Thursday, January 26, 2017

It looks like we will be skiing on Mammoth Mountain through July thanks to a heavy snowpack, The Mark to roll out a new menu and clearing up the story of Vincent Clerou and the land speed record on a bicycle

* ... MAMMOTH: I heard some good news the other day from a friend who attended an economic summit in Reno, Nevada. During a breakout session on the effects of the seasonal snowfall, there was this good
news from a climatologist:  "They are predicting we will be skiing at Mammoth through July Fourth." And, the same may be true for the closer to home Alta Sierra resort, where friends told me the snow is plentiful and the skiing spectacular. What a change from just a few years ago.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "How many boxes of these Thin Mints do I have to eat before I start to see results?"

 * ... THE MARK: Expect some big changes at The Mark downtown which will be rolling out a new menu over the next several weeks. Jeramy Brown, who proved his flair for the culinary dramatic over at Valentien's, is now running The Mark and will be putting his own personal touch on both the bar and more formal dining room.

 * ... PET LAND: Michael McGlasson wrote to weigh in on the old Thompsonss Pet Land, which he says was located on 19th and N street. Prior to the 1952 earthquake, he said that building was the Greyhound bus depot. "The buses had a covered drive through on the west side from the alley to 19th Street. One building to the east was Tourist Garage and they did maintenance on those buses.
After the earthquake many bricks were salvaged from Tourist garage by anyone who wanted to haul them off. I helped my father doing this and still have some in use."

 * ... VINCE CLEROU: Let's finally set the record straight about the time Vincent Clerou sponsored the land speed record on a bicycle in town. This note from his daughter Romaine Catherine Clerou says it all: "Just for the record, my father, Vincent Clerou, would want the facts given about the land speed record of Alfred Letourneur. My father organized the event. In a pictorial advertisement for Santa Barbara Savings, he tells about the event. According to my father, 'Then in 1941, under the sponsorship of Schwinn, I arranged an attempt at the bicycle land speed record. We built a windscreen on the back of Ronney Householder's midget racer and brought over French 6-day
marathon cyclist Alfred Letourneur. On a long stretch of Highway 99, south of town
we broke the record at 108.92 miles per hour." My father told many times he arranged with the California Highway Patrol to shut down that section of Highway 99 for that race record."

 * ... MORE CLEROU: Henry DeSimas worked at Vincent's Cyclery during the 1980s and fondly recalled those days when "I was fortunate to work in a place alongside of people like bike mechanic and former six day racer Charlie Morton, who also by the way was the captain of the US cycling team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics! Not to mention his amazing collection of antique bicycles going back to the big high wheelers that I tried and failed to handle, I guess that's why they call the modern double diamond style the 'safety bike.' As Paul Harvey would say, 'now you know the rest of the story.'"

 * ... MEMORIES: Nancy Bryant wrote to recall the days when she was a child and "there were photographers on the corner of 19th and Chester who would take random pictures of people, and then ask if you wanted to buy them. If so, you would pay a small fee, and the pictures would be mailed to you. I have half a dozen or so great pictures of members of my family, me included, walking on 19th Street in the late 1940s and early 1950s."

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