Susie Ling

Monrovian Superstar, Architect Robert Kennard
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Monrovian Superstar, Architect Robert Kennard

By Susie Ling In 1986, Robert Kennard was inducted into the prestigious AIA College of Fellows for excellence in the field of architecture. Established in 1957, his Kennard Design Group (KDG) is one of the largest and oldest African American architectural firms in Los Angeles. Robert Alexander Kennard (1920-1995) was a Monrovian who graduated from…

Travelling Down History With ‘The Green Book’
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Travelling Down History With ‘The Green Book’

By Susie Ling and Roy Nakano The movie “Green Book” recently won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture. The real “Green Book,” however, was a project of Victor H. Green, a postal worker in Harlem. Like Martin Luther King did years later, Victor Green pursued a dream, but for the travelling African-American motorists. The…

‘Big Jim’ Espinosa of Monrovia
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‘Big Jim’ Espinosa of Monrovia

A tale of Mexican-American struggle, determination and kindness By Susie Ling, Monrovia Legacy Project “Big Jim” Espinosa was 6-foot-3 and between 200 and 300 pounds of mostly muscle, but it was his heart that was really big. Big Jim was a Monrovia community leader of his time. James William Espinosa (1904-1981) was born on Lucky…

Longtime Monrovians Exude Their Passion for the City
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Longtime Monrovians Exude Their Passion for the City

Summer in town: Monrovia’s Welcome Wagon – won’t you be my neighbor By Susie Ling If you’ve moved to Monrovia after 2003, you may know about Monrovia’s unique Welcome Wagon. Over the last fifteen years, John Watson and Hal Leavens collate information packets and plan their driving itinerary to go say “welcome neighbor” to new…

Summer in Town: Remembering Monrovia Veterans
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Summer in Town: Remembering Monrovia Veterans

By Susie Ling In 2006, 21-year-old Raul Mercado was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Mercado was born in Monrovia, earned a 3.5 grade-point average at Monrovia High, and was a member of the track and basketball teams. His goal was to buy a home for his mother, a hotel worker. At the lance…

Summer in Town: Meeting at Monrovian Restaurant
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Summer in Town: Meeting at Monrovian Restaurant

By Susie Ling It was in 1979 that Jimmy and Maria Kypreos opened Monrovian Restaurant – but not at the northeast corner of Myrtle and Colorado. Many of Monrovian Restaurant’s dedicated customers remember. Joe of San Dimas said, “I used to come with my three daughters when we lived in Monrovia. Jimmy had the restaurant…

Summer in Town: Monrovia Latino Heritage Society’s Scholarships
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Summer in Town: Monrovia Latino Heritage Society’s Scholarships

By Susie Ling Roland, Richard, and Rebecca were all born and raised in Monrovia. Roland graduated from Monrovia High in 1959, Richard in 1973, and Rebecca’s diploma is fresh off the press. All three came together at the recent Monrovia Latino Heritage Society’s scholarship luncheon. The Monrovia Latino Heritage Society was founded in 2010 by…

Summer in Town: Friday’s Family Fair
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Summer in Town: Friday’s Family Fair

By Susie Ling Before August of 1992, Monrovia did not have a weekly Family Festival on Myrtle! A generation later, Friday Fair is part of the rhythm and culture of Monrovia. Now a well-oiled machine, the petting zoo, the farmers, the vendors, the musicians, and thousands of folks congregate every Friday. There’s kettle corn, giant…

Summer in Town: J.B. Burgers Since 1974
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Summer in Town: J.B. Burgers Since 1974

By Susie Ling Once upon a time, a young man named Demetrios “Jim” Bakolas dreamed of opportunity in America. In 1938, Demetrios was the youngest of four born to a doctor and his wife. Demetrios was born in Karpenisi, an area in Central Greece rich in historic tradition and natural alpine beauty. But in the…

Summer in Town: Fonzo and Old Town Bistro in Monrovia
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Summer in Town: Fonzo and Old Town Bistro in Monrovia

By Susie Ling Monrovia Trivia Question: Who is Fonzo? Well, of course Fonzo is the life-size chef statue in front of Old Town Bistro on Myrtle Avenue. This restaurant was opened in 2011 by the husband and wife team, Soren and Sunday Loft. It should be noted that their third chef with 2 percent ownership…

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