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Best Reader stories from 1989

Betty Broderick, Padres' Eric Show, Lomas and Red Steps gangs, WWII POW, Don Zub, Jeff Weinstein, abortion and free will, mother killer

I realized it would be possible to deny that this had ever happened to me, if I chose to do so. I could revise my personal history, and there would be no challenge to my new, painless version.
I realized it would be possible to deny that this had ever happened to me, if I chose to do so. I could revise my personal history, and there would be no challenge to my new, painless version.
Betty Broderick: “I’ve been forced into a legal system that Dan controls."
  • Till death do us part

  • For so long, she wanted so badly to talk about her relationship with Daniel Broderick. Betty Broderick wanted to tell the their divorce and the awful injustice she felt she had suffered because of her ex-husband’s stature and influence within the local legal community; but she was also eager to disclose every detail of her long courtship and marriage to Dan.
  • By Jeannette DeWyze, Nov. 16, 1989
  • Dutiful daughter

  • I would have an abortion; I was sure. The decision was an easy one to make. In fact, it was not a decision at all. Decision implies choice, and I had none. A child could not fit into my life. My life had to this point been a series of failures. My job was boring and had no future. I had no money.
  • By Lynn Grygier, April 6, 1989
  • Lakeside man lived the real Bridge on the River Kwai

  • If wasn’t until Hank Allen felt his ship dead in the water, with the world exploding around him, that he knew he had to jump. “Even up until the time I got into the water I couldn't believe the ship would sink,” Allen recalls.
  • By Kurt Snider, July 27, 1989
Finally, dysentery forced Allen into the POWs’ hospital, weighing just 75 pounds.
  • Huero walks

  • On July 2, 1988, at 2:30 a.m., Rudolpho “Nene” Rios was shot twice in the head while he was in the 2000 block of National Avenue, at Chicano Park. He died two days later. At the time of his death, he was 20 years old and a member of the Logan Red Steps gang, a splinter group of Logan, the largest and oldest Hispanic youth gang in San Diego. The shooting occurred in Red Steps territory. In gang slang, the Red Steps “claim” Chicano Park.
  • By Rory Perry, July 6, 1989
Lomas homeboys. Lomas - Spanish for “hills” and short for Golden Hill.
  • You eat in the world

  • Eight in the morning on the West Coast, eleven in Bellport, Long Island, The Village Voice senior editor and restaurant critic, Jeff Weinstein, pads through his living room, cordless telephone in hand. From across the country, his voice is soft and confiding in my ear. His dark hair is beginning to grey, he’s beginning to look his age (41). Weinstein, for eight years, lived in San Diego, was a UCSD graduate student and SDSU English instructor and a freelance writer.
  • By Judith Moore, June 8, 1989
"What I miss most about California, every waking moment, is Mexican food. The smell of lard coming out of a restaurant's exhaust fan."
  • Don Zub – symbol of and insult to Coronado

  • Zub’s irreverence toward Coronado was tolerated, even encouraged, by the young people who grew up with the choking allure of the place. He ran his campaign from the beach during the day and from the bars at night. He might have had a real impact on the election except for one unfortunate incident.
  • By Neal Matthews, May 25, 1989
Don Zub shimmied the tree one night, wearing shorts and topsiders, and broke off the uppermost couple of feet. How’d he get up there? “On mushrooms.” Why? “UDT! Iron grip!”
At St. Augustin, 1962. Father Anthony Wasko, his English teacher: "His verses were onomatopoetic and his cadences were remarkable," Wasko recalls. "I used his poems as models for subsequent students."
  • The blood upon his hands

  • Without divulging his specific whereabouts, the fugitive sent faculty members at USD, UCSD, and Palomar College carefully typed folder-bound collections of his poems, along with letters explaining that indefinite parole under the conditional-release program was not beneficial to his psyche. “One evening, I even telephoned Judge Ehrenfreund at his home," Mark recalls, “just to let him know I was okay.”
  • By Sue Garson, March 9, 1989
"I finally said, ‘Okay, ’Melo, let’s go for it then.’ ” Show and Martinez lunged at each other and had to be restrained by their teammates.
  • Is Padres pitcher Eric Show too brainy for his own good?

  • “I know that I sealed my fate by going public about joining the John Birch Society in 1984.1 understand that, and I accept that. I’m not going to be a Steve Garvey type, a loved guy, ever.” But another time, in his back yard, with Willie snoozing beside him, he said, “Almost everything going on in this country, and in baseball, I don’t agree with."
  • By Neal Matthews, Aug. 10, 1989
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I realized it would be possible to deny that this had ever happened to me, if I chose to do so. I could revise my personal history, and there would be no challenge to my new, painless version.
I realized it would be possible to deny that this had ever happened to me, if I chose to do so. I could revise my personal history, and there would be no challenge to my new, painless version.
Betty Broderick: “I’ve been forced into a legal system that Dan controls."
  • Till death do us part

  • For so long, she wanted so badly to talk about her relationship with Daniel Broderick. Betty Broderick wanted to tell the their divorce and the awful injustice she felt she had suffered because of her ex-husband’s stature and influence within the local legal community; but she was also eager to disclose every detail of her long courtship and marriage to Dan.
  • By Jeannette DeWyze, Nov. 16, 1989
  • Dutiful daughter

  • I would have an abortion; I was sure. The decision was an easy one to make. In fact, it was not a decision at all. Decision implies choice, and I had none. A child could not fit into my life. My life had to this point been a series of failures. My job was boring and had no future. I had no money.
  • By Lynn Grygier, April 6, 1989
  • Lakeside man lived the real Bridge on the River Kwai

  • If wasn’t until Hank Allen felt his ship dead in the water, with the world exploding around him, that he knew he had to jump. “Even up until the time I got into the water I couldn't believe the ship would sink,” Allen recalls.
  • By Kurt Snider, July 27, 1989
Finally, dysentery forced Allen into the POWs’ hospital, weighing just 75 pounds.
  • Huero walks

  • On July 2, 1988, at 2:30 a.m., Rudolpho “Nene” Rios was shot twice in the head while he was in the 2000 block of National Avenue, at Chicano Park. He died two days later. At the time of his death, he was 20 years old and a member of the Logan Red Steps gang, a splinter group of Logan, the largest and oldest Hispanic youth gang in San Diego. The shooting occurred in Red Steps territory. In gang slang, the Red Steps “claim” Chicano Park.
  • By Rory Perry, July 6, 1989
Lomas homeboys. Lomas - Spanish for “hills” and short for Golden Hill.
  • You eat in the world

  • Eight in the morning on the West Coast, eleven in Bellport, Long Island, The Village Voice senior editor and restaurant critic, Jeff Weinstein, pads through his living room, cordless telephone in hand. From across the country, his voice is soft and confiding in my ear. His dark hair is beginning to grey, he’s beginning to look his age (41). Weinstein, for eight years, lived in San Diego, was a UCSD graduate student and SDSU English instructor and a freelance writer.
  • By Judith Moore, June 8, 1989
"What I miss most about California, every waking moment, is Mexican food. The smell of lard coming out of a restaurant's exhaust fan."
  • Don Zub – symbol of and insult to Coronado

  • Zub’s irreverence toward Coronado was tolerated, even encouraged, by the young people who grew up with the choking allure of the place. He ran his campaign from the beach during the day and from the bars at night. He might have had a real impact on the election except for one unfortunate incident.
  • By Neal Matthews, May 25, 1989
Don Zub shimmied the tree one night, wearing shorts and topsiders, and broke off the uppermost couple of feet. How’d he get up there? “On mushrooms.” Why? “UDT! Iron grip!”
At St. Augustin, 1962. Father Anthony Wasko, his English teacher: "His verses were onomatopoetic and his cadences were remarkable," Wasko recalls. "I used his poems as models for subsequent students."
  • The blood upon his hands

  • Without divulging his specific whereabouts, the fugitive sent faculty members at USD, UCSD, and Palomar College carefully typed folder-bound collections of his poems, along with letters explaining that indefinite parole under the conditional-release program was not beneficial to his psyche. “One evening, I even telephoned Judge Ehrenfreund at his home," Mark recalls, “just to let him know I was okay.”
  • By Sue Garson, March 9, 1989
"I finally said, ‘Okay, ’Melo, let’s go for it then.’ ” Show and Martinez lunged at each other and had to be restrained by their teammates.
  • Is Padres pitcher Eric Show too brainy for his own good?

  • “I know that I sealed my fate by going public about joining the John Birch Society in 1984.1 understand that, and I accept that. I’m not going to be a Steve Garvey type, a loved guy, ever.” But another time, in his back yard, with Willie snoozing beside him, he said, “Almost everything going on in this country, and in baseball, I don’t agree with."
  • By Neal Matthews, Aug. 10, 1989
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