Back to profile

Stories by Jangchup Phelgyal

When the Loud Bell Rang

Beginnings are always difficult.

My first day in school was really my second day. It was September 1950, and that first day my brown uniform shirt scratched, the heavy corduroy pants were stiff with newness, my suspenders would not ...

Soundtrack

The music that tells us we’re alive.

The Woes Of A Woman In Love My hand paused before the mascara reached my lashes and I inhaled deeply — it was almost time. The mounting passion in her voice, off-key yet somehow harmonizing ...

Dear People: Remembering Jonestown

Dear People: Remembering Jonestown. Denice Stephenson, editor. Heyday Books, Berkeley. 2005. $16.95. FROM THE BACK COVER: "When we remember Jonestown, we usually think of the deaths of Jim Jones and his followers in a jungle ...

What Happens After a Kid Goes Bad?

These are accounts of ten angry young men with nothing to lose. Mayhem at home, drugs and alcohol, gang warfare, drive-by shootings, armed robbery — even murder — and always stints behind bars with a ...

The Black Memory Market

When public television’s Antiques Roadshow rolled into the convention center the last weekend in June 2001, local collectors crowed. Suddenly San Diego seemed invested, artifact-wise, with the status of a major metropolitan center like Chicago ...

Atrocious Act

On Friday morning, December 14, two black Muslims, Abdur-Rahim Hameed and Adib Mahdi, residents of San Diego, agreed to speak about the local African-American Muslim community and its response to the terrorist attacks of September ...

Their Hair Was Huge, Their Speech Was Loud, and Their Message Was Simple: Revolution Now!

June 16, 1966: The Solution Stokely Carmichael, leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, is released from jail this afternoon. Continuing a voter registration march begun by James Meredith, who was recently shot along a ...

Generations

My mother parked the truck on my foot three hours after my father told me that he loved me. It was March 1965, I was 20 years old, and that was the first time my ...

A House and a Tree Spell Contenment to Me

Olive Street came into its name around 1906, when streets between A and Sacramento were named after trees. One portion of Olive, a quiet cul-de-sac in North Park, has just 15 homes — 22 counting ...

A Quiet Cul-De-Sac in North Park

Good neighborhoods require the right mix of place, time, and things, and the right people. But neighborhoods are not good simply because they are not bad, because rape and pillage are not going on at ...

Bird Talk

When she walks along Pacific Beach in the warm evenings of summer, Renee Lowe turns heads. The 38-year-old has long brown hair and the good looks that once made her a teen model, but it ...

Sugar Jones

For a whole year — beginning in 1959 — I stole from my father and I never got caught. I was 14 years old, a freshman at Saint Augustine’s High School on Nutmeg Street in ...

Raised Not to Hope Too Hard

Sherley Anne Williams was delighted when the New York Times listed her novel on its recommended reading list. The book had gone into a third printing, and her publisher had nominated the novel for a ...

Marriage is Temporary, Dogs are Forever

Terry Wilson has won five Emmys for his television directing, producing, and on-camera hosting; he’s been a national martial arts champion; and his 1998 article on the Marine dogs of World War II won best-short ...

What is Beauty to the Blind?

They were being murdered by the light. I watched and said nothing. When we began our lunch, the sun was just burnishing the windowsill. It was a hot day and Linda had left the window ...

Stan and Ollie

Gary Sassaman is elusive. The 43-year-old enjoys his work as a news graphic designer for KUSI-TV; he also has good friends and likes to spend time with them. But like many artists, he seems best ...

The One-Legged Professional Firefighter

He goes by both. Whether “Buddy,” the two-syllable synonym for pal, or the more mature-sounding “Bud,” the single-syllable term for what is young and unfinished, both fit. Bud McElroy, at 39, seems easygoing and uncomplicated. ...

I'm Done With the States

Brothers below the border.

The restaurant was a rambling wood affair with families crammed together and happily intent over their plates until that rumba line of black men – a half dozen of them – began to snake between ...

Cell Phone Visitation

Otay Mesa is part of a vast sweep of scrub that stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border as far as Texas. Donovan State Prison State Prison is located there, a huge complex of buildings 25 miles ...