Monday, August 31, 2009

The Colton Quiz (possibly the first of many)

Good afternoon.

One thing you enjoy doing when you get older is reminiscing over things that aren't there anymore. One fun way of getting through this is a quiz. I lived in Colton from 1966 through 1976. I remained in the area (family moved to Rialto) until going to college in Tennessee (returning periodically) and finally enlisting in the Army as a musician in 1979.

If you live in the Riverside-San Bernardino area, take this quiz. I haven't been around for almost three years now. But the answers to this quiz haven't changed. Enjoy. Post your responses as comments here.

  1. What are the specific official colors of Colton High School?
  2. What were the names of the two junior high schools that were replaced by Colton Junior High School in 1954?
  3. Who was Isaac "Cristobal" Slover?
  4. What was the name of the Colton Airport? Where was it? Which airline made regular stops there?
  5. Name the Chevrolet and Dodge dealers which used to be in downtown Colton. The Chevy place moved north (onto La Cadena Avenue) with downtown redevelopment and the Dodge dealership closed after its owner died of a heart attack.
  6. What was the former nickname of Colton? It has something to do with the shape of Colton City Hall (formerly Colton Civic Center) as seen from the air.
  7. What were the names of the two Southern Pacific passenger trains that stopped in Colton? Can you also name the two Union Pacific passenger trains and the one Santa Fe train that stopped in Colton during the 1960s?
  8. What were the five route numbers of the two highways that crossed in Colton before the freeways were built?
  9. What does joint mean in Colton Joint Unified School District?
  10. Before Bloomington High School was built, high school students in Bloomington went to Colton Union High School (having more than one high school meant that Colton was no longer a one high school high school district, the "union" was dropped, and the high school district subsequently "unified" with the elementary districts in Colton, Bloomington, and Grand Terrace.) Before Eisenhower High School was built in 1958, where did high school students in Rialto go to school?
  11. Name a dairy located in Colton. It was actually outside the city limits on Cypress Avenue.
  12. What was the major chain supermarket at the Mount Vernon Shopping Center? What about the major supermarket at the Rancho Vista Shopping Center (Rancho Avenue and Mill Street, next to the T.G.&Y.)?
  13. What was the name of the coffee shop located in front of the old Stater Brothers supermarket on I Street (later Valley Boulevard)?
  14. What were the names of the Stater brothers?
  15. Name a popular 1960s songwriter who graduated from Colton High School. His father had been the pastor at the First Southern Baptist Church (now Sierra Vista Baptist Church).
  16. For whom was Colton named?
  17. How did the Colton High School Yellow Jackets get their nickname in the late 1920s? What was the schools nickname previous to this?
  18. Name the original members of the old high school Citrus Belt League. When they were built in the 1950s, Pacific (San Bernardino) and Fontana were added to this group.
  19. For what professional sports team did Kenny Hubbs play?
  20. Name a current celebrity who graduated from Colton High School. (Not me.)
  21. Where was the first Stater Brothers market?
  22. Name a former Colton High School student who played professional football, then returned to the school to teach English.
  23. What were the three brands of fuel sold by Ray Phillips Truck Stop?
  24. What was the name of the hamburger stand across the street from Colton Union High School (corner of Third and I Streets)?
  25. What was the original name of La Cadena Drive in Riverside?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

KCOP Channel 13 - - Very Independent - - Chris Craft Station

It went on the air in 1948 as KMTR-TV. When radio station KMTR became KLAC shortly thereafter, so the TV station became "KLAC-TV, Where everything is active." When the Copley Press, publisher of the San Diego Union and Evening Tribune bought the station, it became KCOP. The Chris Craft motor boat company bought it in 1960.

All of the pioneer TV stations of Los Angeles were unique. KCOP was no exception. They made most of their own commercials in the 1950s. This was the original station that had commercials for Worthington Dodge, somewhere on Slauson Avenue in Huntington Park... I remember everything except the house number. Did you know Cal Worthington (b. 1920) was a Hudson dealer? This began when Mad Man Muntz (1914-87) was still selling Kaiser-Frazers and used cars at his lot downtown.

Anyway, KCOP had the best Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Lloyd Thaxton (1927-2008) had a musical show every day. Around the time in my life I started school, channel 13 had travel programs almost every night of the week. Bill Burrud (1925-90) had several shows. The one I remember most was the one with Hal Linker, his wife Hadla, and their son, Harold. Always wearing their Sunday best for their program, I always had a fear that if I ever flew on a commercial airliner, I'd never look good enough. By the time I made my first flight at age 15, no one cared.

Despite having studios in the middle of Hollywood (located at 915 North La Brea Avenue, two blocks north of Pink's Hot Dog Stand at 709 North La Brea Avenue), channel 13 always had a folksy, non Hollywood air about it. They had a contest which always had such prizes as a car, a trip to somewhere exciting, and a Packard Bell console color television/stereo system. They never told about the contest much on TV but there was always a poster about it at the local laundromat.

KCOP was always very different. We could always count on the station to bring cartoons, until all the stations quit showing cartoons in the late 1980s. And also the best of the worst in low budget movie classics. However, in 1995, it became the Los Angeles outlet of the United Paramount Network. Ah, but that was only two hours a night. Well, a few years later, the boat company merged with News Corporation, the owners of the Fox network.

In 2003, the station moved in with KTTV, the Fox station, at 1999 South Bundy Drive in West Los Angeles. Today, channel 13 doesn't even have its own website. Everything seems to be a KTTV hand-me-down.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What was on the Radio in Colton 1969...

In 1969 you could go to the Thrifty Drug Store at the Mount Vernon Shopping Center (I rode there on my bicycle) and, for $3.50, buy a pocket transistor radio. During the day, I wired it to the handlebars of my bike. At night, it was under my pillow.

Here are some of the things we heard:

570 kHz
Middle of the Road Music (Talk at Night)
Los Angeles

590 kHz
KFXM "Tiger Radio"
Top 40
San Bernardino

640 kHz
Variety (Full Service)
Los Angeles

690 kHz
XETRA "Xtra Music"
Beautiful Music

710 kHz
Adult Standards
Los Angeles

740 kHz
KBIG "K-Big" (daytime)
Beautiful Music
Avalon (on Santa Catalina Island)

790 kHz
Los Angeles

870 kHz
KIEV (daytime)
Country and Western (and other stuff)

900 kHz
KGRB (daytime)
Big Band
West Covina

920 kHz
Top 40
Palm Springs

930 kHz
KHJ "Boss Radio"
Top 40
Los Angeles

980 kHz
All News
Los Angeles

1020 kHz
KGBS (daytime only)
Light Pop (featuring Bill Ballance)
Los Angeles

1050 kHz
KTOT (daytime only)
Big Bear Lake

1070 kHz
Los Angeles

1090 kHz
Oldies (with Wolfman Jack) at night
and the Holy Rosary (in English and Spanish) during the day
Rosarito, Baja California

1110 kHz

1150 kHz
KIIS "Kiss Radio"
Top 40
Los Angeles

1190 kHz
Top 40

1220 kHz
Top 40

1240 kHz
KRNO "The Golden Sound"
Beautiful Music
San Bernardino

1260 kHz
Adult Standards
San Fernando

1290 kHz
KMEN "K-Men" (ABC)
Top 40
San Bernardino

1300 kHz
San Gabriel

1330 kHz
KFAC (Mutual)
Classical Music
Los Angeles

1350 kHz
Country and Western
San Bernardino

1370 kHz
Top 40

1410 kHz

1440 kHz

1480 kHz
Top 40
Santa Ana

1490 kHz

1510 kHz
Easy Listening

1540 kHz
Beautiful Music
Los Angeles

1570 kHz
Adult Standards

1600 kHz
Top 40

Do notice the lack of religious radio stations. During the 1960s these were all on FM, except for the Rosaries on XERB.

I will have more about radio in upcoming postings.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What is Your Favorite Color?

Listed below are eight colors. Find your favorite color and see if the description matches your personality:

GREEN - - Nature lover, likes to sleep outdoors when possible (if the weather is right), concerned about the worlds problems.
YELLOW - - Likes to have fun, nice personality, friendly, but can be in own world at times.
RED - - Very passionate (throws oneself into whatever projects are being done or political debates or whatever), has a fiery temper, has a strong personality. (This is also true for the color ORANGE.)
BLUE - - Animal lover, likes to sleep with the window open. Concerned about local problems.
WHITE - - Very organized. Hates messiness. Very prompt. Keeps a tight schedule.
BROWN - - Likes to give instructions. Likes to talk. Concerned about people's feelings. A hard worker.
PURPLE - - Doesn't care about what people think about himself/herself. Very free thinker.
BLACK - - An intellectual who likes to talk and pick people's brains. Concerned about family.
PINK - - A fun person who likes to make friends. Tells great jokes. A very devoted and loyal worker.

Write your comments below. I've used this for the past six years and it's 99% right. I use it as part of the counseling sessions I give. I can tell so much from what a person's favorite color is.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Pleasant Thought for the Day...

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564. He died 52 years later on April 23, 1616, his fifty second birthday. If I haven't accomplished anything else, I outlived him.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ontario International Airport

Between August 1995 and June 1997 I was Teacher of Instrumental Music and English as a Foreign Language at Sekolah Pelita Harapan--Bukit Sentul Campus, located near Bogor, West Java, Indonesia. One of the benefits of being a teacher there was receiving money for a round trip ticket to our home of record.
When I took the job, they flew me from Los Angeles International Airport. I remember being happy that the company put us on Singapore Airlines and not Philippine Airlines. There was a Philippine Airlines plane next to our plane. It would leave thirty minutes after us. But it began loading thirty minutes earlier. And they packed it like a sardine can.
My wife was a Green Card holder at this time and had to periodically make trips to the United States for two weeks at a time. We'd go to Guam for a fraction of the cost to California and it satisified that requirement. (Continental Airlines no longer flies between Bali and Guam so I don't know what we'd do today...)
When the school had us fill out the paperwork for our travel bonuses they wanted to know the closest airport to our homes of record, not necessarily the one where we came from. I wrote: Ontario International Airport (ONT). They said we could get more money that way.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) would pay $750 per person or $3,000 for the family. I got $7,000 or $1,750 per person. I thought the extra $4,000 was a mistake. It's only 15 minutes to fly to Ontario from LAX. Why should it cost an extra thousand bucks?
The school answered that their books said that it's four hours to fly from Los Angeles to anywhere in the province of Ontario. Then I knew they didn't understand. They never knew that Ontario is a large city in Southern California. I tried to explain over and over. Too bad I didn't bring any road maps to Indonesia!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Old Time Radio... IN 1994!

When most people think of Old Time Radio (OTR) they think to the 1930s or 1940s. Some of us don't have to go so far. Los Angeles radio, 1994, had KMPC (710 kHz) still playing adult standards. There was a lot of TalkRadio, SportsRadio, and Spanglish radio. AM radio was humming 15 years ago. There was very little in the way of Top-40, although it was still around. The alternative non-TalkRadio/non-SportsRadio/non-Spanglish stations offered SUPERIOR entertainment and information.

KPLS, at 830 kHz, in Orange was the Los Angeles home of Radio Aahs. Previously, this station was the home of Catholic Family Radio, offering liturgy, music, sermons, and (really late at night) OLD TIME RADIO! As for Radio Aahs, most of the personalities were actual children with a few adult announcers and there were plenty there for supervision. The network studios were located in the Minneapolis -Saint Paul area of Minnesota and the commercials featured lots of products for which that area is famous, such as General Mills cereals and Pillsbury cookie dough.

KGRB at 900 kHz in Industry (licensed to West Covina) offered the best in popular music of the past 75 years. There were plans to offer, in addition to the NBC Radio news it had on the hour, to add NBC old time radio shows and give it the call letters, KNBC. NBC never owned a radio station in Los Angeles. Because of the illness and subsequent death of the stations owner, the planned NBC station never happened.

KNX at 1070 kHz, under George Nicholaw, offered one of the best full service AM radio stations in the country. It never offered 24 hours of news. Even during disasters, when the Drama Hour was not aired, there were other features broadcast.

But it was the Drama Hour that kept us focused on that station. The old radio shows, some of which were broadcast from Columbia Square when they first aired, were a fixture on the station until the night of October 31, 2004, when the station decided we needed more news, so they added TalkRadio and a cooking show. Bleah!

I'll have more about radio much later on.


Today is my birthday. At 4:30 PM (Philippines time) I will officially be 52 years old (this was 1:30 AM in Riverside, California, where I was born). Since I don't like the traditional birthday song that the Hill sisters wrote about 120 years ago (and it's still under copyright), let me teach you this song.

This is great:

Put another candle on my birthday cake
We're gonna bake a birthday cake
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I'm another year old today

I'm gonna have a party with my birthday cake
Come on and take some birthday cake
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I'm another year old today

We'll have some pie and sandwiches
And chocolate ice cream too
We'll sing and play the day away
And one more thing I'm going to do

I'll blow out the candles on my birthday cake
And when I do, a wish I'll make
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I'm another year old today

Put another candle on my birthday cake
We're gonna bake a birthday cake
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I'm another year old today

I'm gonna have a party with my birthday cake
Come on and take some birthday cake
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I'm another year old today

We'll have some pie and sandwiches
And chocolate ice cream, too
We'll sing and play the day away
And one more thing I'm going to do

I'll blow out the candles on my birthday cake
And when I do, a wish I'll make
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I'm another year old today

"Happy birthday to you"
I'm another year old today.

Thanks, Sheriff John!