Back When

Excerpts from Reader issues past.

The San Diego animals worth watching for

Dolphins, wild pets, migrating birds, DDT and local pelicans, local sharks, impounded dogs, the difference between man and beasts

How much is that bobcat in the window? “And if these animals are so happy and so tame, then why are they kept in cages?" asks Martha Hall, who runs a wildlife rescue center in ...

Life on the edge in San Diego

Rescue mission, bounty hunters, boat live-aboards, runaways, process servers, knights in Balboa Park

Rescue mission After supper we lined up by bed number and were marched upstairs where we stripped, stepped under a scalding hot shower for a few seconds, and climbed into our nightgowns. I got a ...

How San Diegans spend free time

Motorcycles, girl beauty contests, bingo, painting vans, polo, fox hunting

Heck on wheels Of the large registered bikes, an unspecified number belong to “outlaw" clubs, the local variants of which include the Hell’s Angels, the Mongols, the Axemen, and the semi-outlaw Nuggets. There are also ...

Less lying by politicians 40 years ago?

Pete Wilson, Roger Hedgecock, Maureen O'Connor, Lee Hubbard, Ann Watson, North City West

Thorn in the mayor's side When Hubbard and Wilson squared off in the 1974 mayoral campaign. Hubbard's big donors were land developers. construction engineers, realtors, building material suppliers, and builders: Wilson's contributors were primarily business ...

Maybe not the career you were looking for

Coffin sales, animal stuffing, security guard, used cars, detective, border agent

Sales of a death man “You bet it’s an emotional decision. I wouldn't want to argue that for a minute. But you tell me how much emotion you’re going to feel when you see the ...

You wouldn't have imagined these Reader stories

Tic Tac Dough contestant, concert ticket scam, Hare Krishnas, how pound kills Fido, writing porn, fixing knees

Just grin and hit the buzzer The group of twenty-nine had been narrowed down to eighteen, she said, and she thought the chances of our all getting on were now excellent. We had to do ...

San Diego character studies

John D'Acquisto, George Walker Smith, Joe Breedlove, SD chefs, Mike Stamm, the ultimate freeloader

Let's see that fastball again “I'd be out on the mound during a game and I’d throw a pitch that would make me wince. Someone would come over to ask if everything was all right, ...

San Diego places you thought you knew

Palomar Observatory, Florida Canyon, Pendleton, Port Authority, General Atomics, and San Diego ballet

Cast a cold eye on heaven The concept of building the world's biggest telescope on Palomar Mountain was born when Alfred Einstein sailed into San Diego Bay as part of a world cruise in 1931. ...

The Reader plays your heartstrings

Abortion, Tijuana torture, Windansea's fun hog, criminal sister, Betty Broderick tells all

One woman, one man, no baby 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 ...

Finally the Reader makes you smile

Revenge, men's swimsuit issue, dating age gap, dumpster diving, women think men are hairy women

Revenge We both worked for a now-defunct trucking company that was based in San Diego. He was definitely a strange bird. He talked in CB lingo when he was talking to people in person and ...

Unexpected American influence in Tijuana

Baseball, school, journalism, rehab

Baja's tough-love drug rehab I’ve heard there are Americans down here kicking drugs the tough Mexican way, because the more coddling, more expensive American clinics didn’t work. As soon as you got out, you went ...

To farm in San Diego County

Avocados, marijuana, eggs, bees, ostriches, end of the farm

40 percent of U.S. avocados come from San Diego Alternate bearing is particularly pronounced in the Fuerte variety, and for this reason North County growers are increasingly planting the Hass. The Hass is a relatively ...

The Reader gets snarky

La Jolla's Bohemian rhapsody Isn’t that a little-known Renoir sitting there coyly in a comer all by itself? An unfamiliar one to be sure. but. well, there is the poppy field, and there is the ...

San Diego politics in a less cynical era

Maureen O'Connor, Si Casady, right-left rent control debate, Pueblo land, convention center, district elections

The Cinderella story of Maureen O'Connor Maureen’s twin, Mavoumeen, reacted to the idea dubiously. ‘‘Oh God, Maureen,” she told her sister. ‘‘We don’t know anything about government.” Yet Mavoumeen promised to think about it and ...

What San Diegans do with spare time

Jogging, sculpture, cooking, silverware collecting, electronic bulletin board, and ballet

Father of Fitness It is possible one or two other “lone nuts” might also have been jogging somewhere in the county back then. But he knew of none, and the common wisdom in 1948, he ...

Poignant San Diego stories

Big Bear stick-up, mother-son suicide, ousting of Eros, TJ children working, El Cajon Blvd scuz motels,Poway teen tweaker

Stick-up on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard Fear rolled in and swept away his jumble of thoughts. Derek forced calm upon himself. “He’s not going to hurt us if we cooperate. He only wants the money. He’ll ...

Now they're San Diego institutions

Ace Parking, San Diego Zoo, SDG&E, Padres, YMCA, and head shops

11/22/79 Ace parking 11/15/79 Zoo- Benirshke 11/8/79 SDGE tanks 2.5-81 YMCA* 4/17/80 Padres in Yuma* 9/6/79 head shops* Park there, pay here The management of parking lots has much to do with deterring cheaters. Ace ...

San Diego subcultures

Moonies, Asian refugees, boxing aspirants, craftsmen, Chabad Jews, future ballet dancers

Reverend Moon Wants You The van was ready to leave at exactly eleven o’clock. This time, the load was considerably smaller — just myself, two drivers, several cases of vegetables and other foodstuffs, and a ...

San Diego is better outside

Circus Vargas, Cleveland National Forest. tourmaline mines, Guadalupe Island, long hike with Marines, San Diego's landscape

With the greatest of ease Larry’s worst accident occurred when he hit the net wrong. It was two and a half years ago in East St. Louis. “The platform wasn’t positioned quite right and during ...

Little known San Diego history

The Marstons, movies, the earliest man, American TV from Mexico, North City West, and San Diego's most unusual neighborhood

The Marstons of San Diego In early 1974 he went to the city council and told them that he and his aunt, Mary Marston, would put up $10,000 to cover the cost of having an ...

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader

Close