TUESDAY, JUNE 24
An 81-year-old Banning resident is arrested after threatening to shoot city employees—even though none of them had been on his lawn. Apparently, Henry Arreola had gone to City Hall because he was upset over an outstanding bill that was owed to the city, which he claimed to have paid. He was booked into jail. No lawn there, either.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25
Jesus Christ, who’s pretty famous for the government-sanctioned torture that he some-would-say miraculously suffered and survived a couple thousand years ago, gets a little insult piled upon those injuries when somebody vandalizes a mural that’s been honoring him in Lenwood for at least two decades. The spray-painted moustache and blacked-out eyes that were applied to the mural—which shows Jesus with his arms outstretched below the words “Jesus Loves You—So Do We”—is no crown of thorns. But it definitely messes up a landmark that was created some 20 years ago on the side of a now-vacant printing shop at the corner of West Main Street and Lenwood Road. The dramatic rendering of the Son of God means a lot to the locals. How much? Fredi Ward, co-owner of the Barstow Lenwood Transmissions shop across the street, said when she gives people directions to her business, the customers often mention the Jesus mural. So with their local Jesus looking like Groucho Marx, where will people turn? Thank God, that hasn’t changed: either left or right.
THURSDAY, JUNE 25
Speaking of torture: rodeo! They held one of those All-American Animal-Abuse Festivals last weekend in Lake Elsinore, and a couple more are coming soon to satisfy sadists in Norco and San Bernardino. And you know what’s weirder than transforming crude but once-utilitarian skills like calf-roping and bronc-busting into entertainment in the name of tradition? Whining about how the high cost of gas makes it difficult to get to rodeos. But that’s what many modern “cowboys” are doing. The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports that one rich stock contractor is actually cutting back on the use of his personal airplane, pain that has trickled down to the guy who tries to ride the terrified horses while frenzied people scream for more. “It’s killing me,” says Jason Martin, a bareback rider from Norco. “It’s killing everybody. It’s making a lot of guys not want to go to rodeos.” Chalk one up for $4.50 gas.
FRIDAY, JUNE 26
Speaking of torture: autobiographies! The Lake Elsinore Genealogical Society is offering a twice-monthly class on how to write one. Some tips: 1) Write down personal information about yourself including physical description, places you’ve lived, professions and experiences; 2) Put together a timeline of your life including memories of your wedding day, graduations, birth of children and other major events; 3) Stack into a pile; 4) Burn.
SATURDAY, JUNE 27
Speaking of torture: I install air conditioner.
SUNDAY, JUNE 29
Summer’s barely started but some people in the City of Industry are already thinking about autumn Sundays filled with NFL football. Doesn’t sound very industrious to me. In fact, a plan to build a professional football stadium sounds like big-scale welfare—free use of $600 million to $800 million in public land for 65 years, along with the construction of sewers, streets and utilities. Sad that anybody in Southern California—burned twice in 1994, when the Rams and Raiders skipped town—is still thinking like that. The mindset derives from a bygone era when a big-league sports franchise really was one of the marks of a great city. Now the opposite is true. Southern Californians set a new standard for the truly modern metropolis when they reacted to the simultaneous loss of the Rams and Raiders by telling the NFL to screw itself. They realized they lost their teams because the politicians of St. Louis and Oakland used public money to bribe team owners Georgia Frontiere and Al Davis. LA voters have served warning to their politicians that to reward such crass behavior will be an act of political suicide. That’s why there is no NFL franchise in the area. That’s also why all the best NFL games are on free local TV. If the Rams or the Raiders — or some new expansion franchise — were playing in Industry, we’d be saddled with watching their games every week, per the NFL television contract. Know how crappy the Rams and Raiders are these days? Can you imagine how crappy an expansion team would be? Not having a team with “Los Angeles” or “Orange County” or even “City of Industry” in its name doesn’t diminish a real football fan’s enjoyment of an NFL season—particularly in this era of fantasy football leagues. Besides, the way NFL tickets are priced, just about anybody with money to attend a game here can afford a plane ticket to St. Louis or Oakland—or Nashville, Jacksonville, Charlotte or any of the other gullible hick cities that believe they are “major league” because they’ve been bamboozled into forking over millions of dollars to NFL crooks for a team that’ll be gone as soon as somebody else offers more
MONDAY, JUNE 30