When life's a lemon - go to the festival!

UPLAND; these are sour times, but for the city thats a good thing

Lemons - in the form of lemonade, lemon meringue and lemonheads - descended upon historic downtown this weekend, giving residents a good reason to get out and pucker up.

The annual Lemon Festival, now in its 10th year, concludes today on the streets near Ninth Street and Second Avenue. In addition to all things lemon, there are carnival rides, retail vendors and Upland's version of "American Idol," which has aspiring singers exercising their pipes with glee.

"For little cities like Upland, this is great," said Sylvia Wahbe, a resident for 13 years. "We see a lot of our neighbors here. I like the close-knit feel."

Wahbe was pulling her nephew, Tello, 2, along in a red Radio Flyer wagon after watching a round of piglet races. She said the festival feels like 10 percent of the Los Angeles County Fair in neighboring Pomona - less people, less pushing, more parking.

The Night The Sky Caught Fire

During the 1950's and early 60's the US government set off several Atomic Bombs in tests on the Bikini Islands....During one blistering day in 1955, the sky caught on fire, or least that is the way it appeared to most of us watching at home in Upland. That day was hot, and muggy, but clear except for thunderstorms over the mountains....When we first saw the flashes we thought at first that it was just lightning reflection....A neighbor said it looked like the Auroras Borealis, but then the news broke over the radio that the Van Allen Belt had caught fire....What really happened ws the Government head set off it first ever Hydrogen Bomb and the effects of the blast radiated into the Van Allen Belt creating flashes and waves of colors, like red, blue and green spreading across the southland and especially here in the IE.....The Borealis is green only....

My Mom and the Outhouse

Our neighbor across the street from us Hu Peck had a large yard and had a Japanese Garden with giant Coy Fish and equally giant Toads....Long water cress grass, lilies and one object that just did not seem to fit in the garden....An double door outhouse...In fact, to my Mom it didn't belong in any garden...It belonged on a farm...She should know, she grew up on a farm in Hemet and had to use one here entire teen age life....No wonder she hated it so much. Anyways, One day she had acquired two giant cherry bombs....Back in those days fire works were legal every where in the Inland Empire....Hu was asleep, it being Saturday and his day off and his wife and kids were out grocery shopping. My Mom snuck over to Hu's house and into the back yard....She then threw both light cherry bombs into the outhouse and made a beeline back home and into the kitchen....I was outside with several of my friends and we were wondering why she was running back to the house....A few seconds later a huge boom went off in Hu's back yard....It was the two cherry bombs....They blew the top right off of the thing and one of the plastic potty lids actually landed on the roof of the house.


THIS IS WAR....HOW MANY BALLOONS DO WE NEED? As I have mentioned before, I was a nerdy type of a kid, I tried out for football and got all of my fingers smashed and my chest caved in and that was from my own team mates....Of course when you play against natural born athletes like Rollie Fingers and Richard Smmons, both of whom eventually played professional sports, I was at a disadvantage right from the start...So I decided to join the band since I could play the drums....That way I got into all of the games free, was with my girl friend most of the time and didn't have to worry about getting hurt all of the time. But this is another story of how a war of words between various groups of kids turned into actual combat, which also turned into lots of fun, a really big mess and the police called.....again.