Back When

Excerpts from Reader issues past.

Medical Life: Doctors

Man vs MD Every patient, as well as every dog, has his day, and mine came. It occurred in the local hospital ward during my recovery from a rather serious illness. In this environment our ...

Poor, no job

The unemployment line, crashing at friend’s, San Diego SRO hotels, and the Adacia Imperial Mobile Park

I tell them my name is Ernie Klein, I'm 42 years old, and I'm unemployed Finally, after tapping her forehead with a pencil and then looking through a pile of papers on her desk, she ...

Large animals in the wild

Beaked and gray whales, dilemma of local mountain lions, wild horses in Coyote Creek, coyotes thrive in San Diego canyons

Mystery of the Beaked Whales By the time they arrived the tide had gone out and the animal lay dead on the sand. “There was a guy from the Navy already there. He was asking ...

San Diego architecture as covered by Susan Vaughn in the '90s

Bungalows in National City, Rancho Santa Fe mansions. San Diego’s best Craftsman and Victorians, the ugliness of Pardee homes

When the Bungalows Came to Town I drive down East Plaza Boulevard and at first pass a series of contemporary commercial buildings — a red Monterey-style Boll Weevil restaurant (“Home of the Steerburger!”); a glass, ...

Annals of San Diego gardens

Oceanside and Ocean Beach gardens, Pat Welsh in Del Mar, wisteria, moonflowers, Monterey cypresses as pests, and the therapy of gardening

The Julia Child of gardening “Chickweed is the main winter weed of my garden, and in a way I don’t mind because it’s edible.” She pulls up the tiny plant, its leaves not so feathery ...

Best of Judith Moore Reading interviews 1997-98

Anne Lamott, Jamaica Kincaid, Ved Mehta, Paul Theroux, and more

Czeslaw Milosz on Anna Swir Milosz explained that he set about translating Swir’s poems, “in order to repair injustice, because she was underestimated. I consider her a very important poet. But she was somehow in ...

San Diego characters in education and book publishing

John Theobald of SDSU, Roger Revelle of UCSD, book agent Sandra Dykstra, translator John Woods of Mission Hills, ex-spy D.G. Wills

What Greater Curse Than Life Without Verse Theobald opened a correspondence with Ezra Pound that lasted for years. Throughout this time, the poet was an inmate at St. Elizabeth’s mental hospital in Washington, D.C., having ...

Original ideas

Men imagine life as a woman, "Okie" as a racial eptithet, and same-name similarities (or not)

If I’d been born a woman Ask any man you know if he’d like to be a woman, you get an automatic “No.” Too messy. Too emotional. Too hard. Most men can’t imagine going through ...

The essays of John Brizzolara

A reacquaintance with the Italian rapscallion

Stand by your Buddy That men lead lopsided personal lives is possibly not an original observation but something worth mentioning. During my last excursion into romantic folly, I would turn down opportunities to spend time ...

San Diegans fighting radical Islam

SEALs in Desert Storm and Afghanistan, teens reflect on war, a blogger’s report

Triumph of the Swill “Schwarzkopf’s got a hard-on for special ops. He and General Stiner, who commands SEALS and Special Forces, can’t stand each other. Then there’s the rivalry between Army line officers —artillery, infantry, ...

Life after 9/11

Stories we ran in the aftermath of September 11

Where We Were “Tell them there’s been a terrible tragedy and lots of people have died and that we need to pray for the victims and for their families and for the horrible people who ...

San Diego Characters: Outliers

Woman logger, Josie Scripps, the Spaceman of OB, and Bill Gookin

Josie Scripps She reports that the county, for its size, is second only to an area in Africa. Larger areas like Brazil and Ceylon contain greater quantities of gems, she says, but none has the ...

Central San Diego before 1930

The San Diego trolley in the early 1900s, the elusive Putnam sisters, and someone who remembers the Marstons, Klaubers, and Colonel Fletcher

Clang, clang, clang In the summer you could get a fifty-cent pass for the whole week. ” She recalls passing her ticket out the window to a friend to squeeze two rides for the price ...

Tension in Mt. Soledad, cockroaches in Logan Heights

Manual labor: I sweat right in front of you

Here to Clean Up Bruce’s departed tenant had left telltale signs of the "young bachelor" — a floor so encrusted with dirt in places that I had to chisel it off with a knife, a ...

Near desert places

A changed Jacumba, the little towns of Highway 80, and the drama of Warner Springs

A Quiet Street and an Old Hotel He smeared my whole body and face with mineral oil and began rubbing it around with a machine that whined and felt warm. A cord led from his ...

Abortion as a moral conflict

Truths and Consequences We absolutely didn’t have a clue about what we were doing, but each one of us were self-motivated. It was like if you want it done, you do it yourself. That’s kind ...

That Seventies vibe

Eye of Newt, Toe of Frog San Diego covens. Force claimed he had played a role, witchwise, in the indictment of San Diego's former Mayor Curran and his staff, in the Yellow Cab scandal. By ...

OB hippies, San Diego oceanfront lots, Sunset Cliffs deaths, Pacific Beach gangs

Beach life: 1981-1991

Low Tide at OB Today, although drug traffic is still heavy, the overall crime rate for serious offenses – including rape and other sex crimes, assault, burglary, robbery, grand theft, auto theft, and petty theft ...

A Padres retrospective

"Most people remembered the Padres’ Bircher contingent as 'Eric Show and those other two guys.'"

Clinton-and-Brown-Loving, Rich Texas Liberal Seeks Date with Padres Most of the money Moores gave to the Clinton camp came through the Democratic National Committee. “Federal law limits individual gifts [to presidential candidates] to $1000 per ...

Music of the 1980s

The Tubes, the Beat Farmers, Psychotic Waltz, and when rap and norteño entered the scene

My Son the Tube When the Tubes appeared on the Cher TV special in April of the next year, I was almost overcome by a fit of the whips and jingles as I waited for ...

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