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Luis Urrea daydreams of San Diego, Oklahoma girl spends summers on Bonair Street

We buy a $120,000 hoiuse in El Cerrito, an incurable eavesdropper, lives of a beautiful girl and a fat boy in San Diego

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.
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.

Homeboy on the Range

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

I took the bus to the Naval Recruitment Center. On the way, I imagined myself driving a convertible along the coast at sunset with the top down.

Where the Surf Was Roughest

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

“This haze should burn off by noon.”

So I’ve Heard

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

We were considering withdrawing our offer unless she agreed to seek psychiatric care.

Our House

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.

Let it Be Me

“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.”

Sunlight Offers No Favors to Fat Boys

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

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Ichiban Sando has a way of making fried meats feel special

Milk bread, ube, and animal prints make for memorable sandwiches
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.
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.

Homeboy on the Range

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

I took the bus to the Naval Recruitment Center. On the way, I imagined myself driving a convertible along the coast at sunset with the top down.

Where the Surf Was Roughest

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

“This haze should burn off by noon.”

So I’ve Heard

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

We were considering withdrawing our offer unless she agreed to seek psychiatric care.

Our House

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.

Let it Be Me

“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.”

Sunlight Offers No Favors to Fat Boys

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

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I-15 mimics L.A traffic, when there were quail in Bonita

The 805 coming north out of South Bay, offbeat San Diego, a real California moment in local painting, dangerous spots to live
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