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The celebration that wasn't

September 15, 2010|By Carol Cormaci

Vons in Plaza de La Cañada has reopened. How do we know that? Because there’s a banner stretched across the front of the building and smiles wide as the Arroyo Seco among the people who work there, apparently glad the dust has cleared and their store-beautification process is over.

Also, there was that full-page Vons ad that ran in last Thursday’s paper proclaiming the event would take place at 8 a.m. Sept. 10.

Misreading that ad, I thought the opening was on Saturday, not Friday. I further thought we should have a reporter document the occasion for us, so I sent out our new contributing writer, Hripsime (“Hrip” to her friends, she tells me, but once I get on a roll with her musical first name, I can’t stop myself until it’s all out) Moskovian.

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We’d arranged that she would cover the Vons celebration and then move to Memorial Park where the anniversary of 9/11 was to be observed, beginning at 9 a.m. Because this was Hripsime’s first time out in the field covering two consecutive news events for us, I gave her my home phone number, in case she encountered any difficulties.

At about 8:05 Saturday, she me at home. Nothing, she said, was happening at our Vons. Not a dignitary was in sight and no freebies with store logos were being handed out to eager customers. No ribbon-cutting was held, no speeches from local officials echoed against the San Gabriels and no cake was served to mark the occasion.

Really? No action at all?

“Well, there are a couple of shoppers here,” she offered. “And they say the store and the center look nice.”

Hripsime had asked Vons employees if any ceremony was planned. They said they couldn’t comment about the renovations or grand re-opening, citing company policy about speaking with the press.
And so we agreed she’d snap a couple of photos before heading to the assignment at the park. I hope she took advantage of the spare time and had breakfast at Conrad’s, or at least a cup of coffee at Zeli’s, but I didn’t ask. She did tell me later that she was very glad to have been assigned the job of covering the 9/11 ceremony, as she found it very moving. You’ll see her coverage, and the photos by Raul Roa, beginning on our front page today.

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