Fontana Is Bizarre

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Fontana has always been a bizarre place.

I grew up in Fontana and my Dad worked at the steel mill. I remember going through some difficult times when it shut down. I remember going out to the mill with my Dad to get his paycheck on Friday's and then cashing it a the Keystone. We would go to the 4 marks bar where he would have one beer and I would have a basket of french fries and a Coke. Kids could sit at the bar back then and it was no big deal. I was only five in 1977 but I remember it like yesterday. I had fun and looked forward to

going with my Dad on Friday's because we would go grocery shopping at Fed-Mart or Alpha-Beta on Randall. Good ole Jolly Farms and Jones's Pet Shop.

It was a rough and tumble town built on the Steel Mill and FOHI Football. Crazy how things change.

Yes Al Capone's House is still standing with it's famous "C" on the chimney located on the south side of the house. Al Capone tried to replicate his home in Cicero a suburb of Chicago where ever he lived. He had homes in several places and he did the same thing in Florida. He was banned from Los Angeles and was not allowed in the state. The authorities did not want him here and tried to keep him out. He had rackets everywhere that included brothels, bars, and or speak-easies with boot legging operations. I imagine he had a lot to do with Muscoy also. That place was a bootleggers paradise with underground tunnels everywhere. What better place to have a hide out, in Fontana.

The "KKK" house is just down the street West of Capone's house. George Pepper lived there and moved on to Fallbrook with ties to John Metzger.

I have a lot of stories just like anyone else that grew up in the Meth infested city "Felony Flats" was the unofficial name it was given by the street urchins and parasites.

The dynamics of Fontana have forever changed and will never be the same, but I will say that I am proud to have been born and raised there. The place was crazy but the people were great and didn't take no shit. It was the epitome of a blue collar hard working town. No matter where you went out of state someone always knew someone from that crazy town.

Anyways, there is so much to say about Fontana I could write a sequence of books on that place. Some good, some bad, but I cannot change where I am from good ole Fontana.

Comments

WILL YOU ALLOW TO INTERVIEW YOU FOR A BOOK IM WRITING ON THE I.E.
I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN CUCAMONGA
I WOULD AT BEST LIKE TO HERE MORE FROM YOU

we used to go to the four marks bar too!!!

My boyfriend and I just found out about Capone's house. Where is the other house located off of Randall? I live 2 minutes from his house. My dad worked at Kaiser and after he cashed his check at Keystone, he went to Cherry Liquor Store and hanged out at the Shed next door. We shopped at the Shopping Bag or the Food King at the Fontana Square. What a small world!

Lived right down from Al Capone's and walked by the house on Anastasia everyday. Grandparent's owned the property Keystone and I used to sing at the Shed. Could tell a million stories.

I got tears in my eyes reading this. I lived in Fontana from sometime in the 50's to so long I can't remember. I was married in 1953 and my husband worked at Regina Winery and we lived out in the middle of the grape vineyards on the Devore Cutoff. I was 17 at the time. So many memories.

I went to work for Regina in 1965 and worked there doing the billing until 1972, I also worked in the tasting room and did a couple of commercials for them. Remember the afternoon movie on TV something to do with Hunter something. I have two kids that graduated from FoHi as did I in 1976 after returning to school to finish my senior year. We lived on Upland Avenue right off Arrow. I remember Kaiser Steel and the stuff that turned my white car yellow and so many memories that my mind gets clogged up just trying to sort it all out.

I worked for the County and at times worked in Fontana serving civil papers and trying to keep the A** biting dogs off me while I was trying to get out of the yards. Remember when Kaiser Hospital would not take anyone that was not a Kaiser Steel worker or family member? All the rest of us had to go San Bernardino to the Hospital. I also lived right on Sierra Ave across from the Alpha Beta store at an Ambulance place my husband drove the ambulance and I worked the switch board.

Most of my 77 years was spent in Fontana, San Bernardino and I miss the old town but not what it has become now. Nothing stays the same I guess. I remember working at Regina when they had the little horses and they were in the Rose Parade every year for a long time.

What great times there and memories, I hate to see them go.

who are you I would love to be in your book almost my entire family grew up in Fontana my mom and dad still live therefor fortyyears. my brother was a mill wright at Kaiser steel and worked for California steel. I was right in the middle of that meth scene which im not to proud of now. I could go on for five books telling hair raising stories about that town. I lost a lot of home boys during my growing up period either overdose a lot them serving a lot of years in prison due to manufacturing charges some of them stabbed shot and killed who are you I probably know you I went to randall pepper oleander elementarys, fojay jr high on arrow and mango and graduated from birch continuation high school in 1980 as did my sister karla i've always wanted to write a novel about my up binging experiences its better than any movie I've ever seen so let me know please if you are interested timothydavis593@yahoo.com or 970 9884053 timothydavis on face book thank you

I grew up at that address.

Originally, the home (built in 1922) was a two story ranch house on 2.5 acres. My mom rented it from a Mr Santi in the second half of the sixties through the early seventies. There was a large field behind it that spanned all the way to the railroad tracks, and to the east of it, more fields spanning to the house on the corner of Tamarind at the end of the road. The Al Capone place was across from that corner house. That was a lot of field for all us neighborhood kids to play in.

I remember Mr Santi saying the house was once a chicken ranch and I recently found old clippings in the 1954 Sun Telegram selling off the chicken brooder equipment, etc. When we moved in, all that remained of the chicken stuff was a large bi-level concrete slab out behind the house. It appeared the hen houses were burned or tore down long before we got there. However, there was a shed (filled with cobwebs and rusty stuff), a garage (that was leaning more than a bit), and also a pepper tree out back that hobos would sleep under. Out front were oleanders lining the east side of the yard, a circle drive, trees and jasmine or honeysuckle on the west side.

The house itself was in bad shape, which is why it didn't surprise me that it was renovated shortly after it sold. What DID surprise me though was that a KKK person bought it. In my childhood innocence, I don't remember that street being anything but filled with love and acceptance. And speaking of neighbors - a little known fact - SAMMY HAGAR, and Betsy, and their baby Aaron lived across the street from this house for awhile. My mom even babysat Aaron at least once that I remember. Don't believe me? Check this out: http://www.dailybulletin.com/article/ZZ/20110730/NEWS/110739817

Like I said, I remember people getting along, and being color blind on our street, so it broke my heart that the house I loved, went to a symbol of hate.

I digress!!! I have heard rumors that the "KKK" house (God I hate calling my childhood home that!!!!) is haunted and it appears that people think it is so because of the evil that was there during the years of hate. I think many would be surprised to hear that it's always had it's issues of inexplicable things and sounds. ;)

For example, I would like very much to see if the crawl space door is still there halfway up the stair-well (on your right when ascending), and if the kitchen still has those corner shelves built in. Granted, I am guessing it was all torn out when renovated. But those two things are burned into my memory forever. There are questions I would ask of other children that slept on the second floor. Just out of curiosity. I read elsewhere that a relative to the current(?) owners brought a priest in to bless and cleanse the house.

If you do a Spokeo search on all who lived there before/after the KKK guy, you WILL see my family. DesertTrip (nee Fulstone)

http://www.spokeo.com/CA/Fontana/17378-Anastasia-Ave

I wish I could Edit That..
I want to mention that as an adult, I became aware that Fontana was very segregated. But as a child, my world was much smaller and friendlier so I didn't see that at all. My mom was a peace-loving college student and brought home friends of all colors. The state run daycare she dropped me off at in North Fontana (off Baseline or Highland) was fun to me and there is a photo of me in it with all my friends. I was the one white girl. Looking at my only elementary class photo I own, there are three black students out of my 1st grade class of twenty-four. So again, I really didn't see color in a town that was notorious for it's race issues in the seventies. It wasn't until Junior High that I started to see it and I was already gone out of Fontana by then.

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