When Reba and Alabama Played a Concert at Snow Valley in 1989

What sees like a centuries ago Reba McIntyre and “Alabama” played an incredible concert at Snow Valley. I recently came across the story I wrote after that and I have to say that reading it all over again really brings back wonderful memories. Here is the story I wrote back then for my newspaper, The Alpenhorn,  in the July 20 1989 issue.

To put it mildly, that concert was fabulous, fun, exciting and  great!. Here’s what I wrote  and published for my newspaper at the time. Those of you who were there can read it and yearn for more concerts at Snow Valley but that’s not likely to happen.

“What has 20,000 eyes, ears, hands and feet, roars like a lion, stomps hard enough to shake the ground and yells and screams their lungs out….all in the name of fun? Well, try the 10,000 Reba McIntyre/Alabama fans who piled into the parking lot of Snow Valley Ski Area last Monday night to witness the first historic local concert of its size on the west side of “The Mountain.”

The event, sponsored by the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce, was an experiment and it worked beautifully.

When the petite McIntyre took the stage at about 8 p.m. (a half hour delay due to, oddly enough traffic on Hwy 18) that little lady proved that she had one pair of lungs; she “wowed” everyone with her individual style of country/western singing. Her version of “Cathy’s Clown”” was a real crowd-pleaser but when she sang an oncore acapella, well, the mountain was in serious jeopardy of falling down due to the thunderous applause.

“Alabama kept the audience going with a long string of their hit osngs and they, literally, had the audience dancing, clapping their hands, swaying back and forth and lighting cigarette lights in the air so it looked hike a bunch of tiny, flikering lights.

And, as if planned,as the entertainment went on, a big round, full moon climbed over the mountains to shine down on thos assembled. Nice touch!”


From 1994-“Frustrating Packaging” by Pete Shaw

This post was one of Pete Shw’s fabulous columns when I owned The Alpenhorn newspaper and he was principal at Charles Hoffman Elementary School. He sent me a fabulous column for each week and some of them were funny as all get out and others were beautifully sentimental. I never knew what he was going to write for the paper but each one was a gem. Wasn’t I lucky!!!!! This post is from the November 17, 1994 issue of The Alpenhorn. It’s called Frustrating PackagingR.I.P. (Rest in Plastic'”

“I’ve never  understood why companies spend millions of dollars advertising their products and then package them in such a manner that you risk serious injury or teeth-gashing frustration trying to gain access to the items therein contained.

Opening a bag of chips can shear off fingernails and cut lips in an attempt to chew off the tops.I have found that the best method of opening the sack is to lace it on a hard surface, jump into the air and hit the bloated object in a sitting position. Oftentimes the bottom blows out first and you must serve the chips upside down. Besides being insufficient, this method is somewhat undignified and misunderstood in large social gatherings.

Once you have gained entry to the chips, the next challenge is to open the chips container. It has a little ring you pull to peel back the top to create a a round razor blade that can take a thumb or finger to the bone. I wonder how many jalapeno cheese dip freaks have dipped their chips while regulating the pressure on the tourniquet.

In order to bind the wound from the dip top, it is only natural to reach for the band aids. Have you ever tried to extricate a band aid from its wrapping while you bleed to death? Trying to grab the little red thread with  trembling fingers and blurred vision is tough enough when you find your new challenge with these two little strips that cover the adhesive. Meanwhile, you’ve lost a couple of pints.

Embarssed, bleeding and wet, you pick up the new cassette tape to play during your snack and discover that there is no way to penetrate the cellophane covering. Temporrily crazed, you grab an ice pick and attack  the neatly packaged treasure until your new Neil Diamond tape has just stabbed to death in your homicidal frenzy.

Suddenly you find an angina attack coming on. You race to the medicine cabinet, grab your nitroglycerin prescription container and with the stubs of bandaged fingers attempt to rip open the glue-scaled cardboard box only to find a vial that can only be opened by consulting with a mechanial engineer.

After solving the “King Tut Vial Mystery” you discover a cotton wad embedded in a hole designed to discourage human access. With this final and terminal obstacle, you succumb. Using the most contempory undertaking techniques, your loving friends and relatives view you resting in your open casket shrink-wrapped in havy plastic with your bandaged hands crossed over your chest..lutching your vice-grips.

Over the new gravestone, the letters R.I.P. begin in memorial statement: “Rest in Peace.”


Mountain Driving Tips from Auto Club

I am enjoying going through so many of my “Alpenhorn” newspapers from the 1980s. I came across one of my stories that is filled with tips for driving in the mountains. In the 1980s we had tons of snow so I typed out the information for my January 8, 1987 issue. Although that date was quite a while ago the information is still great for driving in the snow. The story I wrote carried the photo of (then) Channel 4 correspondent Conan Nolan. He was reporting from Green Valley Lake and while he was in the community he had a great time not just seeing the huge amounts of snow but meeting and interviewing a lot of “locals”

From Feb. 22, 1990 the Headline said, “Six foot Snowfall Cripples Mountain“…..and it did!

“The snowfall this past weekend resulted in clogged highways and county streets, multiple fender-benders, frantic phone calls to the county and Caltrans maintenance yards and countless furious tempers by frustrated residents and snowplowing personnel.

As the storm moved heavily into the mountains on Friday evening, by Saturday there was several inches of fresh snow. However, as the snow c0ntinued fast and furiously on Saturday, county snowplowing equipment began to break down. Edward Rhoades, , day supervisor of the Running Springs county yard told The Alpenhorn on Monday that the trucks cannot be used because of the depth and heaviness of the snow. Rhodes also said that there were problems with the graders. However, loaders were due to arrive Monday afternoon from San Bernardino and he said there were more on the way.

One of the problems, Rhoades explained, is that there are cars parked across the streets  so that snowplowing equipment can’t get through and around the streets that they need to get to. Rhoades credited most of the snowplowing problems with equipment failures. He also said that on some roads three and one-half to four feet of snow remained on some unplowed roads.

Rhoades added that due to the mechanical breakdown of so much of the equipment, it has been difficult opening up the primary roads, let alone the secondaries.  While not trying to make excuses for their snowplowing, Rhoads said that when Caltrans plows (and there’s as much snow as the mountain have experienced in the past few days) it makes it difficult because the state will often push up berms of snow on the county roads which must then be plowed again. The county keeps some spare parts in their Running Springs yard but major repairs require mechanics or other specialized personnel must be brought in to make repairs on the equipment  hen it breaks down. Depending on the repairs that need to be local mechanics may be utilized. As for opening the road, Rhodes said hat he had heard thee was a meeting set up between the county and Caltrans to decide whether or not to open Hwy. 330 to everyone rather than just residents which which had been the situation for two days. Whether or not that meeting was ever held and the outcome of that meeting remains unknown to The Alpenhorn as of press deadline on Monday afternoon.

Remember: Living in the mountains is a choice and in the past several years the huge snows we used to get aren’t the same as they used to be. Be sure to make your auto and home as weather-related as much as possible.

How the Great Guest Came-A Beautiful Christmas Thought

Before the cathedral in grandeur rose In Ingleburg where the Danube goes;

Before its forest of silver spires went airily up to the clouds and fires;

Before the oak had ready a beam,

While yet the arch was stone and dream—

There where the altar was later laid, Conrad, the cobbler, plied his trade.

It happened one day at the year’s white end two neighbors called on their old-time friend.

And they found the shop so meager and mean made gay with 100 boughs of green.

Conrad was stitching with face ashine, but suddenly stopped as he twitched a twine:

“Old friends, good news! At dawn today, the cocks were scaring the night away. The lord appeared in  a dream to me, and said, “I am coming your guest to be!” So I’ve been busy with feet astir, strewing the flood with branches of fir.

The wall is washed and the shelf is shined and over the rafter the holly is twined.

He comes today, and the table is spread with milk and honey and wheaten bread!

His friends went home; and his face grew still as he watched for the shadow across the sill.

He lived all the moments o’er and o’er, when the Lord should enter the lowly door; the knock, the call, the latch pulled up, the lighted face, the offered cup. He would wash the feet where the spikes had been, he would kiss the hand where the nails went in and then, at last would sit with him and break the bread as the day grew dim.

While the cobbler mused there passed his pane, a beggar drenched by the driving rain,

He called him in front of the stony street and gave him shoes for his bruised feet. The beggar went and there came a crone, her face with wrinkles of sorrow sown.

A bundle of fagots bowed her back, and she was spent with the wrench and rack. He gave her his loaf and steadied her load, as she took her way on the weary road.

Then to his door came a little child, lost and afraid in the world so wild,in the big, dark world

Catching it up, he gave it the milk in the waiting cup, and led it home to its mother’s arms. out of the reach of the world’s alarms.

The day went down in the crimson west and with it the hope of the blessed guest,

And Conrad sighed as the world turned gray: “Why is it, Lord, that your feet delay?”

“Did you forget that this was the day?”

Then soft in the silence a voice he heard: “Lift up your heart, for I kept my word.”

“Three times my shadow was on your floor. I was the beggar with bruised feet; I was the woman you gave to eat; I was the child on the homeless street!”s



Grab Your Skis…Snow Valley’s Open

Well, grab your skis, your boots and your warm clothes and get ready for Snow Valley’s ski and snowboarding season for the 17-18 ski year. I was just up at the beautiful site and it’s looking good. Chairlift 13 and chair 6 will be taking skiers and snowboarders up, up, up.  As long as the weather stays cold Snow Valley will continue making snow. (I remember the “old days” long before snow-making when the snow melted that was the end of the season because there was no way to “make” snow.

The famous ski area’s restaurant, The Chalet, is now open so enjoy the good food and the camraderie that goes along with the ambiance that Snow Valley offers to everyone who loves to ski or who enjoys watching others sail down the slopes. Tomorrow Snow Valley will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. so come out and have fun!

For more information call Snow Valley at (909) 867-2751.




Getting to Know the AAA

With Christmas right around the corner it makes me think about the wonderful people in our local mountains who give of their time and often their money to help our communities. Without a doubt one of the most important organizations continues to be the Arrowhead  Association. This group, that started the organization in 1985, was determined, dedicated and willing to help at a moment’s notice and today, all these years later the members continue to not only bring wonderful music to our mountain communities but along the way they help local music students in many, many ways. The performances they bring to our mountain communities are always wonderful.

Without a doubt the members of the Mountain Arts Auxiliary this group of dedicated group of women provides support for the music programs and events sponsored by the organization are truly spectacular. Luckily this dedicated group of local children if they want to learn to play an instrument they may be able to get financial help from this wonderful group. There are several different programs that the Arrowhead Arts supports from sponsoring musical performances in the local schools, a strings program, as well as youth orchestras whose students are in the Rim School District. Without a doubt one of the most  most wonderful things this local organization does is making sure that the local students perform at many events throughout the mountain communities and many venues “off the mountain”. Each year the organization has a huge part to play in the  local production of The Nutcracker as well as funding the Early Childhood Music Program. One of the most important efforts by this wonderful association is they often help students with a scholarship program so students can attend summer music camps, private student music lessons and senior scholarships.

During the 2016 year alone the members of the Arrowhead Arts Association’s “on the mountain” programs totaled  $92,399. Between all the programs they sponsor and the musical events this wonderful organization is absolutely amazing. If you’ve never attended any of their performances keep an eye on this local organization and promise yourself you’ll get to some of the performances they bring to “our” mountain.

When you add up all that this organization does for our mountain communities they deserve so many kudos. For for more information call (909) 337-4296 for information or log onto:www.ArrrowheadArts.org.


Santa Had a Great Time!

Last night, December 1 the Golden Oaks Thrift Store on Hilltop  Boulevard was where Santa made his way to the site to hear Christmas wishes from all the local children. This fun event, and I do mean FUN EVENT, was fabulous and I’m always wondering who had more fun Santa or all the excited children. It was wonderful and although it was cold parents, children, chamber members and plain old happy joyous Christmas spirit could be found along Hilltop Blvd. Not only was Santa around to talk with excited children but the annual Christmas tree lighting also took place. It was a wonderful, fun evening for everyone and that’s no ho-ho-ho! It was great!