Days of Lore

Polar bear plunge

Polar bear plunge

Photo By Mark Lore

2007 … what a year! I must be getting old. It seems like only yesterday (a week at least) that I was taking a look back at 2006. Well, the year 2007 turned out to be a lot more exciting … at least in my mind’s eye.

Wings and breasts After four years of being known as the largest smoothie place in the Western United States, the building that once housed Chevy’s Fresh Mex was finally purchased by Eric Hart in March. Many locals feared Hart, who also owns the Senator Theatre and who bought the El Rey Theatre in 2005, would turn the building on the corner of Second and Broadway into office and retail space.

Instead, Hart put the 14,000 square-foot building to good use by turning it into a Hooters Presbyterian Church Family Fun Center.

Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa led the ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of a large crowd cheering, “Doug! Doug!”, although it was later discovered that it was because, unbeknownst to him, a Hooters bib was stuck to his backside with the world-famous Hooters Wing Sauce.

Of course, the Hooters Presbyterian Church Family Fun Center lasted only five months, and now the building once again sits proudly as the largest smoothie place in the Western United States.

Sail away with me … One of oddest match-ups this year (although I loved it) was when local songstress Aubrey Debauchery and metal band The Makai vocalist Brandon Squyres teamed up for their version of the Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton classic “Islands in the Stream” for a Wild Oak Records comp released in April. Many in the local music community cried sellout. Squyres growled back with a vengeance, although nobody could understand what he was saying. Barry Gibb, former Bee Gee and writer of the song, defended the Squyres/Debauchery version in a song … although nobody could understand what he was saying either.

Dirt don’t hurt The New Downtown Music Revolution (featuring DNA) again kicked off in the new City Plaza with a free show in May from local legends Spark ‘n’ Cinder. All was well until a cluster of dirt twirlers in the front realized there was no dirt (10 songs into the set). The fun-loving concertgoers attempted to riot, but local authorities staved off the resistance by dropping 150 pounds of Tofurkey into the plaza.

Radio Radio And who could forget the huge buyout of the two major players in local radio—Deer Creek Broadcasting and Mapleton Communications Company—by a private investor from Sweden. Johan Brandberg purchased the companies in late September and consolidated all of their affiliated radio stations into one, cleverly dubbing it “The Johan.” Amazingly, no jobs were cut—in fact, Brandberg did away with the automated system and brought in 60 new DJs. Unfortunately the format of “The Johan” changed to “all Techno all the time,” further proving that commercial radio does, indeed, still suck.

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The shrinkage factor I went to this year’s polar bear plunge at One-Mile pool on New Year’s Day and, although I didn’t participate, I watched as some 200 people (some sporting Speedos—yikes) jumped into the frigid water. I’ll give props to those who made the plunge (including my friend Chris Lindsey and the CN&R’s own Meredith J. Cooper), as I’m sure I would have had a heart attack and my boys would have surely crawled into the far reaches of my pelvic girdle.

LaPado memorials There are two memorials scheduled this month for John LaPado, who passed away Dec. 26. The first will take place Saturday (Jan. 6), starting at 1 p.m. and going all afternoon. The memorial potluck for family and friends will be held at the LaPado residence at 1904 Normal Ave. The second musical celebration memorial will be held Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 1704 Manzanita. For more information, e-mail Christine LaPado at <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> </script>.