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Short takes: items of interest from 1983 in San Diego

Everybody gets skewered

It wasn't even a seeing-eye dog! - Image by Slug Signorino
It wasn't even a seeing-eye dog!

Stout shoulders slump under the weight of 1983: war in Chad, war in Afghanistan, war in El Salvador, war in Grenada, war in Lebanon, war in Nicaragua. Mass murderers roam the highways, an airliner is blasted from the sky, terrorists deliver their lethal cargoes. Drugs and spies and deficits multiply. Nuclear winter awaits its season. And right here in San Diego, in the pleasant hamlet of Ramona, press reports disclose yet another tragedy: a seven-year-old blind boy loses his best pal—a seeing-eye dog named Daisy.

But wait! The dog was found! And the boy wasn’t blind! It wasn’t his dog!

Wasn’t even a seeing-eye dog!

  • THATS THE LAST TIME I ROB A BANK WHILE WEARING MY SKIS
  • Two inmates were foiled in the act of attempting to break out of the Metropolitan Correctional Center downtown when a guard found them lowering 160 feet of dental floss from an eighth-story window.
  • A thirty-one-year-old man broke into a Mission Hills home this past August with the intention of stealing a TV set, but he got sidetracked at the refrigerator. After downing some turkey, beer, and juice, he fell asleep in the homeowner’s bed, where the homeowner — and police — found him hugging a child’s doll.
  • East San Diego resident David Boren tried entering a home on Euclid Avenue through its chimney, only to get stuck halfway down. After the fire department pried him loose, he was booked on suspicion of attempted burglary.
  • SAY, PAUL, WHAT ARE THOSE HANDCUFFS FOR?
  • Paul Greene, a South Bay fire district commissioner defeated in the November election, tried unsuccessfully to arrest three county supervisors. Several days earlier Greene placed Registrar of Voters Ray Ortiz under citizen’s arrest, but released him without bail.
  • THE MOST TERRIBLE THING TO HAPPEN IN 1983 (EXCEPT NOT REALLY)
  • The Stadium “rape.”
  • ISN'T THAT THE CITY WITH THE ZOO?
  • Soon after his election. Mayor Roger Hedgecock flew off to New York City to speak to 150 journalists invited to hear a pitch about San Diego’s redevelopment plans. Only twenty reporters showed up. Two days later, in Washington, D.C., the mayor had to cancel a planned meeting with twenty-five of the capital's leading newspaper correspondents; only five had bothered to RSVP.
  • WHEN IS A STREET LIKE A SINUS?
  • After four disastrous months of stalled traffic, delayed buses, and frustrated delivery drivers, downtown San Diego’s Fifth Avenue in April was once again restored to one-way traffic.
  • CONVERSATIONS WE WISH WE'D OVERHEARD
  • Jack Ford telling his mom and dad how things are going down here in San Diego.
  • Sheriff John Duffy and White House counselor Ed Meese hashing out the wording of Duffy's statement of resignation from the President’s commission on organized crime. Meese yielding to Duffy’s insistence that the statement include testimony to the sheriff’s impeccable qualifications and the lack of evidence tying him to alleged organized crime figures. Duffy agreeing to stress that there was no White House pressure for his resignation. Both agreeing to blame the whole messy affair on the press.
  • Riiiiing!
  • Paul Eckert: Yellow. Yeah. Huh? What? What? No, I don’t have a comment. And don't call back.
  • Diane Eckert: Paul, was that a reporter?
  • Paul: Huh? Oh, yeah, some guy from the Trib.
  • Diane: But we’re on vacation, dear. How’d he know where we were? Paul: Huh?
  • Diane: Paul, what did he want?
  • Paul:........
  • Diane: Paul?
  • Roger Hedgecock discussing with aide Mike McDade the advantages of staying uninvolved in the November city council elections.
  • BUZZ BY LATER FOR YOUR CUT
  • Laverne Codman was lounging by the swimming pool of a La Jolla motel in September when a bumble bee drove her to distraction — and a leap into the pool to escape. Just then a quick-witted thief made off with Codman’s purse, which she had left poolside. The purse contained S100,000 worth of jewelry. Said Codman to police, “Thank goodness my good jewelry wasn’t in the purse.”
  • GOOD NEWS
  • KSDO finally dumped Laurence (Don’t Call Me Larry) Gross.
  • BAD NEWS
  • Channel 39 hired him.
  • MOST RIDICULOUSLY OVERPUBLICIZED EVENT OF 1983
  • Councilman Bill Cleator touches the Queen.
  • GEE, YOU LOOK GREAT IN A LAWSUIT
  • An Escondido man sued an Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant after he bit into a sandwich and broke two teeth on a quarter.
  • A forty-year-old housekeeper sued her Solana Beach employers after she raided their refrigerator and ate some brownies, which turned out to be spiked with marijuana.
  • A Carlsbad woman sued Bullock’s department store after she received a permanent in the store’s beauty shop that allegedly resulted in her hair falling out.
  • NO MORE BLEEPING BEEPS!
  • Maestro David Atherton, in a highly unusual departure from formal protocol, announced this fall to members of the symphony audience that the “Seiko syndrome’’ was driving him and his musicians crazy, and demanded the prohibition at concerts of electronic wristwatches that beep every thirty minutes.
  • RIDICULOUS PUBLICITY: RUNNER-UP
  • Queen Elizabeth visits San Diego.
  • GRANNY FLATS:
  • Who cares?
  • WAITRESS? WAITRESS? OH, WAITRESS?
  • Rudford’s, the venerable El Cajon Boulevard eatery known for the motherly, even grandmotherly, quality of its service, was sold early in July. The new owners promptly laid off the entire staff, including some employees who had been on the job for more than two decades.
  • THAT'S HOW TRIGGER GOT WHERE HE IS TODAY
  • Since the March inauguration of the police department’s horse patrol, all six members of the mounted unit have been thrown, one of the officers was kicked in the face by his steed, and an automobile was seriously damaged when one of the horses spooked and collided with it in a parking lot in Balboa Park.
  • TELL SERGEANT BILKO TO GET IN HERE ON THE DOUBLE
  • Members of Navy Recruit Company No. 917 testified at a special court-martial hearing in July that their company commander confiscated loose change from their pockets, withheld their mail, hit them, and approached them while they were naked and threatened them with a sword.
  • A forty-man platoon of Marines narrowly escaped extinction in June while on maneuvers at Camp Pendleton. A miscoded computer caused an A-6 Intruder aircraft to drop its load of 500-pound bombs at the wrong location — very near the Marines. The resulting mayhem left one Marine injured with shrapnel wounds.
  • Freddie Davis was picked up in February by the Shore Patrol on suspicion of being AWOL, and before they threw him in the Naval Station brig, his head was shaved and his beard was cut off. But after two days behind bars, he was released. It turned out that Davis was not an AWOL sailor, had never even been in the Navy, and the man he was mistaken for wasn’t AWOL either.
  • Burglars entered the Golden Hill home of Richard Bonney, a SEAL team commando recently discharged from the Navy, and made off with a hand grenade and thirty explosive booby traps.
  • Two men were acquitted this summer of receiving stolen goods after the Navy learned that the goods in question — 115 pairs of new flight-deck boots — were salvaged from a Navy trash bin at the North Island Naval Air Station. Witnesses testified that new equipment and material is often thrown away by the Navy, and that a $75,000 computer, still in its packing box, was once fished out of the Navy’s trash dumpster.
  • SOMEHOW, THE GAMES WILL GO ON
  • One day after the Soviets shot down a Korean airliner, sportscaster Ted Leitner announced that if the Russians went to the ’84 Olympics in Los Angeles, he wouldn’t.
  • MOST UNDERRATED LOSS
  • The offshore kelp beds.
  • MOST OVERRATED LOSS
  • Downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter.
  • MOST WELCOME LOSS
  • “America’s Finest City” hokum.
  • BROWNIE POINTS, 1983
  • At a welcome-hack party celebrating her recovery from cancer surgery, veteran El Capitan High School teacher Wanda. Ishmael unsuspectingly ate a brownie heavily laced with marijuana and had to be hospitalized. Informed that several of her students were aware of the drug plot, Ishmael vowed to quit teaching.
  • ISN'T THAT WHERE THE MARINES ARE?
  • Russell King, editorial director of San Diego State’s Daily Aztec, announced the results of a poll conducted by the paper: “Many students don’t even understand the difference between Lebanon, Grenada, and El Salvador. They think they’re all in more or less the same place.”
  • KATHY’S OLD FLAME
  • Despite six separate calls on the 911 emergency number, Escondido resident Kathy Pappas stood for twenty minutes and watched her 1974 Ford station wagon burn to rubble in her front yard. A San Diego dispatcher mistakenly sent the fire crews to Del Mar.
  • A FINE AND QUIET PLACE
  • Three vagrants were arrested in February inside an Oceanside mausoleum, where they had set up housekeeping. Police said the transients each had a sleeping bag and separate crypts, and one homesteader brought along a cage with pet rats.
  • NICE TRY, AMIGOS
  • One hundred fourteen illegals unwittingly clambered into the back of a large furniture truck that had been commandeered by U.S. Border Patrol officers who parked the rig at a stakeout location along the U.S./Mexico border near Jacumba.
  • HOW COULD THEY TELL?
  • This year the City of Imperial Beach lost its police department its lifeguard service, its city clerk, and a large piece of its municipal pier.
  • For those who don’t subscribe to the Pulitzer Prize-winning San Diego Tribune and thus have not enjoyed the skills of that newspaper’s resident editorial cartoonist, we reprint here a sampling of his finest work from 1983. See if you can match the names below with the shrewd caricatures above. Good luck!
  • Fidel Castro Yuri Andropov Ronald Reagan George Deukmejian Walter Mondale
  • Jesse Helms James Watt Francois Mitterand Ferdinand Marcos Jesse Jackson
  • Roger Hedgecock Menachem Begin Maureen O’Connor Paul Volker
  • VALLEY OF THE RARE
  • Defending his plans for a new Mission Valley convention center, Town and Country Hotel owner Terry Brown announced that traffic jams in the valley are “so rare that it’s incredible.”
  • THEY STILL WALK TO WORK
  • Hookers and pimps continue to thrive along El Cajon Boulevard, to the chagrin of police and local business owners.
  • I DUNNO, HELEN, LOOKS LIKE A BABY RUTH TO ME
  • On at least thirty separate occasions in 1983, San Diego County health officials closed sections of various beaches throughout the county due to sewage pollution. This included one closure of Mission Bay (around the Tecolote Creek area) where warning signs were posted for ninety-seven consecutive days. That incident pales in comparison to the situation in Imperial Beach, where the stretch of sand from the southern end of Seacoast Drive south to the border closed on March 3 and today still remains off limits.
  • THE 1983 MAC HEALD AWARD FOR NOTABLE COMMUNITY ACTIVITY BY A BROADCAST JOURNALIST GOES TO:
  • Fast Eddie Alexander.
  • LOOKING FOR A HACK?
  • Among the five San Diego cab drivers who were busted in April for pimping and pandering was one who drove for the S&M Cab Company.
  • BUT DON’T SMACK ANY LINE DRIVES WITH YOUR STRADIVARIUS
  • Clairemont resident Doeun Leng, a musician trying to preserve the musical heritage of his native Cambodia, discovered that baseball bats make fine raw material for whittling into the traditional two-stringed Cambodian violin.
  • BLAME IT ON EL NlNO?
  • The San Diego Chamber of Commerce endorsed offshore oil drilling.
  • TOUGHEST PHONE CALL IN TOWN
  • Try getting through to Cox Cable, and thanks for holding.
  • AND HE NEVER SQUAWKED ONCE
  • During a July fire in a Leucadia bird shop, firefighter Richard Duscomb was credited with saving an exotic bird by using mouth-to-beak resuscitation.
  • MY BUILDING'S MORE PATRIOTIC THAN YOUR BUILDING
  • Is there some law that requires American flags on top of skyscrapers?
  • MAYORAL CANDIDATES SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS
  • Bill Mitchell: 4 ‘Some — from your campaign threw out my material and I ’m pissed off about it.”
  • Roger Hedgecock: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
  • Mitchell: “If somebody in my campaign did that. I’d find the son of a bitch and kick his ass.”
  • Hedgecock: “I don't want to hear it. Bill.”
  • Mitchell: “The next time it happens, the — will get more than lip service from me. The next time, he’ll get a broken arm.”
  • Hedgecock: “Real class.”
  • Mitchell: “Yeah, about as much class as throwing out my stuff.” Hedgecock (later): “The man is mentally ill.”
  • February 4, 1983
  • STAY-AWAY-IF-YOU-KNOW-WHATS-GOOD-FOR-YOU DEPARTMENT
  • Most dangerous highway: Highway 94 from Spring Valley to the Tecate junction.
  • Most dangerous place to go wading: Chollas Creek.
  • Most dangerous pedestrian intersection: Thirtieth and University in North Park.
  • Most dangerous place to stroll at night: Spring Canyon, just this side of the border and about a mile and a quarter east of Interstate 5.
  • Most dangerous tourist attraction: Shamu’s pool during the mating season.
  • Most dangerous traffic intersection: Fortieth and Camino del Rio South in Mission Valley.
  • Most dangerous place to get arrested for shoplifting: Target stores.
  • Most dangerous place to try out a new joke: San Ysidro border crossing.
  • Most dangerous piece of ground in the city: The distance separating Roger Hedgecock from a television camera.
  • FREE CHILLY WILLY
  • Jacques-Yves Cousteau pointedly turned down an invitation last May to preview Sea World’s new penguin exhibit. The famed ocean explorer explained to a press conference: “I don’t go anywhere that has animals or slaves.”
  • FUNNY, BUT YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE JOHNNY CASH
  • Blues guitarist Elvin Bishop was busted in August for possession of cocaine and transported to the county jail in Vista. After lingering in a cell for several hours, Bishop was escorted by sheriff's deputies to another room, leading the performer to think he was going free. Instead, the deputies asked Bishop to sign a few autographs for jail workers. Then they took him back to his cell.
  • ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS IS A WOODPILE
  • Leading members of Oceanside’s black community expressed outrage in July when a North County health care official told a reporter, “You’re looking for a nigger in a woodpile, and there is no nigger in a woodpile.’’ The official publicly apologized with these reassuring words: "Colored people in the area are very good friends of mine and I wouldn’t say one thing to hurt them.”
  • AND THAT AIN'T NATURAL GAS
  • SDG&E president Tom Page received a raise in his annual salary from $158,969 to $233,750. Explained Page, “I must have been underpaid before.”
  • AND NOW, FOR A GAME OF TUNA ROULETTE
  • The Van Camp seafood plant on Harbor Drive mislabeled about 150 cans of pet food in April and shipped them off to Salt Lake City and Boise. Instead of pet food, the cans bore labels indicating they were solid-light Chicken of the Sea tuna. A company spokesman said “most” of the cans were recovered before being sold.
  • SO NEAR AND YET SO NUCLEAR
  • New Onofre Shutdown: Condenser Tube Leaks (Union 1/19/83)
  • San Onofre Reactor Violations to Draw $120,000 Fine (Tribune 3/25/83)
  • San Onofre Unit Shut Down As Rods Slip (Times 7/23/83)
  • NRC Upset Over Incident at San Onofre (Union 10/2/83)
  • PUC Studies Whether San Onofre Unit 1 Should Be Given Up as Lost Cause (Times 10/6/83)
  • Human Error Blamed For N-PIant Leak (Union 10/7/83)
  • SDG&E Seeks Rate Increase to Operate Reactor (Union 10/8/83)
  • Operator Hits Wrong Button, Shuts Down San Onofre Reactor (Tribune 11/15/83)
  • ASIDE FROM THAT, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE STORY?
  • Chicano activist Rachel Ortiz, whose Barrio Youth Center has worked for years to reduce violence and gang activity in Logan Heights, received three years’ probation, a $250 fine, and was ordered to pay $1013.88 restitution after assaulting newspaper publisher Dan Munoz. Witnesses said Ortiz made obscene gestures at Munoz when she encountered him in a bar, then slugged him twice, knocking off his glasses. She then proceeded to shatter the windshield, taillights. and other windows on Munoz’s car in the parking lot. Munoz had criticized Ortiz in his newspaper.
  • THAT'S OUR JOB, MA'AM—WE'RE POLICE OFFICERS
  • Charges of racism leveled against Escondido police revealed that officers routinely referred to undocumented Mexicans in written police reports as “wets” and “tonks.” Police explained that “tonk” is a word derived from the sound of a billy club hitting the head of a Mexican.
  • A sheriff’s deputy this fall was ordered to stand trial for rape, forcible oral copulation, and rape with a foreign object. The victim was a babysitter.
  • After his sports car was hit by a paper cup tossed out of a car window by two teenagers, off-duty San Diego police officer Frank Smith pulled a U-turn, chased the youths down, and fired several shots at them with his handgun.
  • San Diego vice cop Robert Hannibal, a recognized and decorated expert on prostitution, was arrested for helping to run a prostitution ring.
  • As he hurried toward a court appearance last March, an attorney accidentally bumped into San Diego police officer Richard Draper in the hallway of % the downtown courthouse.
  • Officer Draper promptly arrested the attorney for battery on a police officer. Charges were dismissed after the trial judge learned that the police department had failed to disclose to the court seventeen of the eighteen brutality complaints filed by citizens against Draper.
  • I AM NOT A WIMP
  • Judge Ronald Mayo
  • TWELVE ANGRY PEOPLE
  • After sitting for almost two years through the longest and one of the most tedious civil trials in American history, jurors in the Fotomat antitrust case were dismissed just before their deliberations were to begin. A settlement had been reached out of court.
  • WORST-KEPT SECRET OF THE YEAR
  • Pete Wilson and Gayle Graham.
  • JUST WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR, HAROLD
  • Not many smiles for Harold Clark in 1983. Not only was the seventy-eight-year-old liquor store owner kidnaped, robbed, and left to die in the trunk of his car, but the man who eventually rescued him, James Polak, turned around and complained about the $200 thank-you check Clark sent him in the mail. Car salesman Polak added that what rankled him most was Clark’s reneging on a promise to buy a new car from him.
  • A BRIEFCASE FULL OF CHITS
  • When a New York law firm submitted a $1.2 million bill for legal services rendered on behalf of SDG&E stockholders who had sued the utility in a class-action suit, federal judge Howard Turrentinc politely observed that the attorneys had “overstepped themselves a bit,” and proceeded to slash more than $500,000 from the detailed billing. Among other items, Turrentine criticized a $19,000 charge for eighty-five hours of airplane travel between New York and San Diego (billed at $225 per hour) and a $28 chit for “taxi to and from court.” The attorney’s hotel, the Westgate, is only two city blocks from the courthouse.
  • NOBODY PANIC, BUT I’M HERE TO HIJACK THIS PARKING SPACE
  • It became nearly impossible to land a parking spot in the congested lots adjacent to Lindbergh Field this year.
  • WHAT LUCK!
  • Carmen San Nicholas went out of town to get her new liver.
  • DREADFUL DEVELOPMENTS
  • Rain in August, computer-written letters. Corvettes, pierced noses, Saks, wine in cans, 10Ks, maimed pelicans, gourmet babies, a mayor who fancies himself a surfer, butch haircuts, trolley accidents. Rock Kreutzer, color consultants, automatic tellers on every corner, pasta emporiums on every corner, chocolate shops on every corner, traffic lights on every corner, more Tijuana sewage. Club Diego’s, clever answering machines, military-green anything, El Camino Real malls, apartments suddenly transformed into condos, effortless exercise, local merchants “acting” in their own commercials, muscle shirts, mirrored-glass skyscrapers, cocktail party computer talk, TV movie critics, more smoggy days.
  • MODERN FOSSILS
  • Preppies, video arcades, voting, Vuarnet sunglasses, kiwi fruit, KCNN, leg warmers. United States Football League, ollar/peso accounts, mopeds, Dave Dawson, Valspeak, BMWs, rollerskating, futon beds, OMBAC over-the-line, cowboy hats, beachfront houses, ghetto blasters, news station helicopters, Kung Food, “San Diego Super Chargers” theme song, Gloria Penner, mud wrestling, Mohawk haircuts, bullet train hype, KPRI promo “girls,” George Mitrovich, the Penetrators, Simon and Garfunkel, Rocky Horror midnight movies.
  • FOND FAREWELLS
  • Sandy beaches, downtown streets that go straight through, the Campus Drive-in, plain croissants, Anderson’s Too, area code 714, a day without a cocaine bust. North County flower fields, penny parking meters, Jacumba, quiet beach towns along Highway 101, La Jolla the village, accurate weather forecasts.

Photographs by Robert Burroughs, Craig Carlson, Jim Coit, David Covey, Bob Grieser (Los Angeles Times), Melinda Holden, Joe Klein, Neal Margolin, Joel Zwink

Illustrations by David Diaz, Slug Signorino, Tom Voss, Mark Zingarelli

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It wasn't even a seeing-eye dog! - Image by Slug Signorino
It wasn't even a seeing-eye dog!

Stout shoulders slump under the weight of 1983: war in Chad, war in Afghanistan, war in El Salvador, war in Grenada, war in Lebanon, war in Nicaragua. Mass murderers roam the highways, an airliner is blasted from the sky, terrorists deliver their lethal cargoes. Drugs and spies and deficits multiply. Nuclear winter awaits its season. And right here in San Diego, in the pleasant hamlet of Ramona, press reports disclose yet another tragedy: a seven-year-old blind boy loses his best pal—a seeing-eye dog named Daisy.

But wait! The dog was found! And the boy wasn’t blind! It wasn’t his dog!

Wasn’t even a seeing-eye dog!

  • THATS THE LAST TIME I ROB A BANK WHILE WEARING MY SKIS
  • Two inmates were foiled in the act of attempting to break out of the Metropolitan Correctional Center downtown when a guard found them lowering 160 feet of dental floss from an eighth-story window.
  • A thirty-one-year-old man broke into a Mission Hills home this past August with the intention of stealing a TV set, but he got sidetracked at the refrigerator. After downing some turkey, beer, and juice, he fell asleep in the homeowner’s bed, where the homeowner — and police — found him hugging a child’s doll.
  • East San Diego resident David Boren tried entering a home on Euclid Avenue through its chimney, only to get stuck halfway down. After the fire department pried him loose, he was booked on suspicion of attempted burglary.
  • SAY, PAUL, WHAT ARE THOSE HANDCUFFS FOR?
  • Paul Greene, a South Bay fire district commissioner defeated in the November election, tried unsuccessfully to arrest three county supervisors. Several days earlier Greene placed Registrar of Voters Ray Ortiz under citizen’s arrest, but released him without bail.
  • THE MOST TERRIBLE THING TO HAPPEN IN 1983 (EXCEPT NOT REALLY)
  • The Stadium “rape.”
  • ISN'T THAT THE CITY WITH THE ZOO?
  • Soon after his election. Mayor Roger Hedgecock flew off to New York City to speak to 150 journalists invited to hear a pitch about San Diego’s redevelopment plans. Only twenty reporters showed up. Two days later, in Washington, D.C., the mayor had to cancel a planned meeting with twenty-five of the capital's leading newspaper correspondents; only five had bothered to RSVP.
  • WHEN IS A STREET LIKE A SINUS?
  • After four disastrous months of stalled traffic, delayed buses, and frustrated delivery drivers, downtown San Diego’s Fifth Avenue in April was once again restored to one-way traffic.
  • CONVERSATIONS WE WISH WE'D OVERHEARD
  • Jack Ford telling his mom and dad how things are going down here in San Diego.
  • Sheriff John Duffy and White House counselor Ed Meese hashing out the wording of Duffy's statement of resignation from the President’s commission on organized crime. Meese yielding to Duffy’s insistence that the statement include testimony to the sheriff’s impeccable qualifications and the lack of evidence tying him to alleged organized crime figures. Duffy agreeing to stress that there was no White House pressure for his resignation. Both agreeing to blame the whole messy affair on the press.
  • Riiiiing!
  • Paul Eckert: Yellow. Yeah. Huh? What? What? No, I don’t have a comment. And don't call back.
  • Diane Eckert: Paul, was that a reporter?
  • Paul: Huh? Oh, yeah, some guy from the Trib.
  • Diane: But we’re on vacation, dear. How’d he know where we were? Paul: Huh?
  • Diane: Paul, what did he want?
  • Paul:........
  • Diane: Paul?
  • Roger Hedgecock discussing with aide Mike McDade the advantages of staying uninvolved in the November city council elections.
  • BUZZ BY LATER FOR YOUR CUT
  • Laverne Codman was lounging by the swimming pool of a La Jolla motel in September when a bumble bee drove her to distraction — and a leap into the pool to escape. Just then a quick-witted thief made off with Codman’s purse, which she had left poolside. The purse contained S100,000 worth of jewelry. Said Codman to police, “Thank goodness my good jewelry wasn’t in the purse.”
  • GOOD NEWS
  • KSDO finally dumped Laurence (Don’t Call Me Larry) Gross.
  • BAD NEWS
  • Channel 39 hired him.
  • MOST RIDICULOUSLY OVERPUBLICIZED EVENT OF 1983
  • Councilman Bill Cleator touches the Queen.
  • GEE, YOU LOOK GREAT IN A LAWSUIT
  • An Escondido man sued an Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant after he bit into a sandwich and broke two teeth on a quarter.
  • A forty-year-old housekeeper sued her Solana Beach employers after she raided their refrigerator and ate some brownies, which turned out to be spiked with marijuana.
  • A Carlsbad woman sued Bullock’s department store after she received a permanent in the store’s beauty shop that allegedly resulted in her hair falling out.
  • NO MORE BLEEPING BEEPS!
  • Maestro David Atherton, in a highly unusual departure from formal protocol, announced this fall to members of the symphony audience that the “Seiko syndrome’’ was driving him and his musicians crazy, and demanded the prohibition at concerts of electronic wristwatches that beep every thirty minutes.
  • RIDICULOUS PUBLICITY: RUNNER-UP
  • Queen Elizabeth visits San Diego.
  • GRANNY FLATS:
  • Who cares?
  • WAITRESS? WAITRESS? OH, WAITRESS?
  • Rudford’s, the venerable El Cajon Boulevard eatery known for the motherly, even grandmotherly, quality of its service, was sold early in July. The new owners promptly laid off the entire staff, including some employees who had been on the job for more than two decades.
  • THAT'S HOW TRIGGER GOT WHERE HE IS TODAY
  • Since the March inauguration of the police department’s horse patrol, all six members of the mounted unit have been thrown, one of the officers was kicked in the face by his steed, and an automobile was seriously damaged when one of the horses spooked and collided with it in a parking lot in Balboa Park.
  • TELL SERGEANT BILKO TO GET IN HERE ON THE DOUBLE
  • Members of Navy Recruit Company No. 917 testified at a special court-martial hearing in July that their company commander confiscated loose change from their pockets, withheld their mail, hit them, and approached them while they were naked and threatened them with a sword.
  • A forty-man platoon of Marines narrowly escaped extinction in June while on maneuvers at Camp Pendleton. A miscoded computer caused an A-6 Intruder aircraft to drop its load of 500-pound bombs at the wrong location — very near the Marines. The resulting mayhem left one Marine injured with shrapnel wounds.
  • Freddie Davis was picked up in February by the Shore Patrol on suspicion of being AWOL, and before they threw him in the Naval Station brig, his head was shaved and his beard was cut off. But after two days behind bars, he was released. It turned out that Davis was not an AWOL sailor, had never even been in the Navy, and the man he was mistaken for wasn’t AWOL either.
  • Burglars entered the Golden Hill home of Richard Bonney, a SEAL team commando recently discharged from the Navy, and made off with a hand grenade and thirty explosive booby traps.
  • Two men were acquitted this summer of receiving stolen goods after the Navy learned that the goods in question — 115 pairs of new flight-deck boots — were salvaged from a Navy trash bin at the North Island Naval Air Station. Witnesses testified that new equipment and material is often thrown away by the Navy, and that a $75,000 computer, still in its packing box, was once fished out of the Navy’s trash dumpster.
  • SOMEHOW, THE GAMES WILL GO ON
  • One day after the Soviets shot down a Korean airliner, sportscaster Ted Leitner announced that if the Russians went to the ’84 Olympics in Los Angeles, he wouldn’t.
  • MOST UNDERRATED LOSS
  • The offshore kelp beds.
  • MOST OVERRATED LOSS
  • Downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter.
  • MOST WELCOME LOSS
  • “America’s Finest City” hokum.
  • BROWNIE POINTS, 1983
  • At a welcome-hack party celebrating her recovery from cancer surgery, veteran El Capitan High School teacher Wanda. Ishmael unsuspectingly ate a brownie heavily laced with marijuana and had to be hospitalized. Informed that several of her students were aware of the drug plot, Ishmael vowed to quit teaching.
  • ISN'T THAT WHERE THE MARINES ARE?
  • Russell King, editorial director of San Diego State’s Daily Aztec, announced the results of a poll conducted by the paper: “Many students don’t even understand the difference between Lebanon, Grenada, and El Salvador. They think they’re all in more or less the same place.”
  • KATHY’S OLD FLAME
  • Despite six separate calls on the 911 emergency number, Escondido resident Kathy Pappas stood for twenty minutes and watched her 1974 Ford station wagon burn to rubble in her front yard. A San Diego dispatcher mistakenly sent the fire crews to Del Mar.
  • A FINE AND QUIET PLACE
  • Three vagrants were arrested in February inside an Oceanside mausoleum, where they had set up housekeeping. Police said the transients each had a sleeping bag and separate crypts, and one homesteader brought along a cage with pet rats.
  • NICE TRY, AMIGOS
  • One hundred fourteen illegals unwittingly clambered into the back of a large furniture truck that had been commandeered by U.S. Border Patrol officers who parked the rig at a stakeout location along the U.S./Mexico border near Jacumba.
  • HOW COULD THEY TELL?
  • This year the City of Imperial Beach lost its police department its lifeguard service, its city clerk, and a large piece of its municipal pier.
  • For those who don’t subscribe to the Pulitzer Prize-winning San Diego Tribune and thus have not enjoyed the skills of that newspaper’s resident editorial cartoonist, we reprint here a sampling of his finest work from 1983. See if you can match the names below with the shrewd caricatures above. Good luck!
  • Fidel Castro Yuri Andropov Ronald Reagan George Deukmejian Walter Mondale
  • Jesse Helms James Watt Francois Mitterand Ferdinand Marcos Jesse Jackson
  • Roger Hedgecock Menachem Begin Maureen O’Connor Paul Volker
  • VALLEY OF THE RARE
  • Defending his plans for a new Mission Valley convention center, Town and Country Hotel owner Terry Brown announced that traffic jams in the valley are “so rare that it’s incredible.”
  • THEY STILL WALK TO WORK
  • Hookers and pimps continue to thrive along El Cajon Boulevard, to the chagrin of police and local business owners.
  • I DUNNO, HELEN, LOOKS LIKE A BABY RUTH TO ME
  • On at least thirty separate occasions in 1983, San Diego County health officials closed sections of various beaches throughout the county due to sewage pollution. This included one closure of Mission Bay (around the Tecolote Creek area) where warning signs were posted for ninety-seven consecutive days. That incident pales in comparison to the situation in Imperial Beach, where the stretch of sand from the southern end of Seacoast Drive south to the border closed on March 3 and today still remains off limits.
  • THE 1983 MAC HEALD AWARD FOR NOTABLE COMMUNITY ACTIVITY BY A BROADCAST JOURNALIST GOES TO:
  • Fast Eddie Alexander.
  • LOOKING FOR A HACK?
  • Among the five San Diego cab drivers who were busted in April for pimping and pandering was one who drove for the S&M Cab Company.
  • BUT DON’T SMACK ANY LINE DRIVES WITH YOUR STRADIVARIUS
  • Clairemont resident Doeun Leng, a musician trying to preserve the musical heritage of his native Cambodia, discovered that baseball bats make fine raw material for whittling into the traditional two-stringed Cambodian violin.
  • BLAME IT ON EL NlNO?
  • The San Diego Chamber of Commerce endorsed offshore oil drilling.
  • TOUGHEST PHONE CALL IN TOWN
  • Try getting through to Cox Cable, and thanks for holding.
  • AND HE NEVER SQUAWKED ONCE
  • During a July fire in a Leucadia bird shop, firefighter Richard Duscomb was credited with saving an exotic bird by using mouth-to-beak resuscitation.
  • MY BUILDING'S MORE PATRIOTIC THAN YOUR BUILDING
  • Is there some law that requires American flags on top of skyscrapers?
  • MAYORAL CANDIDATES SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS
  • Bill Mitchell: 4 ‘Some — from your campaign threw out my material and I ’m pissed off about it.”
  • Roger Hedgecock: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
  • Mitchell: “If somebody in my campaign did that. I’d find the son of a bitch and kick his ass.”
  • Hedgecock: “I don't want to hear it. Bill.”
  • Mitchell: “The next time it happens, the — will get more than lip service from me. The next time, he’ll get a broken arm.”
  • Hedgecock: “Real class.”
  • Mitchell: “Yeah, about as much class as throwing out my stuff.” Hedgecock (later): “The man is mentally ill.”
  • February 4, 1983
  • STAY-AWAY-IF-YOU-KNOW-WHATS-GOOD-FOR-YOU DEPARTMENT
  • Most dangerous highway: Highway 94 from Spring Valley to the Tecate junction.
  • Most dangerous place to go wading: Chollas Creek.
  • Most dangerous pedestrian intersection: Thirtieth and University in North Park.
  • Most dangerous place to stroll at night: Spring Canyon, just this side of the border and about a mile and a quarter east of Interstate 5.
  • Most dangerous tourist attraction: Shamu’s pool during the mating season.
  • Most dangerous traffic intersection: Fortieth and Camino del Rio South in Mission Valley.
  • Most dangerous place to get arrested for shoplifting: Target stores.
  • Most dangerous place to try out a new joke: San Ysidro border crossing.
  • Most dangerous piece of ground in the city: The distance separating Roger Hedgecock from a television camera.
  • FREE CHILLY WILLY
  • Jacques-Yves Cousteau pointedly turned down an invitation last May to preview Sea World’s new penguin exhibit. The famed ocean explorer explained to a press conference: “I don’t go anywhere that has animals or slaves.”
  • FUNNY, BUT YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE JOHNNY CASH
  • Blues guitarist Elvin Bishop was busted in August for possession of cocaine and transported to the county jail in Vista. After lingering in a cell for several hours, Bishop was escorted by sheriff's deputies to another room, leading the performer to think he was going free. Instead, the deputies asked Bishop to sign a few autographs for jail workers. Then they took him back to his cell.
  • ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS IS A WOODPILE
  • Leading members of Oceanside’s black community expressed outrage in July when a North County health care official told a reporter, “You’re looking for a nigger in a woodpile, and there is no nigger in a woodpile.’’ The official publicly apologized with these reassuring words: "Colored people in the area are very good friends of mine and I wouldn’t say one thing to hurt them.”
  • AND THAT AIN'T NATURAL GAS
  • SDG&E president Tom Page received a raise in his annual salary from $158,969 to $233,750. Explained Page, “I must have been underpaid before.”
  • AND NOW, FOR A GAME OF TUNA ROULETTE
  • The Van Camp seafood plant on Harbor Drive mislabeled about 150 cans of pet food in April and shipped them off to Salt Lake City and Boise. Instead of pet food, the cans bore labels indicating they were solid-light Chicken of the Sea tuna. A company spokesman said “most” of the cans were recovered before being sold.
  • SO NEAR AND YET SO NUCLEAR
  • New Onofre Shutdown: Condenser Tube Leaks (Union 1/19/83)
  • San Onofre Reactor Violations to Draw $120,000 Fine (Tribune 3/25/83)
  • San Onofre Unit Shut Down As Rods Slip (Times 7/23/83)
  • NRC Upset Over Incident at San Onofre (Union 10/2/83)
  • PUC Studies Whether San Onofre Unit 1 Should Be Given Up as Lost Cause (Times 10/6/83)
  • Human Error Blamed For N-PIant Leak (Union 10/7/83)
  • SDG&E Seeks Rate Increase to Operate Reactor (Union 10/8/83)
  • Operator Hits Wrong Button, Shuts Down San Onofre Reactor (Tribune 11/15/83)
  • ASIDE FROM THAT, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE STORY?
  • Chicano activist Rachel Ortiz, whose Barrio Youth Center has worked for years to reduce violence and gang activity in Logan Heights, received three years’ probation, a $250 fine, and was ordered to pay $1013.88 restitution after assaulting newspaper publisher Dan Munoz. Witnesses said Ortiz made obscene gestures at Munoz when she encountered him in a bar, then slugged him twice, knocking off his glasses. She then proceeded to shatter the windshield, taillights. and other windows on Munoz’s car in the parking lot. Munoz had criticized Ortiz in his newspaper.
  • THAT'S OUR JOB, MA'AM—WE'RE POLICE OFFICERS
  • Charges of racism leveled against Escondido police revealed that officers routinely referred to undocumented Mexicans in written police reports as “wets” and “tonks.” Police explained that “tonk” is a word derived from the sound of a billy club hitting the head of a Mexican.
  • A sheriff’s deputy this fall was ordered to stand trial for rape, forcible oral copulation, and rape with a foreign object. The victim was a babysitter.
  • After his sports car was hit by a paper cup tossed out of a car window by two teenagers, off-duty San Diego police officer Frank Smith pulled a U-turn, chased the youths down, and fired several shots at them with his handgun.
  • San Diego vice cop Robert Hannibal, a recognized and decorated expert on prostitution, was arrested for helping to run a prostitution ring.
  • As he hurried toward a court appearance last March, an attorney accidentally bumped into San Diego police officer Richard Draper in the hallway of % the downtown courthouse.
  • Officer Draper promptly arrested the attorney for battery on a police officer. Charges were dismissed after the trial judge learned that the police department had failed to disclose to the court seventeen of the eighteen brutality complaints filed by citizens against Draper.
  • I AM NOT A WIMP
  • Judge Ronald Mayo
  • TWELVE ANGRY PEOPLE
  • After sitting for almost two years through the longest and one of the most tedious civil trials in American history, jurors in the Fotomat antitrust case were dismissed just before their deliberations were to begin. A settlement had been reached out of court.
  • WORST-KEPT SECRET OF THE YEAR
  • Pete Wilson and Gayle Graham.
  • JUST WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR, HAROLD
  • Not many smiles for Harold Clark in 1983. Not only was the seventy-eight-year-old liquor store owner kidnaped, robbed, and left to die in the trunk of his car, but the man who eventually rescued him, James Polak, turned around and complained about the $200 thank-you check Clark sent him in the mail. Car salesman Polak added that what rankled him most was Clark’s reneging on a promise to buy a new car from him.
  • A BRIEFCASE FULL OF CHITS
  • When a New York law firm submitted a $1.2 million bill for legal services rendered on behalf of SDG&E stockholders who had sued the utility in a class-action suit, federal judge Howard Turrentinc politely observed that the attorneys had “overstepped themselves a bit,” and proceeded to slash more than $500,000 from the detailed billing. Among other items, Turrentine criticized a $19,000 charge for eighty-five hours of airplane travel between New York and San Diego (billed at $225 per hour) and a $28 chit for “taxi to and from court.” The attorney’s hotel, the Westgate, is only two city blocks from the courthouse.
  • NOBODY PANIC, BUT I’M HERE TO HIJACK THIS PARKING SPACE
  • It became nearly impossible to land a parking spot in the congested lots adjacent to Lindbergh Field this year.
  • WHAT LUCK!
  • Carmen San Nicholas went out of town to get her new liver.
  • DREADFUL DEVELOPMENTS
  • Rain in August, computer-written letters. Corvettes, pierced noses, Saks, wine in cans, 10Ks, maimed pelicans, gourmet babies, a mayor who fancies himself a surfer, butch haircuts, trolley accidents. Rock Kreutzer, color consultants, automatic tellers on every corner, pasta emporiums on every corner, chocolate shops on every corner, traffic lights on every corner, more Tijuana sewage. Club Diego’s, clever answering machines, military-green anything, El Camino Real malls, apartments suddenly transformed into condos, effortless exercise, local merchants “acting” in their own commercials, muscle shirts, mirrored-glass skyscrapers, cocktail party computer talk, TV movie critics, more smoggy days.
  • MODERN FOSSILS
  • Preppies, video arcades, voting, Vuarnet sunglasses, kiwi fruit, KCNN, leg warmers. United States Football League, ollar/peso accounts, mopeds, Dave Dawson, Valspeak, BMWs, rollerskating, futon beds, OMBAC over-the-line, cowboy hats, beachfront houses, ghetto blasters, news station helicopters, Kung Food, “San Diego Super Chargers” theme song, Gloria Penner, mud wrestling, Mohawk haircuts, bullet train hype, KPRI promo “girls,” George Mitrovich, the Penetrators, Simon and Garfunkel, Rocky Horror midnight movies.
  • FOND FAREWELLS
  • Sandy beaches, downtown streets that go straight through, the Campus Drive-in, plain croissants, Anderson’s Too, area code 714, a day without a cocaine bust. North County flower fields, penny parking meters, Jacumba, quiet beach towns along Highway 101, La Jolla the village, accurate weather forecasts.

Photographs by Robert Burroughs, Craig Carlson, Jim Coit, David Covey, Bob Grieser (Los Angeles Times), Melinda Holden, Joe Klein, Neal Margolin, Joel Zwink

Illustrations by David Diaz, Slug Signorino, Tom Voss, Mark Zingarelli

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