Celebrities who spent some time here: public figures and frauds

Dr. Bronner of the soap, Walter Keane didn’t paint the big-eyed children, Kemp and the fugitive, Jesse Ventura was not a SEAL

“I have a collection of Autographs and Photographs and would like the honor of adding yours to my collection. Please use the enclosed card for your signature. Yours truly.”
  • “I have a collection of Autographs and Photographs and would like the honor of adding yours to my collection. Please use the enclosed card for your signature. Yours truly.”

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Best Wishes Always

He had 1000 letters printed: “I have a collection of autographs and photographs and would like the honor of adding yours to my collection. Please use the enclosed card for your signature. Yours truly.” And the letters were sent out from his 1557 Whipple Road, Tewksbury residence. “Half my week’s pay went to stamps. I was spending fifteen to twenty dollars a week on postage and only making forty-five or fifty dollars then.”

By Ron Raposa, Feb. 1, 1979 | Read full article

When I finally found Dr. Bronner, it was on a hot Friday night and he was sitting on the porch of the Escondido Women’s Club Building.

When I finally found Dr. Bronner, it was on a hot Friday night and he was sitting on the porch of the Escondido Women’s Club Building.

Look for the Soap with the Peace Plan on the Label

“I want to buy that house,” he shouted. “I want to buy it and make it a shrine for the All-One-God-Faith. Go to Modesto. Chuck! Find it!” Bronner didn’t wait for me to reply. “And there’s some other things that should go in your article that are more important than anything about Bronner. I don’t have much time…. But there are six of my inventions that need patent protection. Help me get it, Chuck.”

By Chuck Fager, Nov. 2, 1978 | Read full article

Bat Masterson had worked with Earp as a deputy marshal of Dodge City and he was on his way to Ensenada to pick up an army deserter who had been jailed there. He wanted his friend Earp to accompany him to Ensenada.

Bat Masterson had worked with Earp as a deputy marshal of Dodge City and he was on his way to Ensenada to pick up an army deserter who had been jailed there. He wanted his friend Earp to accompany him to Ensenada.

David Diaz

Wyatt Earp Was Here

He always preferred arresting gun-wielding cowboys without drawing his pistol, because he knew that that was an insult to them. Most of these guys fancied themselves infamous gunmen, vicious killers, and to be arrested without a struggle, without so much as even having a gun trained on them, was something they would have to live down for a long time to come. Earp understood that, and he wanted to insult them because he believed they were cowards.

By Gordon Smith, Feb. 6, 1986 | Read full article

So Ultra Rare, 1983. In the early 60s, Columbia did cut a full-blown pop-rock session with Laine. Laine adapted well to the fuzz-tone electric guitar, but it was too late. “My staunch fans from the past resisted it, and I didn’t pick up enough new fans in the rock ’n’ roll audience to make a dent.”

So Ultra Rare, 1983. In the early 60s, Columbia did cut a full-blown pop-rock session with Laine. Laine adapted well to the fuzz-tone electric guitar, but it was too late. “My staunch fans from the past resisted it, and I didn’t pick up enough new fans in the rock ’n’ roll audience to make a dent.”

Between a Flat Foot Floogie and a Hound Dog: Ladies and Gentlemen, Frankie Laine

To boost attendance, marathon dances were introduced by management. Laine became a marathon champ due to his ability to stay on his feet for days on end. The trick, he said, was to sleep while your partner held you up. Eventually he learned to sleep on his feet while dancing solo. In Baltimore, he danced for 106 days, 90 of them without a partner, and won a grand prize of $1000.

By Lee Hildebrand, Feb. 16, 1989 | Read full article

Franz Schnuabelt. More than 550,000 copies of his Star Trek technical manual have been sold, while fans gobbled up some 385,000 sets of Enterprise blueprints.

Franz Schnuabelt. More than 550,000 copies of his Star Trek technical manual have been sold, while fans gobbled up some 385,000 sets of Enterprise blueprints.

San Diegans Who Were Famous For A Very Short Time

As a result of the ensuing national publicity about Beard and her memo, the Republican convention was yanked out of San Diego, forever dashing Jim Copley’s dream of hosting pal Richard Nixon in his lucky city. "From then on, I was basically persona non grata and spent a few more months at the paper,” says Cox. “I had very little if anything printed and finally left with my middle finger raised high at the managing editor over some issue.”

By Jeannette DeWyze, Paul Krueger, Neal Matthews, and Matt Potter, March 7, 1991 | Read full article

Margaret and Walter Keane, c. 1963. “I envisioned myself as a sort of Henry Higgins with Margaret as a modern-day version of Eliza Doolittle.”

Margaret and Walter Keane, c. 1963. “I envisioned myself as a sort of Henry Higgins with Margaret as a modern-day version of Eliza Doolittle.”

Citizen Keane

“Walter Keane didn’t paint any of the paintings of the children. I did them, all of them. When he was out drinking and promoting, I was home painting. I always enjoyed doing faces. Used to always draw faces. When my daughter was a baby, I started doing her portrait, and then my neighbors wanted me to do their children’s portraits, and I did them with larger eyes than normal. Eyes were always large.”

By Adam Parfrey, May 14, 1992 | Read full article

Richard Jordan's obituary. “I stole Dean Martin from Roger this year. Dean partied more than anybody — the guy is 75,76 years old now."

Richard Jordan's obituary. “I stole Dean Martin from Roger this year. Dean partied more than anybody — the guy is 75,76 years old now."

Dying for Dollars

“My second pick is Salman Rushdie — they doubled the bounty on him and he still ain’t dead. Fidel Castro is next. Castro’s gonna go by natural causes, but you never know. Richard Nixon is my next pick. A lot of times you’ll find spouses will go together. But Dick’s not the kind of guy who would die just because his wife died. Ann Landers? I just picked her ’cause I don’t like her.

By Glenn Daly, Sept. 9, 1993 | Read full article

Fotomat kiosks were staffed by young women, called “Fotomates,” dressed in hot pants, a gimmick patterned after the stewardesses of another San Diego start-up, Pacific Southwest Airlines.

Fotomat kiosks were staffed by young women, called “Fotomates,” dressed in hot pants, a gimmick patterned after the stewardesses of another San Diego start-up, Pacific Southwest Airlines.

San Diego Historical Society

Kemp and the Fugitive

Fotomat also gave Graham a political base. One of the first beneficiaries was Jack Kemp. On May 23, 1968, the San Diego Union reported that Kemp had “joined Fotomat Corp., La Jolla, as assistant to the president, Clifford C. Graham.” It went on to say that “Kemp will assist a national sales program by assembling groups to purchase blocks of Fotomat franchises, such as one which recently bought Oakland area franchises for 30 small drive-thru photo stores.”

By Matt Potter, Oct. 24, 1996 | Read full article

Buck Grant (U.S. Grant Jr.). When Buck arrived in San Diego in 1893, George W. Marston, the department store magnate who would carry Buck’s coffin 36 years later, had been in business 15 years.

Buck Grant (U.S. Grant Jr.). When Buck arrived in San Diego in 1893, George W. Marston, the department store magnate who would carry Buck’s coffin 36 years later, had been in business 15 years.

San Diego’s Least Remembered Man

A couple of years ago, in the La Jolla International House of Pancakes, after months of studying history-book photos of the compact, sad-faced soldier, I came face-to-face with an in-the-flesh, near likeness of the great General U.S. Grant, a blue-eyed man in his 70s, Grant King, a retired architect living in La Jolla. Grandson of Buck, great-grandson of the general (the source of his given name), Grant King is one of the fiercest Grant defenders.

By Phyllis Orrick, July 2, 1998 | Read full article

From UDT 12 cruise book, Ventura on far left. SEAL Team One, with roughly the same number of men as UDT 12, had 34 killed during the war. I knew many of them. UDT 12  lost but a single man. 34:1.

From UDT 12 cruise book, Ventura on far left. SEAL Team One, with roughly the same number of men as UDT 12, had 34 killed during the war. I knew many of them. UDT 12 lost but a single man. 34:1.

Jesse "The Great Pretender" Ventura

I saw an example of how old SEALs cover for Jesse when I recently watched his biography on the Arts and Entertainment Network. One of my contemporaries, inaccurately identified as Jesse’s former commanding officer, was practicing the art of the conditional on Jesse’s behalf, talking about what Jesse would have done in Vietnam: “When he deployed with his platoon to Vietnam he would have gone out with the intent of doing grievous harm to the enemy…

By Bill Salisbury, Dec. 2, 1999 | Read full article

Wyatt Earp. Roy Bean fled to San Diego for sanctuary. He had shot a man between the eyes in Chihuahua.

Wyatt Earp. Roy Bean fled to San Diego for sanctuary. He had shot a man between the eyes in Chihuahua.

Temporary Residents: Earp, Bean, and Oswald

Joshua’s younger brother, Roy, fled to San Diego for sanctuary. He had shot a man between the eyes in Chihuahua. Old Town was a dusty little pueblo, and Roy had an ingrained impulse to stand out in small arenas. According to Major Horace Bell, Roy “was soon prancing around the old town appareled in all the gay trappings of a California caballero on a spirited steed with silver- mounted saddle and bridle, and became the beau ideal of the aristocratic señoritas.”

By Jeff Smith, July 25, 2002 | Read full article

Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe at Hotel del Coronado during filming of Some Like It Hot

Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe at Hotel del Coronado during filming of Some Like It Hot

The White Mask: Marilyn Monroe and the Hotel Del Coronado

She was pregnant, the second time that year. Six months earlier she had suffered an ectopic pregnancy and miscarried. During breaks in filming, Monroe would sit on the Del’s veranda and breathe the fresh Pacific air, saying, “This will be great for the baby.”

By Thomas Larson, Sept. 4, 2003 | Read full article

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