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

The Padres pitcher like no other

Neal Matthews' favorite stories he wrote for the Reader

Eric Show: “Almost everything going on in this country, and in baseball, I don’t agree with. But I’ve tried so hard to conform. I just don’t do what the rest of them do."
Eric Show: “Almost everything going on in this country, and in baseball, I don’t agree with. But I’ve tried so hard to conform. I just don’t do what the rest of them do."
  • Eric Show, thinker with a sinker

  • “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.... Almost everything going on in this country, and in baseball, I don’t agree with. But I’ve tried so hard to conform. I want to be part of a winning team."(Aug. 10, 1989)
  • I Ran Drugs for Uncle Sam

  • Plumlee worked as a plumber for the Erling Rohde Plumbing Company in La Jolla. Owner Mike Clancy made a deal with Plumlee when he hired him in 1985: “’As long as you finish the job you’re on, you can come and go.’ Sometimes, all of a sudden he wouldn’t show up, and the next day I’d get a call from Costa Rica. It’s Bob, saying, ‘Hey Mike, I gotta be down here for a few days…’ ” (Apr. 5, 1990)
Hannibal, 1977. He started sympathizing with drug dealers and heroin addicts.
  • Bob Hannibal was one of the good guys. Or so he thought

  • Hannibal and his vice squad cohorts hatched a plan to snare Compton in his own game. They decided to set up a phony outcall agency called Surfer Girls East and bait Compton into handling their supposed credit card business.... In the meantime, the cops started running ads for Surfer Girls East in the daily newspapers, alongside the "legitimate” outcall services. (Sept. 22, 1988)
Using the underground press as a gauge, the social ferment of the 1960s came late to San Diego.
  • Notes from Underground

  • San Diego's Free Press (later renamed the Street Journal) was defunct by the end of 1970; the San Diego Door came and went with the Nixon Presidency, 1968 to August 1974.The O.B. Rag fell silent in September 1975, after reporting the pullout of all U.S. forces from Vietnam. (Nov. 25, 1992)
  • The Final Days of Dewey Taylor

  • Dewey Taylor’s is not the typical Agent Orange story. His heart condition has never been listed as a common complaint among veterans who believe they’re victims of Agent Orange. And so far as his widow and his ex-wife and his brother and his best friend and his parents know, Dewey Taylor has never mentioned the words Agent Orange. (Apr. 16, 1981)
Jack Prodanovich, c. 1943. His underwater Brownie is on exhibit at Scripps Aquarium (along with his first face plate).
  • When Men Went Underwater

  • The three young men were venturing past the foaming combers of the Sunset Cliffs in 1932 in search of abalone, fish, and lobster. They wore vested swimsuits, swimmers’ goggles, and carried ten-foot poles topped by five-pronged spears. They took to attaching the horn shark's horn, a tooth-like appendage jutting in front of the dorsal fin, to the key pocket of their swimsuits. (March 30, 1978)
Chuck Millenbah and Mike Curren. In 1958 an apartment house was built on the empty lot above the beach at Redondo Court, and in Mike’s words, “broke up the gang.” No tournaments were held that year.
  • OMBAC: for big kids only

  • Things were a lot different down at Old Mission Beach in the late 1940s and early 1950s. (Old Mission Beach was that area roughly two or three streets either side of Redondo Court.) There were fewer people around then, so the group of anywhere from twenty to 200 kids who hung out on the beach at the foot of Redondo Court, which is near Saska’s restaurant, were pretty conspicuous. (Nov. 1, 1979)
Spotted Bay Bass, Paralabrax maculatofasciatus, March 3, 2016, Glorietta Bay, snoozing belly-up beneath the green buoy
  • The little things in the ocean were most captivating

  • Swimming in San Diego Bay is a pathway to constant renewal. I always check under the buoys to track the growth of tunicates — sea squirts, sponges, and sea lettuce — through the seasons. In early summer off Stingray Point in Glorietta Bay, the marine growth is so thick it obscures the bottom of the yellow buoy. So one morning, I was surprised to see a bay blenny living belly-up and patrolling a sizeable clearing. (March 6, 2019)
Stingray Point, an isolated crescent beach that gives way to teeming eel grass and oyster beds off the golf course’s 17th fairway. Generations of Coronado high school kids have snuck over to it after dark to booze and carouse.
  • Seahorse Dreams

  • I rolled onto on my back and spit out the snorkel, finally breathing deep and slow. I couldn’t stifle the high-pitched whoop of a monster in a seahorse’s dream, already second-guessing whether I should have touched her. The phantom pleasure of her ribbed strength still warmed my palm. (Dec. 21, 2016)
Smith with Mrs. and Mr. John Bates, harbormaster. I got ahold of Johnny Bates, the harbormaster, and we told him what we wanted to do. So they went ahead and dredged and filled in the sandbar to the land. It made a little peninsula sticking out — Shelter Island.
  • C. Arnholt Smith, in his own words (parts 1 and 2)

  • After I got into the Bank of Italy, Johnny Alessio was still shining shoes and doing everything he could to make money. I was handling the banking relationships between the Banco Nacional in Tijuana and the Bank of Italy, and I knew the Banco Nacional was looking for someone who could speak Spanish and English. So I told Johnny to go on down there and apply. (March 19 and 26, 1992)
Cunningham. I asked him the same question that had stunned him that night on the Constellation. His face drained, and he sat back down, elbows on his knees. "The first kill I had was against the MiG-21, and I could see the guy in the airplane when I went over him, as he died."
  • Duke Cunningham's dogfight with MiGs over North Vietnam

  • "The first kill I had was against the MiG-21, and I could see the guy in the airplane when I went over him, as he died. I could see him almost thrashing around in the cockpit. The explosion had severed his tail, and the rest of the plane tumbled end over end. He couldn't punch out. Now that – if I close my eyes, mentally I can still see that. And I dream about it once in a while." (March 29, 1984)
Palestina, apprehended in Los Angeles, being returned to Mexico.
  • Caliente Racetrack owner Jorge Hank Rhon discusses the murder of "El Gato"

  • "El Gato was such a corrupt son of a bitch, he could have been killed by anyone," remarks a chilango who knew Hank when they both attended a private school in Mexico City. "Zeta sells a lot more papers by claiming El Gato was martyred. But if people learned he was a declared homosexual and his ways of exacting things from people were very dirty, his martyrdom would evaporate." (May 10, 1990)

How Matthews came to write for the Reader:

Sponsored
Sponsored

In the spring of 1978, San Diego’s gaslit journalistic parlors were electrified by the arrival of the Los Angeles Times, San Diego edition. The San Diego Union, long considered one of the worst newspapers in America, finally awoke to the imperative to improve. Among its first actions was to hire Paul Krueger from the Reader, probably the first journalist from the alternative press to crossover into the mainstream.

How could the Reader, circulation 30,000, hope to fill the giant footsteps of Krueger, one of the best journalists San Diego has ever seen (in the winter of 2019 he’s still a producer at NBC7)? He edited, wrote City Lights, an occasional feature story, and the extremely popular Press Passes column, punching above his weight on all matters related to the local journalism scene.

I was a third-year journalism student at SDSU, taking a magazine writing class. Our assignment was to get stories published, so I sent one to the Reader about buying booze below the border, and then another about the history of the Bottom Scratchers diving club. The Reader’s new editor, Jim Mullin, printed them both. Then he and publisher Jim Holman, along with Krueger, called me into the Reader's old offices at 635 State Street on a Saturday — and offered me Krueger’s old job. Just two or three City Lights a week, a cover story once a month, an inside feature every six weeks, plus the weekly Press Passes column. "No pressure,” Krueger said, and I thought he meant it.

No pressure! A week later I was looking to strangle Krueger.

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

Fight over barbed wire at Kendall Frost Reserve

View of Mission Bay vs. protection against homeless camps and predators
Next Article

Fight over barbed wire at Kendall Frost Reserve

View of Mission Bay vs. protection against homeless camps and predators
Eric Show: “Almost everything going on in this country, and in baseball, I don’t agree with. But I’ve tried so hard to conform. I just don’t do what the rest of them do."
Eric Show: “Almost everything going on in this country, and in baseball, I don’t agree with. But I’ve tried so hard to conform. I just don’t do what the rest of them do."
  • Eric Show, thinker with a sinker

  • “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.... Almost everything going on in this country, and in baseball, I don’t agree with. But I’ve tried so hard to conform. I want to be part of a winning team."(Aug. 10, 1989)
  • I Ran Drugs for Uncle Sam

  • Plumlee worked as a plumber for the Erling Rohde Plumbing Company in La Jolla. Owner Mike Clancy made a deal with Plumlee when he hired him in 1985: “’As long as you finish the job you’re on, you can come and go.’ Sometimes, all of a sudden he wouldn’t show up, and the next day I’d get a call from Costa Rica. It’s Bob, saying, ‘Hey Mike, I gotta be down here for a few days…’ ” (Apr. 5, 1990)
Hannibal, 1977. He started sympathizing with drug dealers and heroin addicts.
  • Bob Hannibal was one of the good guys. Or so he thought

  • Hannibal and his vice squad cohorts hatched a plan to snare Compton in his own game. They decided to set up a phony outcall agency called Surfer Girls East and bait Compton into handling their supposed credit card business.... In the meantime, the cops started running ads for Surfer Girls East in the daily newspapers, alongside the "legitimate” outcall services. (Sept. 22, 1988)
Using the underground press as a gauge, the social ferment of the 1960s came late to San Diego.
  • Notes from Underground

  • San Diego's Free Press (later renamed the Street Journal) was defunct by the end of 1970; the San Diego Door came and went with the Nixon Presidency, 1968 to August 1974.The O.B. Rag fell silent in September 1975, after reporting the pullout of all U.S. forces from Vietnam. (Nov. 25, 1992)
  • The Final Days of Dewey Taylor

  • Dewey Taylor’s is not the typical Agent Orange story. His heart condition has never been listed as a common complaint among veterans who believe they’re victims of Agent Orange. And so far as his widow and his ex-wife and his brother and his best friend and his parents know, Dewey Taylor has never mentioned the words Agent Orange. (Apr. 16, 1981)
Jack Prodanovich, c. 1943. His underwater Brownie is on exhibit at Scripps Aquarium (along with his first face plate).
  • When Men Went Underwater

  • The three young men were venturing past the foaming combers of the Sunset Cliffs in 1932 in search of abalone, fish, and lobster. They wore vested swimsuits, swimmers’ goggles, and carried ten-foot poles topped by five-pronged spears. They took to attaching the horn shark's horn, a tooth-like appendage jutting in front of the dorsal fin, to the key pocket of their swimsuits. (March 30, 1978)
Chuck Millenbah and Mike Curren. In 1958 an apartment house was built on the empty lot above the beach at Redondo Court, and in Mike’s words, “broke up the gang.” No tournaments were held that year.
  • OMBAC: for big kids only

  • Things were a lot different down at Old Mission Beach in the late 1940s and early 1950s. (Old Mission Beach was that area roughly two or three streets either side of Redondo Court.) There were fewer people around then, so the group of anywhere from twenty to 200 kids who hung out on the beach at the foot of Redondo Court, which is near Saska’s restaurant, were pretty conspicuous. (Nov. 1, 1979)
Spotted Bay Bass, Paralabrax maculatofasciatus, March 3, 2016, Glorietta Bay, snoozing belly-up beneath the green buoy
  • The little things in the ocean were most captivating

  • Swimming in San Diego Bay is a pathway to constant renewal. I always check under the buoys to track the growth of tunicates — sea squirts, sponges, and sea lettuce — through the seasons. In early summer off Stingray Point in Glorietta Bay, the marine growth is so thick it obscures the bottom of the yellow buoy. So one morning, I was surprised to see a bay blenny living belly-up and patrolling a sizeable clearing. (March 6, 2019)
Stingray Point, an isolated crescent beach that gives way to teeming eel grass and oyster beds off the golf course’s 17th fairway. Generations of Coronado high school kids have snuck over to it after dark to booze and carouse.
  • Seahorse Dreams

  • I rolled onto on my back and spit out the snorkel, finally breathing deep and slow. I couldn’t stifle the high-pitched whoop of a monster in a seahorse’s dream, already second-guessing whether I should have touched her. The phantom pleasure of her ribbed strength still warmed my palm. (Dec. 21, 2016)
Smith with Mrs. and Mr. John Bates, harbormaster. I got ahold of Johnny Bates, the harbormaster, and we told him what we wanted to do. So they went ahead and dredged and filled in the sandbar to the land. It made a little peninsula sticking out — Shelter Island.
  • C. Arnholt Smith, in his own words (parts 1 and 2)

  • After I got into the Bank of Italy, Johnny Alessio was still shining shoes and doing everything he could to make money. I was handling the banking relationships between the Banco Nacional in Tijuana and the Bank of Italy, and I knew the Banco Nacional was looking for someone who could speak Spanish and English. So I told Johnny to go on down there and apply. (March 19 and 26, 1992)
Cunningham. I asked him the same question that had stunned him that night on the Constellation. His face drained, and he sat back down, elbows on his knees. "The first kill I had was against the MiG-21, and I could see the guy in the airplane when I went over him, as he died."
  • Duke Cunningham's dogfight with MiGs over North Vietnam

  • "The first kill I had was against the MiG-21, and I could see the guy in the airplane when I went over him, as he died. I could see him almost thrashing around in the cockpit. The explosion had severed his tail, and the rest of the plane tumbled end over end. He couldn't punch out. Now that – if I close my eyes, mentally I can still see that. And I dream about it once in a while." (March 29, 1984)
Palestina, apprehended in Los Angeles, being returned to Mexico.
  • Caliente Racetrack owner Jorge Hank Rhon discusses the murder of "El Gato"

  • "El Gato was such a corrupt son of a bitch, he could have been killed by anyone," remarks a chilango who knew Hank when they both attended a private school in Mexico City. "Zeta sells a lot more papers by claiming El Gato was martyred. But if people learned he was a declared homosexual and his ways of exacting things from people were very dirty, his martyrdom would evaporate." (May 10, 1990)

How Matthews came to write for the Reader:

Sponsored
Sponsored

In the spring of 1978, San Diego’s gaslit journalistic parlors were electrified by the arrival of the Los Angeles Times, San Diego edition. The San Diego Union, long considered one of the worst newspapers in America, finally awoke to the imperative to improve. Among its first actions was to hire Paul Krueger from the Reader, probably the first journalist from the alternative press to crossover into the mainstream.

How could the Reader, circulation 30,000, hope to fill the giant footsteps of Krueger, one of the best journalists San Diego has ever seen (in the winter of 2019 he’s still a producer at NBC7)? He edited, wrote City Lights, an occasional feature story, and the extremely popular Press Passes column, punching above his weight on all matters related to the local journalism scene.

I was a third-year journalism student at SDSU, taking a magazine writing class. Our assignment was to get stories published, so I sent one to the Reader about buying booze below the border, and then another about the history of the Bottom Scratchers diving club. The Reader’s new editor, Jim Mullin, printed them both. Then he and publisher Jim Holman, along with Krueger, called me into the Reader's old offices at 635 State Street on a Saturday — and offered me Krueger’s old job. Just two or three City Lights a week, a cover story once a month, an inside feature every six weeks, plus the weekly Press Passes column. "No pressure,” Krueger said, and I thought he meant it.

No pressure! A week later I was looking to strangle Krueger.

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

Thuy, Winter Wonderland Fashion Show & Luncheon, On The Trail of Der Blaue Reiter

Events December 1-December 2, 2022
Next Article

L.A. angst over newspaper loss not mirrored in San Diego

Jen Campbell sucks up GOP money
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 The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it 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