“The best job I ever had was in Leucadia. We worked about an hour and a half for this guy, drank beer for the rest of the day, and got paid for eight.”
When I was having my appendix taken out a few years ago, the anesthesiologist put the mask over my face, asked me to count backwards from a hundred, and then, assuming I was unconscious, said to the nurse next to him, “If we can finish this in a hurry, I still might get home in time to watch The Love Boat.” When I regained consciousness, the first thing I asked for was my notebook.
By Steve Sorensen, May 14, 1987 | Read full article
Talmadge, El Cerrito, Oak Park, Rolando, La Mesa, Allied Gardens, Clairemont, and Bay Park absorbed much of the post-World-War II building boom; the houses in them are newer and larger, and they have attached garages.
Now we know that “patio home” is a euphemism for a cheap condominium; “Cute Spanish charmer” is a generic description for file-box-sized houses with red tile roofs. “Needs TLC” means the house has numerous building-code violations that need to be corrected by a pricey contractor, while “Space for RV parking” denotes a house located in a rundown area where the neighbors repair motorcycles in their front yards and play heavy-metal music until sunrise.
By Gordon Smith, Sept. 24, 1987 | Read full article
I was effortlessly the center of attention. It was in keeping with all of the fairy tales I read.
“One time when I was walking through Las Colinas park, on my way to school, a man jumped out of the bushes and grabbed me, to rape me, I assume. I fought him off and ran away. I was doing nothing to provoke him. Adults, when trying to explain the event to me, said things like, ‘Well, he saw this pretty girl walking by.... It had nothing to do with you as a person.’”
By Abe Opincar, July 7, 1988 | Read full article
I was given a role in a San Diego Junior Theater production of, Lord help us, a musical version of Little Women, a role identified in the script and program as “Fat Boy.”
Photo by Robert Burroughs
The turn right at Belmont Park, onto Mission Boulevard, precedes the longest stretch,The street names crawling past in the same order committed themselves to memory in sequence. Ventura, Island, Isthmus, Jamaica. Santa Barbara, Jersey, Kennebeck, Kingston. San Luis Obispo, Lido, Liverpool, Manhattan, El Carmel, Monterey, Nahant, Nantasket, San Juan, Niantic, Ormond, Ostend, Portsmouth, Pismo. Queenstown, Redondo, Rockaway, San Jose, Salem, Sunset, Tangiers, Toulon, Vanitie, San Rafael, Venice, Verona, Whiting, Windemere, Yarmouth, York, Zanzibar.
By Abe Opincar, July 2, 1992 | Read full article
When I moved to Clairemont in the fifth grade, I was suddenly being called the following: Beaner, Taco Bender, Pepper-Belly, Spic. My father had warned me about Greaser and Wetback. But these new words were spectacular and vivid.
After school, 1965: Spring. Wearing my idiotic St. Jude’s Academy uniform. My bright red sweater calling vatos and homeboys from miles around to come kick my ass. I had a crew cut because I thought it made me sound like James Bond in the barber shop. “What’ll it be, kid,” the old fart would say. “Crew cut,” I’d say, imagining I was puffing on a cigarette. All the stinky men in there would laugh.
By Luis Urrea, Sept. 24, 1992 | Read full article
He stood outside my bedroom window and asked me to go to the beach with him. I climbed out the window, and we drove down to Mission Bay.
We turned onto Bonair Street. Theirs was a plain stucco house. The lawn grass bare in places and littered with toys. The planting beds were a jungle of banana trees and birds of paradise. Jane and the kids greeted us at the door. She was holding Andre, the youngest boy. His hair and eyes were light brown. The girls and Val were very blonde and blue-eyed. All were tan. Jane still looked youthful, full-breasted, and pretty.
By Mary Kathryn Vernon, Sept. 16, 1993 | Read full article