Oscar Cotton
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Boosterism: “the act of ‘boosting’ or promoting a town with the goal of improving public perception of it.” “America’s Finest City” (see what I mean?) has a long, purple-prosy tradition of hyping itself to the skies.

“San Diego in 1907,” Southwest Success, Aug., ’07:

“Climatically San Diego is as near perfection as the health seeker can find – no great heat or great cold, dry and salubrious, the air clear, bracing, and invigorating, lacking miasms of every kind and inducing longevity…”

[later, in that same article]: “a region of rare flora, of unique and distorted forms and wondrous coloring, as though nature, with a Machiavellian diabolism, had consorted with the powers of the air and the Plutoninan realms in an attempt to mingle the most beautiful and the most atrocious in form of tree, shrub, grass and bloom, to secure the most bizarre and weird results and has succeeded.”

John D. Spreckels [who owned the “water supply”] 1907:

“The city of San Diego offers a most inviting field for investors and home builders…opportunities offered the energetic man or woman are many and varied, and now that the important question of water supply for domestic and irrigation purposes is solved for all time, San Diego will naturally forge rapidly to the front.”

W.W. Story, “The Suburbs of San Diego”:

“There, Table Mountain on the horizon piles/Its lofty crown, and gazes on the sea;/There swarthy Loma crouches in repose,/And Sierra madre rears its purple ridge/And wears its ermine late into the spring,/When all beneath is one vast bush of flowers.”

Oscar Cotton:

“This is what we have – a perfect home city for those who have won a competence in a more rigorous climate and now are free to establish their permanent homes where life will mean the most to themselves and their families.”

Oscar Cotton, The Good Old Days:

[Cotton has been called the “Henry Ford of civic boosterism.” Here tells the Chamber of Commerce the reasoning behind the previous statement: “We must make San Diego symbolize California in the minds of the people of the Midwest district...the great outstanding opportunity San Diego has today is the opportunity to get these people now, while they have the money in the bank and before they locate elsewhere.”

Charles Dudley Warner, Our Italy:

[Coronado] “where the business man dwells in Elysian bowers by the sea, screened from every reminder of business cares, yet barely a mile distant from the office…in 20 minutes he is at home on what is in effect a South Sea Island where…not all the myriad dwellings and the pomp of their architectural splendor can disturb the air of perfect restfulness and sweet rusticity.”

Doug Manchester, San Diego Union-Tribune, Dec. 2011:

“I have come to love our San Diego as the finest city in the greatest country in the world. I give thanks to God for the gift of being able to live in this wonderful city. I would particularly like to thank all of the military and their families who live in San Diego. These many Navy and Marines are the best and brightest. Their sacrifices and efforts to protect our freedom are so very much appreciated, and we are proud and happy they are fellow San Diegans. I pray that ownership of the U-T will provide me the opportunity to support our community, promote the economic strength of the region and improve the lives of all San Diegans.”

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