Harper’s Topiary Garden: The hilly front slope in front of Alex and Edna Harper’s home has for more than 25 years been a living sculpture garden.
I was interested in “San Diego’s Best Roadside Attractions” (Cover Stories, June 24). I saw several things I thought were really fun. Raymond Chandler’s house was one of the things. I used to walk by there regularly and I saw the plaque on the thing. Also the Black. I happen to have a matchbook from there over in Ocean Beach. I enjoyed going over there for my incense. My spouse and I used to use their incense regularly.
And lastly I thought maybe you would have something about the Big Oak Ranch. It was back off of Harbison Canyon Road and we used to go over there to hear music shows in the forest kind of. A group called the Tall Cotton Band used to play there, and they would warm up for people like Waylon Jennings or Willy Nelson. Because some of those people played at that particular venue they got in trouble with the guy who owned the place. If there’s a way I could get more about the Big Oak Ranch, how to find it. I that in the map book I have there’s a place called Old Ironsides County Park off of Harbison Canyon Road. I don’t know if that’s a changed name for the Big Oak Ranch, or what.
What if two hours a week could cut your food bill in half, refurnish your house, and ease the burden of overstuffed dumps while offering the family a little urban adventure?
As founder and president for life of the Amalgamated Dumpster Divers of America I enjoyed the author’s creativity and fortitude in his dumpster endeavors (“A San Diego dumpster diver’s honor,” Cover Stories, June 10). Although I was personally never a food diver and never would or will be, diving of any kind during this virus epidemic is unthinkable. I was born at the height of the Great Depression in 1933. My dad had gone to a trade school in LA to learn the fine art of car painting, body and fender repair and car striping, which he was a master at. However, there was no work and we were all living on my Grandfather’s small chicken ranch in Ontario. All the family was busy trying to put my uncle through law school at Stanford. Being 4 or 5 yrs. old, I spent my day wandering around the ranch trying to find things to do help my Grandpa.
One day while cruising along the curb (it happened to be trash day) I passed our trash, and there sitting atop the trash was a shiny but somewhat used trombone. Turns out it was my dad’s old trombone from high school. I managed to get it put together and proceeded to march around the ranch tooting for and scaring the shit out of the chickens. This of course brought the wrath of my grandfather down on me immediately and firmly. Do you have any idea what happens when chickens get scared??? It causes them to lay eggs with blood spots in them, and you can’t sell eggs with blood spots. Any eggs with blood spots had to be sold to bakers who just scooped out the blood spots and used them in their pastries. Needless to say, the trombone went back to the trash. However, I was not about to let my first and finest trash find end up in a landfill and found a hiding spot on the ranch only a 5 year old would know about. Several weeks later my uncle and aunt came to visit bringing their new son which they placed in a crib by the west side of the house for his afternoon nap. I decided that now was the time for me to help him to get to sleep with a trombone serenade under his bedroom window. Of course this scared the living crap out of the kid, and I never saw the trombone again. I’m sure it probably found its way into a dumpster behind some commercial garage.
That was the formation and beginning of The Amalgamated Dumpster Divers of America. By the way, to my dad’s credit, he did buy me another trombone when I was 9 yrs old in the 3rd grade. Paid $15 for it, and I played it all through school up to my sophomore year in college. By the way, I am now 86 and still play in a 17-piece big band. Of course we are on recess now due to the virus but still love watching the TV westerns while practicing.
My second life as a dumpster diver took place several years ago when I worked on Shelter Island. I often worked late at the office, and it was usually dark when I headed home. I had a route that took me by most of the sail makers’ shops, and it was amazing how many usable sails were being thrown away. Sailboat racers always want the newest and tightest sails for racing so were always ordering new sails and throwing out their old ones. Perfectly good sails. Maybe not for racing anymore but perfectly good enough for local sailing or cruising. I started diving and found those sails made good car covers, patio covers, shopping bags etc.
- President for Life
- Amalgamated Dumpster Divers of America
"Sometimes they just don't realize that you're supposed to buy the fare before you get onto the vehicle."
Buggy transit authority
How much is the fine that MTS pays when they force the passengers to sit shoulder to shoulder because they don’t abide by the law that says only ten passengers can be on a bus at one time? (“Will lower fines encourage fare skipping on buses and trolley?” News Ticker, June 23) How much is a fine that MTS pays when a bus or trolley car reeks of fecal matter or urine? How much is a fine that MTS pays when a car or bus is infested with bugs?