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Stories by Joe Applegate

University City – UCSD's bedrooms

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 ...

Stories hidden inside the San Diego Reader, part 2

Editor: The following feature stories appeared in the interior pages of the Reader in the 1970s and 1980s and have just been converted to digital form. My Triumph, my defeat Five years later I still ...

January 27, 2019
Stories hidden inside the San Diego Reader

Editor: The following feature stories appeared in the interior pages of the Reader in the 1970s and 1980s and have just been converted to digital form. Meditations while riding San Diego Transit “Yes, these people ...

January 26, 2019
When Richard Henry Dana returned to Point Loma

On the 22nd of August, 1859, the little steamer Senator called at San Diego with passengers from Los Angeles. It rounded the point under the lighthouse and entered the harbor’s narrow channel at about 8:00 ...

November 21, 1990
The small airports of North San Diego County

Harry Aberle died in the Pitts Special. He crashed after takeoff while Yvonne watched from in front of the hangar. "The only other witness said he was doing an aerobatic maneuver, but I know he wasn't.”

May 24, 1990
Books: Sandra Dijkstra, what teachers read, play scripts, baseball, airplane books

I’m Talking Monster Books Amy had a title on this book. She called it Wind and Water. She was using the theme of the I Ching. I looked at these synopses of the stories, and ...

April 26, 1990
Steinbeck, Bergman, Alan Ayckbourn as script writers

Plays are short enough to allow for re-reading. The suspense is gone the second time, but there’s twice as much pleasure in interpretation once you know where the characters are going.

April 26, 1990
Lamb's Players Theatre – like a commune but...

One thing Robert Smyth likes about his used Merkur is that it's a turbocharged car with no sign on it saying "turbocharged." Power without show: that's Smyth (he pronounces it "Smith"). At 40, he is ...

Camp Barrett parolees comb Mt. Palomar for hunter

For an hour and a half, 80-year-old Tony Carrasco had been waiting for a deer to pass within range of his old bolt-action Remington, but now he was getting bored. It was a splendid morning ...

January 11, 1990
Ropers prep for Brawley cattle call

If he wanted to get ahead in rodeo he'd have to make the commitment to travel. He'd been told as much m a roping class he'd taken in Brawley "Get out of the valley,” said Taylor, summarizing the instruction.

December 7, 1989
Reader writers: the story I wanted to write... but didn't

Sandy and a girlfriend had gone into a liquor store, robbed the clerk, They locked the clerk in a walk-in cooler. Sandy started feeling bad about the guy. She went back and let him out.

Down the lane with Jacob Dekema

He takes it for granted that suburbs are great. “We built these freeways, and they’re not generating less trips, they’re generating more. More freedom. People want to live out away from the city and drive in to work.

Our twin daughters get audition call from Hollywood

Since I'm the cook of the house, if the phone should ring around dinner time my wife Jane answers it — unless there's a Padres game on TV and we've broken for a commercial message. ...

September 29, 1983
University City is booming. But will it explode?

Just about everything this city knows about suburban living (comparable to what Milwaukee knows about beer) has gone into the making of the southern end of University city, ten miles south of downtown and a ...

September 15, 1983
Gospel music at St. Stephen's and Calvary Baptist

“Those of you who don’t go to church, don’t think we’re funny when we clap and shout,” said Ann Murray to us who had come to hear an afternoon of gospel music. “’Cause when we ...

July 14, 1983
The last days of Encinitas' Danny Dean Wilson

In relationships of all kinds, Danny liked to stir things up. “You’d be sitting there listening to the radio and he’d pick it up and throw it past your head,” said someone who knew him only slightly. ‘

May 19, 1983
Skip Frye Is Still Stoked

If a surfer wants a medium short board of six to seven feet, or an old fashioned board of eight feet or longer, and he wants Skip Frye to shape it for him, Frye will ...

April 14, 1983
Augustinian priests take over San Ysidro's low-income Villa Nueva

He was eighteen, maybe nineteen years old, with cola eyes and whiskerless brown skin, and his hair, which was swept back in an impeccable bubble, was black with a brown sheen. With calm disdain he ...

March 10, 1983
Chauncy Jerabek, the San Diego tree man

He was charged with planting and maintaining the parkland trees. Most of the trees in Balboa Park, and many of those in other public places — Old Town, for one — were planted by Jerabek.

February 17, 1983
Chinese refugees swarm Chung Hwa School

One bright Saturday morning this winter near the Black Frog restaurant in Southeast San Diego, a Volkswagen pulled off Forty-seventh Street and entered the parking lot of a modest and unadorned church. From the car ...

February 3, 1983
Golden Hill apartment too small for kids

‘‘And you know you’ll have to borrow twice as much from your parents to buy the Cedar Street house?” ‘‘Sure.” ‘‘And you’re going to ask them?” ‘‘God,” I said, “it’s an investment. What are parents for?”

December 2, 1982
San Diego bungalows: Tudor, Dutch, French, Moorish, Egyptian, Spanish, and Mission.

Ron Wigginton, a young landscape designer who leads a well-ordered life, was out roaming the streets of Hillcrest one day four years ago, suddenly on the lookout for a place to live. His rent on ...

November 24, 1982
The ABC Club - thorn in Gaslamp development

To promote the development of the Gaslamp Quarter he once asked Mrs. Yamada if she were interested in selling. She replied with a quiet word about wanting to keep going for a year or two.

November 4, 1982
Before there was Comic-con, there was Pacific Comics

In June of 1974, when Steve Schanes was twenty years old and Bill, his brother, was fifteen, they opened their first store, on Cass Street in Pacific Beach, to sell old and new comic books ...

September 30, 1982
Tales of the Black Frog nightclub

The Frog booked jazz: the clientele found it closer to home than Chuck's Steakhouse in La Jolla, and the neighborhood seemed safer than the Crossroads’ on Market Street, downtown.

September 2, 1982
John Theobald – friend of Frost and Alan Watts – ends up at San Diego State

“He was truly one of the better teachers at San Diego State,” said Daniel McLeod, chairman of the department of English and comparative literature, who attended classes at the college and heard Theobald lecture in 1949.

My wife has twins at Kaiser by c-section

What was curious about the nurse as she moved expertly about the room, preparing my wife for surgery, was that her forearm was in a fresh cast. I noticed that it didn't hinder her in ...

June 3, 1982
San Diego girl's joke marriage to foreigner

Darlene for many years has lived alone in a flight-path apartment. She’s as independent as one can be these days: she upholsters her own furniture, takes long solo vacations in her van. She is in ...

April 29, 1982
On patrol with SDPD's Sergeant Anderson

I guess the first thing I try to tell people when I stop them is what I thought they were doing wrong. They see the flashing lights in their rearview mirror and a lot of ...

March 4, 1982
Reader writer has twins, buys Plymouth Signet

I have ridden in a Deux Chevaux and so I know a little of what James Bond and the G-girl were going through. The gear shift is weird; it comes straight out of the dash.

December 17, 1981
Writer takes in guy he meets at Jack in the box on Broadway

I invited him for dinner and bought two quarts of Miller, some frozen dinners, and a bottle of catsup. We ate on the living room floor by the heater, Wayne first drinking his beer.

December 10, 1981
Indians kill Father Luis Jaume in Mission Valley

I am Father Luis Jaume, but to spare you the difficulty of pronouncing my last name, please think of me as Father Luis. On the morning of November 5, 1775, at thirty-five years of age ...

October 15, 1981
Imperial Valley arson and a boy named Angel

The arson suspect was nineteen years old and had short black hair, brown-yellow eyes, and a wide, plump face. He was sitting in the corner stall of the visiting room of the Imperial County jail ...

August 6, 1981
22nd and Market gets crosswalk, 24th and Market doesn't

It is an intersection that only God could love. Market and Twenty-fourth streets: its sidewalks are stuck about with telephone poles, shadeless palms, and a few eugenias trimmed into skinny trees; its corners are occupied ...

May 21, 1981
The young Southeast San Diego parolee

One cloudy morning in July of 1978, I drove Mrs. Beatrice Walker See and her family to visit the reformatory in Whittier where Mrs. See's son was an inmate. His name (not his real one, ...

March 12, 1981
Imagine you are Wallace Stevens in North Park

The house sits up from Juniper Street in North Park on a square of lawn girdled by pink cinderblock. The gables above the front door and window make the house look slightly exotic — English or Bavarian.

December 18, 1980
UCSD art history student chants during rape

No dwelling escapes coincidence. There's a thick-walled apartment building in Hillcrest, one with just enough character in its tiles to make the rest of it look better for being rundown, where I lived for a ...

In Baja I learned the secrets of fording streams, digging clams, growing pot

Beyond this was a tall, guano-covered rock, where a few dozen black cormorants were sitting in even rows on a slope like keys on an adding machine — if that isn’t too farfetched.

February 28, 1980
The rise of Ace Parking's Jones family

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. Jones is the owner ...

November 22, 1979
Bad neighbors and quick burglars in City Heights

“Hurry up and get your work done, so I can clean up this mess,” said Anne, a nineteen-year-old journalist in East San Diego. “Well excuse me!” replied the policeman who had just walked into her ...

August 16, 1979
Some People in This Town Don't Like Herman Baca

Baca says that Mexican-Americans have been “colonized,” severed from their culture, and dominated by a class that profits from them. Yet Baca himself doesn’t seem much damaged by this colonization, not outwardly at least.

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