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Stories by Mark Orwoll

Mark Orwoll and the Reader

Raoul Marquis, the face of Highlander, PB Surfer Motel attacked, San Ysidro border agents, PSA airline, NASSCO accidents, Chesapeake Fish Co., Baptist commune

Mark Orwoll, international editor for Travel+Leisure magazine, wrote for the Reader in the 1970s and 1980s. Editor's picks of stories Orwoll wrote for the Reader: Raoul Marquis – mayor of India Street People criticize Raoul ...

San Diego's old trolleys, off season Mission Beach, lost colony of Mission hills, an abused dog, Surfer Motel attacked, Baseball card obsession

Stories hidden in the back pages of the Reader

The glories of San Diego's trolley system Buses are rough; the passengers fall down easier. With the streetcars, you knew where they were—smooth starts and stops. They weren’t swaying back and forth—therefore, less accidents. And ...

How I committed my friend to mental health

Just over the edge

In the autumn of our senior year at the university, at the time of Kurt's delirium, we lived in a broad and ample house that was owned by rival gangsters. But this is not a ...

A sad Mission Beach dog story

There was a curious odor, like something gone rancid

Four young men lived together not long ago in Mission Beach. They were all unemployed and got by as best they could on their wits. Consequently, they were always on the verge of bankruptcy. But ...

PB's Surfer Motel attacked, guard killed

A fateful dose of Mace

The Surfer Motor Lodge is like any other tacky tourist motel in San Diego. It has tan stucco walls, a swimming pool, and redwood picnic furniture on tiny balconies of the motel’s fifty-two rooms. The ...

Raoul Marquis – mayor of India Street

Early years of little theater in San Diego

People criticize Raoul Marquis for many things They criticize him for being overbearing and authoritarian; for operating the Marquis Public Theater chiefly on government money; for taking advantage of his employees; for running his theater ...

Pacific Beach's Roxy Theater to become post office

The mailman moves

Where once the residents of Pacific Beach bought stamps and mailed packages, they will soon be squeezing tomatoes and weighing bananas. And where once they watched X-rated films or saw rock concerts, they may soon ...

How PSA grew with San Diego

Tales of an airline

“I have designed for [the stewardesses] pink micro-miniskirts to be worn with strawberry hot pants and red boots and they're darling." The color scheme caught on, and by November, PSA began changing the color of its airplanes.

Look familiar? He was the image of Highlander menswear

Strike a worried pose

Jim Crawford is drinking white wine as it happens again — recognition. It has gotten to the point where he is now used to it. and it no longer bothers him. At bars and restaurants, ...

Imperial Beach takes action on vandalized pier

Brian Bilbray painted over the KKK letters.

There is an island of the coast of Imperial Beach that should not be there. It was once the crossbar section of the municipal T-shaped fishing pier, but fierce storms last winter destroyed the south ...

Writer spends time on street, in rescue mission, at Hare Krishna temple

Notes from a vagrant

The challenge was simple: I would take only the clothes I wore, without a change. I would carry with me no money, nor anything that I might pawn. 1 would stay away from my home ...

There isn’t a tougher port to work at than San Ysidro

The gatekeepers

There is a switchblade in that car — and a woman with a trembling left breast. The woman of the trembling breast and her three companions — two young men and another young woman — ...

Chesapeake is one of Southern California's five biggest fishmongers

Had its beginnings in the Yugoslavian village of Comisa

Nick Vitalich, Jr. scans the oyster-colored sky for rain. All he wants is a bit more time. Behind him is a pinewood crate attached to a cable and winch, which dangles about four feet off ...

Newsline's Larry Remer – like Jane Fonda at a Black Panther meeting

The muck stops here

Scene: A Friday afternoon business luncheon. Helen Copley, publisher of the San Diego Union and the Evening Tribune , is speaking to 150 members of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. Time for questions. A ...

From one accident at NASSCO to another

Workman's compensation

Gene Nooner's story is really very simple. He has been abused. During the past decade, Nooner was required to undergo thirty-five shock treatments he later discovered were probably unnecessary, became addicted to drugs prescribed by ...

Poway's Mike Pitzel wants you to understand the trimobius

The patent description is rather verbose

Like nearly every creative genius before him, Mike Pitzel would like to explain his creation to curious laymen. After all it really is so simple, this Trimobius. Just imagine a Mobius band constructed in a ...

We Are Family: South Bay's Baptist Communes

South Bay's Baptist communities

Pianist Kevin Cope knocks another tune out of the weathered Gulbransen upright piano, and again the group jumps into song unabashedly, with more hands held above heads and more upward-searching faces. But this time the ...

True newspaper scoops in San Diego, 1979

The best newspaper reporting doesn't always get the biggest headlines; sometimes a series of stories begins on page seventeen of the financial section and in several months works its way to the front page, while ...

San Diego characters I met in 1979

Ruth Norman, Clint Gary, Harold Gee

People who live back East like to say smugly that their part of the country is saner than ours because all the unbalanced people tend to follow the pull of gravity into Southern California. This, ...

OB Manifesto

Last Saturday the sun was shining on the 5100 block of Cape May Avenue in Ocean Beach, and Red House at 5113 was in full flower. At the side yard gate, casually dressed visitors (mostly ...