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Stories by Various Authors

Life after 9/11

Mom explains it to kids, ex-SEALs re-think hijacking security, San Diegans react, SPAWAR, SAIC protect plants, San Diego's Black Muslims speak out

Where We Were “Tell them there’s been a terrible tragedy and lots of people have died and that we need to pray for the victims and for their families and for the horrible people who ...

San Diego Characters: Outliers

Woman logger, Josie Scripps, the Spaceman of OB, and Bill Gookin

Josie Scripps She reports that the county, for its size, is second only to an area in Africa. Larger areas like Brazil and Ceylon contain greater quantities of gems, she says, but none has the ...

Central San Diego before 1930

The San Diego trolley in the early 1900s, the elusive Putnam sisters, and someone who remembers the Marstons, Klaubers, and Colonel Fletcher

Clang, clang, clang In the summer you could get a fifty-cent pass for the whole week. ” She recalls passing her ticket out the window to a friend to squeeze two rides for the price ...

Manual labor: I sweat right in front of you

House cleaner's dirt stories, appliance repairman propositioned, amazing baseboard tales, tension in Mt. Soledad, intellectual plumber, Reader writer as janitor

Here to Clean Up Bruce’s departed tenant had left telltale signs of the "young bachelor" — a floor so encrusted with dirt in places that I had to chisel it off with a knife, a ...

Near desert places

A changed Jacumba, the little towns of Highway 80, and the drama of Warner Springs

A Quiet Street and an Old Hotel He smeared my whole body and face with mineral oil and began rubbing it around with a machine that whined and felt warm. A cord led from his ...

Abortion as a moral conflict

Bombers of Family Planning Associates interviewed, family prays outside clinic, where San Diego fetuses go, man's and woman's abortion stories, priest goes to jail, Womancare head kills self

Truths and Consequences We absolutely didn’t have a clue about what we were doing, but each one of us were self-motivated. It was like if you want it done, you do it yourself. That’s kind ...

That Seventies vibe

San Diego covens, the More House commune in Rancho Santa Fe, whither the San Diego peace movement, pyramid selling, radical chic in La Jolla

Eye of Newt, Toe of Frog San Diego covens. Force claimed he had played a role, witchwise, in the indictment of San Diego's former Mayor Curran and his staff, in the Yellow Cab scandal. By ...

Beach life: 1981-1991

OB hippies, San Diego oceanfront lots, Sunset Cliffs deaths, Pacific Beach gangs, the girls of summer

Low Tide at OB Today, although drug traffic is still heavy, the overall crime rate for serious offenses – including rape and other sex crimes, assault, burglary, robbery, grand theft, auto theft, and petty theft ...

A Padres retrospective

"Most people remembered the Padres’ Bircher contingent as 'Eric Show and those other two guys.'"

Clinton-and-Brown-Loving, Rich Texas Liberal Seeks Date with Padres Most of the money Moores gave to the Clinton camp came through the Democratic National Committee. “Federal law limits individual gifts [to presidential candidates] to $1000 per ...

Music of the 1980s

The Tubes, the Beat Farmers, Psychotic Waltz, and when rap and norteño entered the scene

My Son the Tube When the Tubes appeared on the Cher TV special in April of the next year, I was almost overcome by a fit of the whips and jingles as I waited for ...

San Diego's place in world history

Spanish Civil War vets, Contras and drugs, Sandinistas, Korean War vets, the Chosin Few

Never Say Retreat "Almond ordered the Marines north behind Faith to the Chosin Reservoir. Winter had now arrived, and things were getting weirder and weirder — irrational. It was on November 15 that General Oliver ...

San Diego high schools in the old days

San Dieguito strife, Poway wrestlers, Morse gangs, Helix football, Mission Bay reunion, Waldorf nurturing, Top 10 schools, and unusual homeschoolers

SD’s Top 10 High Schools “I think my eyes were opened freshman year [at Torrey Pines]. People think that when you go here, you’ve got this, like, perfect life made out for you, and, you ...

History of San Diego: 19th Century

Butterfield stage line, geology of San Diego, who was San Diego, and what was Serra’s route to San Diego

Beaver Trails to San Diego Governor Echeandia of San Diego “looked upon the Americans as being worse than thieves and murderers.” He tore up their passports and put them in a dungeon. One of Pattie’s ...

Outdoor life: fishing and hunting

Mission Beach, Salton Sea, Camp Pendleton, Cuyamaca, and San Pedro Martir

A Cast of One In spring in the surf, you are thinking of halibut. Everybody loves halibut. Fished for from shore, halibut offer all that is sporting in angling: a certain elusiveness, the confident strike, ...

Moral dilemmas

Euthanasia, sperm donation, racism, gold-digging and the right to die

Ten Grand a Dance One trouble with gold digging is that a girl only has ten years or so to make a go at it, and if she hasn’t struck a bonanza by then, or ...

Our local plant kingdom

San Diego’s palms, Engelmann oaks, endangered species, dangerous eucalyptus, oleander as cheap botanical thrill

The Oak Lady Ryan noted that she has also planted Engelmann oaks at Guajome County Park in Oceanside and at Felicita County Park just west of Escondido, at the Wild Animal Park, the Palomar College ...

Beach life: 1973-1978

Tom Wolfe, Mission Bay before dredging, Mission Beach Plunge, Moonlight Beach scene, Solana Beach lifeguard complaint, and La Jolla sharks

When men went under water “It started with the sharks who used to gather in the caves area in the southeast corner of what is now the underwater park in La Jolla. The war effort ...

Unusual pet fanciers

Pig, horses and women, dachshunds, pet cemeteries, pigeons

If I Had a Sledgehammer for a Nose, What Havoc Would I Wreak? I bought a pig because I wasn't ready for children. I wanted something small and helpless but something that wouldn't require college ...

Feast! The indulgence issue

Because it's not enough to say, "It was yummy!"

Restaurants worth treating as occasions — Where going out is still a treat. By Ian Pike It’s not news, but it’s love — Critics have to eat even when they’re not critiquing. By Ambrose Martin ...

Medical life

Nurses, med students, paramedics, and interns

What the Ghost in White Shoes Knows Burnt-out nurses seek revenge. Burnt-out nurses move slowly and resentfully through the hospital halls when a patient’s call light flickers on. Perhaps the patient’s IV bag has run ...

San Diego’s premodern Indians

Pictographs at Rancho Bernardo, controlled burns, and revolutionist Antonio Garra

A Curse Upon This Place J. Downey Harvey could now legally remove the Indians. There were five settlements: Agua Caliente, Puerta de la Cruz, San José, Puerta Ignoria, and Mataguay; about 215 Indians lived in ...

What we love chooses us

San Diego clubs: Star Wars, Mensa, mahjongg, go, chess, crosswords, cars, guns, bingo, gardening, stamp-collecting, dungeons and dragons

Mind Game Everett Boyer, a twenty-four-year-old computer programmer, controls a character of some renown in San Diego, the powerful Elrond. (The character appears originally in Tolkien’s The Hobbit.) This blond and sturdy elf has acquired ...

SD Characters: Sol Price, pioneer of Costco; Larry Lawrence, one of America's richest

Plus Andy Kay, Fletcher family, Blue brothers, and mafioso Alan Glick

Larry Lawrence and the Greening of American Politics Much of the San Diego money that went into the Clinton campaign’s coffers was collected May 17 at a $1000-per-person party for Clinton at the Coronado home ...

Neighbors battling Francis Parker goes back a long way

Plus fighting KFC in Golden Hill, a cabbie in Hillcrest, saving Victorians on Front Street, and quiet Olive Street

Mission Hills vs School Originally, a strip of public street called Plumosa Way, which runs 100 yards from Randolph Street to the edge of the canyon, was the northern boundary of the school. The street ...

Downtown San Diego before 1930

How IWW and the Wobblies were shut down (5 stories) and the gruesome Bennington explosion in San Diego Bay (2 stories)

How San Diego Took Care of its Wobblies Jack Whyte was one of the last wobblies to be convicted: “If the people of the state are to blame for this persecution, then the people...are to ...

Beach life: 1999-2004

San Diego Bay free anchorage, young women lying on the beach (what do they make of feminists), Yukon diving deaths, great white sharks in San Diego

All Summer, All Winter Is the Sound of the Sea “There have been remarkably small changes in the San Diego shoreline. Where you do see big changes is by the harbors where there was a ...

19 years ago today, Andrew Cunanan killed Gianni Versace

Role of San Diego older gays, friends remember victim (Coronado's Jeffrey Trail), interviews at Gay Pride parade and at Bishop's School, Maureen Orth of Vanity Fair report

La Jolla Gentlemen and the Party Boy One of Cunanan's patrons has been identified as Lincoln Aston, who once owned the Pepita Way house that Blachford now has title to. Records show that in 1995, ...

San Diego voyages, 1987-1994

Deep hike with Jerry Schad, San Dieguito River, road trips from San Diego, El Cajon Mountain ruins friendship

Read more voyages in the Reader: bike ride to Milwaukee aborted, hitching with CBers, quest for San Diego River source, Dad and I in La Paz, who rides the Greyhound, scary sail from Newport Beach, ...

A look back at major league sports in San Diego

Stan Humphries' brain, Chargers vets, Nick Canepa’s “Sez Me” column

Why I Hate Football Working bars in New York, I had to keep the nightstick ready during Giants' games. I pried sports fans apart, called cops and ambulances. In Coronado years later, tending bar, a ...

The food chain

Fish farms, San Diego perfect for termites, feeding grease to cows, ostriches north of Escondido, duck hunt near Chocolate Mountains

And on This Farm They Had Some Fish It can get wet out there in the desert, especially when you're raising tons of fish. Like most people involved in aquaculture, Engler’s interest in the biological ...

C. Arnholt Smith, Mr. San Diego

He co-writes two cover stories for Reader, plus stories on Joe Brennan, San Diego's harbormaster and San Luis Rey Downs; Don Bauder explains the scams

Mr. San Diego: Born with the Century And Solar Aircraft — there’s another institution that we made. And that damn Herb Kunzel. He was president of Solar at the end, and he would eventually be ...

San Diego, war town

SEALS in Afghanistan, debate over M-16, SEALS in Iraq, Bob Kerrey and Ka-Bars, Rolling Stone

More Treacherous Than Vietnam "Several weeks ago, there was a story about a SEAL that supposedly fell out of a helicopter. His name was Neil Roberts. The helicopter took a few hits. He flipped out ...

Beach life: 1991-1996

San Clemente Island, Filipinos on the IB Pier, Chinese junk rescued from Glorietta Bay, dolphins as villains, Coronado lifeguards

Pier Group "They set seven to eight tiny hooks on a very fine line, put a small weight at the end, and tie tiny feathers to each hook. No bait. You drop the line in ...

Manual labor

Brawley cattle, La Jolla lobsters, San Diego tugs, circus workers, sea urchin divers, downtown highrise construction, shopping cart retrieval, truck driving

Sweet, Wet, Ugly, and Tough Culbertson fished out of La Jolla for years. “I was born in La Jolla; that was my home. I rented a two-bedroom house there for $75 a month. I fished ...

Encinitas before yuppies, the proposal to divide Fairbanks Ranch

Oceanside's secret French village and the University City bridge fight

The Most ideal of Provinces Rancho Santa Fe proposed an alternative plan, which called for preserving Del Dios as a two-lane road and, instead, extending and expanding San Dieguito Road (Route 728) such that it ...

Hike from the San Diego River source, La Paz with Dad, lost at sea off Mission Bay, Pacific Crest Trail, El Camino Real

Voyages, 1975-1986

Read more voyages in the Reader: trek with trail wizard Jerry Schad, San Dieguito River hike from Volcan Mountain to Del Mar, bike ride from San Diego to Minnesota, Amtrak from Oakland to New Orleans, ...

The Few. The Proud. All over San Diego.

Marine boot camp then and now, Chocolate Mountains ordinance, Camp Pendleton, Iraq War leftovers, Marines' Cobra Whiskey, Pendleton buffalos

The Boot For 30 minutes he puts me through the old tortures — Chinese Thinking Position, Elbows and Toes, The Chair — and ones of his own invention. Hanging from the top of a bunk-frame ...

Ring of fire

The cost of accidental fire, Bowles fire, Tecate fire, El Cajon Blvd. arson, firebug detectives, Cedar Fire holdouts and cost of choppers, post-fire wildflowers

Who gets burned? Although accidentally starting a fire is a misdemeanor violation of the state health and safety code (section 13001 — "causing a fire" — maximum penalty $500 and one year in jail), no ...

How I live my life

Life on San Diego bungalow court, do we really want to buy a house, I'm fat, so what, those returning gifts at Horton Plaza after Christmas, the orphans of San Diego shopping malls

Houses and Homes He was on the verge of asking her to marry him, because she loved him more than anyone. He'd admitted that he was hooked on her loving, and then had extended the ...

San Diego's drug past

Meth, sherm, crack, heroin, ecstasy, glue, paint ... you name it

Your Mind Might Think It's Flyin' Stories from the Meth Capital “Most of the time when I was doing meth, we were always eating fast food, because you don’t want to cook. Your kitchen’s always ...

San Diego food chronicles

Karen Krasne's desserts, Mira Mesa's Donut Touch, and life of a banana at Apple Tree Market

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Donuts Crullers require very hot water in the mixing, 120 degrees. The mix is sensitive, and many shops do not carry these miniature snow tires. But Ben prides ...

Music of the 1970s

Tom Shaw, Tom Waits, San Diego reggae and disco, the Penetrators

What do Leroy Smart, Haile Selassie and Dave Allard Have In Common? Allard moved to Rainer's, on Broadway in downtown San Diego, and before long he created a store within the store. Mr. Ratncr had ...

San Diego gangs: Lomas, Red Steps, Crips, Oriental Killer Boys

Plus Danny Dean Wilson of North County, Vicente, Huero, and a meditation at Holy Cross Cemetery by Junior Garcia

Speedy Claims Lomas, the Law Claims Speedy “Me and my homeboys were hanging around the hood [neighborhood] when some of my homegirls came up and told us they wanted to jump out [the gang ritual ...

All about El Cajon's Lester Bangs

El Cajon classmates Robert Houghton, Roger Anderson, Andrew Hamlin on Lester; rock writer Richard Meltzer and fellow Creem writer on Lester; Altamont with Lester

My high school days with Lester Bangs Lest anyone think that I have a few bones to pick myself, let me make clear that I wish neither to trash Lester’s personal or literary reputation nor ...

A history of San Diego institutions: theaters and museums

The Rep, the Timken, MoPA, OMA, the Historical Society, Lamb's Players, and the Balboa Theatre

The Archive “During the war, film was rationed and there were many prohibitions placed on photographers for security reasons, so a general lack of photographic material from that time is to be expected. That’s when ...

Black in San Diego

Blacks imagine they are white, growing up Negro in San Diego, San Diego black barbers, 19th century San Diego for blacks, Black Power in San Diego

A Whole Different Story If I'd Been White "When I first lived on Logan, it was nice and then it turned bad. I lived right on the corner, and the cars would zoom on by, ...

Memorializing the Vietnam War

Refugees arrive at Pendleton, San Diegan deserts to Stockholm, Agent Orange victim, Brute Krulak on early war, Hilltop High grad meets classmate in war, Marine starts at MCRD, gets wounded in war

Camp without Joy Vietnamese have been brought to Camp Pendleton. The Camp Pendleton that sent Marines to Danang in the first place, just 10 years ago. With little imagination, you could think it's sort of ...

Original ideas

Houses next to San Diego freeways, how homeless keep warm at night, Reader writer goes to Coronado prom, alien workers at Encinitas Home Depot, homeless talk about Mom, roadside memorials

Grrrrrrrr Ennis says she enjoys where she lives and doesn't think about the freeway raging 50 yards from her front door. "My general thought about this neighborhood is I really like it because we do ...

Sports celebs

San Diego's own: Florence Chadwick, Ted Williams, Archie Moore, Maureen Connolly, Bobby Riggs,Pancho Segura, SEALS spy for Koch, and a peek inside Padres' lockers

For more celebrities, click here. For author celebrities, click here. For thinker and artist celebrities, click here. For public figure and fraud celebrities, click here. Against the current Florence Chadwick in and out of the ...

San Diego scandals are nothing new

J. David, Dick Silberman, Larry Luchino, John Moores, David Malcolm

Assault on Montserrat In hot pursuit of the J. David Dominelli story, San Diego reporters ran into crafty cabdrivers, ferocious dogs, paper-thin walls, and — worst of all — each other. By Thomas K. Arnold, ...

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