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

San Diego – city of shame, University Avenue, roommates from hell, writers write about moms

Reader writers' favorite books, music, San Diego small towns, first day of school, the story I wanted to write but didn't

Trisha got drunk and decided to handcuff herself to me. - Image by Russ Ando
Trisha got drunk and decided to handcuff herself to me.

Roommates from Hell

I walked outside to the storage door. I pushed on the door and opened it. I saw the rope around John’s neck and John’s face looking at me. I screamed and ran into the house and called Jennifer to come right away. Then I called 911 and told them my roommate had hung himself. The voice at 911 asked me if John was still warm. I said I wasn’t going to touch him.

June 16, 1994 | Read full article

Fifth and University

University Avenue

Stories about the crash circled desultorily through school the next day — stories of scattered limbs, of fiends pulling rings and watches from charred wrists and fingers. Billy enjoyed a short-lived social heyday among our classmates, being the only one who had actually seen the jet go down. He told and retold the story so vividly that we could all see in our minds the 727, its burning wing, soaring downward through the bright blue Santa Ana sky.

Feb. 23, 1995 | Read full article

Top row, left to right: C. Arnholt Smith, Richard Silberman, Roger Hedgecock, M. Larry Lawrence, Susan Golding, Pete Wilson. Center Row: Nancy Hoover, Helen and David Copley, Terry Cole-Whittaker, Herb Klein. Bottom Row: Tom Metzger, Bill Mitchell, Steve Garvey, Ray Blaire, J. David Dominelli.

Welcome, GOP Convention Delegates, to San Diego, City of Shame

The papers also avoided the tender subject of Wilson’s estrangement and eventual divorce from his first wife, Betty, and the fallout of their separation on the mayor’s lifestyle. Married in 1967, during Wilson’s first term as an assemblyman from San Diego, the Wilsons had been portrayed by the Copley papers as the perfect political couple. The stories highlighted the Wilsons’ happy home life in a modest condo in Clairemont.

August 8, 1996 | Read full article

Steve Esmedina didn’t soft-focus his lens when trained on himself either. So he invited everyone to call him Blubbo.

Blubbo’s World

“We used to call them pachucos back when Steve and I were coming up. There have been gangs in this part of the city forever. Over here in Shelltown where Steve lived, the big gang was Los Hermanos, and Steve was involved with them. He at least had friends who ran with them. In this neighborhood you got a hard education real fast. You got your ass kicked. You learned how to take a beating.”

Sept 20, 2001 | Read full article

Fallbrook. Outside the barbershop, the street is usually sunny. Cars stop for the light and move past us, windows down, arms resting on doors.

Neighborhood: Small Towns of San Diego

Some of San Diego is undeniably slouching off into the Sad, Great Homogenization, but some of SD’s retro, some of it’s rich, and some is “alternative.” In short, we San Diegans have still got options. And option number one, the angel of my appreciation, the element that bucks convention, San Diego’s last true neighborhood and earthly connection, indeed, the soul of this good place, is Ocean Beach. If SD were the Beatles, then OB’d be George Harrison.

Dec. 24, 2003 | Read full article

Alexander

Santa’s Helpers

We have a Christmas tradition: we all get around the table, say grace, and we do silly things with video cameras. One Christmas, my uncles and aunties brought us outside and we just had a race up the street to see who could run faster. There was a lot of teasing and trash talking like, "Oh, you can't beat me just because I am old or just because I'm a little overweight."

Dec. 23, 2004 | Read full article

City Heights

At Home in San Diego

I don't know about you, but I'm always hard-pressed to say precisely where something is in Mission Beach. "Um, it's on the left side, before the roller coaster, about halfway down." And I never drive there, not if I can help it, not unless I'm ready to crawl in traffic. Anyway, the only way to really see the place, to get the true feel of it, is to walk or skateboard, to Rollerblade or ride your bicycle.

Dec. 30, 2004 | Read full article

Abe Opincar's mother. I pulled off the road. My mother ran from the car. I ran after her.

Mom

I haven't spoken to her in eight years, ever since she threw a scene at Taco Auctioneer in Cardiff. I won't send her a Mother's Day card because I don't have any emotion left for dealing with her. I know it's tough being a mother. I was in the 98th percentile in spatial relationships when I was seven, and I think all that ability has gone into loading the dishwasher. I am a master dishwasher setter.

May 5, 2005 | Read full article

Reader writers' favorite music

I believed that playing piano would transform my life. I practiced after dinner. I played Beethoven's sonatas until the spine of the book broke and the pages were soft at the edges. To make those sounds with my hands would change everything, I thought — did change everything, when I played well enough. In the first line of Opus 49, "Sonata Facile," in the falling down trill of those plaintive notes, lay both solace and escape.

August 11, 2005 | Read full article

First Place Winner, Tad Simons

The Idealization of Jessica Trump

She paused for a moment. I could hear her thinking, and then she said, “My spring break is next week, and I haven’t made any plans. I could catch a flight the day after tomorrow if you want me to.” It was Thursday. She could be here on Saturday. I was stunned by the thought of meeting her in person. We were in love, that was for sure. I couldn’t think. I could barely speak.

By Tad Simons, Dec. 19, 1985 | Read full article

Shots in the Dark

Between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m., Priority One calls — those relating to life-threatening situations or crimes in progress — decline from an early-evening high. Reports of alcohol-related traffic accidents rise, car thefts drop slightly, burglaries taper off. After 2 a.m., the number of rapes reported increases. Priority One calls reach their lowest point. Off-work domestics and restaurant workers sit hugging their shopping bags to their breasts at bus stops, waiting for the last bus of the night.

Thirteen different authors on SD at night. July 5, 1990 | Read full article

Jeannette De Wyze

The Story I Wanted to Write but Didn’t

The Palms Hotel at the comer of 12th and Island Avenues, downtown, is an appropriate venue for a mystery. The tall, boxy Victorian windows peer blankly down on the passing trolleys, hiding secrets buried deep inside like pallid worms in the woodwork. Until this spring, the place was owned by a nameless trust administered by Los Angeles lawyer Robert Ballantyne, a longtime friend and business associate of Robert O. Peterson, Mayor Maureen O’Connor’s husband.

Oct. 5, 1989 | Read full article

Reader writers' favorite books

My father came home with a carton of books, every one of them about horses. Brumby the Wild Stallion by Mary Elwyn Patchett. Star Roan. Lonesome Sorrel. Walter Farley's Black Stallion. Some of Marguerite "Misty of Chincoteague" Henry's books like King of the Wind, a historical novel about the Arabian Thoroughbred,…. Books about Seabiscuit, and Man o'War, and Mustang Annie, a girl who got polio and was in a body cast and then saved the wild mustangs of Nevada.

Dec. 20, 1990 | Read full article

J.K. Amtmann

Writing contest winners

Rasco’s quit business, replaced by a Salvation Army thrift store. The Texaco station finally gave up too — where it stood there’s a Yum-Yum doughnut shop. A U-Totem convenience store was snapped together where there was a Chevron. The Union and the Hancock stations were bulldozed into memories. The last remaining station, Gulf, sold out to some econo outfit that made you pay in advance for the gas. The Humpty Dumpty became a Cotija Taco Shop.

April 4, 1991 | Read full article

Juliette Mondot, second place winner

Writing Contest Winners

If I’d grown up here instead of in Fallbrook, I would have gone from kindergarten through the eighth grade at Vallecitos School, in the center of the valley. For high school, I would have been bused to Fallbrook to spend four years hanging out with the rest of the Rainbow boys by the corner of the library, with my hands in my pockets, laughing, sneering, telling secrets, sneaking smokes, talking about the bikes we were gonna get.

April 11, 1991 | Read full article

"Steven Goes to School" comic

Back to School

I was walking home with a new friend from school. He asked me where I lived. I really didn’t know. Since our walk was short, and since we both seemed to be going in the same direction, he decided that I, as he, lived in Talmadge. When we came to my street, and when my friend saw that I had to pass beneath the significant giraffe, he stopped, said, “I thought you lived in Talmadge.”

Sept. 12, 1991 | Read full article

1992 losses

Loss: All We Left Behind In 1992

Fetherling returned in time to preside over the Times’s corporate retreat from San Diego. When the end came, it was not proud. Times editor Shelby Coffey arrived in the newsroom unheralded. As he confirmed the worst to the staff, someone picked up the phone and began spreading the word. Soon the TV vans were pulling up in front of the building and commencing interviews with the walking dead. Six or so would remain in San Diego.

Dec. 24, 1992 | Read full article

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

What to make of the January 1 Old Town Trolley murder

Ralphs worker Martin Andara pushed into oncoming train
Trisha got drunk and decided to handcuff herself to me. - Image by Russ Ando
Trisha got drunk and decided to handcuff herself to me.

Roommates from Hell

I walked outside to the storage door. I pushed on the door and opened it. I saw the rope around John’s neck and John’s face looking at me. I screamed and ran into the house and called Jennifer to come right away. Then I called 911 and told them my roommate had hung himself. The voice at 911 asked me if John was still warm. I said I wasn’t going to touch him.

June 16, 1994 | Read full article

Fifth and University

University Avenue

Stories about the crash circled desultorily through school the next day — stories of scattered limbs, of fiends pulling rings and watches from charred wrists and fingers. Billy enjoyed a short-lived social heyday among our classmates, being the only one who had actually seen the jet go down. He told and retold the story so vividly that we could all see in our minds the 727, its burning wing, soaring downward through the bright blue Santa Ana sky.

Feb. 23, 1995 | Read full article

Top row, left to right: C. Arnholt Smith, Richard Silberman, Roger Hedgecock, M. Larry Lawrence, Susan Golding, Pete Wilson. Center Row: Nancy Hoover, Helen and David Copley, Terry Cole-Whittaker, Herb Klein. Bottom Row: Tom Metzger, Bill Mitchell, Steve Garvey, Ray Blaire, J. David Dominelli.

Welcome, GOP Convention Delegates, to San Diego, City of Shame

The papers also avoided the tender subject of Wilson’s estrangement and eventual divorce from his first wife, Betty, and the fallout of their separation on the mayor’s lifestyle. Married in 1967, during Wilson’s first term as an assemblyman from San Diego, the Wilsons had been portrayed by the Copley papers as the perfect political couple. The stories highlighted the Wilsons’ happy home life in a modest condo in Clairemont.

August 8, 1996 | Read full article

Steve Esmedina didn’t soft-focus his lens when trained on himself either. So he invited everyone to call him Blubbo.

Blubbo’s World

“We used to call them pachucos back when Steve and I were coming up. There have been gangs in this part of the city forever. Over here in Shelltown where Steve lived, the big gang was Los Hermanos, and Steve was involved with them. He at least had friends who ran with them. In this neighborhood you got a hard education real fast. You got your ass kicked. You learned how to take a beating.”

Sept 20, 2001 | Read full article

Fallbrook. Outside the barbershop, the street is usually sunny. Cars stop for the light and move past us, windows down, arms resting on doors.

Neighborhood: Small Towns of San Diego

Some of San Diego is undeniably slouching off into the Sad, Great Homogenization, but some of SD’s retro, some of it’s rich, and some is “alternative.” In short, we San Diegans have still got options. And option number one, the angel of my appreciation, the element that bucks convention, San Diego’s last true neighborhood and earthly connection, indeed, the soul of this good place, is Ocean Beach. If SD were the Beatles, then OB’d be George Harrison.

Dec. 24, 2003 | Read full article

Alexander

Santa’s Helpers

We have a Christmas tradition: we all get around the table, say grace, and we do silly things with video cameras. One Christmas, my uncles and aunties brought us outside and we just had a race up the street to see who could run faster. There was a lot of teasing and trash talking like, "Oh, you can't beat me just because I am old or just because I'm a little overweight."

Dec. 23, 2004 | Read full article

City Heights

At Home in San Diego

I don't know about you, but I'm always hard-pressed to say precisely where something is in Mission Beach. "Um, it's on the left side, before the roller coaster, about halfway down." And I never drive there, not if I can help it, not unless I'm ready to crawl in traffic. Anyway, the only way to really see the place, to get the true feel of it, is to walk or skateboard, to Rollerblade or ride your bicycle.

Dec. 30, 2004 | Read full article

Abe Opincar's mother. I pulled off the road. My mother ran from the car. I ran after her.

Mom

I haven't spoken to her in eight years, ever since she threw a scene at Taco Auctioneer in Cardiff. I won't send her a Mother's Day card because I don't have any emotion left for dealing with her. I know it's tough being a mother. I was in the 98th percentile in spatial relationships when I was seven, and I think all that ability has gone into loading the dishwasher. I am a master dishwasher setter.

May 5, 2005 | Read full article

Reader writers' favorite music

I believed that playing piano would transform my life. I practiced after dinner. I played Beethoven's sonatas until the spine of the book broke and the pages were soft at the edges. To make those sounds with my hands would change everything, I thought — did change everything, when I played well enough. In the first line of Opus 49, "Sonata Facile," in the falling down trill of those plaintive notes, lay both solace and escape.

August 11, 2005 | Read full article

First Place Winner, Tad Simons

The Idealization of Jessica Trump

She paused for a moment. I could hear her thinking, and then she said, “My spring break is next week, and I haven’t made any plans. I could catch a flight the day after tomorrow if you want me to.” It was Thursday. She could be here on Saturday. I was stunned by the thought of meeting her in person. We were in love, that was for sure. I couldn’t think. I could barely speak.

By Tad Simons, Dec. 19, 1985 | Read full article

Shots in the Dark

Between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m., Priority One calls — those relating to life-threatening situations or crimes in progress — decline from an early-evening high. Reports of alcohol-related traffic accidents rise, car thefts drop slightly, burglaries taper off. After 2 a.m., the number of rapes reported increases. Priority One calls reach their lowest point. Off-work domestics and restaurant workers sit hugging their shopping bags to their breasts at bus stops, waiting for the last bus of the night.

Thirteen different authors on SD at night. July 5, 1990 | Read full article

Jeannette De Wyze

The Story I Wanted to Write but Didn’t

The Palms Hotel at the comer of 12th and Island Avenues, downtown, is an appropriate venue for a mystery. The tall, boxy Victorian windows peer blankly down on the passing trolleys, hiding secrets buried deep inside like pallid worms in the woodwork. Until this spring, the place was owned by a nameless trust administered by Los Angeles lawyer Robert Ballantyne, a longtime friend and business associate of Robert O. Peterson, Mayor Maureen O’Connor’s husband.

Oct. 5, 1989 | Read full article

Reader writers' favorite books

My father came home with a carton of books, every one of them about horses. Brumby the Wild Stallion by Mary Elwyn Patchett. Star Roan. Lonesome Sorrel. Walter Farley's Black Stallion. Some of Marguerite "Misty of Chincoteague" Henry's books like King of the Wind, a historical novel about the Arabian Thoroughbred,…. Books about Seabiscuit, and Man o'War, and Mustang Annie, a girl who got polio and was in a body cast and then saved the wild mustangs of Nevada.

Dec. 20, 1990 | Read full article

J.K. Amtmann

Writing contest winners

Rasco’s quit business, replaced by a Salvation Army thrift store. The Texaco station finally gave up too — where it stood there’s a Yum-Yum doughnut shop. A U-Totem convenience store was snapped together where there was a Chevron. The Union and the Hancock stations were bulldozed into memories. The last remaining station, Gulf, sold out to some econo outfit that made you pay in advance for the gas. The Humpty Dumpty became a Cotija Taco Shop.

April 4, 1991 | Read full article

Juliette Mondot, second place winner

Writing Contest Winners

If I’d grown up here instead of in Fallbrook, I would have gone from kindergarten through the eighth grade at Vallecitos School, in the center of the valley. For high school, I would have been bused to Fallbrook to spend four years hanging out with the rest of the Rainbow boys by the corner of the library, with my hands in my pockets, laughing, sneering, telling secrets, sneaking smokes, talking about the bikes we were gonna get.

April 11, 1991 | Read full article

"Steven Goes to School" comic

Back to School

I was walking home with a new friend from school. He asked me where I lived. I really didn’t know. Since our walk was short, and since we both seemed to be going in the same direction, he decided that I, as he, lived in Talmadge. When we came to my street, and when my friend saw that I had to pass beneath the significant giraffe, he stopped, said, “I thought you lived in Talmadge.”

Sept. 12, 1991 | Read full article

1992 losses

Loss: All We Left Behind In 1992

Fetherling returned in time to preside over the Times’s corporate retreat from San Diego. When the end came, it was not proud. Times editor Shelby Coffey arrived in the newsroom unheralded. As he confirmed the worst to the staff, someone picked up the phone and began spreading the word. Soon the TV vans were pulling up in front of the building and commencing interviews with the walking dead. Six or so would remain in San Diego.

Dec. 24, 1992 | Read full article

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Great local skiing could be right around the corner

Wild surf can take away sand
Next Article

All Them Witches, Kombucha Workshop, Seltzerland Hard Seltzer Festival

Events January 27-January 29, 2022
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town 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 Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new 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 Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week 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 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