From the Archives

Select stories from over 40 years of the Reader.
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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

For more celebrities, click here. For thinker-artist celebrities, click here. For public figure and fraud celebrities, click here. For sports celebrities, click here. John Steinbeck Was My Father One of us, a doctor's son, mentioned ...

History of San Diego: 20th Century

William Walker revolution in Baja, Little Lander colony in San Ysidro, creation of the Salton Sea, and the Luman gunfight in Campo

Creation of the Salton Sea Rockwood tried to construct a jetty between the half-mile-long island in the river — soon to be called “Disaster Island” — and the Mexican cut. In theory, log pilings, sand, ...

Far East County

Julian is settled, Dogpatch lore, gunfight on Banner Grade, Dulzura dogs kill, beginnings of Jamul Indian casino, end of Mesa Verde dairy, Blossom Valley anxiety

When Men and Mountains Meet Julian was at least a four-day trip from San Diego, even for the fastest of team drivers. The trip from Old Town to Foster (above Lakeside, now covered by San ...

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