Sunday, January 4, 2009

Visit Pomona, where things matter

When you work 60-70 hours a week, sometimes (especially on a Saturday afternoon) you just can't stand to be in the office a moment longer -- and yet there's work to be done.

That's when I gather up a satchel of paperwork and throw myself into the Packing House wine bar, where Sal, EV, and Alberto give me a nice glass of red and murmur "Poor baby!" as I camp out at the big table with my laptop, spreadsheets, and general crrrrrap. [Sometimes I go to dba256 too, don't worry -- but they don't open till 3 or 4pm.)

That's what I was doing yesterday when a couple came in and struck up a conversation from the other end of the table. Turns out it was Ellen Taylor, the mayor of Claremont, and her husband. We chatted about various things, including whether or not diamonds are a girl's best friend (agreed: NOT), and eventually we got onto the topic of local politics.

Diamonds were not the only thing we agreed on; the Taylors were pleasant folks, easy to talk to. One point of particular agreement was that Claremont city politics is so bitter because the stakes are so small -- it's all about rearranging the deck chairs at the Ritz-Carleton. Whereas Pomona... well, as Ellen Taylor said, that matters.

She offered as evidence a tart little anecdote. She and George Hunter were discussing their respective Youth Master Plans a few months ago (before the election -- and I was gratified to hear her support GH's ill-fated candidacy), and she said, "We're just trying to keep our kids active."

His reply: "We're just trying to keep our kids alive."

One little consonant (or consonant cluster), and yet such a difference.

Yes, the frontispiece is indeed Henry Kissinger. He is supposedly the origin of the quip that academic politics is so bitter because the stakes are so small.


tibbi said...

good post

tibbi said...

good article...i've known of dogfish head for a while, but they're barely being distributed over here on the left whenever i can get their beer, i drink it vigorously.

you might want to try midas touch- it's a beer obtained from a recipe found in king midas's tomb-

i wrote about dogfish head in one of my earliest posts


Pride in Garfield Park said...

Good post, Meg. I especially like your point that we often need wine well before 3:00 ;)

Tibbi, what are the chances dba would consider an earlier opening time, perhaps to complement an espresso maker?

Anonymous said...

Part of me can't wait to say "I told you so" to people I know voted for Rothman. Although I can sense the "what have I done" in many of them.
The other part of me yearns for what may have been with George Hunter as mayor. His comment about the kids of Pomona says all you need to know about his character and what kind of mayor we as a city missed out on.

Anonymous said...

This article made me remember voting and supporting George Hunter. He would have beens such a great mayor for Pomona. Now we're stuck with trash with self-interest once again (Rothman). :(

mary said...

Technically the vowels are different too.