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Stories by Jangchup Phelgyal

Olive Street residents near 30th can't get much closer, part 1

A house and a tree spell contentment to me

In 1957 an earth-fill bridge replaced the old wood-and-iron one, which had been the center of controversy for many years. San Diego youths had seen the bridge timbers as a challenge and had often made the climb.

Olive Street residents near 30th can't get much closer, part 2

A quiet cul-de-sac in North Park

Between 1903 and 1909, the trolley expanded into the area east of Balboa Park. Thirtieth Street became the route, and a bridge was built to extend the street across Switzer Canyon, from Laurel to Olive.

You Might Not Think a Cat Could Hog a Whole Bed

San Diegans on what pets do for us

Recently Missy had to pry the lizard's mouth open with a butter knife after he clamped down on Ruben's hand. While his teeth are small, the creature was able to break skin and draw blood.

Bird Talk

When she walks along Pacific Beach in the warm evenings of summer, Renee Lowe turns heads. The 38-year-old has long brown hair and the good looks that once made her a teen model, but it ...

Sugar Jones

The only thing worse than a liar was a thief.

For a whole year — beginning in 1959 — I stole from my father and I never got caught. I was 14 years old, a freshman at Saint Augustine’s High School on Nutmeg Street in ...

Sherley Williams – from Fresno to La Jolla

Raised not to hope too hard

Sherley and I were the same age, both of us writers, both of us descendants of slaves. In 1966 we became the first in our respective families to graduate from college.

Honest talk with San Diegans Linda Flores and Kevin Kelly about blindness

Not the absence of vision but another way of seeing

They were being murdered by the light. I watched and said nothing. When we began our lunch, the sun was just burnishing the windowsill. It was a hot day and Linda had left the window ...

Marriage is Temporary, Dogs are Forever

Love loss and dog loss

Terry Wilson has won five Emmys for his television directing, producing, and on-camera hosting; he’s been a national martial arts champion; and his 1998 article on the Marine dogs of World War II won best-short ...

Stan and Ollie

Cats help Gary Sassaman adjust.

Gary Sassaman is elusive. The 43-year-old enjoys his work as a news graphic designer for KUSI-TV; he also has good friends and likes to spend time with them. But like many artists, he seems best ...

One-legged professional with Federal Fire Department of San Diego.

Accident came while training for Baja 1000

He goes by both. Whether “Buddy,” the two-syllable synonym for pal, or the more mature-sounding “Bud,” the single-syllable term for what is young and unfinished, both fit. Bud McElroy, at 39, seems easygoing and uncomplicated. ...

African-Americans below the border not happy

I'm done with the States

The restaurant was a rambling wood affair with families crammed together and happily intent over their plates until that rumba line of black men – a half dozen of them – began to snake between ...

San Diego author's African-American family surrounds dying brother

Big brother says goodbye

The medical team in Tijuana had told André that blood transfusions would give him strength. Back at Kaiser, he had two and found they did. I was there when he came home after his third transfusion.

Otay Mesa prison – built to house 2200, today there are 4636

The parking lot is nearly full

Otay Mesa is part of a vast sweep of scrub that stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border as far as Texas. Donovan State Prison State Prison is located there, a huge complex of buildings 25 miles ...

Fat in San Diego: Are you known as a Two-Ton Tillie, Big Daddy, or Big Whopper?

Heavy silence

The ad was a big mistake. It was meant as a call to overweight men and women willing to talk about what it means to be fat. Pot bellies, love handles, slow-spreading thighs — humdrum ...

Twenty-seven years of unread letters in a disabled San Diego child's family

I wonder what you can see as you trouble my silence

Sheri’s brows were knitted, her lips tight. Like a scowling infant, unhappy thoughts appeared to flit over her face. The eyelids fluttered, and then her eyes opened; they were beautiful—large, a brown color flecked with gold.

Gizella Sabo: “I survived Auschwitz... for this?"

Six months to live

Gizella Sabo took the news hard. “I survived Auschwitz,” she said, smashing that bitter noun to smithereens. “I came out alive from that place. And for what?” she demanded. “For this?” This had turned out ...

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