Lassie House is Newest Pomona Historic Landmark

8 Jul

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Several hundred people braved the heat in Pomona last Sunday for a ceremony dedicating the historic “Lassie House” as the city’s newest landmark. The Lassie House was home to child star Jon Provost, who played Timmy Martin from 1957 to 1964 on the Lassie television series. Provost lived in the home with his mom and dad, sister Fran and brother William from 1954 to 1959.
“The last time I was in that house I was nine years old,” he told the crowd during the dedication ceremony. “Walking through that house just brought back so many memories.”
Provost recounted one of his less happy memories, the Christmas he and his siblings snuck downstairs and caught their parents putting presents under the Christmas tree. “This is where I found out there was no real Santa Claus,” he said, recalling how his older brother and sister were so amused by his many tears.
When the Provost family moved to the eight bedroom, eight bathroom home in 1954, the Pomona Valley’s citrus industry was still thriving. “This house was surrounded by 20 acres of orange groves,” said Provost. The family had a menagerie of animals, including goats, chickens, kittens and a Lassie puppy that Provost received for his eighth birthday.
“It’s just amazing, what they’ve done,” he said, referring to the home’s new owners, Ray and Michelle Adamyk and their company, Spectra Historic Construction Company, which restores and renovates historic buildings across the west coast. “It’s so important that we keep our history,” added the California native.
The Adamyks and their children moved from Claremont to the large Pomona home last September. “My wife and I really felt a calling to come and serve the city of Pomona,” Ray Adamyk told onlookers, many donning Spectra provided parasols to stave off the hot, summer sun. The company also served guests with a complimentary taco bar, ice water and tea.
Last year the couple bought the old, brick Pomona YMCA building, which Spectra is restoring to serve “the youth of Pomona,” according to Adamyk. Renovation is due for completion in 2020. Four years ago they considered buying the former Provost home and converting it to a sober living home, as they have done to other properties in La Verne and Ontario. But instead they decided to make Pomona their city of residence and purchased the home last year for $660,000. Restoration is ongoing and noisy, but the family plans to put around $700,000 into the renovation, slightly more than their buying price.
At the dedication ceremony, Adamyk described his new home as “Craftorian,” explaining that the original owners had conflicting tastes in design when they had the home built in 1900. The rugged man of the house liked rough woodwork and stone columns, while his dainty wife preferred the Victorian style. After a weekend get-away to Long Beach, the homeowner came up with a way to satisfy both his wife and himself. He decided to make the downstairs a Craftsman house and the upstairs Victorian, with touches of Nouveau and Midcentury Modern.
Adamyk said his new home was purchased not just for his family, but also for the greater community and will be available for community events and use by nonprofits. With the removal of a large fence and hedge that surrounded the property, and a towering tree, the community outreach has already begun.
City of Pomona District 4 Council Woman Elizabeth Ontiveras-Cole spoke briefly, proudly declaring it “International Lassie Day.” She said that she was so grateful to the Adamyks and Spectra for the renovation underway. “It’s not an easy job,” she said. Afterwards, Ontiveras-Cole told me how happy she is with the progress already made on the property and the open view to passersby. “Growing up, we couldn’t see anything,” she said.
Mayor Tim Sandoval is also pleased with the progress and future plans. “This place was always covered by ivy,” he said. “Thank you to Ray and Michelle. This is special.” Sandoval sees knocking down the old perimeter wall as symbolic of the new openness of the historic house and even the city. “It’s symbolic of where our city is from to where it’s going,” he said. “We are an open city.”
With that said, Mayor Sandoval began dedicating the historic home, which was approved as a Historic Landmark by The Pomona City Council. “On this July 1st, I proudly dedicate the Lassie House as a Historic Landmark in the City of Pomona,” he declared to cheering onlookers, who promptly began lining up to tour the inside of the home.
Before the dedication ceremony, several guests, including my husband and myself, got a chance to stroll through the house, which Adamyk says is about 80% complete on the inside and 50% complete on the outside. As we stepped in the front door, a guide told us that a team of mules moved the house from its original location on Holt Boulevard in Pomona to its current address at 1195 Washington Avenue in 1927. The home was originally 3,000 square feet, although expansion over the years, and currently, will bring the total square footage to 7,000, making it the largest residence in Pomona. When the Provost family first moved in, there were backyard wells supplied with water that ran down from Mt. Baldy. A small building in the backyard, called the Carriage House, was also moved to the property sometime in the early 1900’s.
In one of the first rooms we entered, we were pleasantly surprised to meet John Provost and his wife, Laurie Jacobson, who co-authored Provost’s autobiography, “Timmy’s in the Well: The Jon Provost Story.” We were also excited to see Maxx, a gorgeous Champion Rough Collie, owned by Jessica and Cheryl Baldwin. I opted for a photo shoot with the gracious couple and Maxx who seemed to take to me (perhaps detecting the scent of my own pets) and promptly gave me a kiss on the cheek. Maxx’s younger brother, Timmy, now four months old, recently joined the Adamyk family.
After the thrill of meeting the grown up Timmy, Laurie and Maxx, we continued our tour with a view of the back yard. Patti Skulavik, a docent from the Pomona Historical Society, told us the detached guest house and garage were built in the 1950’s. “We love the historical house and everything,” she said enthusiastically. “It’s so cool, just to think that they moved it with mules. I can’t wait ‘til it’s all done, especially the backyard.” By looking out the back windows, we were able to see large boulders, common to the riverbed area, which will be used to landscape a swimming pond, game room, BBQ pits and bath houses.
Other highlights of our home tour included a huge chandelier hung over the long, wooden table in the dining room. According to the docent in that room, it was acquired in the 1950’s from a Masonic Lodge in Glendale. Upstairs, we viewed the old bedroom of Jon Provost, also known as “The Duke’s Room” and his former play area out in the broad hallway, complete with toys. Staff member Vickie Scott pointed out the unique hinges that are used throughout the house adding, “The details were not spared.”
Yes, good things are happening to the old Lassie House and other places in Pomona, thanks, in part, to the Adamyk family and their company, Spectra, where Ray Adamyk serves as president. Spectra, the West Coast’s largest historic contractor, is based in Pomona and is responsible for the preservation of the Hearst Castle, the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, LA’s Biltmore Hotel and several other historic structures.
The Adamyks view their investment in Pomona not just as a calling, but also as a blessing for which they are very excited. During the presentation, Ray suddenly burst out; “Thank you to my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ,” as if he couldn’t contain himself any longer. And when I spoke to his wife, Michelle, later, complimenting her on the wonderful work they are doing, she exclaimed, “To God be the glory!” It’s obvious to me that the Adamyks see their company as more than just a business and their work as something spiritual. And their excitement was catching as so many people were thrilled to be in attendance and to witness the historical building dedication.
On a personal note, I am also excited, as a former Pomona resident, with roots to the city, dating back to the early 1900’s, at least. My husband and I moved from Orange County to Pomona in 1985 to buy our first home and we still go to church in the city. My father was born in Pomona in 1917 and moved around the city quite a bit, as my great-grandfather (who lived with the family), built and remodeled Pomona homes. I have one picture of my father, at age 5 in 1922, standing in front of his home on Columbia Avenue, coincidentally the street my husband and I moved to, not very far from the Lassie House. My grandfather, Victor Young, Sr., was a citrus rancher, Manager of the San Antonio Fruit Exchange, church choir director at the Methodist Church and Presbyterian Church (which burned down) and other churches, and also the lead in local theater productions. (I learned this last fact from newspaper clippings given to me by a woman living in the home my grandparents bought in the Claremont Village.)
Anyway, I first became aware of the Lassie House when my two older girls attended Kingsley Elementary School, directly across the street, in the early 1990’s. Since then, I’ve always loved the house and I was concerned for its future. I don’t think I could have imagined any future so wonderful as Spectra and the Adamyks are providing for the old home and the community. Kudos to you, Ray and Michelle, and thank you for moving to Pomona and restoring its historic buildings!

27 Jun

3151A41D-7EC8-43B1-96CE-44A1B888AFEEIt’s amazing how timeless and more meaningful the Bible becomes as time goes on. Today, I was reading Proverbs 27 and I realized that verse 2 is more relevant today than ever in history. In urging humility, King Solomon writes:
“Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger and not your own lips.”
When, in the history of the world, has it ever been more likely that a stranger will praise the average person than now? Through social media and the Internet, any one of us can now receive praise from someone who agrees with us or likes what we have communicated. On the flip side, never before have we been so open to criticism from strangers. But, in the context of this Bible verse is the lesson that God values humility, as His son modeled, and He wants us to be humble.
Yesterday I read: “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 26:12. Solomon knew that his great wisdom was bestowed upon him by God because he asked God for wisdom and knowledge in order that he could be a good judge over God’s people. Solomon’s request was so pleasing to God that He also threw in “riches, wealth and honor,” such as none of the kings before or after Solomon experienced. 2 Chronicles 1:8-12
On the converse, God is very clear throughout scripture that He hates pride.
“Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.”
Proverbs 16:5
And we can’t forget Proverbs 21:4:
“A haughty look, a proud heart, And the plowing of the wicked are sin,” or that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6
These Bible verses remind me that there is no reason for pride because anything that we have, whether possessions, gifts or talents, is bestowed upon us by God (James 1:17) and He wants us to use what He has given us for His glory.”
According to scripture, the bottom line is, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31

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BEACH BOY AL JARDINE AT THE CAVE, JUNE 15, 2018

20 Jun

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508104B5-591C-4EBA-AA53-B26C0FCE03F5

Last night for my birthday, my husband, Tim, took me to this tiny concert venue called The Cave in Big Bear to see founding Beach Boy member Al Jardine. It was unbelievable!

We sat in “General Admission” and I kept thinking the reserved seats in front of us would start filling up once the concert started, then after the opening act, Shay & Co. They never did fill up. There were, at most, just 150 people there! I was shocked.

Once the concert started, the MC invited anyone to come down front to the “mosh pit” to enjoy the concert and get as close to the stage as we wanted, as long as we didn’t touch any of the performers.

So guess where I went? We were also encouraged to ask questions and I did. I asked Al Jardine how he got into folk music. He answered me, saying that…

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US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SOLVES THE PROBLEM OF WORLD HUNGER!

20 Jun

veronicajamesblog

BREAKING NEWS STORIES

U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SOLVES THE PROBLEM OF WORLD HUNGER!
However, his critics say, “Too little, too late” and one reporter said he thought he saw a piece of lettuce in the teeth of the American President.
U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SECURES PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST!
However, this colossal news story was preempted on American TV by the breaking news that a former Hollywood starlet, Hasbeen Medioker, recently came forward with the shocking realization that she now believes Trump was actually making a pass at her when he leaned forward to pet her beloved (but now deceased) Lhasa Apso, Tena-Dubi, (who was a gorgeous shade of light cream with charcoal blue markings and who enjoyed running in the park and sardine treats, according to the late dog’s obituary) at a coffee shop nearly 30 years ago!
“I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner,”…

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BEACH BOY AL JARDINE AT THE CAVE, JUNE 15, 2018

17 Jun

508104B5-591C-4EBA-AA53-B26C0FCE03F5

Last night for my birthday, my husband, Tim, took me to this tiny concert venue called The Cave in Big Bear to see founding Beach Boy member Al Jardine. It was unbelievable!

We sat in “General Admission” and I kept thinking the reserved seats in front of us would start filling up once the concert started, then after the opening act, Shay & Co. They never did fill up. There were, at most, just 150 people there! I was shocked.

Once the concert started, the MC invited anyone to come down front to the “mosh pit” to enjoy the concert and get as close to the stage as we wanted, as long as we didn’t touch any of the performers.

So guess where I went? We were also encouraged to ask questions and I did. I asked Al Jardine how he got into folk music. He answered me, saying that The Beach Boys were recording in the same studio as the folk group, The Kingston Trio, and it had a great echo chamber. He was so impressed with the sounds the Kingston Trio came up with using that echo chamber that he was inspired to do his first folk rock song with The Beach Boys.

Jardine explained the history of the old tune, probably from the Bahamas, and demonstrated how it was originally sung, along with his band mates, including his son Matt, who sings falsetto with Mike Love’s current Beach Boys touring group. Then they launched into The Beach Boys rendition of “Sloop John B,” a 1966 hit single off the historic Pet Sounds album. It was awesome!

Jardine introduced another Pet Sounds favorite, “God Only Knows,” written by Brian Wilson, as his pick and Paul McCartney’s pick, for the best song ever written. 

Throughout the concert, old footage of The Beach Boys played on a large screen behind the band. Sometimes the footage was interrupted by an interview with someone that Jardine wanted us to watch or a picture that he wanted to discuss. I learned so much!

The concert opened with The Beach Boys’ first recording, “Surfin’,” which hit the air waves in November of 1961. According to Jardine, the newly formed band had a song that leader Brian Wilson wanted to record but they had no instruments. Jardine came up with an idea for the group to “audition for my mom” to get money for instruments. The group sang two songs, including an a cappella number by the Four Freshman, a quartet whose harmonies greatly influenced The Beach Boys, particularly Brian Wilson. It worked. They bought their instruments and the rest is history.

Jardine also shared the story of Brian Wilson receiving an “F” for his composition of “Surfin’” in a music class at Hawthorne High School. Other versions of the story say that Brian actually received the “F” for “Surfin’” in a music class at El Camino College. Either way, it was a great story.

The concert continued with “Surfin’ Safari,” a set of car songs, which included “I Get Around,” The Beach Boys’ first #1 single (1964), and “Little Deuce Coupe.” Other Beach Boy hits included “Good Vibrations,” “California Girls” and “Surfer Girl.”

Jardine said that he felt the late Annette Funicello was the first real surfer girl, I suppose because she played the part in seven “Beach Party” films, beginning in 1963. Then a clip was shown of The Beach Boys playing and singing backup behind Funicello on the title song of the Disney film, “The Monkey’s Uncle,” released in 1965.

Jardine introduced The Beach Boys hit “Don’t Worry Baby” by discussing the group’s admiration for the work of former record producer Phil Spector. He said, “‘Don’t Worry Baby’ was the Beach Boys’ answer to ‘Be My Baby,’” a hit for the Ronnettes, which was produced by Phil Spector.

The audience also viewed photos of the Beatles while Jardine explained to us how John Lennon and George Harrison knocked on his hotel door one day and invited him and the rest of The Beach Boys to meet the Maharishi, who taught all of them Transcendental Meditation.

There was also an interview shown recounting the bizarre making of the song Vegetables in 1967.

California Saga was written after the group spent a frustrating month in Holland working on the Holland album, according to Jardine. He said the band members were all homesick for California when Brian Wilson walked into the room and spontaneously started singing, “On my way to sunny California,” in anticipation of going home. Those words then became the first line of the song, which was released on the Holland album in 1973.

Jardine and his band also played a few songs from his solo CD, A Postcard From California.

Encore songs included Surfing USA, Help Me Rhonda and Barbara Ann.

After the concert, fans were allowed to get up close and personal with Jardine, who signed posters and CD’s.

Compared to many concert sites, The Cave is just a hole in the wall, nestled in the San Bernardino mountains and perhaps the best kept secret of Big Bear. Despite the need for a long drive up a windy, mountain road to get there, The Cave is just 90 minutes from the Inland Empire and two hours from LA and Orange Counties.

Our general admissions seats were extremely close to the stage and cost only $30 apiece with a discount my husband found online. Armed security guards were present, also.

One thing I’ve noticed over the years about the members of The Beach Boys is that these days they all put on a great show. Whether it’s Brian Wilson and band, The Beach Boys, featuring lead vocalist and veteran front man Mike Love or Al Jardine and band, it’s a wonderful bit of nostalgia and fun that you don’t want to miss, if at all possible. So thanks, Tim, for the PERFECT birthday present!

US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SOLVES THE PROBLEM OF WORLD HUNGER!

14 Jun

BREAKING NEWS STORIES

U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SOLVES THE PROBLEM OF WORLD HUNGER!
However, his critics say, “Too little, too late” and one reporter said he thought he saw a piece of lettuce in the teeth of the American President.
U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SECURES PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST!
However, this colossal news story was preempted on American TV by the breaking news that a former Hollywood starlet, Hasbeen Medioker, recently came forward with the shocking realization that she now believes Trump was actually making a pass at her when he leaned forward to pet her beloved (but now deceased) Lhasa Apso, Tena-Dubi, (who was a gorgeous shade of light cream with charcoal blue markings and who enjoyed running in the park and sardine treats, according to the late dog’s obituary) at a coffee shop nearly 30 years ago!
“I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner,” she told CNN reporter Frankie Newt-Sham. “Now it all makes sense!” she screeched. “Tena-Dubi growled at The Donald because she knew that The Donald was actually trying to make a pass at me! It’s all so clear now. Or maybe Tena-Dubi thought he was trying to steal her sardine? Whoops! Oh, well!”
The ACLU is representing the now bankrupt, one-time actress in a civil lawsuit for monetary damages, a public apology and a demand that he step down from the office of President of the Untied States because, due to these shocking and newly reported revelations, he is obviously deemed unfit to stay in office.
Meanwhile, President Trump has solved the problems of World Smog, Climate Change (including the occurrence of earthquakes and tornadoes), U.S. Crime and Homelessness, the Extinction of any Species of Animal, and he has discovered Cures for ALS, AIDS and all forms of Cancer. However, these breaking news stories have been preempted on American TV by the earth shattering news that comedian Howie Mandel, of America’s Got Talent, is now able to shake the hand of a stranger without soaking his hand in bleach for an hour afterwards!

Californians, Vote June 5th!

3 Jun

I finally made up my mind about Governor. Although I was somewhat tempted to go toward Cox because a lot of people think he has a better chance of winning in the general election, plus President Trump endorsed him, I decided to vote for Travis Allen.
Travis Allen is the type of person I would like to see as Governor of California. I think he is what our state needs to do a turnaround.
I think it’s a mistake to vote for Cox just because he might be able to beat a Democrat in the general election. Californians of all political parties are really fed up with what is going on in our state right now. If this disgust with our current State leadership translates to a “grass roots” movement, that means that a lot of people from all parties will vote for someone who represents change as Allen does.
Travis Allen is a native Californian and he knows what our state used to be like and he wants to get us back on course. I have no idea what Cox’s vision is for our state, and I have a lot of reservations about him. Being from Chicago doesn’t help, either.
Those of us who were born and raised in California (several decades ago) have seen the deterioration of our state over the years and the middle class flight to other states. But, we’ve stuck it out in hopes that things will get better and turn around. We want someone who can really bring about positive change. I believe Travis Allen can do that.9C36CF8F-B781-4AE8-A090-B42BC3DF25FF

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