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Stories by Linda Nevin

War Art

The polar opposite of painting a still life of flowers

"I made 473 drawings on one assignment in Vietnam. February and March of 1967, in Dong Ha in the DMZ. Sometimes I could use art to shield myself from what was going on around me. ...

San Diego: America's Mail-Theft Capital

Stealing mail, shipping drugs, hustling child sex

"It started in 1991 and peaked in ’94. We identified two major mail-theft gangs in ’95, and by ’98 every blue collection box in the four-county area, 7500 of them, had a new locking mechanism.”

Camera One Canine Actors, on 30th Street in North Park

The dog’s cute, but the owner needs work .o

Turn the knob, open the screen door… Wham! A roiling ball of shelties hurtles against it and slams it shut. Yipyipyipyipyipyip! Jumpjumpjump. Yip. Yip. Jumpjumpjump. Yip! “Scat, Jazz, Riff. Hey, guys. Quiet down.” Yip. Yurp. ...

One in seven people in the U.S. can't locate their own country on a map.

Color my world

"Most of the maps in America are not readable. The writing is so small. Thomas Brothers is on the better side, but Rand McNally, for example, the printing is just too small.”

San Diego's passionate macadamia community

Trees hung with nickles

The cultivation of macs in San Diego County goes back to the 1940s. “There are several old individual trees around. The oldest I’m aware of is in Coronado. The first commercial grove in Southern California was planted in Oceanside.”

San Diego's Mexicans who dragged at Paradise Valley Road and went on to Bonneville

Bean Bandits

Along the south side of Paradise Valley Road, from the mesatop by Bell Junior High School, waves of rooftops undulate down to the shore of the hazy blue bay. The area is graded, developed, and ...

The Santee and the Dolphin — cars engineered in San Diego

Why aren't we driving Santees today?

You can take the boy out of the car, but sometimes you just can’t get the car out of the boy. Especially if he grew up in the ’50s and ’60s, the hot rod and ...

San Diegans try art therapy

Draw me a picture of your pain

Marie can't really remember when it began. Her memory is hazy about the earliest days of her hospitalization. She only only knows that at some point, one of the perpetually smiling volunteers gave her white ...

San Diego chapter of the House Rabbit Society sets me straight

It's way too late to corral Boo

Each throw rug is neatly rolled into a sausage. The small gray rabbit dozes in a fluffy lump under a rattan plant stand, a half-lidded sleep, alert for any coyote that might leap from behind ...

San Diego's attempt at eco-tourism

Sea World, the zoo, Wild Animal Park, Birch Aquarium?

It's a fact. Tourists will pay good money to visit Imperial Beach to go birding in the cold morning mist at the Tijuana River Estuary. They'll come from Europe to Poway to climb Mt. Woodson's ...

Aileen Mellott and Baja's Flying Samaritans

Angels with dusty wings

The wind was blowing hard, and the dust started to swirl up. I dropped down to 200 feet and probably was within minutes of Ensenada airport when the weather closed in and everything suddenly went blank.

Samoans gather in National City and explain backgound

Those who served the high chief must have tattoos

“When the tattoo is finally done, you wait for a minute for the pain to go down, then you yell. You blast up. You’re finished! You feel like you want to break everything around."

Sunfresh Floral in a small valley in northern San Marcos

Where roses never rest

“And it’s important that the roses be picked at just the right point. It’s different for each variety, but if you pick them too early, when they’re not opened up enough, they’ll never open.”

What Do You Grow to Replace Avocados?

The sign on Steve Olson's office door says Olson Avocado Management. The logo on his jacket reads Olson Firewood. When you work in agriculture, you have to stay flexible. "Groves we planted 10, 20 years ...

University Avenue: From Washington Street to La Mesa Boulevard

“This used to be a beautiful place,” says Jonnie. “A family part of town. Nice people lived here. That all changed with the Vietnam War, 1975. People from war places started coming in, big-time.”

C. Arnholt Smith, part two

The decline of a western tycoon

Kroc got on the phone and in a very high-pitched voice he said, “Mommy, I bought us a baseball team today.” There was a long silence, but I imagine what she said to him.

C. Arnholt Smith, in his own words – part 1

Mr. San Diego still rolling at 93

I don’t know why we expanded like this. I guess I’m a damn fool and like to work and create things. We had to have jobs, industry. San Diego wasn’t like Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Steel.

Reader writers write about first day of school

La Mesa, East San Diego, Minneapolis, Logan Heights

Mr. Van Winkle asked the Student Council Reps, to indicate to the classes that if they can convince him through sound logical arguments that they should ride skateboards to school that he will reconsider his position.

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

I felt like running to him and offering my support, shouting. “Neil! Neil Simon! Compadre!”

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 ...

Why there are no good football books

The smaller the ball

"They nip, top, wallop, trounce, rout, down, subdue, smash, drub, paste, trip, crush, curb, whitewash, erase, bop, slam, batter, check, hammer, pop. wham, clout, and blank the visitors. Or they zero them. They jolt them…."