With the Rolling Stones 500 miles north of El Cajon
Editor's picks of stories Roger Anderson wrote for the Reader:
Security trying to manage the crowd at Altamont Speedway. “I can’t do any more than ask you to keep it together.” Mick again, sounding the conciliatory note. “If we’re all one, let’s show we’re all one!”
- "We’re getting word that the free Rolling Stones concert planned for San Francisco is on,” the radio DJ said after spinning some platter. “The site is the Altamont Speedway some distance outside of the city, near a place called Livermore, and the time is tomorrow — December 6, 1969, a day that may possibly live in infamy. (Dec. 14, 1989)
There were two packets of letters, one from 1936, the other from 1938 — letters written by Arthur and Muriel from the family home in Point Loma.
- Soon after his birth, the family moved to Southern California and bought a house on Point Loma. Arthur retired from civil engineering at the age of 35 to live off proceeds from his family’s holdings and gave the rest of his life over to love of the sea and sailing. When the Depression came along, it wiped out much of his substance. (May 25, 1989)
Sooze: "I was working at a tavern in Boulevard, and I said to one of the other waitresses, ‘Why are all these people constantly going outside and then coming back in?’ She said, Just how dumb are you, anyway? They’re going out to have a little hit of speed, that’s all.'"
- Today, 30 years after Interstate 8 sluiced off most of the traffic, some remnants of that old Highway 80 remain in San Diego County. From Park Boulevard, you can drive El Cajon Boulevard into La Mesa, make a short detour on the freeway, rejoin the boulevard in El Cajon, continue on as it changes to Main Street, and follow Main Street east till it becomes the road now known as Old Highway 80. (Feb. 22, 1990)
"Father Yubach, who was a friend of Mrs. Jackson’s and was with her during her visit to the area, said he seemed to remember marrying a woman by that name in Conde Street.”
- Generations of young American women wept copious tears at Ramona’s sad plight; three movie treatments (including a silent by D.W. Griffith and a sound version starring Loretta Young and Ramon Navarro) were made; at one point there was talk of a full-scale opera; and the book was required reading in California schools until well into the Fifties. (Sept. 29, 1988)
Glory played covers not of Top 40 hits but of songs that no one had ever heard of - obscure Yardbirds sides like “Think About It” and “I Wish You Would,” obscure Animals cuts like “A Girl Named Sandoz.”
- Jerry Raney: "I went off and started a band in 1966 called the Jesters that played a lot of places like the Hi Ho Club out here on Fletcher Parkway. It used to be the Roaring Twenties nightclub, then it was the Hi Ho Club, now it’s a bunch of theaters. That band turned into Thee Dark Ages, and Thee Dark Ages became the house band at the Hi Ho Club. Lester Bangs used to come and sit in on harmonica." (March 6, 1989)
Flying A film crew in La Mesa, c. 1911. During the company’s East County stint (1911-1912), Flying A ground out hundreds of westerns, comedies, and documentaries at the rate of two a week.
La Mesa Historical Society
- I’m at the La Mesa Historical Society. They’re preparing to show me a rare print of a one-reel silent film made in Lakeside in 1911. The film, entitled Three Million Dollars, was directed by Alan Dwan, who had a very long and illustrious career as a film director. He made such well-known talkies as Heidi, starring Shirley Temple, and The Iron Mask, which starred Douglas Fairbanks. (Sept. 7, 1989)
Roger Anderson grew up in El Cajon, was part of early San Diego rock scene, wrote for alternative weeklies, and served as art director for the Washington Post. He died in January, 2003 in Baltimore, Maryland at the age of 53.