Local myths of Fontana that are quite real....

We often hear rumors about who or what might have lived, or died or has family in an area.. Below are some figures, some most noticeable and others not so notorious that once had something to do with the city of Fontana.

Gangster Al Capone once had a home in Fontana, which was notable for the initial "C" displayed on one of the home's chimneys. It was rumored that Capone had secret passageways or tunnels built under the house that led out into the back yard making for a quick escape in case his place was ever surrounded by the fuzz. No tunnels were ever found though after the home was torn down. And we all know what happened to Al after he left Fontana.

The Crlenica Brothers, a local Slavic "Tamburitza" musical group, lived in Fontana, had a music store on Arrow Blvd., and played music locally for Fontana's large Slavic population. Unbeknownst to most Fontana residents, they also did some movie work in Hollywood, performing on the soundtrack of "Dr. Zhivago", and also in the movie "Patton," near the end of the movie in the Russian dance scene.

Shelton Brooks, legendary songwriter and bandleader of the early 20th century, spent several decades in his later years living in Fontana. The writer of such hits as "Darktown Strutters’ Ball" and "Some of These Days," he would buy a new Cadillac every year with his songwriter royalties.. As a leader of his own successful big band, he hobnobbed with the Hollywood elite and became especially close to torch singer Sophie Tucker, known as The Last of the Red Hot Mammas.
Whitman Mayo, the actor who played Shady Grady in the TV series "Sanford and Son," moved with his family from New York City to Fontana in 1967, when he was 37. While living in Fontana he attended Chaffey College in nearby Cucamonga.. He once served as the Grand Marshall in the Fontana Days parade.

Legendary motorcycle builder Denver Mullins was from Fontana.. He started a bike shop, Denver’s Choppers, in San Bernardino in 1967, where he was the first to toy in the building of custom bikes and replacement bike parts. The shop later moved to Henderson, Nevada, just outside Las Vegas, where it still operates to this day. Denver died in a racing boat accident in 1992.

Henry Kaiser’s steel mill in Fontana was the only steel mill west of the Mississippi River.. During WWII Kaiser shipbuilding contributed hundreds of naval and merchant vessels.. The steel mill scene in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movie "Terminator 2" was filmed in the abandoned Kaiser Steel Mill. Robo Cop was also filmed at the old steel mill as well as many sci-fi and police movies.

What ever happened to Ro-Val’s automobile museum, located on Foothill Blvd on the western outskirts between Fontana and Cucamonga? It was for a while the home for many classic automobiles of the 20’s and 30’s, including a huge vehicle once owned by screen actor Fatty Arbuckle. When the Ro-Val museum closed, the vehicles were sold to Bill Harrah, a Nevada casino owner and automobile collector, who placed them on display in the museum located at his casino.

In the 1950’s and 60’s Fontana was home to a famous drag racing strip that was a significant venue in the NHRA circuit. Known officially as Mickey Thompson’s Fontana International Dragway, it was also referred to as Fontana Drag City or just plain old Fontana Drag Strip. The original Fontana strip closed after several serous accidents and deaths to the drivers ad the NHRA deemed the track to short and narrow for safe racing.

Comments

The propagation of the word "illegals" is used in a very racist way. People are not "illegal" because they immigrated, but because of the implementation of laws and regulations that prevent people from attaining a legalized status in the United States. The automatic criminalization of people crossing the border allowed for a legal form of prejudice and racism to continue. Let's shine a light on this. White people have always been threatened by foreigners, and I don't mean territorial foreigners, but RACIAL. For example, the Native Americans forced to migrate from their lands, Californians denied citizenship and forced to go to Mexico because of their Hispanic roots in the 20's. Mexicans simply kept doing what they had done for many years when this was still Spanish Territory and the white folk hadn't found gold yet. Migration was normal. People came to the states like they had done for years, following family and following work. No surprise there, with names like Rancho San Bernardino and Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de Los Angeles, the Southwest will forever hold strong Hispanic Heritage. Mexicans are pretty much the excluded natives here, and if you're like me and like to start conversations with the elderly while visiting Mexico for a few months, you'll be surprised with the stories of natural US citizens who were not given their birth right through registration and were forced south because of their mestizaje. Our country has enforced a lot of exclusionary laws based on race and country of origin for legalization. Racism in this way is still legal, unfortunately. These laws exist not only to demonize certain ethnicities but also preserve the black market for illegal labor. As you probably don't know, the United States treasury earns an approximate $40 billion per year on interest on outsourced (unreported) legal tender. Not only this, but illegal immigration generates income that doesn't have to be paid back. Immigrants are the reason why you will still have your social security check, because in reality, the government spent yours. The exact millions that immigrants generate in taxes, social security and Medicaid is unknown but it's enough for the government to want to keep them in the shadows. You must understand that these are people who cannot get federal aid such as welfare or food stamps, or cash out their social security savings. They are however, probably the only reason why these services are still funded. Think before you speak and be nice because these people are marginized in many ways. They are America's greatest asset ;)

Don't kid yourself, the only reason social security, Medicaid or any other program where free services are provided is to provide more minority votes for Democrats. Yes, the reason is that simple. Also, the reason they are called “illegals” is when they cross the border without papers they are breaking US Federal Laws. If they immigrated properly with paperwork then it wouldn’t be "illegal". Do you really believe if you decided to sneak into Canada, Great Britain, Japan or any other country for that matter they would just let you live there with no documentation or approval? Heck no, they would throw you in jail and ship you back. Why shouldn't this country do the same. No one gives a good reason to keep "illegals" here. If the Mexicans and Central Americans banded together and fixed the corruption and problems in their own country they wouldn’t feel the need to immigrate illegally. But for the illegals that are here, why don’t they learn freakin English!

Yes, you are right, immigrants cross the border illegally because of those laws. My point was that the laws are racists because they have a quota per nationality and they block certain people from specific countries such as China, India and Mexico for permanent status. Why do these standards still exist? Well, simply because of people like you who don't know any better. Federal Services exist for the poor, not for a specific race or minority group in general. Yes, they are sponsored by Democrats but its all part of the game to keep both parties engaged. You haven't heard of a republican that threatens to take them away, do you? On the contrary, Republicans get very defensive about their Social Security. Nobody wants to lose that taken away ;)

Get a clue!

Thank you yes!

If they are in the country illegally then they are ILLEGALS! Deal with it. It is not racist; be the illegaly White, Black or Asian, illegal IS illegal.

Then why so much animosity AGAINST the LEGALIZATION of the immigrants who are already here? Because of language barriers? Really? How primitive..

How is the use of the word illegal racist? Wetback with Roosevelt used is racist. Nigger which America used and some still used is racist chink, honky, whiteyand many other words are racist. But illegal is NOT a racist word. Look it up. You may educate yourself on proper word usage. Illegal alien is just that undocumented worker its amazing we play word games with this.

It is used in a racist manner. I'm pretty educated, at a top research university as a matter of fact; thank you very much! A more appropriate word would be "undocumented" when referring to a person. Material things are "illegal" or "contraband". I hope you learn the difference.

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