From the Archives

Select stories from over 40 years of the Reader.
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San Diego modern Indians

Alcoholism, native artifacts, water rights, the coming of the casinos

No Dice for Indians Along with the 2000 slot-machine maximum, the compact placed limits on the table games the Indian casinos could offer. "We do not have any dice games, so no craps," Symington explained. ...

San Diego public servants

The cops’ DNA man, school and city bus drivers, Point Loma lighthouse keeper, substitute teacher, cops, firefighters, back-country sheriffs

Light Housekeeping Our man Downen evidently has been slowly phased out of his lighthouse-keeping duties by automation. A fog sensor device is now used to trigger the fog horns automatically when visibility is less than ...

San Diegans busy with Japanese gardens, ferns, bamboo, irises, bonsai, and tomatoes

A plant retrospective

A Sword for Its Army and a Lily for Its Heart Dorothy had a floral display at Art Alive to worry about; one of the iris-show clerks backed out because her horse was due to ...

Celebrity authors in San Diego

Meltzer unmasks Cameron Crowe, Hunter Thompson plays self at SDSU, Susan Sontag not that nice, zoo not that nice to David Sedaris, Luis Urrea deals with fame, John Steinbeck IV's final days in SD

John Steinbeck Was My Father One of us, a doctor's son, mentioned that his father had urged him to follow in his footsteps. Was there pressure on John to become a writer? He shook his ...

History of San Diego: 20th Century

William Walker revolution in Baja, Little Lander colony in San Ysidro, creation of the Salton Sea, and the Luman gunfight in Campo

Creation of the Salton Sea Rockwood tried to construct a jetty between the half-mile-long island in the river — soon to be called “Disaster Island” — and the Mexican cut. In theory, log pilings, sand, ...

Far East County

Julian is settled, Dogpatch lore, gunfight on Banner Grade, Dulzura dogs kill, beginnings of Jamul Indian casino, end of Mesa Verde dairy, Blossom Valley anxiety

When Men and Mountains Meet Julian was at least a four-day trip from San Diego, even for the fastest of team drivers. The trip from Old Town to Foster (above Lakeside, now covered by San ...

Hidden stories of San Diego institutions

Del Mar doping, Horton haunts Mt. Hope, Chinatown vice, Mission Valley anguish, the absurd SDA&E, rape of Cortez Hill, airport favors to politicians, reefer all over Cleveland Nat’l Forest

Just Say Nay As a "matter of confidentiality," the board will not release test-positive trainers' names, though if information is obtained from other sources, they will confirm it. Harvey Furgatch, a former boardmember, thinks the ...

A life of crime

Teamsters new leader killed, brutal murder of prostitute, Amanda Geike case, Olaf Wieghorst forgeries, Mission Beach crime

My Life of Crime I married my third wife in ’78. She was pregnant. We went to the swap meet in Spring Valley, and I was doin’ dealings for some turquoise rings, and I looked ...

Judith Moore on food and memories

White Trash food, canning, pies, beets, turkey, bread pudding, asparagus, potlucks, sweet potatoes, rhubarb, spinach, Easter bunnies, jellybeans, ice cream, apricots, and dog food served as paté

The White Trash Diet Inside the kitchen, the ranch hands might be eating eggs, scrambled or fried in the fat from home-smoked bacon or ham or pork chops or sausage, biscuits sopped in sorghum molasses, ...

San Diego overview — just the facts

Offbeat tourist spots, what we lost to development, earthquake danger, how painters see us, the true story on San Diego traffic

Offbeat Tourist Spots You don’t have to go to Northern California in order to see redwoods. A substantial stand of trees estimated to be about seventy years old and ranging up to eighty feet tall ...

The year in music, 2005

Deadheads, Slightly Stoopid, Osmonds

We Used to Play Acoustic Delta Blues on the Corner of Prospect "We used to play acoustic delta blues on the corner of Prospect and Herschel. We would put on really nice suits and shine ...

Love, marriage, and divorce

San Diego relationship stories cover the gamut

Two Divided by Two Learning some of the courtroom shortcuts made things easier for me — places north of Date Street where you can park all day for free, the back entrance to the county ...

It's been 15 years since Danielle van Dam was murdered

A look back at the case that rocked San Diego and caught national attention

Are the van Dams Fit Parents? In their neighborhood, with the type of activity they had in their house, who knows what other types of things were going on in that house? It all stems ...

Near East County

Early Tunnel Hill thoughts, losers in Lakeside, Flinn Springs feed store, La Mesa when it was sweet, Klaubers settle Encanto, East Co. luxury, Dictionary Hill bully

Loser’s Guide to Lakeside Most of Lindo Lake is nice, with grass and ducks, but on the north side of the lake is a small ditch where future generations of white trash like to hangout, ...

San Diego immigrants

Somalians, Cambodians, Palestinians, Samoans, Mexicans, Afghans, Okies, and Indians from India

Home Before Dark “Part of the procedure before praying is washing their feet in the sinks. That was another problem. This was going on in the restrooms, creating water on the floor. It was not ...

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