Touching down at Ontario International Airport in the summer of 1992, my first stop en route to a job interview at the Victorville newspaper was a convenience store.
There I noticed for sale all the newspapers in the area.
I didn’t know that I’d someday work at most of them.
It’s been a long, strange trip as the Grateful Dead once sang, but with today’s efforts I have now made it to seven Inland Empire publications — the Victor Valley Daily Press, San Bernardino Sun, Riverside Press-Enterprise, Redlands Community News, Highland Community News, Banning-Beaumont Record Gazette and the Yucaipa/Calimesa News Mirror. Whew.
Early in my tenure in Victorville I met iconic area sports reporter Obrey Brown.
Some of the High Desert high schools were in the Citrus Belt League at the time.
Following games, I’d sometimes send my stories via an old Radio Shack device from the former Redlands Daily Facts office to Victorville.
Then Obrey and I would yuk it up long into the night, discussing the old CBL and the newspaper business.
I also soon met the late Harvey Cohen, the former sports editor of the News-Mirror.
He operated a thrift store close to my home in San Bernardino and we also worked together at the San Bernardino Sun.
Harvey didn’t have a key to the old, downtown Sun building.
After games he’d throw pebbles at the window in front of my second-story work station to gain entry. Classic guy.
I’m looking forward to further learning about the communities of Highland, Redlands, Yucaipa and Banning-Beaumont.
Some of you I know from having coached youth basketball in the area.
Nearly 30 years ago when I began my I.E. newspaper odyssey, there were fewer schools to cover.
Now there’s more of everything and only one me, but I’m eager to give it a go.
ANNIVERSARY: April 23 is the 100th anniversary of USC sprinter Charley Paddock setting four world records and tying a fifth in a 1921 meet against host University of Redlands.
Paddock was known as the “world’s fastest human” after winning the 100-meter Olympic gold medal in Antwerp, Belgium in 1920. Look for more about Paddock’s historic day in a future issue.
JOB OPEN: Banning High opened its athletic director job on February 26
and it closed March 14. No decision has been made public yet.
BEAUMONT DEBUTS: Citrus Belt League football play begins Saturday, March 20 at 5 p.m. Beaumont plays the first game in its new league at Redlands High.
In other games, Yucaipa is at Cajon and Redlands East Valley is at Citrus Valley.
GOT TIPS?: Athletic directors and coaches in the area who have human-interest story ideas, news tips, personnel changes etc. may contact me. I’m excited to get to know you, if I don’t already.
John Murphy may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .