Fiberglass rooster is something to crow about in San Bernardino




After an item here about a fiberglass rooster that used to perch atop a grain elevator in downtown Upland into the 1970s, a few of you told me about other examples of plastic public poultry.

“A very remarkable house” in Mentone has, or at least once had, a rooster on the roof and, in the yard, statues of Paul Bunyan and the Statue of Liberty, readers Dave and Carolyn Elfman told me. They emailed me a photo they took in 2009, say they hope the rooster is still there and ask worriedly: “Could the bird have flown the coop?”

Carl Schafer said a fiberglass chicken used to stand in front of a business on Ontario’s Mission Boulevard and added: “There was even the saga of it being stolen and then retrieved.” Interesting, since chicken thieves usually go after more portable, not to mention edible, versions.

“Have you visited Maust’s?” asked Marilyn Welch concerning the egg farm at 13107 East End Ave. in Chino. “There is a giant chicken there, but on ground level.”

As chickens should be. I looked up Maust’s on Google street view, and its bird seems to match the usual size and look of fiberglass roosters, such as the ones atop Donahoo’s Golden Chicken restaurants in Rubidoux and Pomona. Or outside The Farmhouse restaurant in Banning, where the big rooster is visible from the 10 Freeway.

Another reader anonymously alerted me to the rooster outside All Pet Feed and Tack, 25598 Base Line St. in San Bernardino. I spotted it recently while driving past with writer Keenan Norris and made a point of returning on my own to take a photo.

(Aside: Norris and I cracked up at a tire and rim shop at 115 E. Base Line with the epic name Lord of the Rims.)

All Pet has a big rooster, all right, standing tall and proud on the sidewalk outside the entry to the rustic store, which was established in 1990. The rooster is posed next to statues of a horse and a cow for a real barnyard ambience, minus the odor.

What reactions does the store get to the eye-catching rooster? “Good ones. Everyone likes it. It helps people know where we are,” employee Kaitlyn Shoffeit told me by phone Wednesday. “A lot of people take photos of the horse.”

Strangely, the rooster is the biggest of the trio, about 7 feet high. The horse is smaller. The cow is about the size of a dog. That’s just the way they came, Shoffeit said.

Maybe the variants just go to prove the store’s motto.

“At All Pet Feed and Tack,” it reads, “we supply food for animals of all sizes.”
Cents and sensibility
This may qualify as related news. Not long ago Tere Lang of Lake Elsinore was in her kitchen shredding the thigh of a freshly baked chicken, the real kind, when an unusual item fell out: a metal disc that, when cleaned off, turned out to be a penny.

And not just any penny, but a 1909 penny, the first year Lincoln’s face appeared on the coin. Lang and her husband, Robert, didn’t know what to make of it and, when I phoned Wednesday for an update, still don’t.

“If the chicken ate it, it would be in its stomach or intestine, not buried in the meat of its thigh,” Robert reasoned.

“I can understand how a penny could get introduced to a chicken in the production process, like if a penny fell out of someone’s pocket at the plant. But a 1909 penny?” Robert said. “That’s a coin that would only come from a coin shop.”

The chicken was frozen, true, but not for 112 years. They’d bought it at a Winco a month earlier.

“I’ve got the penny still sitting on my dresser,” Robert said. “I’m trying to decide if it’s my lucky penny.”
Winds and windfalls
State attorney Jacqueline Jones was on “Wheel of Fortune” April 15, where she told host Pat Sajak that Fontana, her city of residence, is “the second-windiest city in the country,” after Chicago.

I don’t think that’s literally true, but it can feel that way. “Fontana wind” is a popular topic on Twitter, including an ABC-7 clip from February 2020 of reporter Rachel Brown reporting from the side of a toppled big rig along a Fontana freeway — and almost getting blown over on camera, twice.
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Jones, by the way, won $2,000. That’s a modest enough haul that even in breezy Fontana, she should be able to keep her feet on the ground.
brIEfly
Chino Hills has the second-highest household median income in San Bernardino County at $97,200. Yet Dollar Tree, the discount store chain, has two stores in the city of 80,000 and is close to opening a third, at Gordon Ranch Marketplace, according to the Chino Valley Champion. Is a concentration of low-end retailers in a high-end city a disconnect? Not necessarily. “Median” means exactly half the households earn less than that figure. Also, even the well-off appreciate a bargain.

David Allen writes Friday, Sunday and, at no extra charge, Wednesday. Email dallen@scng.com, phone 909-483-9339, visit insidesocal.com/davidallen, like davidallencolumnist on Facebook and follow @davidallen909 on Twitter.



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