Back When

Excerpts from Reader issues past.

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 ...

San Diego characters 38 years ago

Raoul Marquis, Larry Remer, Ted Leitner, Ted Kastrubala, Highlander man, the man who started greyhound racing

Raoul Marquis – mayor of India Street Marquis was into the “penicillin culture’’ of theater, in which theater thrives on itself and expands; the more it is produced, the more it will be produced. And ...

San Diego institutions 38 years ago

NASSCO, San Diego Transit, Mira Mesa, smog, UCSD, National University

From one accident at NASSCO to another Nooner was standing in the stairwell. Nooner’s partner stood below him on the ladderlike stairs, ready to hand up any necessary tools. Unknown to the two men intent ...

Take a deep breath

San Diego's saddest stories, part II

The blood upon his hands In May of 1979, while he was a teaching assistant at UCSD’s drama department, he won the role of Agamemnon in Orestes! Orestes!, an adaptation of the ancient Greek tragedy. ...

What were Reader editors thinking?

Funny San Diego, part II

Men's summer swimsuit issue "I feel really good in a swimsuit. I could look better. I used to look a little better, more in shape. But then, you know, kids, job, the passage of time. ...

Read and weep

San Diego's saddest stories

A bump on the head could kill Chris O'Rourke One in three persons survives Hodgkin's disease, but O'Rourke's chances appear not to be that good, because his case was discovered in its advanced stages. he's ...

Were Reader editors crazy?

Funny San Diego

The unbearable rightness of being Roger Hedgecock I could try it on as a character study, say; a little third-person warmup, workout; a final stretching exercise before switching (forever) to fiction. The heart of darkness ...

Well, it's a job

Flower growers, waste managers, controlled burners, comic, old-time waitress, guy who likes bugs

Soil, water, light, and money “If you grow chrysanthemums in your garden, they’ll always bloom in the fall,” he explains. “Here we artificially manipulate them to make them bloom according to our schedule. Our biggest ...

Off the beaten path

Early online chatters, UFO seers, TJ AIDS activists, Makeda Cheatom, women bodybuilders, homeschoolers

Members of the Keyboard Nash and I and some 3000 other people subscribe ($8 per month, $3 per hour) to The WELL, a four-year-old computer conferencing system. Such a system permits an individual to sit ...

On San Diego's mind in early 80s

Airport re-location, Lake Murray drying up, Tijuana factories, newspaper reporters becoming flaks

There's trouble down the runway “For the runways alone you need a hunk of flat ground two miles long and half a mile wide. It should have enough acreage to accommodate terminal and parking, and ...

Unique San Diego people

Lefty Adler, Jerry Herrera, Jack Orr, two Russian emigres, the king of Moonlight Beach

You are looking at a free man “The sea boundary of the Soviet Union in the Far East was known to me. I knew that . . . Japan is far, and North Korea extradites ...

So Eighties

Long arm of the FBI, plastic surgery, behind scenes at San Diego Rep, San Ysidro as step-child, UCSD artists against art, bizarre churches of San Diego

The long arm of ABSCAM reaches San Diego At 5:15 the morning after his return to San Diego, the phone rang in Gulve’s home. At the other end of the line the emir’s familiar voice ...

Personal stories from 30 years ago

Staying the night at rescue mission, jumping from S.D. tall buildings, crazy friend, marrying for joke, Zen Buddhists, suddenly rich

Gimme shelter: all this for a cot and a meal Someone wrapped a newspaper around one ceiling light fixture to dim the glare. I took a top bunk. Removed my hat and sneakers, otherwise stretched ...

San Diego disparate but interesting characters

Gary Puckett, Willie Morrow, Father Luis Jaime, Herb Klein, dangerous women

The short career of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap It was the following spring that Puckett and his band reached the pinnacle. “Young Girl,” written by Jerry Fuller, was released in February of 1968 ...

Crime in 1980s San Diego

Bookmaking, porn, murder, car theft

P.S., your car is gone “Our guy finds [another] wrecked Datsun 4X4 in a junkyard, changes over all the numbers from it to the one he found in the canyon. But when he took it ...

San Diego's ideal jobs

Pawnbroker, assistant vet, travel writer, teacher, home construction consultant, pastry chef

Watches and rings and people and things Pawning, generally, is something other than a lopsided contest between loansharks and the destitute. Most of Smith’s customers, he says ninety percent of them, come back to redeem ...

San Diego characters not to forget

Jack Jocoy, Raquel Martinez, Denise Carabet, Fred Schnaubelt, Ray Huffman, Kile Morgan

Del Mar's horse vet Jack Jocoy has seen it all With that big break — caring for a Derby winner — Jocoy’s career began to soar, other trainers reasoning that if Jocoy took care of ...

Stories you won't read outside of San Diego

Our water sources, Mission Valley flooding, both sides of tuna, who sold our land, sailors on liberty

Not with a flood but with a trickle The city’s per capita consumption of 192 gallons a day in fiscal 1981 is well above the national average of 170. Every day 17 million gallons of ...

San Diego's true altruists

Pop Murphy, Alex Landon, public defenders, Life Flight pilots, Sister Maggie Yee, Albert Arffmann

The last chance “I want the doctors to put me to sleep,” says Albert in a disturbing monotone. Necochea wants to know where Albert is, who is with him, and whether he is on drugs. ...

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