Odds & Ends Around the Valley

Let's Shop

It's good news for many Antelopians.

Perry Ellis is for sale in Palmdale.

And Liz Claiborne is there too.

Now that Harris' department store has opened in the Antelope Valley Mall, you may also purchase the handiwork of Victor Costa, Anne Klein, Ellen Tracy, Oleg Cassini, Carole Little, Ralph Lauren, Diane Freis, Pierre Cardin, Calvin Klein and Charles Jourdan.


High Fashion. High Concept. The yuppification of clothes selection in the Valley.

Now all the young, upwardly mobile Baby Boomer professionals--who moved to the area to access attractive housing costs--no longer have to schlep to the San Fernando Valley or anywhere else to punch up their power wardrobes.

Harris' is a new name in fashion to many in the Antelope Valley, but it's an institution in the San Bernardino area from whence it sprang.

Since 1905, when Herman, Phillip and Arthur Harris opened a little dry goods store there, Harris' has been a major marketing force in the Inland Empire. And when the Spanish retailing conglomerate, El Corte Ingles, purchased Harris' in 1981, expansionism was put into practice, resulting in the Bakersfield store that opened earlier this year and now this one in Palmdale.

When asked, "Why Palmdale?" Harris' director of stores Geoff Engel replied: demographics.

"The Antelope Valley is filled with young professional people with good jobs and disposable income."

The $20-million emporium--one of the mall anchors that already include J.C. Penney and Sears--is a 115,000-square-foot full-merchandise store that includes men's, women's and children's clothing and shoes, gifts, linens, housewares, china, silver and crystal.

"The store is very user-friendly in that it has lots of boutique areas featuring name designers, and it is elegant inside and out with the use of a lot of marble and bronze," according to Harris' spokeswoman Lisa Cracchiolo. She says she particularly loves the store's mannequins, which she describes as looking like "bronze Martians."

In addition to having a ready and waiting clientele, Engel said that Harris' plans to build customer loyalty. "We service our clients and pamper them. Our personnel is trained to understand how highly we value our customers."

It's also a good tactic for hanging onto that clientele once Bullock's and Robinson's and the rest decide to move in on what for a while will be Harris' private preserve.

And if those on both the supply and demand sides are pleased with the new store's presence, so is Palmdale Mayor William Knight.

"It will provide local jobs and tax revenues," he said. In other words, 150 jobs and an unknown number of tax dollars.

It could be the start of something big.

Peak Tweaking

It was stranger than the loopy Log Lady, and as unfathomable as a particularly obscure Lynch story line.

"Twin Peaks" was shut out, snubbed, ignored at the Emmys.

But Peak Freaks have a number of reasons to celebrate, and the list is ever growing.

To wit:

"Twin Peaks" is back to its old (and some new) tricks, beginning Saturday at 10 p.m. on KABC-TV.


There is the Simon & Schuster "Twin Peaks" audio cassette of the secret messages of FBI agent Dale Cooper to his secretary.


There is also a "Twin Peaks" book, called "The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer," written by Peaks procreator David Lynch's daughter, Jennifer Lynch.

Yes, it is a peculiarly weird run-on sentence, but Peak Freaks thrive on that sort of thing.

And there is a darn good slice of cherry pie and a darn good cup of coffee available for $1.95 at Du-Par's, a tasty bargain since the combo is usually $2.80.

Herbert W. Oberst, who owns Du-Par's Family Restaurants in Glendale, Studio City, Thousand Oaks and Farmers Market, is offering this combo as part of a special that runs through Nov. 17. It will also allow you to buy an 8-inch cherry pie that usually sells for $6.65 for $4.95.

Oberst said he's offering these bargains because he learned that many of his customers were coming into the restaurant to take out pies for "Twin Peaks" parties.

Peaks' lead character, Agent Dale Cooper, is often found at the Double R Diner indulging his passion for this particular delight.

Let's eat.

Hair, Hair

It's no joke when women who are job holders-mothers-wives say they need a wife.

Where are they supposed to find time to take care of the kids, help the spouse, supervise the house, keep up their appearance and run the 1,001 small errands that need running each week?

There may be help.

Personne Complet, a Woodland Hills hair and body salon, has this situation covered.

You can make an appointment to have your hair and your errands done at the same time.

Make out your list, with appropriate information and addresses, and relax while one of the salon's errand runners does the work.

Salon owner Daryl Rapoza said the idea came to her after watching her clients fidget.

"When someone comes into the salon, they should relax and use the time to unwind. Instead, I saw that a lot of people were nervous and anxious because they had so many other things to do."

Rapoza, who has been in the hair care business for 16 years, said she contacted an errand service that she found reliable and trustworthy and became a subcontractor.

The errand-running must be booked at the time of the beauty appointment and costs $20.

Book Them

Brigitta Lopez is a cheerful, optimistic person who is eager to meet her main challenge as children's librarian at the Sun Valley branch library.

The vacancy factor is the challenge.

"Many of the children in our area don't know about the library or how to use it," she said.

So she gets the local schools to bring the youngsters over.

"Once they learn to use the library, they often move away because our population is so transient," she said.

So she asks the teachers to bring their classes back.

"Many of our youngsters can't read at all," she said.

So she gets people from the local senior citizens' organizations to come between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. weekdays to read to them.

Parental indifference is a big part of the problem, according to Lopez. "Even if the child is in a non-transient home and can read, he is often not encouraged to do so. Many children do not know anything but television and videos," she said. She is not sure how to get around that.

But when Lopez realized that many children would feel more comfortable if they could hear stories told in Spanish, she arranged a Spanish-language story program recently. Although few youngsters came--maybe 12 she estimates--Lopez refuses to be discouraged.

"The problems will not go away, but it is important to keep trying," she said.

There will be another Spanish-language story hour at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 30, just before Halloween. Children may wear costumes and there will be refreshments.


It's my version of Murphy's Law (which says: Anything that can go wrong will): "Anything with impossible odds and no chance of winning, I will bet on." --Man buying state lottery tickets in Granada Hills

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World