The 2020 and 2021 seasons of the Pomona Concert Band were both wiped out due to the coronavirus, but the band were back on stage on Sunday for their holiday concert. Instead of being inside the comfortable Palomares Park community center, the group braved the outside of Ganesha Park, as did their audience.
Ganesha Park is where the venerable group, founded in 1947, typically performs weekly in July and August, not December. But the weather by mid-afternoon was favorable, albeit crisp, and the audience and band members seemed delighted to be there.
“It’s been 737 days since we last played for you,” Trumpeter and band president Allan Small told the audience. âRemember how hot it was the last time we played for you here, and you said, ‘It’s too hot, when is it going to cool off? You have your wish. Everyone laughed.
I was the master of ceremonies for the first time and I was delighted that I had been asked for punch. It involved introducing every issue of the script they gave me, but of course I added a little flair. I also had to deal with the unexpected, like when I read aloud that the singer would be back for the next issue.
“No, he won’t,” conductor Linda Taylor said from across the stage.
“It’s here in the script,” I replied in mock dismay.
“Sorry!” she said.
When the script later asked me to introduce the singer again, I added, “Unless that’s another tip.” It was not.
I also took the time to say something unusually serious, but appropriate for the occasion, I believe.
Noting that 800,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, I added that Pomona’s death toll is 513. The city is the seventh largest city in Los Angeles County, but No. 3 in deaths behind only LA and Long. Beach, a sad testimony from Pomona population of essential workers who did not have the option of isolating themselves or working from home.
And so we had a brief silence to remember them as well as the losses of one of our friends or family.
I put that moment before “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, a Judy Garland song from “Meet Me in St. Louis” that I remembered, correctly, as melancholy.
But I had forgotten how poignant the lyrics were until Isaac Gonzalez sang them, with lines like “Next year all our problems will be out of sight” and “Next year, all of us. our problems will be miles away. “
And this: “Here we are as in the good old days, happy golden days of old / Faithful friends who are dear to us, they are gathering again near us.
And there we were in Ganesha Park as before. And it was lovely.
Have a merry little Christmas folks.
Your hopes for 2022
It’s easy to collapse over the state of the world. But let’s look at the glass which will be half full, not half empty, in 2022.
What are you hoping for in the New Year? It can be realistic or it can be wishful thinking, an expansive idea or a personal goal, something serious or something irreverent. In other words, anything about 2022, no matter how mundane, that doesn’t fill you with existential terror is a good answer.
Email me with your New Year’s hope as well as your name and city of residence, please, and I’ll compile a few here in a week or so.
101 minus 1
Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold has never rated a single restaurant east of Covina. But last year, the LA Times guide to the 101 best restaurants crossed the Mason-Dixon line into the Inland Empire.
Kra-Z-Kai, a Laotian barbecue in Corona, did LA 101 courtesy of the reviewer at the time Patricia escarcega, a native of Riverside.
But she’s gone, and unsurprisingly, the latest, recently released 101 list is retiring in LA and Orange counties. He doesn’t even venture east of the 605. In fact, the list again includes the famous Mariscos Jalisco truck in Boyle Heights while claiming his brick and mortar restaurant in Pomona doesn’t exist.
Never mind. Kra-Z-Kai (1218 Magnolia Ave.) always serves their delicious beef jerky, short ribs and sticky rice. Buy a homemade sausage and angrily shake it west towards LA And then eat it.
Meanwhile, The Times’ list of 40 California winter destinations includes eight Inland Empire destinations: resorts in San Bernardino County, Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead, and Idyllwild in Riverside County, Indian Canyons, the Mission Inn, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the Palm Springs Weekly. Village Fest and the Sunnylands Estate.
Eight out of 40 beats 0 out of 101, right?
Redlands executives have agreed to buy a vacant Kmart and convert it into a new police headquarters, as my colleague Jennifer Iyer reports. An official told city council that the purchase price of $ 16.1 million was “well below estimated value.” Clearly, the declining retailer remains determined to offer discounts, even on its own property. Unanswered question: is buying a Kmart for a police store considered a âblue light specialâ?
David Allen writes Friday, Sunday and Wednesday, Three Weak, Weak Effort. Email [email protected], call 909-483-9339, like davidallencolumnist on Facebook and follow @ davidallen909 on Twitter.