Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Pomona Holiday Parade - Just the Highlights







It was another only in Pomona event down Holt this morning. For those of you who attended the parade, I'm sure you agree that the parade is both traditional and bizarre; full of happy people but kind of sad; and completely heartfelt and entertaining as well. Even the poor guy whose job it was to pick up the horse poop got lots of respect, with "Merry Christmas" and "Feliz Navidads" shouted at him.

The one photo that I hoped to be able to show was of David Allen as grand marshall. Seems that the parade must have actually started on time, because by the time we arrived, David's car was long gone. I did spot him looking quite L.A. Confidential in a 40's hat and suit and I thought carrying an old camera (the kind with the huge flash, or was that a reporter's steno pad???) Anyways, by the time Big and I tried to approach him, he had faded into the crowd. If anyone can email me a photo to post, I'd appreciate it.

My favorites were the Pomona Day Laborers, who marched with saws and axes in their hand; the School of the ARts' marchers who carried arty stick figures. Victory Outreach Recovery Program had quite the showing with "rangers?" and cheerleaders. The Black Hawk motorcycle club was the only all-African-American entry.

The police were out in force, but didn't seem at all interested in the crowd, but rather having fun walking and driving down the street. Yes, that is a SWAT truck in the photo. Is it typical to have a SWAT truck in a parade? They also had 3 of the police dogs, including Marco (the one who bites) and Willow (the bloodhound that doesn't bite).

There were lots of low riders this year, including the silver car I have pictured which was the lowest of the low, at probably 3/4 of an inch from the ground.

There were horses, which included the midget horse I have pictured.

One pleasant suprise for this vermicilli noodle dish lover: the Pomona Valley Vietnamese Association had a car in the parade.

My only complaint is that there were one too many guns in the parade....relax, the guns were in the hands of the various local ROTC chapter members, not those local gang members we're always reading about. To balance the militaristic stuff, I'd like to see a peace float next year, and a showing by the Pomona Regens or something else at least slightly green. And heck, what about a Blogging Pomona float, since it's looking like Meg, K, David and I won't be the only folks blogging Pomona for long. All I know is that it is sure nice to have company in the blogosphere, after a year and a half of writing posts that mostly no one ever responded to. And it was wonderful to feel the love this morning down on Holt. Whatever else you say about the town of Pomona, the everyday residents here are overwhelmingly open-hearted, open-minded and salt of the earth. I was glad to be among them there in front of the 99 cents store today.

You can view more photos, care of SanDimas.net,
here.

19 comments:

David Allen said...

A nice post about the occasionally odd, mostly fun and always heartfelt parade, Goddess. I love the idea of a Blogging Pomona float next year!

I'm so sorry I missed you and Big. I'd been hoping to meet you both.

You can find dozens of parade photos on the dailybulletin.com home page, under "photo galleries." There's one of me on the sidewalk chatting with a reader.

It was indeed an old-school camera I was carrying but one without an enormous flash. The homemade press card in my hatband is unfortunately not visible in any of the photos, as my head is turned the same way in all of them.

There's more about the parade on my blog.

The Pomona Progress said...

Great event and I have to compliment the sample at the DB.

Mr. Allen's article, though, struck me as the guest who comes for dinner and then complains about your house. Were the comments about crime and the type of stores really necessary? On the other hand, his blog entry seemed more even-handed. Was this a DB decision?

David Allen said...

Were my comments really necessary? No, but if I stuck to what was necessary, these would be some mighty short columns.

I only mentioned the type of stores because 1) that part of Holt doesn't show Pomona off at its best and 2) I needed to set up the "muffler shop" comment by the cop. The crime stuff kind of went along with people's image of Holt.

Blame me if you like; my editors aren't telling me what to write.

Excuse us for taking up so much of your "comment" space, Goddess.

Ed said...

Am I the only one bothered by this admission?

By "people's image of Holt" are you referring to victims of crime on Holt or readers whose only view of Holt is from the pages of the DB? Do we have carjackings on Holt? I drive it frequently, so should the public be concerned?

If you didn't like the route, perhaps the appropriate action would have been to suggest alternatives. Solidifying to the vast majority of DB readers who are also non-Pomona residents, the view that Pomona has scant retail opportunities of interest certainly doesn't help the revenue opportunities of the city.

With Pomona accounting for a meager 10% of the DB readership, I can somewhat understand the cheap shots volleyed at the City Council, but I really expected something else in a Holiday Parade grand marshal's review of the day.

Fool me once....Fool me twice...

David Allen said...

Usually everyone is kidding me about looking at Pomona through rose-colored glasses, so this is interesting. Honestly, if anyone took offense at my cracks, I apologize. It was all meant in fun.

I'll add only that a new parade route is likely next year, with the goal of having the parade end at Holiday Lane (changing the route is harder to accomplish than you'd think), and that my list of business types along Holt included "Vietnamese and Mexican restaurants," which is hardly a roll call of shame.

Goddess of Pomona said...

Just watching the ping pong game. Okay, Ed, you're up next. :)

Seeing Clearly in Pomona said...

Well, I'm not Ed but will lobby my own ping-pong ball. Although the intent may have been humor, the joke fell flat and only adds to the perception of those outside Pomona that Pomona is an unsafe place to be.

Perhaps David, you should get your rose-colored glasses cleaned and start asking those who actually live in Pomona whether your repeated portrayal of Pomona as a crime-ridden city acurately reflects their experience.

David Allen said...

"...your repeated portrayal of Pomona as a crime-ridden city..."??

Ed said...

My turn, I guess.

Just to prevent me from becoming OCD and reviewing every article for crime references that DA has ever written for the Bulletin, I accept the apology that his poking fun is only in jest, and therefore any negative impacts are ok because they aren't intentional(a luxury not usually extended to my children).

Since Mr. Allen is clearly reading these comments, I have only one last question? Why is a humor columnist disproportionally reporting on a city that comprises only a small % of the newspaper's readership? Strikes me as poking fun at the poor people--not exactly politically correct.

Thanks, this has been enlightening.

David Allen said...

Poking fun at who, Ed? "The poor people"? Ed, you owe Pomona an apology.

Solidifying for the vast majority of readers that Pomona is comprised of low-income people is a cheap shot. Is anyone else bothered by his admission? I can't believe he would generalize like that.

Pomona has people of all income levels, but leave it to the naysayers to focus on the negative. Was your comment really necessary? Your view of Pomona's demographics really won't help the revenue opportunities of the city.

OK, taste of everyone's own medicine dispensed, let me answer more seriously...

Obviously everyone has their own opinion on the tone of what I write, and that's fine.

All I can tell you is that most readers seem to recognize that nothing I write is cruel or mean-spirited, and that when people object, usually they're first-time or casual readers who don't get the spirit of my work. (Some of them later become die-hard fans.)

I don't think the Goddess would be linking to my columns if she thought I was running Pomona down.

Even the City Council and city staff enjoy my columns! If they can appreciate them, you might consider that perhaps you're being overly sensitive, and taking offense where none is meant.

Let's see, in recent weeks I've taken a tour of Second Street's soon-to-be-demolished buildings and researched their history; written about the Big Read; met with some leasing agents downtown and suggested businesses that would work well; researched the history of the Christmas Parade...

If this is some litany of negativity, I don't get it. There's probably more critical words about Pomona on this very blog than in my columns, and I don't see anyone bugging the Goddess about it.

(Her occasional sharp words are no doubt easier to take because she's a neighbor, while anything I write is magnified by being in a newspaper, and by being written by a perceived outsider. I get that. But I'm just sayin'.)

Yes, I'm disproportionately reporting on one city, and that's because I'm clearly (to most readers, to the council, to the leasing agents who sought me out, and to the Jaycees) both fond of and rooting for Pomona.

People in other cities, and at Ontario City Hall, for instance, are a little jealous Pomona gets so much of my attention and sometimes get exasperated that I seem to have blinders on that cause me to ignore all of Pomona's flaws that are so evident to them.

So I try to balance things out by playing up other cities when I can. Pomona always draws me back like a magnet, though. It's a fascinating place.

Is it possible you guys are lumping me in with or confusing me with the Bulletin's news coverage or editorials? Sunday's column may have been the first time I've ever mentioned that Pomona HAS crime!

Hope that was enlightening, and I thank the Goddess fot the space and everyone for their time.

Ed said...

I appreciate your candor.

As a resident of Pomona, the demographics of the community has never escaped me,and yet I chose to live here instead of Claremont.

I do believe you are rooting for Pomona, and if this were a Pomona newspaper, I would laugh more freely. Unfortunately, very few of your readers are from Pomona, and your jests simply perpetuate a stereotype that Pomona will find difficult to shed.

Equating comments in a blog to those in the DB...WOW. Maybe GofP should be paid if her readership is a fraction of the DB.

Here's how you can prove me wrong. Over the next 6 months, write about Ontario, Rancho, Upland, or Claremont with the same volume you've dedicated to Pomona. Attend Claremont's Council meeting and maybe throw in a crack about hate crimes, all in jest, of course, There doesn't seem to be any shortage of material for the Claremont Insider. If you don't get some push back from inside or outside the newspaper, you have my deepest apologies.

I'm just curious why a humor columnist picks Pomona!(to write about, not to live in....sorry for the confusion).

Ed said...

David,

I just wanted to add that I'm actually a fan of most of your articles. I love sarcasm and we would probably get along quite well.

What I failed to clarify is that Pomona is in a PR nightmare. I do 'get' your writing and I do believe you intend well. Unfortunately, you are writing for Pomonans, but your readers are not in Pomona. I might have made the same carjacking comment, but the inference to someone from Pomona is likely to be different than to someone in Upland.

For Pomona, no news is good news, and bad news only reinforces the perception of Pomona by outsiders. Your rose-colored glass view of Pomona is the same that residents of Pomona see, but based on your earlier comments, that view isn't shared by your colleagues or some members of Ontario's city council. I realize the carjacking comment was a joke, but from a PR standpoint, those aren't jokes that Pomona needs.

Does that help explain the difference between your blog on the parade and your article, which I think is why this dialogue started?

Goddess of Pomona said...

Dare I jump in?

My take on David's columns has always been that he appreciates Pomona in the same way I do.

I can see Ed's point. Pomona does have a huge image problem -- right up there with Compton, Oakland and Detroit. Our place as the second class city is always part of the joke. On the blog, I try to balance the complaining posts with positive posts, but really I think the complaining posts probably win out. I suppose it's a thin line between calling attention to a problem and airing one's dirty laundry.

I geuss I'm selfish, as I don't want to see David write more columns about Rancho. Nor do I think most people do, including people who live in Rancho! I like the Pomona columns too much.

My hope is that we will all be seeing progress in Pomona in the next two years, and that David will be right there to tell everyone else about it. And maybe one day outsiders won't continue to ask: "Is it safe there?" Maybe then we'll be nostalgic for the good old days before we had traffic from people flocking downtown to buy breads and pizzas at that co-op bakery I dream about.

G of P

Lisa said...

I really don't understand Ed's desire to have David stop covering the city. David's columns are never spiteful.

"World-class array of muffler shops," is funny. And, hey maybe someone will read his column and actually shop for a muffler there ... that's good for business right?

If you can't laugh at yourself from time to time - I'd argue you don't really know yourself or like yourself. And that goes for the things you also hold dear. Humor comes from a place of understanding and appreciation, so lighten up please.

Ed said...

Lisa,

I think you missed my point, but I'll completely agree with you that "humor comes from a place of understanding and appreciation". And if the DB was a Pomona paper, I wouldn't have criticized DA. As a Pomona resident, I do have an "understanding and appreciation" for the humor, but the DB is a San Bernardino County paper, with an audience that likely neither understands nor really appreciates the humor. If you are a reader of David Allen's columns, look again at the response the leasing agent hears when he mentions Pomona. People in Pomona get DA, but the DB is not a Pomona paper.

This was restating the earlier comments, but I wanted to clarify.

Ed said...

For those of you who might venture down this far, let me just add the comment from Chief Romero.

"The failings of Pomona have perpetuated themselves because people have sheepishly accepted what is wrong and been satisfied with low standards."

Why should we accept Pomona to be the butt of the jokes? Shouldn't we expect fair treatment? Since Pomona accounts for approximately 10% of the DB readership, I'll be ok if we are the butt 10% of the time. Oh hell, I'll settle for 15%. Rancho and Ontario account for close to 50% of the readership, shouldn't they be the butt of the joke 50% of the time? Shouldn't we expect David Allen to attend their Council meetings 50% of the time and Pomona's only 10% of the time?

I'm tired of my city being the butt of the joke, so I spoke up.

And just to show that I have a sense of humor.....being carjacked while riding in a parade on Holt......Ha Ha Ha Ha.....that was so funny.

Lisa said...

If the Daily Bulletin, isn't your paper that's one thing. ...

But if the DB isn't Pomona's newspaper, what paper is? The LA Times and the Tribune don't send reporters to city council meetings or other basic events that constitute community reporting. If I remember correctly the Pomona Progress-Bulletin merged with another paper to become the Daily Bulletin.

If the DB is running too many stories out of San Bernardino County -- that's indicative of the problem of merging newspapers. Re: The Bulletin and the Sun. Which leads me to be even more appreciative that the Buleltin can hold onto a columnist with an original voice such as David Allen.

Ed said...

I absolutely agree with you that the real problem is the absence of a local paper. I even agree with you regarding the refreshing quality of David Allen's columns. I already did in a previous comment. I'll even go so far as to state that I would love to see DA write for a Pomona paper.

I'm guessing we disagree on the effect of DA's articles.

Points to consider:

By my numbers, 88% of households in Pomona don't receive the DB.

Negative comments, even in jest, adversely affect the economic opportunities of Pomona, whether through consumers not traveling to Pomona to shop or retail outlets not locating in Pomona.

Lastly, DA is a humor columnist not a beat reporter. His articles are more successful when they are funny, which has eventually lead to some aspect of Pomona being the butt of a joke. There is a reporter assigned to Pomona, so you may want to email her if important city events aren't being covered.

If you roll these three points up in any particular sequence, you'll understand why I'm suggesting that Pomona only gets its fair share.

Even if all the DB subscribers in Pomona don't agree with me, that still leaves about 145,000 Pomona residents (approx. 160,000 in city) who probably don't care if DA spends 90% of his time in other cities.

Hope that clarifies my point. And I actually do have a sense of humor.

Ed said...

Lisa, after reading your comment again I realize that I may not have addressed your point well.

Basically, you're proposing that since Pomona doesn't have any other local paper, then the DB is Pomona's paper. By that logic, Pomona's paper is the same as Upland's, Rancho's, Ontario's, Fontana's, Mira Loma's, etc. Using your logic, doesn't it make sense that David Allen should spend time in these cities, proportional to their readership contributions.

Also, keep in mind that the DB and Sun didn't really merge, but are part of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group (which includes SGVT and others) which is all owned by Media News Group. This corporation is privately-owned and one of the largest newspaper companies in the US. What is best for Pomona probably doesn't come up at the Board Room all that often.