Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This Message Just In from Pasadena Mayor BILL BOGAARD!

The "Fork In The Road Gang" rocks, per the following sent to one of our members - ringleaders:

Dear Ken:

Thank you very much for the report from the weekend food drive, and congratulations on an extremely positive outcome.  The support for the food drive, which is significant, reflects the extent of interest and support for the Fork in the Road. 

This initiative—guerilla art or not—continues to be a source of excitement and pride to me, since I consider Pasadena to be a City that is animated by creative and artistic efforts and organizations.  I will follow with interest your activities and hope that I can play a helpful role in that regard.

Keep up the good work, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.  


Well, shucks from your neighbor to the North, Altadena and The Coffee Gallery and The Coffee Gallery Backstage.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Put The Fork In Hunger Drive Wow and thanks to YOU!!!

Remember, links to video and other media stories about the fork are on the right hand side 

Thanks to everyone - the volunteers, donors, and of course those zany foks - The Fork In The Road Gang for making the food drive at the fork a huge success.  We mean huge.   And thanks to AgentPhil who organized this forking event.  His website about the drive is here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Latest Fork In The Road - Food Drive information

Look at the right side of this blog to see up-to-date links to articles and TV news clips about the fork  And this weekend - THE FOOD DRIVE!  Latest info is that if you are driving by to donate food, go West on Bellefontaine from Fair Oaks.  The volunteers will then take your food donations there. 

The Specifics about the "Fork In The Road"  "Put The Fork in Hunger" a Giant Food Drive can be seen at

Friday, November 13, 2009

Giant Fork in the Road to sponsor "Put The Fork In Hunger"

No, don't worry - this is not a Forking takeover.

Instead, The Fork in the Road Gang - composed of denizens of The Coffee Gallery Backstage and will be doing their part to "Put The Fork in Hunger" at the Fork in the Road, November 21st and 22nd.

They are now recruiting volunteers, so you can contact Philip Coombes at 626-644-3227 or to volunteer.  If you can't volunteer, remember to drive on by and help us help others during the event.   Benefiting Union Station Homeless Services.

When:  November 21st and 22nd 8am-4pm
Where:  at the Fork in the Road where Pasadena Ave and St. John meet just South of Belfontaine.
How:  Just cruise on by slowly, roll down your window and drop off food items to volunteers with outreach bags.

I have heard that there may be tshirts available too.  Stay tuned for more details.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hats off to Ken Marshall and the Fork In The Road Gang

During much of the time that the fork has been up - almost 2 whole weeks - the actual leader of the Fork In The Road Gang has been laying low.  Part of the reason is that when they first put it up, there was some fear of potential arrest of the perpetrators, and of course the leader of the group didn't really want to wind up in the slammer or at the receiving end of litigation for this guerrilla art installation. 

However, this concern was balanced by the desire to make sure nobody else took credit for the fork and the hope that a high profile and public enthusiasm for the fork would result it becoming an important part of Pasadena's cultural footprint.  Plus, he was interviewed by various media outlets, so the cat is really out of the bag anyway.

So, with much ballyhoo, those of us who appreciate the fork want to thank Ken Marshall, sometime partner with Bob Stane (the quirky birthday boy) at The Coffee Gallery Backstage for building and installing this off-the-wall giant eating utensil, and amazing us all.

The really amazing part is that he didn't do this all by himself - any wacko could do that.  He inspired a whole cadre of people to aid and abet his project, and managed to build  flexibility into the team that could deal with life's little missteps.  This proved to be essential  when real Cal Trans workers were at the fork site at an inconvenient time (when the Fork Gang had planned on pouring the concrete). The team in their fake Cal Trans Halloween costumes adjusted their schedules to wait until "the coast was clear", and didn't finish until after dark.

So thanks Ken and the Gang, for a wild ride.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What A Weekend for the Fork, Bob Stane, and The Coffee Gallery Backstage!

I was just informed this evening by Larry Wines, mavin of  Acoustic Americana Radio, that Bob Stane, the recipient of the "Fork in the Road" birthday present, knocked them dead this weekend at the Far West Folk Alliance Conference.  Both Larry and other participants told me that Bob was absolutely hilarious, and left everyone rolling in the aisles.  When I asked Larry if anyone had a video of his speech (this being the YouTube era), I was informed that the session was being streamed live during the conference only.  I am curious if anyone might have saved this and could make this available on the web.  (I was just informed Tuesday night by the person in charge of Photography at the Conference, that she will provide the necessary link soon - so stay tuned).

Now, since I didn't get to go to the conference,  I was spending the evening at Bob's usual home, The Coffee Gallery Backstage both Friday and Saturday evenings, where it was just a usual night of amazing entertainment in an intimate setting.

Friday brought Jim Kweskin, the man that made Jug Bands cool in the 60's, and while he no longer has a jug band, he brought a large bunch of stellar musicians, and performed new pieces as well as old Jug Band favorites in new ways.   It was wonderful for me to be able to see this charming performer whose material harkens back to the early jazz and blues years from the earliest times of recorded music. 

Saturday's entertainment was Berkley Hart, a melodious duo performing self-penned songs both humorous (How can you resist the Big Bad Barbie Doll?) and profound (Barrel of Rain).  They remind you of the reason we go out to see live music in the first place.  I think audiences want to come together, hoping for a profound experience.  There is never a guarantee that you will find this transcendence  at any particular time or place, but I will say that for an amazing variety of people, The Coffee Gallery Backstage seldom misses.

This is a reminder of why Bob Stane plies his trade, weaving a fabric of unique great music and entertainment.  This live experience cannot be bottled.  Even if you get an idea about what an act looks and sounds like from YouTube, that is much like looking under the flap of the circus tent, seeing the elephants feet and thinking you have seen the circus.

After having said that, I hope to have a few of these performances up on YouTube before the week is over.  Then you might suspect that you missed something great.

So, if you like the Fork, help sustain yourself and the man the fork was built for - take a look at the offerings at The Coffee Gallery Backstage.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Yesterday, TV news was all about the Fork - Saturday it's the LA Times and Radio

Well, we have seen a lot of coverage on the TV news stations about the Fork and who did it, why they did it, where they did it, how they did it, and finally can they do that?

Since the answer to the last quesion is undoubtedly, yes they CAN, the saga continues and looking to the future the BIG QUESTION is can it last. 

Tomorrow, we may learn something new about that - The LA Times will be running an article about the fork and I was told they talked to the Mayor of Pasadena, and he said that he was in favor of the fork. 

And John Rabe of Off Ramp will have an interview with Pasadena's Mayor Bognard on his radio show tomorrow, where he states he is in favor of the fork and will fight to ensure its survival. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lots of Media are noticing the Giant Pasadena Prankster Fork in the Road

Well, yesterday and today were exciting days for Pasadena's Giant Fork in the Road.  It was just about everywhere you went in the media, Pasadena Star News, Channels 2, 5, 7, 9 - even the Chicago Tribune picked up the story, so we are not just local any more.  I have provided links on the right hand side of this blog to all of the media outlets I am aware of.  If you know of any others, let me know.

And of course, you can take the poll on the right and let us know if you like the fork, or would prefer its demise.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yes, dear, there is a lot of interest in this fork

Well, the story seems to have broken all over town, that a giant 18 foot tall sculpture of a fork has impaled itself at a fork in the road in Pasadena.  Was this the result of an alien resting his fork in the middle of a meal?  Something that fell out of a passing plane?  Broken signage for one of the many Pasadena Restaurants?

Wrong on all counts.  This was a surprise birthday present.  A gift to an icon of Pasadena (and Altadena) culture, Bob Stane that also turned into an surprise unbirthday present to the City of Pasadena.

We will be keeping you up to date on what is happening with this icon-to-be and provide links to whatever we find anyone else is posting about it.   And of course, we will try to separate truth from fiction.  I have realized that even the participants haven't talked to each other about every little detail, and disremembering is rampant among professional and amateur alike.

I would like to take this time to recognize John Rabe's blog who posted this information before the big media folks got a hold of it. 


Now the first thing you may be wondering is - who is Bob Stane, what has he done to deserve such an unusual present, and of course - how old is he.  To answer the last question first, he turned 75 last week.  And he is the originator (though not the present owner) of The Ice House in Pasadena.  He built it up back in the day of beatniks, folk music, and of course, humor.  Back in those days, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Steve Martin, and Robin Williams, played there, and as for the musical acts, they were the giants of the era. And what is even more important at one point in time, he had the ONLY WORKING ESPRESSO MACHINE IN PASADENA.  He beat Starbucks to Pasadena, by over 20 years.  This is truly a man ahead of his time.  

Of course, just because Bob is no longer the owner of The Ice House doesn't mean that he has lost his appreciation of wacky things, and he still is partners in The Coffee Gallery Backstage, just up the road in Altadena, where he showcases the best of today's acoustic music, in an intimate, laid back venue.

The plan here is to be the "go to" site to go to when you want to know anything about the fork in the road.  And of course, we welcome your input about what we should do with it, to it, and around it.