Back to profile

Stories by Justin Wolff

She Gave More Than She Took

She never said "Hi" when I answered the phone; she just started talking.

Judith was a ghost to me. She was present, but never corporeally. It strikes me as ironic that I never met her, considering that the body — her body — was one of her principal ...

Corky's Game

Corky McMillan has his way with the NTC

McNab told me recently that he refuses to quit his crusade against the McMillin plan. “There are bodies buried everywhere when it comes to this deal, and we’re out there with shovels and we’ll keep digging.”

Trigger Happy or Just Plain Happy?

UCSD cum laude grad David Medina tried for Chula Vista gang murders.

Dressed neatly in a white oxford cloth shirt with a blue pullover sweater, David Medina, a.k.a. “Happy,” pursed his lips and appeared to listen closely as Judge John Thompson handed down Medina’s sentence — nine ...

Interview with Oakley Hall

In 1953 Judy Garland made a splendid appearance at the opening reception for the Kentucky Derby. She was wearing a navy-blue, full-length coat; navy-blue, calfskin opera pumps with very high heels; white china beads; and ...

Home School

Deep thought and family tensions

“You get to stay in your pajamas, and you get more free time. At homeschool I felt like I had more time but that I learned more. At school, you have to budget your time so much.”

Does the Yukon tempt divers to death?

Bad luck in dark water off Mission Beach

Tegner was ascending from an 85-foot dive when her air apparently ran out, forcing her to surface before she could complete her final decompression stop. A companion suggested to her that she stay in the boat.

Traffic Spares No One

Bumper to bumper from Miramar Way to Ted Williams Parkway

“We’re doing really good compared to other cities. We still enjoy something here in San Diego. If you travel outside peak commute times, it’s pretty much free-flowing. You can’t go to L.A. and do that.”

Has Gaslamp Lived Up to Its Promise?

The Downtown Information Center, a service of the Centre City Development Corporation, occupies the ground-floor lobby at 225 Broadway. The center exhibits sketches and charts detailing the area's redevelopment. Its showpiece is a 200-square-foot model ...

Big Ears for Freedom

In the hot frequencies, the 800 megahertz band, one can hear all kinds of terrible things. Good people and bad people alike victimized by neighbors, lovers, drunk drivers, dogs, drugs, alcohol. On a Monday night ...

Leave Me Alone: San Diego's Goths

Goths are happy being sad.

She was tall, blond, and, like almost everyone there that night, dressed in jet black. What she shouted at — to be heard over the music — hurt, but only for a second, like a ...

No Place for a Beer Party

A proposal to impose a 24-hour alcohol ban on San Diego beaches hit a temporary snag on January 24 when the city's Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee postponed action until early April. Although the ...

Something Fishy in Paranoia Bay

Despite a recent scolding, the city, some watchdogs say, continues to disrespect Mission Bay Park and those citizens who care about it. On April 18, you might remember, a San Diego County grand jury released ...

Council Winks at Boy Scout Gay Ban

The Desert Pacific Council of the Boy Scouts of America forced the city's hand in November when it asked for a 50-year extension of its lease on 16 acres of land in Balboa Park, where ...

State Testing Programs

The expression "high stakes" is a favorite idiom among San Diego educators these days. It doesn't matter if you're talking to people at the local, district, county, or state level -- if the subject is ...

Hard Town for Activism

On the evening of October 11, George W. Bush and Al Gore were in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, being stupid on TV. Gore: "First of all, let me say that if I'm elected president..." Bush: "If ...

Kinder Than I Would Think Possible

My dad’s life as a writer demonstrated to us that we don’t have to lead ordinary lives.

When I got in trouble, my father’s impulse was to hug me. He did punish me for the little things, but when I did something corrupt, committed a youthful transgression that had the potential to ...

Poetic Injustices

You have to kiss a lot of toads before you find a handsome prince... Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly... If a relationship is to evolve, it must go ...

The Ministry of Rum

Bat Bite, Cool Carlos, Cuba Libre, and Sunny Sour. It’s summer: rum season. Time for Mojitos — dark rum, lime juice, sugar, mint leaves, and club soda — and Rum Drinks, the practical name my ...

Hundreds of Uses for Duck Tape

From Tim and Jim, the duct tape guys

Duct tape has saved me only once. I’ve used it plenty but only needed it one time. My Oldsmobile ruptured a radiator hose on the Mass Pike on the way to a Boston Bruins playoff ...

A Sub-Society of Greatness

'Build it and they will come," the proverb tells us. Today, however, disciples of the precept have little use for its noble motivational message; they prefer instead its promise of material reward. Build a mall, ...

Diver Down

Where the ultrahip go for liver damage.

February 16, 1999: Fat Tuesday. This afternoon, downtown in the Gaslamp, aren’t letting on that they spent the workday at work. They hustle across Fourth Avenue and yell excitedly at friends as police construct roadblocks ...

Welcome to the Bad Fads Museum

Pet Rock, Super Ball, moped, Troll Doll, Rubik’s Cube, goldfish swallowing

I try to be a decent, good-natured, and tolerant person, but there are some things that, for no conspicuous reason, I hate. I hate, for example, stuffed animals tied to the grills of trucks. I ...

Killer Surf Websites

Surf websites are about the science, not the sport

The jagged blue line’s surges and plunges read like the electrocardiogram of a manic patient. But the line tells an innocuous story. It’s the wave report for San Diego County as described by the “swell ...

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!