Much has been said about the new and improved Clifton’s Cafeteria. The design, the food, and especially the Jello have been examined in great detail. What we haven’t heard much about is the man who dreamed it all up in the first place. Clifford Clinton’s grandson Edmond is an internist at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena and is speaking on Sunday about his new biography Clifton’s and Clifford Clinton A Cafeteria and a Crusader.
Clinton writes about the cafeteria creator’s involvement in politics (he helped to recall the first big city mayor in American history) Clinton’s commitment to the poor (the cafeteria’s slogans included “pay what you wish” and “no one will be turned away for lack of funds” and his time in China with his missionary parents. This isn’t an art book about the colorful cafeterias, in fact there are few photos and they are mostly black and white, but it’s a studied history of a crusader, a reformer and an idealist. Meet Edmond J. Clinton III at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena this Sunday at 4pm. Afterward, I know of a neat place downtown you could go for dinner.