Back When

Excerpts from Reader issues past.

Best Reader stories from 1985

Santa Ysabel Indians, life of a cabbie, UCSD Med School, Dogpatch U.S.A., Battle of San Pasqual,, Timken Gallery's Putnam Sisters

The spirit of Steve Ponchetti It has forever been the custom of the Diegueño Indians to bury their dead twice: once at death, and then once again a year later. And so it was that ...

Santee: open hills and the San Diego River

Creation museum, Santee Lakes, Pardee Homes, Dirty Chris, Carlton Oaks golf course

A little bit east of Eden The museum is an antidote to what ICR considers “anti-biblical” evolutionist propaganda of the sort seen at San Diego’s venerable Museum of Man, particularly “ape-men” presented as prehuman ancestors, ...

Best Reader stories from 1984

Blueback submarine, Hedgecock transcripts, climbing the Devil's Peak, aliens in canyons, the last vaquero, dirtbags in desert, dinosaurs, skateboarders, Randy Cunningham, NEL

Tight-lipped submariners aboard the Blueback open up Of course, all submariners are interested in naval history, and remain closer than even infantrymen to their dramatic and bloody heritage, and the Blueback crew seems to sense ...

Best Reader stories from 1983

San Diego in WWII, bodysurfers, Skip Frye, deep look at San Diego Zoo, Zane Parzen

From San Diego's 41st Street, Japan was a more odious enemy than Germany I may be the youngest San Diegan to remember the Second World War, especially the time immediately following the attack on Pearl ...

More than one point of view on Thanksgiving

Reader writers weigh in

The ideal hipster Thanksgiving As I’ve pointed out before, no holiday lacks the potential for a hipster makeover. Thanksgiving is no exception. Not only is it nestled comfortably between epic Halloween costumes and ugly-Christmas-sweater parties, ...

Kensington – the only real neighborhood

Path to Mission Valley, Kensington VIdeo, Kensington Terrace, New City American, Craftsman homes, Glen Havens and the 700 feet of tunnels

At last, an easy way to get to Mission Valley Prior to the building of this pathway, there were only two efficient ways to cycle to Mission Valley from mid-city San Diego; via Fairmount Avenue ...

Best Reader stories from 1982

Unwanted pregnancy, bad accident in Baja, alcohol and Indians, Sol Price, Fred Schnaubelt, Florence Chadwick, San Diego's version of Tarahumara runner

What on earth am I settling for “Goddamnit,” said Jane one evening about six months ago when I answered the door of our apartment in Golden Hill and found her on the stoop, Jeanne sliding ...

Best Reader stories from 1981

A San Diego bookie, Jacquelyn Littlefield, Fidel's and Prophet restaurants, Jerry Herrera, cystic fibrosis, Gustavo Romero, San Diego's biggest cattleman

Postcards From Western Civilization Some years ago at Christmastime, when I was a teller at a bank downtown, I came to know Wayne Boyer, who was then an apprentice bum. I met him in the ...

Rancho Bernardo – in the thick of North County suburbia

Neighborhood turn-around, olive tree fruit fly, drought, Presbyterians sued, Tony Pepperoni

A Feeling of Hope in Rancho Bernardo How do I even begin to tell you about the incredible turnaround my neighborhood has taken? I will start here. Hi, my name is Mychal McMahon. I am ...

Best Reader stories from 1980

Del Mar Man, Guadalupe Island, Pacific Southwest Airlines, Harry Partch

On the path of the old ones It’s now ten years, almost to the day, since an amateur archaeologist discovered what seemed to be extraordinarily old stone tools in a canyon above Mission Valley, and ...

Best Reader stories from 1979

Ace Parking , San Diego Zoo, OMBAC, Burlingame, Carl Rogers, Hare Krishnas, Colorado River at Easter, local pelicans and DDT, Salton Sea, Maureen O'Connor, gringos who play for TJ's Potros

Park there, pay here On the afternoon of the All-Star baseball game in July, Evan Jones was standing on top of one of those pedestrian towers that corkscrew up the side of San Diego Stadium. ...

Borrego Springs– no there there

Desperate hike, crazy to live there, Montesoro, water trouble, goodbye to farms

From Toro Peak to Fonts Point, barely Their plan was to start at Toro Peak, in the Santa Rosa Mountains just north of Borrego Springs, hike along the mountainous spine over Rabbit Peak and Villager ...

Best Reader stories from 1978

Camp Pendleton, kelp, Mike Stamm, Morey boogie boards, Michael Copley, Chris O'Rourke, bottom scratchers, Jacumba

From Spanish rancho to hard-core Marines In 1942, the Ninth Marine Division marched in and took over what had been the Santa Margarita y Las Flores Ranch. The Second World War had begun and the ...

Best Reader stories from 1977

Carmelite nuns, wobblies, San Diego Indians, downtown pool room, Pete Wilson, Hedgecock, skywriting

A separate peace What was I (a Jew — and a nonobservant one at that) doing with such a piece? I’d never spoken to a nun in my life. All I remembered of them from ...

San Carlos – nice two-story homes

Dregs of the 70s, Pyles Peak, pump station, stop signs, Cowles Mountain wrecked, drones

The misbegotten children of San Carlos San Carlos in 1960 was a series of tract homes out in the boonies. There were plenty of hills, trails, and wilderness for a young boy to run wild. ...

Best Reader stories from 1976

Rosicrucians, card rooms, Comedy Store, Self-Realization Fellowship, North Park and Encinitas writing contest winners

Who Are the Rosicrucians? The Rosicrucian Fellowship International Headquarters is located on top of Mount Ecdesia. just outside of downtown Oceanside. It’s a garden spot in an otherwise gritty town that makes its living hustling ...

Best Reader stories from 1975

Helen Copley, thumbing to Vancouver, San Diego Detox death, bailbondsmen, David Cheney, San Diego Rowing Club, City Rescue Mission

I tell them my name is Ernie Klein, I'm 42 years old, and I'm unemployed It's the day after Thanksgiving and I'm standing in line at the unemployment office. I'm near the end of my ...

Jamul – last bastion of civilization on the 94

Casino, Hollenbeck Canyon, early hostile Indians, brush fire

Jamul Residents Wage Indian Blood Battle over Gaming Site The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs is asking a lot of questions about the Jamul Indian Village. The government agency has launched an investigation to determine ...

Best Reader stories from 1974

Monument Road, Phil Gross, Colleen O'Connor, YMCA, county jail, dredging at Mission Beach, the Body Shop, Dr. Bronner

Monument Road The peaceful atmosphere along Monument Road is astonishing. Only 15 or 20 minutes from downtown, a ride along southernmost San Diego's Monument Road is like flipping through a book of Dorothea Lange photographs. ...

Best Reader stories from 1973

Witches, SEALS, commune, Japanese in San Diego, built on the Tijuana dump, Pump House Gang, Tom Shaw, encounter groups

Serious witches in San Diego Force claimed he had played a role, witch-wise, in the indictment of San Diego's former Mayor Curran and his staff, in the Yellow Cab Scandal. “A friend of mine, Jodi ...