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San Diego characters: common but colorful

Tree man of San Diego, the last vaquero, C.A. Smith’s repairman, when you win the lottery, largest rancher in San Diego

Granville Martin. "I could tell time by the sun, and my belly told me when it was time to eat." - Image by Robert Burroughs
Granville Martin. "I could tell time by the sun, and my belly told me when it was time to eat."

The Last Vaquero

I’d tell Mollie where I was gonna camp, and she’d pack the ol’ mule and drag him around till I got to that camp, and she’d have it all set up. The camps were at different springs where you knew the water was good and there was a little bit o’ feed for your horse. We'd sleep there under just a few blankets and quilts. It was really some beautiful country, and Mollie liked it.

By Neal Matthews, May 17, 1984 | Read full article

"When the paper boy comes to collect he has to shout to Art over a shrieking Barbara Walters and a booming deadpan Harry Reasoner."

Whiskey and Water and the 11:00 News

He’s not the only older person in the neighborhood who lives alone, and they all get together from time to time. But mostly they spend their evenings at home, separated by the habits and conveniences of their own houses. He has some friends who entered convalescent homes, but they had to sell everything they owned to pay for it, and then didn't get the prices they should have for land they’d owned most of their lives.

By Steve Sorensen, Jan. 27, 1977 | Read full article

“See that skinny cow there? There’s something wrong with her — probably ate some nails or wire or something."

Cowboys, Cattle, and Time

This year he is a full month behind schedule. The market has been slow, a late-season heat wave made it inadvisable to ship the animals down to the Imperial Valley feedlots, delaying him further. Now it is almost December and there are cattle to be rounded up in Pine Valley, cattle to be brought down from the Laguna Mountains before the first snow, cattle to be tended in Jacumba and in the Campo Valley.

By Gordon Smith, Jan. 8, 1981 | Read full article

Bunya-bunya/Balboa Park. This tree was Australian aborigines’ only form of private property.

Beneath the Bunya Bunya

They lived on the ranch [Scripps Ranch] for six years. He supervised teams of men in planting thousands of eucalyptuses, all together about forty percent of those that were set out on the ranch. (A good deal of planting had gone on before he arrived.) They planted the slender, sky-lining lemon gums on the hills and canyonsides, and the thick, shaggy blue gums on the mesas where the chaparral had been cleared away.

By Joe Applegate, Feb. 17, 1983 | Read full article

Tom Jones at his Mission Hills repair shop: clock radios, coffeemakers, water filters, vaporizers, humidifiers, computer manuals, an ice cream maker, an Electro-Lux vacuum-cleaner cylinder that is so old it looks like something from Jules Verne's imaginary sketchbook, electric frying pans, racks of extension cords, floppy disks, light bulbs, an electric hot-dog cooker.

C. Arnholt Smith's Vacuum Cleaner Fixer

“I had one lady bring in her shopping cart who said, 'This is too high for me.' She wanted me to cut the handles down. I said, ‘I really don't do that, but I'll do it. Just don't tell anybody.' Well, within a week, another lady came in with the same problem and said, 'So and so told me you did hers, so....' If I'd have charged them for the labor, it would have been more than the cart cost originally.”

By John Brizzolara, Aug. 7, 1997 | Read full article

Frank Gagliardi: “I’ve dated a lot of girls, and you can’t tell if they like you or they like the money."

We are going to be happy now

One problem money has caused for Gagliardi is he can’t trust women who seem to like him. “I’ve dated a lot of girls,” he explains, “and you can’t tell if they like you or they like the money. It’s kind of screwed because you finally meet someone, and you think it’s the one, and then you check up on them, and you find out that they are lying to you. It’s terrible.”

By Ernie Grimm, Dec. 11, 1996 | Read full article

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Granville Martin. "I could tell time by the sun, and my belly told me when it was time to eat." - Image by Robert Burroughs
Granville Martin. "I could tell time by the sun, and my belly told me when it was time to eat."

The Last Vaquero

I’d tell Mollie where I was gonna camp, and she’d pack the ol’ mule and drag him around till I got to that camp, and she’d have it all set up. The camps were at different springs where you knew the water was good and there was a little bit o’ feed for your horse. We'd sleep there under just a few blankets and quilts. It was really some beautiful country, and Mollie liked it.

By Neal Matthews, May 17, 1984 | Read full article

"When the paper boy comes to collect he has to shout to Art over a shrieking Barbara Walters and a booming deadpan Harry Reasoner."

Whiskey and Water and the 11:00 News

He’s not the only older person in the neighborhood who lives alone, and they all get together from time to time. But mostly they spend their evenings at home, separated by the habits and conveniences of their own houses. He has some friends who entered convalescent homes, but they had to sell everything they owned to pay for it, and then didn't get the prices they should have for land they’d owned most of their lives.

By Steve Sorensen, Jan. 27, 1977 | Read full article

“See that skinny cow there? There’s something wrong with her — probably ate some nails or wire or something."

Cowboys, Cattle, and Time

This year he is a full month behind schedule. The market has been slow, a late-season heat wave made it inadvisable to ship the animals down to the Imperial Valley feedlots, delaying him further. Now it is almost December and there are cattle to be rounded up in Pine Valley, cattle to be brought down from the Laguna Mountains before the first snow, cattle to be tended in Jacumba and in the Campo Valley.

By Gordon Smith, Jan. 8, 1981 | Read full article

Bunya-bunya/Balboa Park. This tree was Australian aborigines’ only form of private property.

Beneath the Bunya Bunya

They lived on the ranch [Scripps Ranch] for six years. He supervised teams of men in planting thousands of eucalyptuses, all together about forty percent of those that were set out on the ranch. (A good deal of planting had gone on before he arrived.) They planted the slender, sky-lining lemon gums on the hills and canyonsides, and the thick, shaggy blue gums on the mesas where the chaparral had been cleared away.

By Joe Applegate, Feb. 17, 1983 | Read full article

Tom Jones at his Mission Hills repair shop: clock radios, coffeemakers, water filters, vaporizers, humidifiers, computer manuals, an ice cream maker, an Electro-Lux vacuum-cleaner cylinder that is so old it looks like something from Jules Verne's imaginary sketchbook, electric frying pans, racks of extension cords, floppy disks, light bulbs, an electric hot-dog cooker.

C. Arnholt Smith's Vacuum Cleaner Fixer

“I had one lady bring in her shopping cart who said, 'This is too high for me.' She wanted me to cut the handles down. I said, ‘I really don't do that, but I'll do it. Just don't tell anybody.' Well, within a week, another lady came in with the same problem and said, 'So and so told me you did hers, so....' If I'd have charged them for the labor, it would have been more than the cart cost originally.”

By John Brizzolara, Aug. 7, 1997 | Read full article

Frank Gagliardi: “I’ve dated a lot of girls, and you can’t tell if they like you or they like the money."

We are going to be happy now

One problem money has caused for Gagliardi is he can’t trust women who seem to like him. “I’ve dated a lot of girls,” he explains, “and you can’t tell if they like you or they like the money. It’s kind of screwed because you finally meet someone, and you think it’s the one, and then you check up on them, and you find out that they are lying to you. It’s terrible.”

By Ernie Grimm, Dec. 11, 1996 | Read full article

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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