Back When

Excerpts from Reader issues past.

Pine Valley – way past suburbia

Pine Valley Store, Pine Valley Bridge, Laguna fire, fall foliage

We didn't have a street address in Pine Valley I took my children on a trip to my past. Friday after Thanksgiving, I herded Rebecca, Angela, Johnny, and Ben into our van. Lucy, who had ...

Joe Deegan and the Reader

SDSU hates students, Tim Le Haye, Donna Frye, airport noise, Ron Paul geeks, smokers' shame, Linda Vista's Skateworld

Deegan has written for the Reader since 1998. Deegan's favorite stories he has written for the Reader: San Diego State's growing contempt for undergrads “The joke is we would like to swap students with Arizona,” ...

Bob McPhail and the Reader

Oceanside gay murders, Balboa Theater, Gringo goes to TJ hospital, 20K fetuses, dog served at TJ restaurant

Bob McPhail came to the Reader from the Oceanside Blade-Tribune in 1987 and has written stories for the Reader through 2018. McPhail's favorite stories he has written for the Reader: Camp Pendleton Marine kills older ...

University City – UCSD's bedrooms

Trolley, Regents Road Bridge, San Clemente Canyon, Miramar jets, traffic

No trolley in my backyard A group of neighborhood conservationists in University City are hoping to put the brakes on a plan to extend trolley service from downtown San Diego's Santa Fe Depot to a ...

Marty Graham and the Reader

Monument Road, shark researchers chum with a whale, Battery Gathchell, golden eagle survey, drug smuggler married at border

How Graham cam to write for the Reader: As dementia began to take my mom, she confided that her big brother wanted to be a journalist when he came home from the war. Instead, he ...

Julie Stalmer and the Reader

Killed parrots, Pt. Loma mid-rises, dueling car washes, Clairemont daycare, Frank Bompensiero

How Stalmer came to write for the Reader: Taking my rescue dogs Zoe and Bailey for a walk on Fiesta Island in June 2015, I saw what looked to be baby lobsters covering the beach. ...

Idyllic Tierrasanta

Traffic caused by Kaiser, Shepherd Canyon, hiking trails, dogs, Mission Trails, moving in from El Cajon

East Shepherd Canyon East Shepherd, or Greenbelt, trail is interesting in all seasons, with a combination of native coastal sage scrub and nonnative plants in the canyon. Walk north on Santo Road for about 160 ...

Ken Leighton and the Reader

Switchfoot, Dinettes, Queen Bees, ASCAP, Billie Joe Armstrong, Brandon "Tiny Doo" Duncan, Agent 51

How Leighton came to the Reader: It was the end of 1998 when I was told by then Reader music editor Jennifer Ball that editor/publisher Jim Holman wanted to have someone exclusively write breaking news ...

Jay Allen Sanford and the Reader

Before Gaslamp, San Diego drive-in theaters, Pacific Comics, girlfriend as felon, Mission Hills Halloween house, bootleg confessions, Jolar Cinema

How Sanford came to the Reader: I was still in the comic book publishing biz (Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics, Carnal Comics) when I spotted the notice in a 1994 Reader offering $500 for local music ...

Sleepy Descanso

Roberts Ranch, Duncan McFetridge, drought, movie shooting, Border Fire, Blue Ribbon Loop

Roberts Ranch Opens its Gates to Hikers Thanks to the crusading efforts of Descanso cabinet-maker Duncan McFetridge, affectionately known by some as the "Robin Hood of Cleveland Forest," two inholdings (islands of private property inside ...

Douglas Whyknott and the Reader

SeaWorld, Palomar Observatory, beekeepers, tuna fishermen, California Current, Museum of Photographic Arts

Douglas Whyknott, who wrote for the Reader from 1995 throiugh 1998, is an 11th-generation Cape Codder. He played blues and jazz piano and formed the Whynott Boogie Trio after studying blues piano with Sammy Price, ...

Gordon Smith and the Reader

Padres' lockers, the oak lady, Wyatt Earp, Life Flight, Butterfield stages, SD's last cattle rancher, Hiroshima, Marstons, Tom Morey's boogie boards

Gordon Smith wrote feature stories for the Reader from 1978 through 1987. Editor's picks of Smith's Reader stories: Inside the Padres' lockers Tony Gwynn sat in a canvas-backed chair and peered into the wooden cubicle ...

Carmel Valley – the anxiety of a new suburb

Accidental pond, 56 interchange, Seabreeze Farms, Pacific Highlands Ranch, vernal pools, One Paseo, ice pant destruction, the advent of Pardee

Carmel Valley accidental pond to be drained More than 17 years ago, land owner Robert Barczewski had a grading crew push a pile of dirt into a dip in a dirt road on his private ...

Siobhan Braun and the Reader

Jamul casino, post-college blues, what we hate about San Diego, sex traffic, worst roommates

-(Jan. 31, 2018)

Stephen Dobyns and the Reader

Amputees, Border Angels, Salvation Mountain, tugboats, S.D. River homeless, S.D. Bay anchorages, food trucks, metal finders, Coronado lifeguards, art restorers, least terns

Stephen Dobyns wrote cover features for the Reader from 1998 through 2008. Dobyns’ poetic works count among them the 1971 Concurring Beasts, a National Poetry Series award winner (Black dog, red dog), and a Melville ...

Bonsall – suburbia's edge

San Luis Rey Downs track and golf course, fossilized bison, Highway 76 widened, Vessels Ranch, the Hank Show

Lilac fire survivor comes to the races On December 7, 2017, horse trainer Joe Herrick said, “Hell came to town.” Herrick was was involved in trying to rescue 450 thoroughbred horses caught in the raging ...

David Helvarg and the Reader

Ocean Beach hippies, Convair, Twenty-nine Palms, sharks, Japanese San Diegans during WWII, our Indians who survived

Helvarg is a journalist and environmental activist. He is the founder and president of the marine conservation lobbying organization Blue Frontier Campaign. He is the author of: The Golden Shore - California's Love Affair with ...

Joe Applegate and the Reader

Richard Henry Dana, Lamb's Players, Brawley Cattle Call, Skip Frye, San Diego bungalows, Ace Parking

Joe Applegate wrote for the Reader from 1976 through 1990. Editor's pick of stories Applegate wrote for the Reader: When Richard Henry Dana returned to Point Loma On the 22nd of August, 1859, the little ...

Warner Springs – place of contention

Cupeños ejected, nearby Pacific Crest Trail, fights among the Ranch dwellers, Pala Indians try to take it back, Orange Co. men's tragedy

The blackest of crimes committed against Warner Ranch Indians Lummis rode past sturdy, whitewashed adobe houses with thatched roofs. When he reached the center of the village, anxious eyes approached. The Cupeños were desperate for ...

Leslie Ryland and the Reader

Lawyers' clothes, San Diegans on Death Row, men imagine themselves as women, San Marcos, Valley Center, 1970 Laguna fire

Ryland, a mother of five and an attorney, wrote for the Reader from 1996 through 2004. Editor's picks of stories Ryland wrote for the Reader: What San Diego lawyers wear to court “My favorite suit ...

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