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San Diego corporate giants: PSA, Sheraton Hotels, Jack-in-the-Box

Hotel Del, Oakwood Apartments, Frost Hardwood Lumber, Cabrillo and other B-movie houses

"You’ll always sell French fries. Because these are staple products. It’s like rice in China.” - Image by Tuko Fujisaki
"You’ll always sell French fries. Because these are staple products. It’s like rice in China.”

Thought for Food

Bob Peterson (husband to Mayor Maureen O’Connor) opened his first Jack-in-the-Box restaurant at 63rd Street and El Cajon Boulevard in 1951. Peterson had expanded his chain to include 350 units by the time he sold his interest to Ralston-Purina in 1968. The corporate food giant continued to open new units at a furious pace throughout the 1970s, boasting some 1040 restaurants by the end of that decade. But by 1979, McDonald’s counted an awesome 5747 units.

By Jeannette De Wyze, Aug. 4, 1988 | Read full article

A forest on Market Street

The Smell of the Hardwood, the Feel of the Grain

All day, working men walk in to buy wood. They have sawdust on their boots and wear tape measures on their belts next to folding knives in little snap-down holsters. They create things that last and have an old-fashioned beauty.

Mansfield particularly likes the “old salts,” guys who have been around so long they can tell the moisture content of wood by feeling it with their cheeks. “Yep, ’bout eighteen percent. Thought you said this wood was dry.”

By Rick Geist, Nov. 17, 1988 | Read full article

Cabrillo theater, 1938. We had a print of Alien on its first week of release that packed the Cabrillo for 14 days straight.

Last of the All-Nighters

In summer ‘81, the Aztec was screening this dumb chop socky flick called Kung Fu of Eight Drunkards, about martial artists who develop a method of kicking ass under the influence. Wolfman was there as were five karate students, straight from class and still wearing their uniforms with dark-colored achievement belts. Wolfy got into a fight with the karate guys. I was behind the snack bar. I heard shouting and swearing and ran into the auditorium.

By Jay Allen Sanford, Dec. 4 2003 | Read full article

I watched people play tennis from several angles: from the balcony upstairs, a high window, a restaurant, and I watched them as we walked by.

Reservations

But for all its civilizedness — this thing of history — I guess what was missing was a real sense of tradition, of classic history. You know, like when you see these names — Barbizon Hotel, the Ritz, the Plaza — you think of these places and no matter how in or out of current fashion they may be, they still have a sense of tradition that is deeply imbedded, it’s deeper than the contemporary people running them.

By Borneo Jimmy, Applejack Meltzer, Nita Hapsacker, Lar Tusb, May 13, 1993 | Read full article

Welcome to the Oakwood Gardens apartment complex where, after midnight, the action switches to the Jacuzzis.

The Good Life at Oakwood

“Oakwood used to be a wonderful place, but now there's a pervasive undercurrent of tension of fear all the time. Frankly, condo conversion is the only topic of conversation at the brunches, the barbeques, and at the pool. Sometimes I think I’d rather live in a place where people just live day to day and don’t talk condo,” he says. “When my wife first learned about the conversion threat, she wanted to move out immediately.”

By Sue Garson, June 18, 1981 | Read full article

Lockheed L-1011 Tri-Star, c. 1974. The airline could not accept more of the unprofitable jets. In fact, it could no longer afford to fly the two it already had.

Tales of an Airline

In San Diego, Jim Smith, the ramper, was on the runway. It was his job, along with others, to restock Flight 182 with supplies and to fuel it. Minutes after nine, on that sweltering morning, Smith raised his eyes to the landing approach and saw a brilliant flash in the air. “Then word came down almost immediately. It was one of ours.”

The total dead was 144; it was the nation’s worst air disaster up to that time.

By Mark Orwoll, Oct. 30, 1980 | Read full article

Mr. Rothenberg: Photo of Jeph Garside, the night manager. I promised him I would send him a copy so please save this for when I return to NY. Thank you. --Borokowski

The Sheraton Letters

"The Inter-Continental, how much do they charge for a room? One hundred twenty dollars? So it cost them $120,000 a room to build the hotel. They have to get $120 a night to break even. Break even. Now, they can't really make it at $120, it’s really more like $130, because they've got financing charges, a management contract. Doug Manchester, the hotel’s developer, picks up half of the parking revenue….”

By Gordon Smith, May 24, 1984 | Read full article

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"You’ll always sell French fries. Because these are staple products. It’s like rice in China.” - Image by Tuko Fujisaki
"You’ll always sell French fries. Because these are staple products. It’s like rice in China.”

Thought for Food

Bob Peterson (husband to Mayor Maureen O’Connor) opened his first Jack-in-the-Box restaurant at 63rd Street and El Cajon Boulevard in 1951. Peterson had expanded his chain to include 350 units by the time he sold his interest to Ralston-Purina in 1968. The corporate food giant continued to open new units at a furious pace throughout the 1970s, boasting some 1040 restaurants by the end of that decade. But by 1979, McDonald’s counted an awesome 5747 units.

By Jeannette De Wyze, Aug. 4, 1988 | Read full article

A forest on Market Street

The Smell of the Hardwood, the Feel of the Grain

All day, working men walk in to buy wood. They have sawdust on their boots and wear tape measures on their belts next to folding knives in little snap-down holsters. They create things that last and have an old-fashioned beauty.

Mansfield particularly likes the “old salts,” guys who have been around so long they can tell the moisture content of wood by feeling it with their cheeks. “Yep, ’bout eighteen percent. Thought you said this wood was dry.”

By Rick Geist, Nov. 17, 1988 | Read full article

Cabrillo theater, 1938. We had a print of Alien on its first week of release that packed the Cabrillo for 14 days straight.

Last of the All-Nighters

In summer ‘81, the Aztec was screening this dumb chop socky flick called Kung Fu of Eight Drunkards, about martial artists who develop a method of kicking ass under the influence. Wolfman was there as were five karate students, straight from class and still wearing their uniforms with dark-colored achievement belts. Wolfy got into a fight with the karate guys. I was behind the snack bar. I heard shouting and swearing and ran into the auditorium.

By Jay Allen Sanford, Dec. 4 2003 | Read full article

I watched people play tennis from several angles: from the balcony upstairs, a high window, a restaurant, and I watched them as we walked by.

Reservations

But for all its civilizedness — this thing of history — I guess what was missing was a real sense of tradition, of classic history. You know, like when you see these names — Barbizon Hotel, the Ritz, the Plaza — you think of these places and no matter how in or out of current fashion they may be, they still have a sense of tradition that is deeply imbedded, it’s deeper than the contemporary people running them.

By Borneo Jimmy, Applejack Meltzer, Nita Hapsacker, Lar Tusb, May 13, 1993 | Read full article

Welcome to the Oakwood Gardens apartment complex where, after midnight, the action switches to the Jacuzzis.

The Good Life at Oakwood

“Oakwood used to be a wonderful place, but now there's a pervasive undercurrent of tension of fear all the time. Frankly, condo conversion is the only topic of conversation at the brunches, the barbeques, and at the pool. Sometimes I think I’d rather live in a place where people just live day to day and don’t talk condo,” he says. “When my wife first learned about the conversion threat, she wanted to move out immediately.”

By Sue Garson, June 18, 1981 | Read full article

Lockheed L-1011 Tri-Star, c. 1974. The airline could not accept more of the unprofitable jets. In fact, it could no longer afford to fly the two it already had.

Tales of an Airline

In San Diego, Jim Smith, the ramper, was on the runway. It was his job, along with others, to restock Flight 182 with supplies and to fuel it. Minutes after nine, on that sweltering morning, Smith raised his eyes to the landing approach and saw a brilliant flash in the air. “Then word came down almost immediately. It was one of ours.”

The total dead was 144; it was the nation’s worst air disaster up to that time.

By Mark Orwoll, Oct. 30, 1980 | Read full article

Mr. Rothenberg: Photo of Jeph Garside, the night manager. I promised him I would send him a copy so please save this for when I return to NY. Thank you. --Borokowski

The Sheraton Letters

"The Inter-Continental, how much do they charge for a room? One hundred twenty dollars? So it cost them $120,000 a room to build the hotel. They have to get $120 a night to break even. Break even. Now, they can't really make it at $120, it’s really more like $130, because they've got financing charges, a management contract. Doug Manchester, the hotel’s developer, picks up half of the parking revenue….”

By Gordon Smith, May 24, 1984 | Read full article

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