built in 1759 by John Smeaton, and the Barbican and Sutton Harbour area.

Tracey G said: “When you think of Plymouth you think of the lighthouse – apart from The Mayflower, Francis Drake, The Spanish Armada, Francis Chichester. Wow! It all happens here!”

There are over 200 listed buildings lining the cobbled streets of the Barbican and Sutton Harbour, as well as Elizabethan Gardens.

Not far from the city, Saltram is a National Trust country estate with 500 acres of grounds and the garden is currently open.

Britons can also head to Drake’s Island on a guided tour or sample the gins at Plymouth Gin.

Tony W said: “Having for many years viewed Drakes Island from Plymouth, it was an experience to see it from the other side and learn about the history and possible future of the island.”

Trevor H wrote: “I have lived or worked in Plymouth for nearly 35 years and had not set foot on the Island, my wife however, had been on one of the adventure weeks there whilst in the 6th Form at school ‘quite a few years ago!’

“The trip is suitable for all ages who can manage steps and uneven terrain as the island’s vegetation, pathways are just being brought under control after being left for many years.

“The plans for what is to happen are fantastic and I await their completion before my next visit which is hopefully within the next seven to 10 years.”

Britain’s sunniest cities

1.Plymouth

2. Exeter

3. London

4. Norwich

5. Oxford

6. Huddersfield

7. Liverpool

8. Manchester

9. Bristol

10. Sunderland

 





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Brian Laundrie update – Bike video latest possible sighting of Gabby Petito’s fiance in Dunnellon as he rem… – The US Sun



Brian Laundrie update – Bike video latest possible sighting of Gabby Petito’s fiance in Dunnellon as he rem…  The US Sun



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Planning some winter sun? Don’t book before reading this simple guide on all the rules | Travel News | Travel









Planning some winter sun? Don’t book before reading this simple guide on all the rules | Travel News | Travel – ToysMatrix


























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She hung out backstage with Janis Joplin in San Bernardino – San Bernardino Sun


Janis Joplin performed twice at San Bernardino’s Swing Auditorium. One year ago, for the 50th anniversary of the singer’s Oct. 4, 1970 death, I wrote about those two concerts — April 27, 1968, and March 28, 1969 — after putting out a request for readers who’d been to one or the other to contact me.

Six months and 75 columns later, a reader phoned to say she’d just seen my original request for stories and had a good one. Timing is everything, in news as in life, and there wasn’t a good excuse to run a Joplin item in April.

But with the 51st anniversary of Joplin’s death having arrived, I phoned Olivia Harris back. She was as surprised to hear from me six months late as I had been to hear from her six months late.

To set the scene, Harris, then 19 and a Grand Terrace resident, had been to the Swing at least once, to see Godfather of Soul James Brown, before going with her sister-in-law, Susan Vega, to the Joplin concert on March 28, 1969.

Arriving early, they soon saw a local disc jockey who was involved in the concert. He knew the good-looking Vega and, perhaps to impress her, asked the two if they’d like to go backstage. Sure, why not?

They were shown to a lounge, where the singer was nowhere in evidence but eight or so of her friends were seated in a circle on the floor, talking. Harris and Vega joined them and were struck by their friendliness. Then a door opened and Joplin entered.

“We never thought we’d get to meet her,” Harris recalls, still a little awestruck. “All of a sudden, here she is.”

Joplin sat down and passed around a bottle of her favorite liqueur, Southern Comfort. Harris didn’t normally drink but took a sip to be polite.

Opening act Lee Michaels could be heard from the backstage area. “I’m better than that, aren’t I?” Joplin asked her friends, who assured the famously insecure singer that she was. Says Harris: “She needed reinforcement.”

Harris told Joplin she was thinner than she looked in photos. That must have gone over well, because the pair talked at some length — “she was very nice and soft-spoken” — and later walked out to the side of the stage as Michaels performed. The audience couldn’t see Joplin, but they soon heard her.

“She did her scream and everybody laughed,” Harris says. “Lee Michaels was upset. He felt she was getting in the way of his performance.”

Almost unbelievably, Harris and Vega left the Swing before Joplin and her band took the stage.

“We didn’t stick around for the concert,” Harris admits. For the teenaged Joplin fan, the whole experience had been somewhat overwhelming.

“It was such a big thing for me. It was so cool meeting her,” says Harris, now a retired Gas Company employee who lives in Redlands. “She was so much a part of our era.”

She was. And she transcends it too; she’s my favorite female singer. That’s why I was delighted to have a reason to write about her and didn’t want Olivia Harris’ encounter to slip by untold.

At last, my 50th anniversary look back at Janis Joplin’s Inland Empire visits is complete — just in time for the 51st anniversary.

A force in RC

In Rancho Cucamonga, Jackie Amsler was a woman who could make events happen, notably the Grape Harvest Festival and the Founders Day Parade. Moving to the city in 1982, she became the city’s first female Chamber of Commerce president and served as a library trustee.

Amsler died Sept. 25, a few days before her 81st birthday, in Nebraska, where she and husband Don retired.

I knew her because she was marketing director for the Daily Bulletin, my employer, for about 25 years. She loved history, our newspaper and our cities.

Once she schooled me after I’d referred to one outlying city in our zone as being “there”; she said, correctly, that all of the cities we covered were “here.” That embracing attitude has stayed with me.

So has the memory of her gentle persuasion, no doubt a crucial factor in how she made events a success, and the broad smile that creased her face.

65 years

Speaking of strong women, the Chino Valley Soroptimists marked 65 years with an open house on Thursday night. I dropped by. The chapter was established in 1956, once owned its own clubhouse and continues to offer mentorship, sisterhood and scholarships, including to women who want to return to college later in life.

State Sen. Connie Leyva of Chino was there to present a resolution praising the club for its decades of work. “Even my husband says, if you want to get (expletive) done, you ask a woman,” Leyva said. Those salty Soroptimists.



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Thomas leads Sun to 79-68 win over Sky to even series 1-1


UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Alyssa Thomas worked hard for eight months rehabbing her torn Achilles’ tendon to be able to provide a spark for the Connecticut Sun in the playoffs.

The Sun’s “engine” did just that, scoring 15 points and providing a defensive presence to help the team even their best-of-five series with the Chicago Sky at one win apiece with a 79-68 victory Thursday night.

“You think how far ahead of schedule she is in her Achilles’ rehab to get back at all and playing (is amazing).,” Connecticut coach Curt Miller said. “To play in this environment in this big a game and have that tenacity and intensity is remarkable. Players have to follow her and respect her. a night when it wasn’t (Jonquel Jones’) night. her presence for us was invaluable.”

Thomas, who has played through shoulder injuries throughout her career, was able to return from a surgery in January from an injury she suffered playing overseas last winter.

“This is one of the hardest things I’ve gone through,” she said. “I watched them get after it every game and in practice that pushed me even harder to get back to this moment.”

The Sun won despite WNBA MVP Jones scoring just four points. She didn’t score until 3:11 left in the third quarter and missed seven of her nine shot attempts.

“You hate to waste one of those good defensive games on her with a loss,” Chicago coach James Wade said. “It teaches you something for the next game.”

Thomas made up for it.

“You’ve seen her do it over her career. She’s the toughest player to play this game,” Sun guard Jasmine Thomas said. “To see her come back at a time where that’s what we were missing.”

The Sun trailed 59-58 heading into the fourth quarter before starting the period on a 13-3 run to take command. Thomas had six points during the game-changing spurt. DeWanna Bonner capped it with a 3-pointer with 3:59 left that made it 71-62. Bonner also had 15 points.

The Sky could only get within six the rest of the way. The series shifts to Chicago on Sunday for Game 3.

Chicago looked poised early on to build on the momentum of its Game 1 double-overtime win, racing out to an 11-0 lead. Connecticut rallied back behind Jasmine Thomas to get within 23-21 after one.

The Sun led 45-39 at the half behind strong play from Jasmine Thomas, who finished the opening 20 minutes with 12 points.

Kahleah Copper led Chicago with 13 points and Candace Parker added 12.

TRAVEL WOES

Both teams are going to have adventures getting to Chicago on Friday.

“We are on three separate flights at two separate airports in order to try and keep some of our players that are much taller than I am out of middle seat,” he said. “I’ve been told it’s a very similar case for Chicago, which wouldn’t surprise me. We booked our flights sooner than Chicago did. That was going to be the case no matter if we went to Seattle, Phoenix or Chicago.

Miller said his team would be flying out of both airports in Boston and Connecticut.

Wade said that the team will be leaving at 3:30 a.m. to get to the airport in time to fly to Chicago on three different flights.

“We wish we could charter. It’s something that’s been in the conversation for years,” Jasmine Thomas said. “Especially during the playoffs. Both teams are going through similar things.”

TIP-INS:

Jasmine Thomas celebrated her 32nd birthday on Thursday. … The Sun outrebounded the Sky 39-26 — a vast difference from Game 1 when both teams had 42 boards. … Courtney Vandersloot, who had the second triple-double in WNBA playoff history in Game 1 was held to just 10 points and six assists in Game 2.

BET ON IT

The Mohegan Sun Casino opened up a sportsbook Thursday and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont placed the first bet, wagering $50 that the Sun will beat the Chicago Sky by at least 7 points. He won his bet.

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