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Joe Applegate

Applegate wrote feature stories for the Reader from 1976 through 1990. He is married to another former Reader writer, Jane Weisman Applegate.

Stories of note:

Dec. 2, 1976: Hillcrest (writing contest winner — Applegate's first story in the Reader)

May, 1978 Did Somebody Call a Cab?

July 13, 1978 Locked Up and Let Loose (TJ vs. San Diego jails)

Aug. 3, 1978 A Bump on the Head Could Kill Chris O'Rourke

May 24, 1979 Travels with My Father (author goes to Baja)

March 12, 1981 A Young Man A Troubled Life (a visit to the reformatory)

Aug. 6, 1981 Fire in the Valley (arson and a boy named Angel)

Dec. 10, 1981 Postcards from Western Civilization (tests of friendship)

March 4, 1982 Nobody Disturbs My Peace (on patrol with Sergeant Anderson)

June 3, 1982 Two by Two (author's wife gives birth to twins)

Dec. 2, 1982 What on Earth Am I Settling For? (reflections on domestic life)

April 14, 1983 Requiem for a Rebel (death on Encinitas train tracks)

Sept. 15, 1983 The Growl of Bulldozers Is the Sound of Money (boom in University City)

Sept. 29, 1983 They Oughta Be in Pictures (kids talent agency)

March 15, 1990 Everybody on Stage for the Forgiveness and Reconciliation Number (the story of Lamb's Players)

April 6, 1990 Plays in Words (interview with Neil Simon)

Articles by Joe Applegate

San Diego's tugboat and truck drivers, El Cajon shopping cart retrievers, gutsy stuntmen

Push Comes to Shove: Life on San Diego's Few and Mighty Tugboats “We’d come out here at low tide, bring the working hands out to the job, they’d work off the boat. We moved the ...

February 21, 2021
To Arizona on bike, the San Diego River on foot, to OB hitching on semis, the Sea of Cortez with Dad

Say Ahoy, Somebody Their inability to tack against the wind cost the novices three agonizing hours from the time they reached Mission Bay until they landed. Somewhere in the bay there was a slip Rusty ...

February 13, 2021
New home ownership, my life as fat boy, Christmas in Tijuana, at Horton Plaza

What on Earth am I Settling For? I let the front yard go and worked on building a fence in back. I got so angry digging postholes in the rain one afternoon that I had ...

February 6, 2021
Golden Hills' Lomas gang vs. Barrio Logan's Red Steps; Lao vs. Cambodian gangs

Huero Walks Dopey and his friends flashed Red Steps hand signs back at the occupants of the white car as it headed toward Crosby Street. Dopey goes on to tell the jury that one of ...

January 25, 2021
Oceanside Museum, Balboa Theater, bright eye of MOPA, scandal of MOCA

Pioneer in Oceanside “In San Diego, the most important piece of architecture is, of course, the Mission San Luis Rey. But I feel strongly that this [the Oceanside museum] is the next most important piece.” ...

January 23, 2021
Hillcrest, neighborhood of ghosts

Gayborhood or ghetto? “I still love Jesus, and I’m still a conservative,” Texana R., 17, tells me. “I just am — I don’t care what my mama or my aunt or my step sister or ...

San Diego love stories

Why Knot? Randy said that some years ago he bought a thirty-foot trimaran, intending to sail it to the South Pacific. “Now we’re going to fly to the South Pacific on our second anniversary,’’ said ...

February 14, 2020
Best Reader stories from 1990

The Hale blinks Twilight has ebbed to a fringe of lapis on the western horizon, and the stars spin slowly as the dome of the 200-inch Hale telescope on Palomar Mountain blinks awake. Bob Thicksten, ...

December 22, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1983

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 ...

November 30, 2019
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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