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Best Reader stories from 1985

Santa Ysabel Indians, life of a cabbie, UCSD Med School, Dogpatch U.S.A., Battle of San Pasqual,, Timken Gallery's Putnam Sisters

Besides the shoot-out and the pig roasts and swimming in Kitchen Creek, summer is when bikers and tourists come around.
  • Besides the shoot-out and the pig roasts and swimming in Kitchen Creek, summer is when bikers and tourists come around.
  • Image by David Covey

Bust of Steve Ponchetti by James Hubbell. Ponchetti, who called himself "just a jackrabbit Indian," fought night and day against termination of the reservations.

Bust of Steve Ponchetti by James Hubbell. Ponchetti, who called himself "just a jackrabbit Indian," fought night and day against termination of the reservations.

  • The spirit of Steve Ponchetti

  • It has forever been the custom of the Diegueño Indians to bury their dead twice: once at death, and then once again a year later. And so it was that the people of Santa Ysabel had gathered at the mission on a Saturday morning in October, one year after the death of Steve Ponchetti, to hold the ceremony in honor of the man who for more than forty years had been their leader.
  • By Steve Sorensen, Nov. 7, 1985
  • Dogpatch, U.S.A.

  • As you drive through the hairpin turns near Hauser Canyon Mountain, out past Potrero where Highway 94 narrows, your ears begin to pop when the altitude reaches 2350 feet. Out here there's nothing for miles but country roads lined with tall oaks, deep green hills, and lots of sky.
  • By Sue Garson, April 11, 1985
  • Around the town in seven years

  • We talked and he asked me why I wanted to become a cab driver, anyway? Why did I want to drive for this company, anyway? He asked was I aware of the danger? “This city loses more cab drivers in a year than the police lose cops. We offer long hours and, sometimes, low pay.”
  • By Paul Warden, July 18, 1985

I finally came upon my taxi. It was beautiful, the most beautiful thing on four wheels I had ever seen! I climbed inside and kissed the wheel.

I finally came upon my taxi. It was beautiful, the most beautiful thing on four wheels I had ever seen! I climbed inside and kissed the wheel.

  • Don't be surprised if UCSD School of Medicine turns you down

  • Maria Lofftus, manager of the admissions office at the UCSD School of Medicine, had just finished explaining to an irate father why his son's application had been rejected. She has a repertoire of responses to all kinds of complaints — for the angry fathers whose dreams have been dashed, the sobbing mothers who think their child's life has been destroyed.
  • By Stephen Meyer, May 9, 1985

"Do you think they consider who you really are? No. They look at MCATs and GPAs."

"Do you think they consider who you really are? No. They look at MCATs and GPAs."

  • The bloody battle of San Pasqual

  • State Highway 78 winds its way through the San Pasqual Valley toward Ramona. At a bend in the road a mile east of the entrance to the Wild Animal Park there is a roadside park. It is small and indistinct. One could, and many do, zip by it without a glance. Some might slow down — a few might even stop — if they knew what happened there 139 years ago.
  • By Glenn Wallace, March 7, 1985

"Death of the Virgin," by Petrus Christus. Amy complained that Poland, who brought ceramics and prints, contemporary and Asian art to the gallery, had turned too much to modern art.

"Death of the Virgin," by Petrus Christus. Amy complained that Poland, who brought ceramics and prints, contemporary and Asian art to the gallery, had turned too much to modern art.

  • The mystery of Timken Gallery's Putnam Sisters

  • Amy, Anne, and Irene. “If anyone tells you they knew them, they’re lying,” one longtime San Diegan says, when asked about the late Putnam sisters. The wealthy, reclusive spinsters went to and from their Hillcrest mansion at Fourth Avenue and Walnut Street in a curtain-shrouded limousine. Only an occasional citizen glimpsed them. They were zoo visitors, and contributed generously to the Zoological and Humane Societies. They gave money for musicales. In 1938 the sisters began to lavish San Diego with Old Masters.
  • By Judith Moore, Jan. 31, 1985

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