Anyone who spent time as a teenager in San Bernardino in the 1960s or 1970s knew Ralph Swing.
Well, maybe they didn’t know Swing so much as they did his auditorium.
Swing was a native son of the city who had a local law practice before becoming one of California’s most influential state senators. He also was one of the local citrus industry’s biggest boosters; he helped found the first National Orange Show and served as manager and later board president.
So when a large auditorium was constructed on the show grounds in 1949, officials slapped Swing’s name on it. He retired from the state Senate in 1950 after 28 years of service that earned him the stature of dean of the senate. (Some references say he served 24 years, but others, including the political archives of JoinCalifornia, show Swing winning his first election in 1922 and every election after that through 1946.)
But the kids who lined up waiting for Alice Cooper or KISS to blow out their tender eardrums probably had no idea who Ralph was.
In fact, no one called it the Ralph Swing Auditorium. It wasn’t even called the Swing Auditorium. It was known simply as The Swing.
It wasn’t the greatest venue for sound quality, but it was the best the region had, and it drew plenty of worthwhile acts.
Most famously, it was the site of the first American concert by the Rolling Stones, in 1964. The group returned the following year.
Later on, rock ’n’ roll legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin and Elton John visited its stage — John, on his first American tour, was actually second bill to Leon Russell.
In earlier years, performers of a different generation entertained the crowds. Jack Benny, Louis Armstrong and Sammy Davis Jr. were among the. Davis performed in a benefit there for San Bernardino Community Hospital, where had been treated after a serious automobile accident on Cajon Boulevard, Route 66. Davis lost his left eye in the crash.
And for a run of 13 years, Bob Hope appeared at The Swing as part of the entertainment for the National Orange Show. That string of shows would have started before Swing died in 1961, at age 86.
The Swing Auditorium died in 1981, when a twin-engine Cessna crashed into it, killing the pilot and his passenger. Beyond repair, it was torn down.
Swing’s name doesn’t adorn anything else of significance in the city. Maybe it should. In addition to his promotion of the Orange Show, Swing had a big impact on San Bernardino. Some is still felt today.
In the 1910s, he represented San Bernardino in the city’s landmark legal battle with Riverside over control of local water. He was a leader in establishing the Metropolitan Water District in the mid-1920s. When Swing introduced that legislation with Hiram Johnson, the Los Angeles Daily Times called it “one of the most radical and socialistic proposals ever submitted to the State Legislature.”
And Swing was a Republican.
He also was very non-Republican (at least by today’s standards) in how he saw the role of government. Instead of trying to eliminate it, he disseminated it, decentralizing state offices in Sacramento and establishing satellites in counties.
“We must take the government to the people, not require the people to come to the government,” he said.
He also took it upon himself to complete a petition for redress of a grievance written by Col. Isaac Williams, the original owner of the Chino Rancho, in 1850, but which had never been filed. Swing got the Legislature to restore Williams’ good name and considered it one of his most significant accomplishments.
Well, that and the Stones.
Contact Mark Muckenfuss at 951-368-9595 or email@example.com
Gentle Reminder - open call to artists @da.center.for.the.arts . Be pART of the connectivity that happens when art + people + community + music + poetry + inclusivity + understanding gather in a safe space. Allowed aloud
This show will have over 150 dealer tables and corporate booths
Dealers from all over the country
Buying and selling vintage sportscards and collectibles
Wax boxes and packs - Modern Cards - Bobbleheads and Figurines
On Site Authentication for your previously signed items
Silver Age Comics and CGC Comic Book Grading
Silent Auction with over 250 lots featuring some of the best sports and celebrity memorabilia we have ever offered!
The Wrestling Pavillion featuring lots of memorabilia and over a dozen autograph guests.
Celebrity Exhibitors - Stars of Sports and Stage
Autograph Stage and Photo-Ops
The Raider Store
Raiderfest Saturday Superticket
VIP Packages for Saturday and Sunday
Autograph Lineup - Ticket Prices and More Information Coming Soon!
Please Note: The Show will feature over 40 guests
Saturday will have a mix of Guests from Baseball - Football - Boxing - Wrestling and More!
Saturday will also feature a Raiderfest Preview with a 5 man Superticket Special
Sunday will be RAIDERFEST Day
Saturday February 23: The first 200 paid admissions will receive aFREE Duke Snider Lithograph!
Confirmed Guest List / Saturday
Dodgers: Pedro Guerrrero - Maury Wills - Don Newcombe***
USC / Raiders: Anthony Davis - Mario Cellotto - Rod Martin
Daryle Lamonica - Ray Guy - Phil Villapiano
Confirmed Guest list / Raiderfest Sunday
Art Shell - Dave Casper - Ted Hendricks - Raymond Chester
Ray Guy - Mervyn Fernandez
Willie Gault - Jay Schoeder - Reggie Kinlaw - Charles Phillips
Cedrick Hardman - Mike Siani - Odis McKinney - Michael Alexander
Dokie Williams - Greg Townsend
MANY MORE GUESTS TO BE ANNOUNCED
MORE DETAIL, SUPERTICKETS, VIP's AND PRICES TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON!
Haunt X - The Halloween & Haunters DIY Expo Feb 23, 2019 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Feb 24, 2019 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
VIP’s enter one hour early each day
Haunt X is a haunter’s retreat and trade show for Halloween lovers, yard haunter’s, home haunter’s, and pro haunter’s. Join us Feb 23rd and 24th for a Halloween and Haunt House trade show that is a little bit different… Education, DYI prop building workshops, trade show, friends, fun and games. Friday night haunt tour and a Saturday night Costume ball.
Parking at Gate 17 on Fairplex Dr. with prevailing rates.
Vintage Market Home aims to inspire creativity by curating products to embrace a vintage lifestyle. We believe vintage decor brings life, interest and character to any home. All of our products are hand picked from all over the country. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Share your finds in their new home by tagging us #vintagemarkethome in your photos.
Saturday Early 8am - 9am
Saturday General 9am - 4pm
Sunday Genera 10am - 3pm
Parking at Gate 17 on Fairplex Dr. with prevailing rates.