Unique San Diego people

Lefty Adler, Jerry Herrera, Jack Orr, two Russian emigres, the king of Moonlight Beach

Before Adler arrived, the museum had an annual operating budget of less than a quarter million dollars. Now it’s about $1.1 million.
  • Before Adler arrived, the museum had an annual operating budget of less than a quarter million dollars. Now it’s about $1.1 million.
  • Image by Craig Carlson

Yurii's wife reported her husband’s criticism of the Soviet way of life to the Communist Party committee.

Yurii's wife reported her husband’s criticism of the Soviet way of life to the Communist Party committee.

You are looking at a free man

“The sea boundary of the Soviet Union in the Far East was known to me. I knew that . . . Japan is far, and North Korea extradites the fugitive back to the Soviet Union immediately. Besides, in the Far East there are prohibited zones everywhere and a new man cannot arrive there unnoticed. In the north, only white bears can swim in the cold water."

By Jeannette DeWyze, July 23, 1981 Read full article

“He said he had bribed a bellboy to open the Lichtensteins' room and then packed up all their clothes.”

“He said he had bribed a bellboy to open the Lichtensteins' room and then packed up all their clothes.”

The art of being Lefty Adler

In the early days it was not unheard of for him to tell rich La Jolla socialites to fuck off. Among the fraternity of museum directors, the adjective most often used to describe Adler is “outrageous.” He admits to being insecure, irascible, temperamental, and capricious. “If I’m mean I'm mean,” he shrugs. “If I'm awful I’m awful. I can’t change me.”

By Neal Matthews, July 9, 1981 Read full article

“The only time Jerry ever gave us a cut off the bar was when he bought the band a six-pack.”

“The only time Jerry ever gave us a cut off the bar was when he bought the band a six-pack.”

He brought punk rock to San Diego

“They don’t like me because I’m not using union bands. But most of them are older guys who are totally turned off by new-wave music. The bands I use don’t have enough money to get in the union. We give them the chance to do original music and build up a following.”

By Thomas K. Arnold, Aug. 20, 1981 Read full article

Aleksandr at Ken Cinema: “Save yourrr stubs. We will soon have lottery.”

Aleksandr at Ken Cinema: “Save yourrr stubs. We will soon have lottery.”

Is there really such a thing as a Russian yuppie?

“Then I watch most powerful country in world drain down, going from big hill at very high speed downhill. Americans are sometimes naive. They trust Soviet government to honor signature on international agreement. It is joke. They trust too much. Reagan brings oxygen to whole country. He brings new life and pride.”

By Sue Garson, Oct. 18, 1984 Read full article

"I enjoy a cold beer or two after work — except that I don't like to drink in bars."

"I enjoy a cold beer or two after work — except that I don't like to drink in bars."

The king of Moonlight Beach

“A sheriff told me once they used to use us for training, because they knew we were nonviolent. If they had some rookie who'd never busted anybody before, they’d bring him down to Moonlight and tell him, ‘Okay, wait until they get drunk, then go arrest them.’ That sheriff said I was the first person he ever put cuffs on, and he’s a lieutenant now.”

By Steve Sorensen, Jan. 15, 1987 Read full article

Jack Orr: "I don’t think people like Roger Hedgecock. I mean, you either love him or you hate him."

Jack Orr: "I don’t think people like Roger Hedgecock. I mean, you either love him or you hate him."

The bad boy of San Diego politics

"They’re very weak people, even Evonne Schulze. Take her out of the mayor’s office and what was she but a community college adviser? Tom Shepard is the classic example of a pilot fish, the kind that lives off the shark. He swims alongside the big guy; wherever the big guy goes, he goes."

By Paul Krueger, Aug. 8, 1985 Read full article

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