No way! Bill and Ted’s Circle K in San Dimas is now history, dude

California

Because 1989’s “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” is set in San Dimas and its opening scene takes place in the parking lot of a Circle K, San Dimas’ Circle K became a minor claim to fame and tourist destination.

But now, that Circle K at 301 E. Bonita Ave. has closed, as reader and sportswriter Pete Marshall informs me sadly. That is less than bodacious news.

A Circle K parking lot is where San Dimas High students Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) begin their time-travel journey after not one but two phone-booth time portals drop out of the sky, one of them bearing George Carlin, amid lightning flashes.

In a 2019 story by my former colleague Liset Marquez about the movie’s local impact, we learned that visitors sometimes inquired at City Hall about the addresses of various sites, including the Circle K, and that they sometimes snapped photos from the Circle K parking lot.

The actual Circle K used in the original film was in Tempe, Arizona, however. And that Circle K closed in May 2022.

“The rumors aren’t bogus,” the corporation announced at the time, using “Bill and Ted” lingo. “It’s a location that has enjoyed some most triumphant times in its more than 30 years of serving the Tempe community. We know that the news will come across as non-non-heinous to many.”

In San Dimas, the Circle K retail space has pivoted to become an independent convenience store, Korner Market, with the K cleverly emphasized in red (but without a circle). Well, that’s something.

A reviewer on Yelp wrote: “The ‘K’ is prominently red and bold, reminding you of the Circle K logo, but not close enough to infringe on its copyright — good job guys.”

I dropped by recently to admire the sign, bringing along a cap given to me years ago by the Chamber of Commerce that has the playful motto “San Dimas, An Excellent Adventure.”

Still, the change stings. As Marshall put it: “For now San Dimas does not have a Circle K. Maybe a Circle K will return. A Circle K needs to return.”

That would be most excellent.

Stoody time

A colorful entrepreneur, Shelley Stoody owned a fabulously successful Whittier welding company, had a ranch in San Jacinto and bought a house in Palos Verdes Estates, commuting to work from there by helicopter. He also owned a vast acreage he named the Double S Ranch in Carbon Canyon, today part of Western Hills Country Club in Chino Hills.

Stoody, who died in 1961 in a grisly, aviation-related manner, was cited in a column here in January. His friendship with Donald Duck cartoonist Carl Barks resulted in the oddity of a few newspaper editorial cartoons by Barks taking Stoody’s side in his helicopter dispute with Palos Verdes officials.

Paul Spitzzeri of the Chino Hills Historical Society will give a talk about Stoody at 7 p.m. June 12 at the Chino Hills Community Center, 14250 Peyton Drive. Doug Evans, the Chino Hills man who owns some of those unusual Barks cartoons, will be bringing them along. And I have hopes of attending as well.

Now how much would you pay? Never mind, because it’s free. Join us if you’d like to make a study of Stoody.

About those cartoons

When I wrote about Evans and the Barks drawings, I heard from Søren Marsner, a Barks collector in Denmark. Barks, who lived for many years in San Jacinto and then Temecula, toiling in anonymity, has fans all over the world, particularly in Europe.

Marsner told me that because Barks’ employer, Western Publishing, routinely destroyed original art after publication, under 250 pages have survived of the 6,500 that Barks drew. He’s got a website on the subject, carlbarkscomicbookart.dk.

Those who own Barks originals are inducted into an honorary group named the Society of the First Dime, an homage to how Donald’s fabulously wealthy Uncle Scrooge, a character whom Barks created, saved the first dime he ever made and considered it his good luck token.

Evans is now a First Dimer, possibly the only one in the Inland Empire, although you never know.

Of course, it’s basically an imaginary organization, which may lessen the achievement. But that just means there are no boring after-dinner speeches.

brIEfly

As part of Rancho Cucamonga’s recent development code update, the 1977-founded city did more than mandate alternative-fuel pumps at new or remodeled service stations. The city also banned a quintessential element of suburban design from future construction: the cul-de-sac. Newly built streets will connect to each other as in traditional cities. What will they think of next? Rancho, we hardly knew ye.

David Allen writes Friday, Sunday and Wednesday, as ye know. Email dallen@scng.com, phone 909-483-9339, like davidallencolumnist on Facebook and follow @davidallen909 on Twitter.

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