100 Grateful San Diegans

Diane Jones
30
Marketing Director
Married
College Area
Interviewed at the Natural History Museum, Balboa Park

I’m grateful that my father — he’s 63 — is healthy and happy. He had an accident last year; he had a flesh-eating bacteria and he lost his arm. It was very twilight zone. I was in London when it happened. They don’t know how it happened. But he’s doing great now. He’s doing everything he used to do, within a year: he’s golfing and fishing. I’m also grateful for my husband and my family. Actually, I’m grateful for my whole family.

Yasmin Sabas
21
Student
Not Married
Escondido
Interviewed at Starbucks in San Marcos

I’m grateful for my family, my boyfriend, my friends, my car. I have a Corolla. It takes me places. I’m thankful for my house. I live with my parents. I’m thankful for my parents’ jobs because they support me completely. I have an older brother who’s in the Navy. He just got back from the war, so that’s great. He’s going to be here for two more months, and then he’s going to go to Bahrain. He volunteered to do that. He’s really changed. He’s more grown-up. He’s nicer.

Alex Cumana
31
Real Estate/Property Manager
Married
South Mission Hills
Interviewed at the Festa in Little Italy

This year I am thankful that my family and I are here today. We were involved in a car crash last weekend on highway 5 going south from Los Angeles. It was late at night, around the San Juan Capistrano area, when a car hit ours. Our car rotated four times on a 360-degree angle at 75 miles per hour. We were hit by one of the two speed racers who lost control of his car. So most definitely I am thankful for the health of my family and mine and that we can enjoy being together today.

Kayleigh
Ninth-Grade Student
Interviewed at Mira Mesa High School

I’m thankful for everything that I have. I’m just, like, the Pilgrim thing. No. Not that.

David Baumgardner
61
Retired
Married
Jamul
Interviewed at Target in Rancho San Diego

Well, I’m 61, and I had polio, but I am still alive. I am thankful for that. I’m not as healthy as I used to be, but I am still ticking. I got the polio when I was 5. That was at the tail end of the big polio epidemic that went from 1935 to 1945. I had it over 100 percent of my body. But through physical therapy and hard work and being browbeaten by my folks and nurses, I got the use of my upper body back. Now I am up and around, and I can still do stuff, and I am very thankful for that. And even though I have some post-polio-syndrome complications, I have a pretty good outlook.

Kathleen Baumgardner
47
Retired
Married
Jamul
Interviewed at Target in Rancho San Diego

I am thankful for family, good health, and great friends. I have three children, and I have two grandchildren. And all of my children are healthy and doing well. They are scattered all over the place — Hawaii and Colorado. I have lived in both spots. In fact, I have lived all over the world, which is another thing I am thankful for. I have lived in Europe, I have lived in Hawaii, and I have lived all over the United States. I have a sister who lived in Israel, I have a sister who lives in Thailand, and I’ve visited those places. I am very thankful to have done so much traveling and seen so many different places in my life.

Frank Pswatai
11
Student
Spring Valley
Interviewed at North County Fair

I’m thankful for having a good life and having fun in San Diego. I like to play with my friends and go to the mall with my brother and have fun. I like looking at people shop and looking at new stuff. I like to look at new video games.

Paul Fisher
22
Lance Corporal (E3)
Interviewed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

Thankful for having two caring parents, both still together. Thankful that most of my brothers who I went overseas with have come home. Just thankful to be alive.

Josefina Rivera
21
Hostess
Not Married
Valencia Park
Interviewed at El Torito Restaurant in Rancho Bernardo

I’m thankful that I have a good job. If I have a job, I can support my daughter. I can buy things for her. My daughter is a year and a half. I live with my sister, and her house is far away from my job. My goal is to be living alone in an apartment. I know that if I keep this job, I can get my own place and buy things for my daughter.

Anne Silva
42
Communications Manager
Single
Ocean Beach
Interviewed at UCSD

I’m really grateful this year for some of the things I didn’t get. An escrow fell through on an expensive condo — I’m going back to school instead with that dough. My friend/surrogate mom/muse Helena, 75, died after a painful illness. I’m grateful for the time I was honored with her friendship and that I now have a really cool angel watching over me. I’m grateful for all the bad dates I’ve been on this year (and there have been many) — it’s helping me clarify what I want and realize I can do with or without the relationship thing. I’m grateful for divine intervention when I held on to things I realized later I really didn’t need. I’m grateful for my really cool playwriting class at UCSD! Most of all, I’m grateful I can still be silly, hopeful, and not afraid of jumping off a cliff every once in a while and being given the wings to fly if only I try.

Peter Parmenter
38
Internal Auditor
Single
Golden Triangle
Interviewed in Hillcrest

I’m grateful for friends, family, health, and the fact that Arnold can’t get legally elected president. I think the election was a sham, and I think he has the potential to create more havoc than help for the state. However, I did make sure that Austrian folk music was available in the office on October 8. I’m also grateful for my motorcycle, my matching helmet, and my new apartment.

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