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Stories by Linda Nevin

Still Life with Dad

Linda Nevin was an editor and writer for the Reader for over 30 years. She wrote — as Matthew Alice — the Straight from the Hip column for over 20 years, until mid-2012. The following ...

Del Dios

No one’s seen Hodgee lately. Some hoped that as Lake Hodges disappeared, the monster would have fewer places to hide. That one day they’d be watching the sunrise from their quiet porches and suddenly catch ...

Blubbo's World

Reader writers and other friends remember Steve Esmedina

Esmo’s phone manner was so hugger-mugger that I could be sitting four feet away and could not make out a single word. For all I could tell, he might have been laying fifty on a pony.

Stumble, Stumble, Thump, Crash

From an interview with Jim Mullin

“I remember exactly when I met Steve. It was at the annual Reader Christmas party in 1976, at the old location of the Athens Market restaurant. That was when they announced that I was the ...

Blubbo vs the Kaypro

I’d see Steve most often when the Reader was in its original home, a splintery firetrap at the corner of State and Market Streets. After the Reader moved out, the Marine Corps used the raggedy ...

In Passing: Water and Heaven

To help pay for San Diego’s first publicly commissioned outdoor sculpture, a small bronze statue in honor of Ellen Scripps, the mayor asked schoolchildren to donate their pennies to the purchase fund. Now, 80 years ...

The 300-Million Dollar Bouquet

San Diego's uncertain flower future

“We’re the number-one nursery county in the nation. The acreage hasn’t gone down. If an acre disappears on the coast, it pops up somewhere else; for instance. It’s now San Marcos, Twin Oaks Valley, Fallbrook, Valley Center.”

War Art

The polar opposite of painting a still life of flowers

"I made 473 drawings on one assignment in Vietnam. February and March of 1967, in Dong Ha in the DMZ. Sometimes I could use art to shield myself from what was going on around me. ...

San Diego: America's Mail-Theft Capital

"It started in 1991 and peaked in ’94. We identified two major mail-theft gangs in ’95, and by ’98 every blue collection box in the four-county area, 7500 of them, had a new locking mechanism.”

The Dog’s Cute, But the Owner Needs Work

Canine star quality

Turn the knob, open the screen door… Wham! A roiling ball of shelties hurtles against it and slams it shut. Yipyipyipyipyipyip! Jumpjumpjump. Yip. Yip. Jumpjumpjump. Yip! “Scat, Jazz, Riff. Hey, guys. Quiet down.” Yip. Yurp. ...

Color My World: Maps of a difficult planet

One in seven people in the U.S. can't locate their own country on a map.

"Most of the maps in America are not readable. The writing is so small. Thomas Brothers is on the better side, but Rand McNally, for example, the printing is just too small.”

Tress Hung With Nickles

San Diego's Passionate Macadamia Community

The cultivation of macs in San Diego County goes back to the 1940s. “There are several old individual trees around. The oldest I’m aware of is in Coronado. The first commercial grove in Southern California was planted in Oceanside.”

Draw Me a Picture Of Your Pain

Marie can't really remember when it began. Her memory is hazy about the earliest days of her hospitalization. She only only knows that at some point, one of the perpetually smiling volunteers gave her white ...

Rabbit Love

Each throw rug is neatly rolled into a sausage. The small gray rabbit dozes in a fluffy lump under a rattan plant stand, a half-lidded sleep, alert for any coyote that might leap from behind ...

Natural Amusement

It's a fact. Tourists will pay good money to visit Imperial Beach to go birding in the cold morning mist at the Tijuana River Estuary. They'll come from Europe to Poway to climb Mt. Woodson's ...

Angels with dusty wings

The wind was blowing hard, and the dust started to swirl up. I dropped down to 200 feet and probably was within minutes of Ensenada airport when the weather closed in and everything suddenly went blank.

You can't dance with a princess if you don't have a tattoo

“When the tattoo is finally done, you wait for a minute for the pain to go down, then you yell. You blast up. You’re finished! You feel like you want to break everything around."

Where Roses Never Rest

“And it’s important that the roses be picked at just the right point. It’s different for each variety, but if you pick them too early, when they’re not opened up enough, they’ll never open.”

What Do You Grow to Replace Avocados?

The sign on Steve Olson's office door says Olson Avocado Management. The logo on his jacket reads Olson Firewood. When you work in agriculture, you have to stay flexible. "Groves we planted 10, 20 years ...

University Avenue: From Washington Street to La Mesa Boulevard

“This used to be a beautiful place,” says Jonnie. “A family part of town. Nice people lived here. That all changed with the Vietnam War, 1975. People from war places started coming in, big-time.”

Mr. San Diego, part two

The Decline of a Western Tycoon

Kroc got on the phone and in a very high-pitched voice he said, “Mommy, I bought us a baseball team today.” There was a long silence, but I imagine what she said to him.

Mr. San Diego: Born With the Century

The man who built this city is rocking but still rolling at 93.

I don’t know why we expanded like this. I guess I’m a damn fool and like to work and create things. We had to have jobs, industry. San Diego wasn’t like Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Steel.

Back To School

Mr. Van Winkle asked the Student Council Reps, to indicate to the classes that if they can convince him through sound logical arguments that they should ride skateboards to school that he will reconsider his position.

The Smaller the Ball

Recently, Washington Post baseball reporter Tom Boswell was asked to explain why, in his estimation, more good books about baseball are published in a single year than have ever been written about football. Boswell cited ...

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