Wednesday, August 20, 2014


On July 17, I had an outdoor concert with the San Bernardino Symphony. You could call it a folklorico concert, with singers, a dance troupe and colorful costumes. The concert was in the city of Fontana. This was one of those situations that I went out early enough to do a walk. The orchestra did a concert out there about two years ago, so I know there is a fine bike path that goes right by the park we perform in. It is the Pacific Electric Inland Empire Trail. It is long. Two years ago, I headed west. It was one of those times I went way too far. I barely made it back to change into my concert clothes and get seated before the downbeat. Fontana strikes me as a friendly city. On both walks, practically everyone I passed said "Hello." That is not my usual experience. The mayor is an African American woman. One of my old high school chums tells me that she went to high school with us. I don't remember her, but there are a lot of folks I went to high school with that I don't remember. Some of them would be real hurt if they knew that, but high school was a long time ago. 

This year I headed east. Fontana is pretty much the terminus of the path on the eastern end, so I figured there shouldn't be any danger of being late. The main advantage of walking on a bike path is the speed, because it is dedicated. You don't have to worry about traffic, inviting storefronts, beckoning BBQ joints, etc. The disadvantage is that you miss out on exciting things like inviting store fronts, beckoning BBQ joints, etc. Still there is plenty to see.

>>Here<< is the map of the walk.

The beginning. The park is right behind me. To the right is Fontana Middle School. What is straight ahead is about to be discovered.

A marker.

The final resting place for local toilets. What stories they must have to tell! Toilets have an interesting history.

I have a thing for cacti. Who knows what this thing is. It was so crazy I had to stop for a shot. After the toilets, it was the highlight of the walk.

There is one of these in my front yard. A single one, not a whole colony like this thing.  

This is the one in my front yard. It is rather unassuming in the daytime...

...but nine days later when the moon comes out, they loose their minds.
Another final resting place, abandoned trees in a defunct nursery.

This marks the end of the trail.

And industrial area. A lot of Fontana seems to be industrial areas. I am now on the streets of Fontana. I always try to walk back a different way than I came. More to see. 

It was hot enough that I was tempted to try to get inside of this old ice house. 

Though this is just a big, empty lot, Fontana is kind'a rural. 

A one-stop shopping  center.

Another one-stop shopping center. They must have a true symbiotic relationship.

Early set-up for the concert at Miller Park.

A big moment.

The tenor, soprano (her back to us) and members of Ballet Folklorical De Los Angeles.

Another thing I do on these far flung jobs is try to find interesting victuals. In the past few years, I often specifically look for places that sell tamales. I like tamales. I usually buy a dozen and take them home. There is a problem with buying a dozen tamales before doing a four - five mile walk, then a long summer concert. (Summer concerts always seem long, because you are usually playing tune-y music and endless medleys.) The problem is called bacterial growth. The tamales are hot, so they need to be cooled down to room temperature, then cooled further for holding. All of that is very hard to do when they are sitting in the trunk of the auto. I solved this by buying them uncooked, preferably frozen. Then I just throw them in an ice chest with some ice packs and go about my business. By the time I get home they may not still be frozen, but they are still at a safe temperature. I steam and refreeze them. A couple of minutes in the microwave and they are perfect for a quick, anytime meal. Given Southern California's demographic make-up, it is not hard to find places that make tamales. It can be difficult to get them to sell them to me uncooked. At this place in Fontana, the problem was getting the woman to understand what I wanted. English was not her first language. English did not even seem to be her second language. I had to pull a popsicle out of their freezer  unit to get across to her what I wanted. Once she understood, there was no problem. This place was the Leslie Bakery. The tamales were good. If I ever go back to Fontana, I'm going to get more tamales from there.

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