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Excerpts from Reader issues past.

Gringos in Baja

Adventurers, seekers, do-gooders, speculators, linguists

A Quiet Place South of Here The sea urchin is a major object of the villager’s sea harvesting. The wind and sea are calm enough for harvesting sea urchins fewer than half the days of ...

Essays on fatherhood

I was looking forward to trying to raise a saint

I Have Purchased a Grey Cardigan Sweater My wife and I fell in love over wine, bourbon, and cognac. We attended a college with a dry campus, and many evenings were spent sitting in my ...

Autobiographical glimpses

Eavesdropping, San Diego house search, personal beauty and its lack, Logan Heights and La Jolla memories

So I’ve Heard When I was having my appendix taken out a few years ago, the anesthesiologist put the mask over my face, asked me to count backwards from a hundred, and then, assuming I ...

Emphasis on the writer — a Reader group issue

The story I wanted to write, favorite books, deep night in San Diego, and contest winners from our readers

The Idealization of Jessica Trump She paused for a moment. I could hear her thinking, and then she said, “My spring break is next week, and I haven’t made any plans. I could catch a ...

History of San Diego 1930+

Silver Screens: A Short History of San Diego Cinemas The years preceding America’s entry into World War II introduced more neighborhood theaters like the Roxy (1939) in Pacific Beach, the Strand in Ocean Beach, and ...

Vietnam War, remembered

By sailors on Navy ships, by grunts, refugees who escaped, artists, and authors

Morale Seemed So High Mark said he’d had some bitter experiences with black sailors on the ship. When a group of recruits came on board, he lined them up to get some paperwork information. “Hey, ...

San Diegans on wheels

A cabbie’s life, treacherous bike riding, RVs are some people’s heaven, the trolley at night, big rigs near Rosecrans, why we drive freeways, a bus driver’s day, and this skateboarder knows San Diego

Did Somebody Call a Cab? There was a strike. Yellow Cab drivers walked out in August, 1976, and by October they were crossing their own picket line. The strikers burned some Yellow Cabs, assaulted some ...

San Diego universities: a look back

SDSU frat row, luring faculty to UCSD, paying faculty mortgages at UCSD, UCSD scientists using their jobs to build corporate equity

Starting at State At faculty meetings he would administer avuncular homilies on absence from our offices during the period we were expected to assign for conferring with our students (“Now, ladies and gentlemen, you know ...

A San Diego architecture retrospective

La Jolla’s Mormon temple, San Diego stadium, Coronado Cays, Del Mar Plaza, Mission Revival and Irving Gill, Tiki style, Tecate train station

The Eyesore Inventory Thoryk and his partner, a real-estate development company owned by San Diego Gas & Electric, found a co-conspirator in San Diego City Hall, which solicited and approved Thoryk’s remodeling of the historic ...

Famous cars of San Diego and their owners

Mechanic’s warnings, Morris the car, 120mph in the 1930s, Benz hater, VW bus and Porsche lovers, South Bay Mexican dragsters, and why we aren’t driving Santees today

Pop the Hood and Open Your Wallet Drive in at midday. See the gas attendants, red rags dangling limply from their grease-stained back pockets, leaning against pumps, waiting. But after a Padres or Chargers game ...

San Diego characters: counterculture and crime

Skateboarder Gator up for murder, Karen Wilkening’s arrest and jail time, Metabolife’s brush with law, Michael Page and music underground

Sandals, Bell-Bottoms, a Medallion The canyon was just a dream for a little boy. We had trails, paths, and forts. There was a lot of bamboo growing in the canyon, which isn’t indigenous to this ...

The desert beyond Borrego

Impossibility of Salton Sea, Slab City as paradise, scavenging bomb waste in Carrizo, Miller’s Garage at Ocotillo Wells, Easter on the Colorado River

Prehistoric Gas Station an Eyesore? It's the newer Old Highway 80, built in 1932, that Miller's fronts. A visit to the site reveals two things: the buildings are in better shape than they appear to ...

San Diego institutions — human stories

OMBAC from the beginning, post office complaints, prison inmates, Scripps scientists at sea, Lawrence Welk geezers, Mercy Hospital nuns, SD Yacht Club, Santee creationists, Vietnam vets

For Big Kids Only The foot of Redondo Court was a focal point for a couple of reasons. It was the end of a line when streetcars ran through Mission Beach, creating a natural stopping ...

San Diego characters in politics and media

National City’s Herman Baca, radio’s Bill Balance, publisher Clint McKinnon, Otto Bos, Wolfman Jack, and Gloria Penner of KPBS

For more famous San Diegans, click here. For even more famous San Diego characters, click here. For more and more famous San Diego characters, click here. Some People in This Town Don't Like Herman Baca ...

A stroll down Broadway

Hotel San Diego, Horton Plaza, YMCA, and the Midway

A Lullaby of Broadway “I was sitting in my room,” declared one hotel resident, “when I heard a knock at the door. I opened the door and three or four men forced their way in. ...

Famous San Diego characters

Duke Cunningham, Mike Aguirre, Roger Hedgecock, Ron Mix, Eric Show, and Michael Reagan

For more famous San Diegans, click here. For even more famous San Diego characters, click here. For famous San Diego characters in politics and media, click here. The Deadly Circle The fear of ejecting over ...

San Diego modern Indians

Alcoholism, native artifacts, water rights, the coming of the casinos

Survivors "We tried to have a respectful pow-wow," agrees John Rouillard, head of American Indian Studies at San Diego State. "There's a definite trend, starting probably with the Alcatraz takeover in 1969, of young Indians ...

San Diego public servants

The cops’ DNA man, school and city bus drivers, Point Loma lighthouse keeper, substitute teacher, cops, firefighters, back-country sheriffs

Light Housekeeping Our man Downen evidently has been slowly phased out of his lighthouse-keeping duties by automation. A fog sensor device is now used to trigger the fog horns automatically when visibility is less than ...

San Diegans busy with Japanese gardens, ferns, bamboo, irises, bonsai, and tomatoes

A plant retrospective

A Sword for Its Army and a Lily for Its Heart Dorothy had a floral display at Art Alive to worry about; one of the iris-show clerks backed out because her horse was due to ...

Celebrity authors in San Diego

Meltzer unmasks Cameron Crowe, Hunter Thompson plays self at SDSU, Susan Sontag not that nice, zoo not that nice to David Sedaris, Luis Urrea deals with fame, John Steinbeck IV's final days in SD

John Steinbeck Was My Father One of us, a doctor's son, mentioned that his father had urged him to follow in his footsteps. Was there pressure on John to become a writer? He shook his ...

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