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

Best Reader stories from 1986

Borrego's wild horses, snakebite in Baja, bikini girls in Pacific Beach, Richard Meltzer's Navy, escape from Vietnam, Salton Sea, PSA pilot's day

In the spring of 1986, BLM estimated there were forty horses living in the northern portion of Anza-Borrego, in the three tributary canyons of Coyote Creek: Horse Canyon, Nance Canyon, and Tule Canyon.
In the spring of 1986, BLM estimated there were forty horses living in the northern portion of Anza-Borrego, in the three tributary canyons of Coyote Creek: Horse Canyon, Nance Canyon, and Tule Canyon.
  • Was James Gibson tortured by Mexican police?

  • When two Mexican police officers and two FBI agents showed up at his beachfront Playas de Tijuana apartment on October 17, James Gibson had reason to suspect that his attempt to start a new life south of the border had been foiled. This became all the more clear to him as he was pushed into the back seat of a car and, with an FBI agent seated on either side of him, driven to the headquarters of the State Judicial Police in Tijuana.
  • By Stephen Meyer, Dec. 4, 1986
Gibson's apartment on Paseo Costero, Playas de Tijuana
  • The wild horses of Coyote Creek

  • The first time I met Vern Whitaker, two years ago, he was celebrating his seventy-third birthday in the back of a camper parked beside a horse corral in the Anza-Borrego Desert. The camper looked about what you’d expect the home of a seventy-three-year-old bachelor cowboy to look like. There was a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, a pot of coffee strong enough to float a horseshoe boiled on the stove.....
  • By Steve Sorensen, Nov. 20, 1986
  • The Butcher Shop — Las Vegas glitz and mafia aura

  • Roberto DePhilippis, the owner of the Butcher Shop Steak House, got very angry one night last spring. In fact he had been seething since November of 1985, when his landlord, the Plaza International Hotel in Mission Valley, sent him an eviction notice.
  • By Stephen Meyer, Nov. 13, 1986
At midnight on Friday, April 25, 1986, DePhilippis and about thirty employees, family members, and patrons of the Butcher Shop annihilated the restaurant.
  • Snakebite!

  • If you had to pick a group of people to pit against a large, deadly rattlesnake, the men and women who drove south into the Baja wilderness last June would have been a good choice. There were nine of them, every one the most solid of citizens: a retired metallurgist, a college professor, several housewives, a small businessman, a librarian, a truck driver, a school food service director.
  • By Jeannette DeWyze, Nov. 6, 1986
La Grulla Meadow
  • Mystery of the Gypsy Song

  • It's the fourth of July at 6:30 a.m., and we’re driving down to Puerto Madero. the southernmost port on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Ken Franke, a retired Coast Guard captain and now a marine surveyor from San Diego, is at the wheel of a red Nissan he rented in Guatemala City. His mission is to find out what happened to the Gypsy Song, a sixty-five-foot ketch-rigged sailboat that left the port of San Jose, Guatemala, about 130 miles south of here, on January 2, 1985, bound for Acapulco and ultimately San Diego.
  • By Stephen Meyer, Aug. 21, 1986
Ken Franke with port guards, Puerto Madero
Sitting on her towel on Pacific Beach, Karen sang a snatch from the Beach Boys’ “California Girls” and gazed out across the water. “We’re just trying to have some fun before we grow up and have to go to work every day.”
  • The girls of summer

  • Right after the Fourth of July, a series of perfect days unrolled across San Diego County beaches. Sun sizzled away the coastal low clouds by no later than eleven, and girls from local high schools began spending entire blue days at Pacific Beach and La Jolla Shores.
  • By Judith Moore, Aug. 28, 1986
  • Richard Meltzer's Navy

  • Okay. I spent five-six days with the U.S. Navy. It didn't kill me. As “mixed" an encounter as any I've had as a writer, some parts were wretched, ghastly, distressing; others, ethereal, effervescent, exhilarating. Mostly it surprised me at every turn.
  • By Richard Meltzer, July 10, 1986
We hop in her bright yellow Datsun Z, head out for 32nd Street Station, only to be stopped cold at the gate 'cause she hasn’t prearranged my pass. Since Libya this is the one base (lots of ships berthed here) where civilians are treated as potential saboteurs. “C’mon!! — he's got an i.d.”
  • Escape!

  • I can still recall the date, May 19, 1977, because that was Ho Chi Minh’s birthday. The entire camp was taken out to the fields to clear away the elephant grass — to “compete with each other for Uncle Ho’s birthday.” The grass grew head-tall alongside the main road.
  • By Duong Phuc with Vu Thanh Thuy and Neal Matthews, May 15, 1986
I had participated as part of the first delegation from the South to receive prisoners of war at the Hanoi Hilton in 1973. We wrote a popular book, One Day in Hanoi, about our treatment in the North.
  • Bury my bait at Bombay Beach

  • Driving north on Highway 111, up the east side of the Imperial Valley, it’s hard to tell if the first glimpse of the Salton Sea is real or just a desert mirage. There is nothing in the empty landscape to give an impression of size or distance — only a silver, shimmering mist against a backdrop of hazy blue mountains.
  • By Steve Sorensen, May 1, 1986
“We don’t want to kill the fish in the sea, but there’s a three-quarters-of-a-billion-dollar agriculture industry in the Imperial Valley which you can’t just shut down."
  • Day in the life of a PSA pilot

  • In the dark hour before dawn one recent Tuesday morning, Jim Owens was thinking about the fog. Stars shone clearly overhead here in San Diego, obscured only by a ragtag army of cloud fragments scurrying eastward, remnants of a storm that had drenched the county the previous day. But Owens was heading for the airport and PSA's flight number 471 to Oakland.
  • By Jeannette DeWyze, Jan. 9, 1986
Masley and Owens. Masley: “I once flew with this guy for a month straight, and he blocked out so much of the sun I lost my tan.”
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

U.S. Kids Chamber of Commerce gets mixed response in Encinitas

You pay to recycle and where does the money go?
Next Article

24 Hour Fitness was my bathroom

“We played to like five people that night and reluctantly ate raw ground pork to avoid being rude.”
In the spring of 1986, BLM estimated there were forty horses living in the northern portion of Anza-Borrego, in the three tributary canyons of Coyote Creek: Horse Canyon, Nance Canyon, and Tule Canyon.
In the spring of 1986, BLM estimated there were forty horses living in the northern portion of Anza-Borrego, in the three tributary canyons of Coyote Creek: Horse Canyon, Nance Canyon, and Tule Canyon.
  • Was James Gibson tortured by Mexican police?

  • When two Mexican police officers and two FBI agents showed up at his beachfront Playas de Tijuana apartment on October 17, James Gibson had reason to suspect that his attempt to start a new life south of the border had been foiled. This became all the more clear to him as he was pushed into the back seat of a car and, with an FBI agent seated on either side of him, driven to the headquarters of the State Judicial Police in Tijuana.
  • By Stephen Meyer, Dec. 4, 1986
Gibson's apartment on Paseo Costero, Playas de Tijuana
  • The wild horses of Coyote Creek

  • The first time I met Vern Whitaker, two years ago, he was celebrating his seventy-third birthday in the back of a camper parked beside a horse corral in the Anza-Borrego Desert. The camper looked about what you’d expect the home of a seventy-three-year-old bachelor cowboy to look like. There was a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, a pot of coffee strong enough to float a horseshoe boiled on the stove.....
  • By Steve Sorensen, Nov. 20, 1986
  • The Butcher Shop — Las Vegas glitz and mafia aura

  • Roberto DePhilippis, the owner of the Butcher Shop Steak House, got very angry one night last spring. In fact he had been seething since November of 1985, when his landlord, the Plaza International Hotel in Mission Valley, sent him an eviction notice.
  • By Stephen Meyer, Nov. 13, 1986
At midnight on Friday, April 25, 1986, DePhilippis and about thirty employees, family members, and patrons of the Butcher Shop annihilated the restaurant.
  • Snakebite!

  • If you had to pick a group of people to pit against a large, deadly rattlesnake, the men and women who drove south into the Baja wilderness last June would have been a good choice. There were nine of them, every one the most solid of citizens: a retired metallurgist, a college professor, several housewives, a small businessman, a librarian, a truck driver, a school food service director.
  • By Jeannette DeWyze, Nov. 6, 1986
La Grulla Meadow
  • Mystery of the Gypsy Song

  • It's the fourth of July at 6:30 a.m., and we’re driving down to Puerto Madero. the southernmost port on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Ken Franke, a retired Coast Guard captain and now a marine surveyor from San Diego, is at the wheel of a red Nissan he rented in Guatemala City. His mission is to find out what happened to the Gypsy Song, a sixty-five-foot ketch-rigged sailboat that left the port of San Jose, Guatemala, about 130 miles south of here, on January 2, 1985, bound for Acapulco and ultimately San Diego.
  • By Stephen Meyer, Aug. 21, 1986
Ken Franke with port guards, Puerto Madero
Sitting on her towel on Pacific Beach, Karen sang a snatch from the Beach Boys’ “California Girls” and gazed out across the water. “We’re just trying to have some fun before we grow up and have to go to work every day.”
  • The girls of summer

  • Right after the Fourth of July, a series of perfect days unrolled across San Diego County beaches. Sun sizzled away the coastal low clouds by no later than eleven, and girls from local high schools began spending entire blue days at Pacific Beach and La Jolla Shores.
  • By Judith Moore, Aug. 28, 1986
  • Richard Meltzer's Navy

  • Okay. I spent five-six days with the U.S. Navy. It didn't kill me. As “mixed" an encounter as any I've had as a writer, some parts were wretched, ghastly, distressing; others, ethereal, effervescent, exhilarating. Mostly it surprised me at every turn.
  • By Richard Meltzer, July 10, 1986
We hop in her bright yellow Datsun Z, head out for 32nd Street Station, only to be stopped cold at the gate 'cause she hasn’t prearranged my pass. Since Libya this is the one base (lots of ships berthed here) where civilians are treated as potential saboteurs. “C’mon!! — he's got an i.d.”
  • Escape!

  • I can still recall the date, May 19, 1977, because that was Ho Chi Minh’s birthday. The entire camp was taken out to the fields to clear away the elephant grass — to “compete with each other for Uncle Ho’s birthday.” The grass grew head-tall alongside the main road.
  • By Duong Phuc with Vu Thanh Thuy and Neal Matthews, May 15, 1986
I had participated as part of the first delegation from the South to receive prisoners of war at the Hanoi Hilton in 1973. We wrote a popular book, One Day in Hanoi, about our treatment in the North.
  • Bury my bait at Bombay Beach

  • Driving north on Highway 111, up the east side of the Imperial Valley, it’s hard to tell if the first glimpse of the Salton Sea is real or just a desert mirage. There is nothing in the empty landscape to give an impression of size or distance — only a silver, shimmering mist against a backdrop of hazy blue mountains.
  • By Steve Sorensen, May 1, 1986
“We don’t want to kill the fish in the sea, but there’s a three-quarters-of-a-billion-dollar agriculture industry in the Imperial Valley which you can’t just shut down."
  • Day in the life of a PSA pilot

  • In the dark hour before dawn one recent Tuesday morning, Jim Owens was thinking about the fog. Stars shone clearly overhead here in San Diego, obscured only by a ragtag army of cloud fragments scurrying eastward, remnants of a storm that had drenched the county the previous day. But Owens was heading for the airport and PSA's flight number 471 to Oakland.
  • By Jeannette DeWyze, Jan. 9, 1986
Masley and Owens. Masley: “I once flew with this guy for a month straight, and he blocked out so much of the sun I lost my tan.”
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Carl DeMaio pursues Todd Gloria for sex offender bill

Next Article

The Guardian of Memory: brokenhearted at the border

Carlos Spector stacks the grain in a neat pile for the birds to fight over.
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close