Best in Show honors were awarded for Gary Bunker’s 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air. Photo by Terri Hill
1967 Chevy 6000 Truck, owned by Larry and Margaret Popp received the Best Chevy Truck Award. Photo by Vicky Rinek
Classic cars fill Wrightwood Village By Terri Hill A reported 246 cars cruised into town for the 2017 Wrightwood Mountain Classic Car Show Saturday. Clear skies and a cool breeze welcomed visitors and residents to one of the town’s most popular events. Last year Car Show attendance suffered, as the show was postponed due the Blue Cut Fire. Wrightwood Community United Methodist Church hosted their traditional Pancake Breakfast at the Community Building. Volunteers from the congregation, and then some, cooked and served fluffy flapjacks, scrambled eggs, sausage, juice, and coffee. On and off throughout the morning, tables were full, as hungry diners ate, drank, and visited with each other. The vendor court outside included the traditional car show t-shirt trailer, some local fare, clothing, hats, and artwork. Stretching up both sides and the middle of Park, and east to west on Evergreen and Apple Streets, colorful hoods were raised on everything from Model Ts to the muscle cars of the 1970s. Hot rods and trucks, from “under construction” to cherry competed for attention, and prizes. Margie Bolsinger, with her husband Darwin, proudly displayed her 1969 Firebird, Pontiac Convertible. Margie is the car’s second owner. In 1970, her husband bought the Firebird for her, on the day their son Robert was born. Margie and Darwin live in Santa Ana, and have a cabin in Wrightwood. “We come up every two to three weeks, and we love Wrightwood!” Margie said. She has entered her Firebird in the show once before, and had signed up last year but was unable to come due to scheduling conflicts after the fire. Notable honorees this year included Dave Tobar, who won Best 1030s Coupe for his 1932 Ford 3-window Coupe. Tobar also won the distinction of having traveled the farthest for the show; he came from Havasu. Mike Ludwig awarded his own prize, Achievement of Excellence Award, to Harold Mantz, for his 1951 Ford F1 Pickup. Best in Show honors were awarded for Gary Bunker’s 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air. Gary explained, “The car is custom. I wanted mine to be different, there are a lot of ’56 Bel Airs out there!” Gary designed the car, and it was built by Richardson Custom Auto Body in Washington State. He chose tan and deep red interior colors. He sent a 1-foot square piece of each color upholstery to the company that would paint the exterior, Ron Mangus in Rialto, CA. The Chevy’s engine is a 350 ZZ4 with auto overdrive, and independent rear suspension. Gary lives in Las Vegas and shows his Bel Air approximately 18 times per year, in the western states. Ending the afternoon on good note, the father and sons group, Music Formula brought their local talent to the live stage on Evergreen. As always, there was something for everyone at annual car show, and it seemed that everyone was there.
Eclipse unifies District campuses By Terri Hill
Monday’s eclipse event was celebrated at every campus in the Snowline District. In April of this year, the Science Transition Team (science teachers from around the district) approached the principals of each school with the idea that every campus would plan activities to view and celebrate the first North American, coast to coast, total solar eclipse in nearly a century. Wendi Rodriquez, 8th grade science teacher at The Heritage School, explained their campus used the opportunity to teach a myriad of concepts related to the Sun. The 7th and 8th grade students set up demonstrations and experiments, in which the younger children participated. Nathan Gillard, a student in Mrs. Rodriguez’ class, built a solar oven. He cooked s’mores in the space-age looking roaster. Impromptu demonstrations took place on the field, where children were gathered to witness the phenomenon. Eighth-grader Ryan Johnson let the sun shine through a circle he made with his index finger and thumb. The result was a shadow picture, on the ground, of the eclipse. One advantage the Snowline students enjoyed, was the special relationship Mrs. Rodriguez has with NASA. In January of this year, Rodriguez flew to the Stratosphere aboard SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) as an Airborne Astronomy Ambassador. Using that connection, she requested safety glasses for the entire Snowline student body. NASA sent 10,000 pair, enough for the 8,000 students, plus teachers, administrators, and parents. Last year, the school’s parent-teacher organization, Very Important Parent Association (VIPA) purchased a telescope for the school. Quentin Schroder and Josh Kiehl hosted the viewing party, assisting amateur photographers with photos of the event, as seen through the telescope. Josh was in charge of, “chasing” the event, keeping the telescope aimed at the Sun as it and moon appeared to converge. At elementary level campuses through high school, viewing stations were filled with students eager to witness the unifying event. With a clear sky, the eclipse was easily viewed. Although our area did not see totality, we in the High Desert were able view without interference from clouds or fog. If you missed the eclipse, you won’t have to wait 99 years for the next one. A total solar eclipse will be visible in the United States April 8, 2024. The next total eclipse will be visible in Mexico, the central US, and eastern Canada, with a partial eclipse visible across North and Central America.
Summer Dance Party Closes Music Season
L-R: rhythm guitar Chris Dover, drums Mike Calderon, Buddy Holly (Adam Webster) on upright bass Bill Dickson, Sax Jesse Adams. Photo by Michael Palecki
By Michael Palecki
Last Saturday evening in a special conclusion to the 2017 outdoor concert season, more than 500 music fans attended the Wrightwood Summer Dance Party presented by Music in the Pines Music at The Apple Farm venue. While adults completely filled the dance floor, children were accommodated with a supervised playground and dance floor of their own overlooking the amphitheater. In a remarkable mystical feat, the spirits of Buddy Holly and Ray Charles were channeled as headliners with The Fontane Sisters featured as solo and back up vocalists. Impersonating Buddy Holly on lead guitar and vocals was Adam Webster. He was so authentic with a Texan drawl introducing songs and playing that rock & roll, for which the audience went wild clapping, cheering and dancing, much the same as others did some 59 years ago. On upright piano clinking the ivories and singing, Greg Jones was the consummate Ray Charles in vocals and gestures. Additional musicians included Chris Dover on rhythm guitar, Bill Dickson on upright bass, Jesse Adams playing saxophone, with Mike Calderon on drums. Looking like young ladies of the 1950s, with billowing skirts and petticoats, The Fontane Sisters were Michele Schneider as Bea, Brittan Egnozzi as Geri, and Gayle Dowling as Marge, all mimicking that New Jersey girl accent in bantering between songs. Highlights of Act I included Buddy Holly singing “Peggy Sue,” “Every Day,” and two other songs with his band. After that, The Fontane Sisters came onstage to sing harmonies for “Mister Sandman,” the chorus for “Not Fade Away” with Buddy, and lead vocals for “Lollipop.” After that, Bea Fontane guided Ray Charles onstage to his piano where he led the entire cast in a blistering rendition of “I Gotta A Woman.” Slowing things down, Ray and the Fontanes then sang the real sweet yet moody tearjerker “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” Leading into Act II, The Fontane Sisters performed “Mister Lee” and then one of their own songs “Hearts Made Of Stone” with Ray joining in and a notable saxophone solo. Following that, Buddy dedicated “True Love Waits” to his wife Marie Ellen back in Texas, with more saxophone music gliding slow dancers. Ramping things up once again, Ray Charles ripped through “Let The Good Times Roll,” “What’d I Say,” “Hit The Road Jack,” and “Rave On,” with the Fontanes singing and gyrating in dance for the conclusion. After thunderous applause and cheering for “Encore, encore,” Buddy announced, “We got a couple more songs for you” with the first being “Words Of Love,” for slow dancing, followed by the pulsating song “Shout” with the shooby- doo-wap-do-wap… chanting and arms thrust to the sky as high octane dancers shouted “Hey, hey, hey.” With that vibrant finale, the entire cast took a bow as Music in the Pines Director Claudia Campbell thanked the audience for the best ever 2017 outdoor concert season at The Apple Farm.
Wrightwood Radio Presents Stevearino
By Michael Palecki
Aside from his cigar and gift shop, the Stogie Fogey, in the Wrightwood Village, Gary Cron’s true passions have been music and the allure of Route 66. In 2009, he launched a digital Internet radio station found at www.babyboomerradio.com, which features golden oldies songs. That was followed by www.route66radio.com, which has the same music show but the sponsors and articles more germane to Route 66. On July 15, legendary Southern California radio DJ, Steve “Stevearino” Elliott, came aboard to anchor the 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. timeslot with the “Wake up with Stevearino” show. Last week, Gary “Dafogey” Cron arranged an interview with Stevearino, to discuss the format of his show as well as some highlights of his career. Following the tradition of Dafogey’s Diner show, Stevearino will be streaming music from the glory days of Route 66 and oldies, classic country and rock songs from the 1950s to the 1970s. All programming can be listened to on desktop, laptop, iPad, and other mobile devices. Stevearino’s career began with teaching comedy traffic school, as he “Greased the wheels” in the Los Angeles comedy scene. It was while performing as the warm up comedian at the Playboy Club that his impersonation of celebrities caught the attention of KHJ-AM radio DJ Robert W. Morgan. When asked if he could record a few impersonations to fill in after commercials Stevearino replied, “I can do 150 character voices.” After recording and hearing those short hooks… “Stay tuned for the Robert W. Morgan Show” in celebrity voices, Stevearino realized he had a good voice for radio and attended broadcasting school, taught by leading radio DJs, for three years. With that voice and the training of how to conduct interviews and how to cue up vinyl records, a successful career followed over the years at radio stations KRLA, KFOX, KFROG, KLAC and KZLA. When asked about the format of his morning show Stevearino commented, “I was taught by Robert W. Morgan to make listeners feel like they are wearing a comfortable pair of slippers. At the same time each day, I schedule listeners’ call-ins, impersonations, and Dan the Weatherman in between songs. In school I learned, “Be yourself, be a friend and be a conversationalist. I like to be eclectic.” In the voice of Mae West, he quipped, “What’s he doing today?” As for his most memorable interview Stevearino confided, “I was scheduled to interview Dolly Parton at the radio station and she brought her dog along. Without skipping a beat I asked her some questions about her dog and that really broke the ice. After that, the conversation flowed nicely on a number of topics for a great interview.” In closing Dafogey remarked, “I have been doing the radio station since 2009 but something was missing. Now with Stevearino, everything is complete on the 24/7 broadcast. With that Stevearino closed mimicking W.C. Fields, “Don’t forget, Dafogey is coming up next,” as he does each morning.
Serving Wrightwood, Phelan, Pinon HIlls and West Cajon Valley Since 1961