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Best Reader stories from 1988

Klan's John Metzger, Eileen Jackson, Helen Hunt Jackson, diving in San Diego, E. W. Scripps, Slab City, undercover massage cop busted

Eileen Jackson retired from the Union at 70. Then, at the behest of Tribune editor Neil Morgan, she returned in 1981 to write a column in the Tribune.
  • Eileen Jackson retired from the Union at 70. Then, at the behest of Tribune editor Neil Morgan, she returned in 1981 to write a column in the Tribune.
  • Image by Craig Carlson
  • Ku Klux Klan 's John Metzger talks of hate and tears

  • "My father was in the Crusaders, a national organization that was pretty powerful in San Diego, which was part Christian Identity. It’s a church which espouses the doctrine that whites are the chosen people and that no one else fits into the agenda. It was a street-action-oriented church, somewhat related to what Reverend [Dorman] Owens did with abortion. They were religious, but they were out there in the streets. They were anti-Catholic."
  • By Abe Opincar, Nov. 10, 1988

Tom and John Metzger. "I got hit in school because I was Tom Metzger’s son and ... that hurts, you know, it hurts you."

Tom and John Metzger. "I got hit in school because I was Tom Metzger’s son and ... that hurts, you know, it hurts you."

"Once I was at a dinner where I was given an award for Helen’s biography, and afterwards a woman told me she owned a chair in which the real Ramona had sat."

"Once I was at a dinner where I was given an award for Helen’s biography, and afterwards a woman told me she owned a chair in which the real Ramona had sat."

N.C. Wyeth

  • Was Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona real?

  • During late winter and early spring of every year, a bit of confusion reigns up north in the town of Ramona. The folks at the chamber of commerce there get a rash of long-distance phone calls and upwards of twenty-five letters a day — many of them with checks enclosed — from people all over the nation who want to buy tickets to the Ramona Outdoor Pageant, which they believe to be held each spring in the town of Ramona.
  • By Roger Anderson, Sept. 29, 1988
  • If you haven't been in Eileen Jackson's Evening Tribune column, you haven't arrived

  • We stood outside her Mission Hills home. She nodded toward a two-story house half a block uphill and said, "That was my father’s house." She led the way down stone steps set into a steep incline, toward her own house. Halfway down the steps, she stopped, looked back over her shoulder, and laughed. "Last Sunday we tried to have a party here. But our friends are too old. They couldn't manage these steps. We moved the party to our daughter's place."
  • By Judith Moore, June 30, 1988
  • Unlikely result of San Diego's massage parlor crackdown

  • Now that he’s out of jail, off probation, and living contentedly in Vista, former San Diego vice squad officer Bob Hannibal can finally talk publicly about the job that precipitated his downfall. He says that going to jail was “the best thing that ever happened to me. It turned my life around. I became sober; it saved my marriage; I learned to communicate; I learned to be an individual and not a cop."
  • By Neal Matthews, Sept. 22, 1988

Hannibal (right) gets commendation from police chief Kolender, 1983.

Hannibal (right) gets commendation from police chief Kolender, 1983.

  • Every dive around San Diego yields discovery

  • One of the oddest of these noises, an irregular bumping sound heard frequently in the rocks and ridges off the beaches from the La Jolla Caves south to Bird Rock, had been a disconcerting mystery to me for fifteen years. Then about three weeks ago, while free-diving (without the aid of compressed-air tanks) near the Children’s Pool off La Jolla, this little mystery began to unravel. Dropping fifteen feet down to a ridge fringed with eel grass, I noticed that the startling bumping sound seemed to be coming from inside the ridge.
  • By Neal Matthews, Aug. 11, 1988

Diver approaches garibaldi: “I reached out for it and saw its thick orange lips purse in reaction, then blow. That mysterious bumping sound!”

Diver approaches garibaldi: “I reached out for it and saw its thick orange lips purse in reaction, then blow. That mysterious bumping sound!”

  • E.W. Scripps, newspaper magnate, leaves stamp on San Diego

  • Sixty-six years ago, Edward Wyllis Scripps, the premier newspaper baron of nineteenth-century America, sat aboard his yacht the Ohio, which lay in the still waters off Jacksonville, Florida. On that day in 1922, he took pen in hand and deprived all but one of his children of the legacy of his vast media empire. By then his relationship |with his wife and family had so deteriorated that he was forced to desert Rancho Miramar, the sprawling 2100-acre ranch he had blasted out of the dusty scrub country north of San Diego.
  • By Matt Potter, April 7, 1988

Family portrait, circa 1915. Front row: E. Virginia Scripps, Ellen Browning Scripps, E.W. Scripps, sons Robert and John, Nackie Scripps (Mrs. E.W. Scripps), Mrs. James Scripps, E.W.’s mother, Judith Osborne. Back row: Fred Scripps, Mrs. Willam Scripps, William Scripps, James E. Scripps.

Family portrait, circa 1915. Front row: E. Virginia Scripps, Ellen Browning Scripps, E.W. Scripps, sons Robert and John, Nackie Scripps (Mrs. E.W. Scripps), Mrs. James Scripps, E.W.’s mother, Judith Osborne. Back row: Fred Scripps, Mrs. Willam Scripps, William Scripps, James E. Scripps.

  • Hot place in the sun

  • The roosters start at exactly 4:52 a.m. At first it’s just one restless old bird grumping about the long winter night. But before long, his rabble-rousing has stirred every chicken within a mile of town. By 5:00 a.m. the place sounds like the Chicken Tabernacle Choir, and nobody in Slab City can sleep. At least nobody with his hearing aid on.
  • By Steve Sorensen, March 10, 1988

Rusty Lee Jones is the closest thing to a mayor Slab City has, and he doesn’t like to hear anything bad about the  town.

Rusty Lee Jones is the closest thing to a mayor Slab City has, and he doesn’t like to hear anything bad about the town.

  • The unbearable rightness of being Roger Hedgecock

  • What?! Can this be right? Actual, literal Q and A with R * O * G * E * R H * E * D * G * E * C * O * C * K, who you thought would rather lose his dingus than submit to another, ulp, ordeal by newsprint??? Yup, that’s right: not a bluff, nor ploy, nor “yellow journalistic” slight of copy. Your eyes, and this newssheet, deceive you not. The real “thing,” daddy-o!
  • By Richard Meltzer, March 24, 1988

I go for a score: male-bonding gambit #502. “I understand” — dig this — “we’ve got something in common. Both of us were 4-F during the Vietnam War.”

I go for a score: male-bonding gambit #502. “I understand” — dig this — “we’ve got something in common. Both of us were 4-F during the Vietnam War.”

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