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The $100,000 gamble in Mission Hills

Editor's picks of Reader stories by David Steinman

Halit Aydin (far left), Yalcin Kocak (second from right), Hussein Erim (far right) - Image by Neil Carstensen
Halit Aydin (far left), Yalcin Kocak (second from right), Hussein Erim (far right)
  • The problem with Turkish rugs on West Lewis Street

  • Yet it is not the artistry of many of Guzel’s rugs that makes this shop unique in San Diego, perhaps in all of western America. Guzel is unique because all its rugs are from Turkey, and few rug stores would dare specialize in Turkish rugs. The business is hazardous , one which depends upon the ability of traditional folk art to survive the onslaught of mass-produced rugs from nations such as China, India, and Pakistan. (May 5, 1983)
At first Kelly said that she felt fine. But Linda couldn’t help noticing how nervously Kelly would laugh as she told about the day she went in for the abortion, and that her left eye seemed to have developed a tic.
  • The same day Kelly had rented us a home in Cardiff, she found out she was pregnant

  • I was in Los Angeles when Kelly called. My decision was made: I wanted the abortion. However, I wouldn’t tell her what to do, not because I’m benevolent, but rather I was certain that without my saying anything, she would quickly opt for the abortion. I assumed a liberal attitude and asked, “What do you want to do?” (November 18, 1982)
The handlebars of Susan's bike became entangled between the trailer ties.
  • A slow dirge for Steve and Susan

  • Richardson, who was thirty-seven at the time, sold her downtown cosmetology shop and laid out the plans for a trip south. She intended to live in Yelapa, a tiny, isolated fishing village in the state of Jalisco, sixteen miles by boat south of Puerto Vallarta on the west coast of Mexico. She would go south on Highway 1 to Cabo San Lucas, ride the ferry to Puerto Vallarta, then board a twenty-foot panga... (May 8, 1986)
Preparing injection. Jocoy: "Why should you deny the thoroughbred what you wouldn’t deny yourselves?"
  • Del Mar's horse vet Jack Jocoy has seen it all

  • During Del Mar’s 1982 summer season, he cares for about 400 of the 2300 horses on the backside. But injecting a horse with butazolidin or dexamethasone is easily done and any of the eight veterinarians on the Del Mar backside can do a competent job of that. What makes Jocoy the dean of Southern California’s thoroughbred doctors is that he has an uncanny ability to diagnose the horse’s most common ailment — lameness. (September 9, 1982)
"Some blasters lift rock a hundred feet, and that’s when a blast is uncontrollable.”
  • San Diego's explosives man

  • “I’ve done Highway 94 when boulders roll out on the road and tie up traffic. I’m the one who blows them up so they can be pushed off the highway. Those jobs are great. Everybody wants the road clear, everybody is on your side. I’ve done the aqueduct by Fallbrook. I helped blast the dam for Lake Poway. By my home in El Cajon I blasted pads for the Fieldstone development on Rattlesnake Mountain. (November 10, 1983)
Many of the levers and flanges were worn so that the hammers didn’t hit the strings squarely.
  • Scott Thile, San Diego's master piano tuner

  • "I really love music with a passion. But I didn’t enjoy the performances. I wasn’t a very serious musician. I didn’t want to be famous. I had the insight that I didn’t want to make my career in performance. I had done some piano tuning, and I found that I enjoyed working on pianos more than playing.” (July 21, 1983)
Tim Joe Key. His first day in San Diego he walked along the San Diego River jetty. Four boys pelted him with rocks.
  • Tim Joe Key – San Diego's version of a Tarahumara runner

  • This was 1960 and T.J., as Key was called by his friends, was sixteen years old. He went to Clairemont High School, but only when he felt like it. This day he hadn’t gone. And this night he played pool with the Blue Jackets in a room at the Clairemont Bowl on Clairemont Drive, just east of Mission Bay. It was their territory; they were all from Clairemont Mesa — not Linda Vista. (October 21, 1982)

David Steinman wrote for the Reader from 1982 through 1986.

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Halit Aydin (far left), Yalcin Kocak (second from right), Hussein Erim (far right) - Image by Neil Carstensen
Halit Aydin (far left), Yalcin Kocak (second from right), Hussein Erim (far right)
  • The problem with Turkish rugs on West Lewis Street

  • Yet it is not the artistry of many of Guzel’s rugs that makes this shop unique in San Diego, perhaps in all of western America. Guzel is unique because all its rugs are from Turkey, and few rug stores would dare specialize in Turkish rugs. The business is hazardous , one which depends upon the ability of traditional folk art to survive the onslaught of mass-produced rugs from nations such as China, India, and Pakistan. (May 5, 1983)
At first Kelly said that she felt fine. But Linda couldn’t help noticing how nervously Kelly would laugh as she told about the day she went in for the abortion, and that her left eye seemed to have developed a tic.
  • The same day Kelly had rented us a home in Cardiff, she found out she was pregnant

  • I was in Los Angeles when Kelly called. My decision was made: I wanted the abortion. However, I wouldn’t tell her what to do, not because I’m benevolent, but rather I was certain that without my saying anything, she would quickly opt for the abortion. I assumed a liberal attitude and asked, “What do you want to do?” (November 18, 1982)
The handlebars of Susan's bike became entangled between the trailer ties.
  • A slow dirge for Steve and Susan

  • Richardson, who was thirty-seven at the time, sold her downtown cosmetology shop and laid out the plans for a trip south. She intended to live in Yelapa, a tiny, isolated fishing village in the state of Jalisco, sixteen miles by boat south of Puerto Vallarta on the west coast of Mexico. She would go south on Highway 1 to Cabo San Lucas, ride the ferry to Puerto Vallarta, then board a twenty-foot panga... (May 8, 1986)
Preparing injection. Jocoy: "Why should you deny the thoroughbred what you wouldn’t deny yourselves?"
  • Del Mar's horse vet Jack Jocoy has seen it all

  • During Del Mar’s 1982 summer season, he cares for about 400 of the 2300 horses on the backside. But injecting a horse with butazolidin or dexamethasone is easily done and any of the eight veterinarians on the Del Mar backside can do a competent job of that. What makes Jocoy the dean of Southern California’s thoroughbred doctors is that he has an uncanny ability to diagnose the horse’s most common ailment — lameness. (September 9, 1982)
"Some blasters lift rock a hundred feet, and that’s when a blast is uncontrollable.”
  • San Diego's explosives man

  • “I’ve done Highway 94 when boulders roll out on the road and tie up traffic. I’m the one who blows them up so they can be pushed off the highway. Those jobs are great. Everybody wants the road clear, everybody is on your side. I’ve done the aqueduct by Fallbrook. I helped blast the dam for Lake Poway. By my home in El Cajon I blasted pads for the Fieldstone development on Rattlesnake Mountain. (November 10, 1983)
Many of the levers and flanges were worn so that the hammers didn’t hit the strings squarely.
  • Scott Thile, San Diego's master piano tuner

  • "I really love music with a passion. But I didn’t enjoy the performances. I wasn’t a very serious musician. I didn’t want to be famous. I had the insight that I didn’t want to make my career in performance. I had done some piano tuning, and I found that I enjoyed working on pianos more than playing.” (July 21, 1983)
Tim Joe Key. His first day in San Diego he walked along the San Diego River jetty. Four boys pelted him with rocks.
  • Tim Joe Key – San Diego's version of a Tarahumara runner

  • This was 1960 and T.J., as Key was called by his friends, was sixteen years old. He went to Clairemont High School, but only when he felt like it. This day he hadn’t gone. And this night he played pool with the Blue Jackets in a room at the Clairemont Bowl on Clairemont Drive, just east of Mission Bay. It was their territory; they were all from Clairemont Mesa — not Linda Vista. (October 21, 1982)

David Steinman wrote for the Reader from 1982 through 1986.

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