Ken Kuhlken

Ken Kuhlken

Kuhlken wrote feature stories for the Reader plus a column in the 2000s called Driven, interviewing car owners about their vehicles.

He was also the subject of a 2002 cover story by Judith Moore: "He Turns Out Hometown Heroes."

Latest Articles

"You Don't Do Anger"

Judith came out of nowhere. She called one evening and asked if I'd like to write something for the Reader. I'd read the Reader enough to feel flattered, since the writers I'd encountered in it ...

Mary Jackson's Faith

Mary Jackson founded a ministry in Barrio Logan. She helps women learn job skills. Mary drives a new Honda Element. “Do you want to hear how I got such a nice car?” she asks. I ...


The music that tells us we’re alive.

I'd press play on my older brother's boom box, and listen to the Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA." The volume never passed two; I was terrified of discovery by my mother who had a ban on rock music.

A Summer on Desolation Row

"Like a Rolling Stone," the most famous song on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, portrays somebody who thought she was on top contending with her fall to the bottom. It's a fun song but not ...

Minimalist on a Motorcycle

Michael Emerson, the optician at Hart Optical, rides a big Suzuki. He tells me, “It’s a Cavalcade 1400 cc. Suzuki gave up on them in ’88 and built the last generation in ’89 from parts ...

Not Good for the Minds of Proper Girls

A hunt for the elusive fotonovela.

Reading Sandra Cisneros's recent novel Caramelo, set in Mexico City during the late 1950s, I wondered about the fotonovelas that are mentioned again and again over the course of the book: "The Awful Grandmother" locks ...

Paul and His Dueling Mufflers

Paul Koch spent six years as road manager for the San Diego Chicken. Now that he’s in real estate, you might see his Cadillac around town. “I drive a big car with a big name,” ...

Where Do Those Poor Kids Go?

SDSU classes get bigger and easier

Many students take 18 or more units and really do well. If you pin them down, you find that what is demanded of a student at San Diego State is not much.

La Mesa

The doctor says, “You’re a few pounds overweight, your cholesterol’s a bit scary, and your blood pressure…” “Yeah, okay,” I grumble. “So what’s your prescription?” “You could change your diet.” “Not for the better, I ...

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