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San Diegans' poignant stories

Farmworkers, poor kids in Southeast, short people, Indian family tragedy, street kids

In her shoes, Judith Wilson measures four feet, no inches. When she was two, her parents’ physician diagnosed achondroplasia. - Image by Robert Burroughs
In her shoes, Judith Wilson measures four feet, no inches. When she was two, her parents’ physician diagnosed achondroplasia.

Fear, sweat, and profit

By the time the caravan once again pulled out onto Black Mountain Road, only twenty-seven Mexicans had been captured — fewer than, two per agent. But it was still early in the morning, and now we headed west toward Interstate 5. I asked Connell what would happen to the money owed the field hands we had arrested.

By Jeannette DeWyze, July 12, 1984 Read full article

Ben Tufuku. By 1979 there were three black gangs. “Today there are approximately seven black gangs — Lincoln Park, Piru, 5/9 Brims, West Coast, Neighborhood, Syndo, Ghosttown.”

At the corner of poverty and crime

“You may not have a clear picture of why a youngster gets into a gang,” said Tukufu, his voice spiraling upward once more. He listed reasons — a desire for identity, need for protection, camaraderie. “Ever’body wants to claim something, wants to be a part of something. Gangs offer that. They also offer opportunities for advancement within the neighborhood and recognition.”

By Judith Moore, Sept. 18, 1986 Read full article

“One thing about youngsters, if you explain it and at the same time offer a replacement, they’ll go for it."

At the corner of poverty and crime, part 2

Bennie lives in the area claimed by 5/9, a group sometimes called 5/9 Brims or Brimsters. They wear red and call each other “Blood.” Bennie does not call his group a gang. He speaks of it as “the set” or “the family.” He also calls his neighborhood “the set.... It’s like a family,” he said. “I don’t think of it like a gang, but like protecting my neighborhood."

By Judith Moore, Sept. 25, 1986 Read full article

Vince Vella: “I’m a perfect miniature man.”

Two kinds of little people in San Diego

Vella speaks of achondroplastic dwarfs as “achondros” and midgets, or pituitary dwarfs, as “pituitaries” and says a certain standoffishness had always existed between achondros and pituitaries. “And,” he added, “Achondros don’t tend to marry pituitary types.”

By Judith Moore, Feb. 12, 1987 Read full article

As their injuries healed, the children returned to their classes at Francis Parker School.

Return flight

There were men, several uniformed men, screaming, waving guns, ordering everyone to freeze. Somehow they had managed to sneak onto the airfield, then had leaped out and clambered up the entry ramp, weapons blasting. The Singh family, in the first few seats of the economy class, sat petrified.

By Jeannette DeWyze, July 9, 1987 Read full article

"Market Street is rough. The park is safer. Bunch of fags there. They don’t like to fight.”

Wasted

Crystal is named in recognition of her daily habit. The girl wearing the Mickey Mouse sweat shirt has a tattoo on her left arm. It says “Baby I.” Some guy from Twelfth Avenue tattooed her, she says. “Because Baby l’s my street name. Don’t get me mixed up with Baby 2. I’m Baby 1. See,” she points to it proudly. “It’s right next to my knife scar.”

By Sue Garson, July 28, 1988 Read full article

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In her shoes, Judith Wilson measures four feet, no inches. When she was two, her parents’ physician diagnosed achondroplasia. - Image by Robert Burroughs
In her shoes, Judith Wilson measures four feet, no inches. When she was two, her parents’ physician diagnosed achondroplasia.

Fear, sweat, and profit

By the time the caravan once again pulled out onto Black Mountain Road, only twenty-seven Mexicans had been captured — fewer than, two per agent. But it was still early in the morning, and now we headed west toward Interstate 5. I asked Connell what would happen to the money owed the field hands we had arrested.

By Jeannette DeWyze, July 12, 1984 Read full article

Ben Tufuku. By 1979 there were three black gangs. “Today there are approximately seven black gangs — Lincoln Park, Piru, 5/9 Brims, West Coast, Neighborhood, Syndo, Ghosttown.”

At the corner of poverty and crime

“You may not have a clear picture of why a youngster gets into a gang,” said Tukufu, his voice spiraling upward once more. He listed reasons — a desire for identity, need for protection, camaraderie. “Ever’body wants to claim something, wants to be a part of something. Gangs offer that. They also offer opportunities for advancement within the neighborhood and recognition.”

By Judith Moore, Sept. 18, 1986 Read full article

“One thing about youngsters, if you explain it and at the same time offer a replacement, they’ll go for it."

At the corner of poverty and crime, part 2

Bennie lives in the area claimed by 5/9, a group sometimes called 5/9 Brims or Brimsters. They wear red and call each other “Blood.” Bennie does not call his group a gang. He speaks of it as “the set” or “the family.” He also calls his neighborhood “the set.... It’s like a family,” he said. “I don’t think of it like a gang, but like protecting my neighborhood."

By Judith Moore, Sept. 25, 1986 Read full article

Vince Vella: “I’m a perfect miniature man.”

Two kinds of little people in San Diego

Vella speaks of achondroplastic dwarfs as “achondros” and midgets, or pituitary dwarfs, as “pituitaries” and says a certain standoffishness had always existed between achondros and pituitaries. “And,” he added, “Achondros don’t tend to marry pituitary types.”

By Judith Moore, Feb. 12, 1987 Read full article

As their injuries healed, the children returned to their classes at Francis Parker School.

Return flight

There were men, several uniformed men, screaming, waving guns, ordering everyone to freeze. Somehow they had managed to sneak onto the airfield, then had leaped out and clambered up the entry ramp, weapons blasting. The Singh family, in the first few seats of the economy class, sat petrified.

By Jeannette DeWyze, July 9, 1987 Read full article

"Market Street is rough. The park is safer. Bunch of fags there. They don’t like to fight.”

Wasted

Crystal is named in recognition of her daily habit. The girl wearing the Mickey Mouse sweat shirt has a tattoo on her left arm. It says “Baby I.” Some guy from Twelfth Avenue tattooed her, she says. “Because Baby l’s my street name. Don’t get me mixed up with Baby 2. I’m Baby 1. See,” she points to it proudly. “It’s right next to my knife scar.”

By Sue Garson, July 28, 1988 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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