Stories for August 2001

Thursday, August 30

They Shall Be Dead, and We Shall All Be Free

The Anglos were just as cruel as the Spanish

Pattie let it be known that he had a supply of [smallpox] vaccine, and the Governor soon contracted with him to vaccinate the Californians, officials, soldiers, settlers, padres, and Mission Indians.

Does the Yukon tempt divers to death?

Bad luck in dark water

Tegner was ascending from an 85-foot dive when her air apparently ran out, forcing her to surface before she could complete her final decompression stop. A companion suggested to her that she stay in the boat.

Fearless Below Market

East Village Walking Tour

“Whenever anyone who is doing a dig for a new project, like the ballpark, comes across pottery shards and arrowheads or any interesting piece of trash, it has to be examined."

Native Exiles

Delfina Cuero: Her Autobiography, an Account of Her Last Years, and Her Ethnobotanic Contribution

"The girls just had one dress and we’d fight. I’d throw them and the dress would tear and they’d cry and cry.... I tore my dress too, but I sure liked to wrestle.”

Hike the beach below San Clemente, and get a glimpse of the Western White House

In southernmost Orange County, a long, gently curving stretch of sand and surf beckons surfers, swimmers, sunbathers, and strollers. Closer to Dana Point, both the old coast highway (former Highway 101) and the tracks of ...

When a man is dressed as a woman, why do they say he is "in drag?"

Hey, Matt: When a man is dressed as a woman, why do they say he is "in drag"? -- Christie, Lemon Grove The term popped up in the 1860s, 1870s, thereabouts, in England. It actually ...

What are Slurpees made of?

Hey, Matt: What exactly are Slurpees made of? I know heavily sugared things aren't particularly thirst quenching, but somehow you'd think even lots of sugar couldn't make ground-up ice not thirst quenching. But it does. ...

What is the history/origin of the dreaded unity candle?

Dearest Matt: I finally decided to do it and tie the knot. In planning the wedding ceremony, the subject of the unity candle came up. It seems really asinine to me, and I'm trying to ...

Thursday, August 23

San Diego's Tennis Curse

Our city's tennis bubble burst

The isolation of sports gives tennis players—who even fail to be socialized by playing on teams and learning to cheer on others—a Peter Pan aura, a continuous youth and a potential escape from responsibility.

Take 8-East for Low-Cost Luxury

East County hides subdued millionaires

“There are a lot of transplanted Midwesterners in East County that like a drier climate, not as moist and damp as the beach is. And they like to see the sunshine a little bit more.”

Asthma Camp

Every Father's Day, over 100 San Diego youths, aged 8 to 13, get on a bus to spend a week at Camp Marston in Julian. While going to summer camp is not unusual, for many ...

The Natural World of the California Indians

Robert F. Heizer and Albert B. Elasser, UC Press, 1980

“The men started the fire, and the women watched to see that it did not approach the houses. When it did, it was beaten out. It burned the hills, all over, clean through to the next one.”

Walk around San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park

Stroll amid prickly pear thickets.

In summer and fall, perhaps two or three centuries ago, Native Americans on the coastal side of the mountains were busy gathering luscious fruit from stands of prickly pear, tuna, and other varieties of cactus. ...

Why do they call the stock market a "bull" market when rising, and a "bear" market when down?

Stockbroker Matt: When the stock market is rising, they call it a "bull" market, right? And when it falls, it's a "bear" market, is it not? WHY? I can see maybe that a bull is ...

Do you know of any newspaper columnists who have risen to fame using a fake name?

Mr. Alice: It is my dream to one day become a famous newspaper columnist, only, get this, I don't plan on using my real name. My reading public will know me only by my nom ...

Does a shower help rehydrate you when you are hung over?

O Great Imbiber: Does a shower help rehydrate you when you're hung over, or does it just wash the stink off? -- Greg in OB It's like this, Greg. Ya gotta get that agua inside ...

Thursday, August 16

Rich Man in Heaven

Jim Benson Wants to Send You into Space

Jim Benson, founder of the world's first private space-exploration company, has a knack for coming up with slogans. "We put the 'Pow' in Poway" is one of the things he likes to say. Poway is ...

Camp Pendleton's Shaggy Secret

Camp Pendleton is wilder than you think

According to Berry, the San Diego Zoo introduced the bison to Camp Pendleton in 1973. The zoo’s contingent of North American Plains Bison (bison bison) had reproduced so successfully that they were running out of room.

One Hundred Hidden Dangers

'I didn't seek to be a school nurse. I was new to the city and I thought, 'I'll give this a try.' " Since giving it a try, Sandy Wright has been working with San ...

Delfina Cuero: Her autobiography, an account of her last years, and her ethnobotanic contributions

One of the most important documents ever written about San Diego

"Opossums are good food, the meat is real good. I still eat them when I have a chance, but now I’m getting old, and I care more for cottontail rabbits; they’re easier to find."

Breathe pine-scented, rarefied air on Mount Hillyer in Angeles National Forest.

If you enjoy the High Sierra you may get some sense of déjà vu atop Mount Hillyer, a rounded promontory off Angeles Crest Highway in the San Gabriel Mountains. The warm (but not hot) summer ...

Do foreign companies use American actors in their commercials?

Hey, Matt: I've noticed that a large number of companies use actors in their TV commercials with English, French, or other foreign accents. I suppose that companies feel that an articulate accented spokesperson lends more ...

What happened to the h's on page 138 of the Reader on August 2nd?

Dear Matthew Alice: On page 138 of the San Diego Reader dated August 2, nearly everywhere there's supposed to be an h in the text, there's a blank space instead. At first I thought it ...

Friday, August 10

Discover hidden Escondido Falls in the Santa Monica Mountains outside Malibu.

Escondido ("hidden" in Spanish) Canyon conceals one of the natural treasures of the Santa Monica Mountains: a shimmering waterfall leaping more than 200 feet over a broken cliff. Only during times of rare flood do ...

Thursday, August 9

As Far South as I've Ever Been

Black settlement in San Diego, part 2

“It was at the corner at the Episcopal Church, Ninth and C. She was crossing the street to go to the store, to get food for my cat. The neighbors heard her scream. She was thrown 15 feet.”

I Can't Eat Peanuts!

Erin Bushie had no idea that her one-year-old daughter, Aubrey, had a severe food allergy until the call came from day care. "At the day care, they all had a spoonful of peanut butter at ...

Pretty Woman

Beach babes consider feminism

As it happened, only one of the 17 women I spoke with declared herself a feminist with any kind of conviction. Most said they were not, usually citing a lack of political drive.

Ballpark lobby

With the future of the downtown baseball stadium seemingly hanging in the balance, employees of the construction company that has a big contract to build it are shoveling thousands of dollars of campaign funds to ...

Seek out the surface trace of the Rose Canyon Fault, San Diego's greatest geologic threat

Foreseeing San Diego on its knees

San Diego County — indeed all of California — is an orthopedic basket case. For millions of years, the ground beneath us has been shattered by slow but sure, incremental changes that can be read, ...

How steep does a road have to be to qualify for a ticket for not having your tires turned in towards the curb?

Hey, Matt: A friend of mine got a ticket on Third Avenue, between Juniper and Ivy [downtown], for not having her tires turned in toward the curb. She was legally parked at a meter, had ...

Where did the word "binky" come from?

Hey, Matt: Was the apparently universal word "binky" just some anonymous, orally fixated infant's cute term for a pacifier or a trade name cooked up by some anonymous, orally fixated ad executive? -- Mark in ...

Where did the necktie come from?

Hi, Matt: Where does the necktie come from? -- Tieless Tim Cotes, Shelter Island They came from hell, I tell you! HELL! Well, actually, France. The same country that gave us high heels. In the ...

Thursday, August 2

None Darker Than Me

Racial obsession in 19th-century San Diego

‘There was never a suspicion in our home,’ said Col. Kastle to a reporter, ‘that Mrs. Monroe was anything else than a white woman. She had none of the characteristics of a colored person.’

Guests Ate Well in Presidio

What struck visitors to the region was how freely families shared their plenty. “Housewives felt that food should not be sold to neighbors or those in need and gave of their abundances anyone who was hungry."

Change Not Accepted at North Park's Aztec Bowl

“There is no more Aztec Bowl. It’s over,” said lead singer Adam Hay of Watch It Burn. “I heard people just today say they should do this once a month...but you know what? It’s done.” ...

No Cure in Sight

Few San Diegans know as much about allergies as Dr. Diane Marquardt. An associate professor of medicine at medical school, Marquardt lectures medical students, assists resident physicians, maintains a practice as an allergist, and spends ...

Hearts and minds

If nothing else, those cryptic TV ads and billboards for the Union-Tribune are sparking interest in the 140-year-old newspaper. Reader Jim Johnston paid heed and reached out to the paper's editor. "'How will you be ...

Visit Irvine Regional Park in Orange County and participate in the century-old tradition of picnicking there.

For more than a century, Irvine Park has drawn Orange Countyans up into the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. Once a meeting place for the early settlers -- then known as the Picnic Grounds ...

Why do golfers carry so many clubs?

Hey, Golf-Pro Matthew! Why do those golfer guys carry around so many clubs? Seems to me just one good club in the hands of a skilled golfer oughta do the trick! -- Grant Frederickson, the ...

Why do golfers carry so many clubs?

Hey, Golf-Pro Matthew! Why do those golfer guys carry around so many clubs? Seems to me just one good club in the hands of a skilled golfer oughta do the trick! -- Grant Frederickson, the ...

Why does California's CRV tax require each individual to pay five or ten cents for each plastic or aluminum container bought in markets?

Hey, Matt: I am interested in the rip-off scams our local and federal governments use to line their secret account pockets with millions by skimming nickels and dimes from American citizens. WE DO NOTICE! California's ...

Why does California's CRV tax require each individual to pay five or ten cents for each plastic or aluminum container bought in markets?

Hey, Matt: I am interested in the rip-off scams our local and federal governments use to line their secret account pockets with millions by skimming nickels and dimes from American citizens. WE DO NOTICE! California's ...

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