So it started simple enough, a conversation with a co-worker of mine. The topic of the conversation revolved around me being born and raised in Pomona. I told him that I have pride in my city and he began to put it down. It was all in good fun of course, if you can categorize putting something down as fun. I had recently purchased a Pomona emblem, and so it began. He currently lives in Covina and began to compare his city to Pomona. Well this went back and forth for pretty much the rest of the day (kinda slow at work). As debates go, well, it was pretty much a stalemate. Well later that night while at home I received a text from (as the kids say) the “Hater”. He stated that he was at Rite-Aid and he had bought a gift for me and that I would love it. Cut to the next day which would be today. After 30 minutes into the work day he pulls the so called “gift” out of his bag and hands it to me. What do you think it was? Any guesses? Well let me tell you, it was a t-shirt, a t-shirt that was purchased at a Rite-Aid with the words “Greetings From Covina”. It had a painted picture of the Covina police department, fire department and the Covina post office. But wait, there’s more! Driving down the road on the t-shirt was a school bus with the words “Charter Oak Chargers” on it. He bought it at a Rite-Aid! I’ll give you a minute to let it sink in . . . Now with a bomb like that being dropped on me what could I do? How could I defend my city when you have franchises selling other cities merchandise? When was the last time you saw a “Welcome to Pomona” t-shirt or “I love Pomona” mug? I’m not talking about the ones you can get from the Pomona Historical Society Gift Shoppe. Those objects pretty much plug the society not so much the city (not that there is anything wrong with that). But how was I supposed to come back with anything when I had to purchase the emblem that I have from one of those places that make cut out vinyl stickers. I’m pretty sure that those aren’t “Officially Licensed Merchandise” dealers. I mean come on, even the Los Angeles Coroners Office has merchandise that they sell (and people want). I even remember a booth that they had at the fair one year. But I digress. I guess what I’m trying to get at is do we or does Pomona have some way of showing some pride, unity, strength, whatever you want to call it (And I don’t mean that “Piece of Pomona” thing, I still don’t get that). I don’t even drink coffee but where can I get a mug that I can take to work show that I’m for Pomona? I even have one from the radio station KJZZ 88.1 FM to show support (I love their “Nothin’ but the Blues” Program). So how can I go up against a t-shirt that he purchased at an actual big-name store? What is my Pomona doing to get the community behind it? Is the answer construction, because we definitely have our fill going on around the city. Maybe it’s something else, something that I haven’t been able to acknowledge yet. Any comments, any thoughts, anything???