Leslie Ryland and the Reader

Lawyers' clothes, San Diegans on Death Row, men imagine themselves as women, San Marcos, Valley Center, 1970 Laguna fire

Jay Borden: “I can’t imagine what it would be like to give birth to a child."
  • Jay Borden: “I can’t imagine what it would be like to give birth to a child."
  • Image by Sandy Huffaker, Jr.

Ryland, a mother of five and an attorney, wrote for the Reader from 1996 through 2004.

Editor's picks of stories Ryland wrote for the Reader:

  • What San Diego lawyers wear to court

  • “My favorite suit is a black Mani. It’s done by Armani,” Davee said. “Armani clothes tend to be loosely structured and more casual. The Mani line is their secondary cut that has a little bit more of a squared, business style. (Jan. 29, 1998)

Frank Sexton: “Chief Justice Rose Bird said that I hadn’t proven intent to kill. He only cut her head off. I suppose she could have throbbed around for a while.”

Frank Sexton: “Chief Justice Rose Bird said that I hadn’t proven intent to kill. He only cut her head off. I suppose she could have throbbed around for a while.”

  • 31 San Diegans on California's death row

  • A Linda Vista man murdered the pretty young mother of two tiny boys, cut off her head and hands, and dumped her body near Pine Valley in 1979. A Chula Vista couple, the only husband and wife currently on death row, tortured their four-year-old niece in 1995, then burned her to death in a bathtub full of scalding water. (February 20, 2003)
  • If I'd been born a woman

  • Ask any man you know if he’d like to be a woman, you get an automatic “No.” Too messy. Too emotional. Too hard. Most men can’t imagine going through their lives as anything but male. One San Diego man, born Lebanese, recoiled when asked to consider what his life would have been like had he been born a woman. “You might as well ask me to imagine how my life would have been different had I been born a Martian.” (May 16, 2002) .

Valley Center

Valley Center

  • The Valley Center far away from Harrah’s casino

  • At the end of a winding asphalt road, past boulders and gated ranches, past riotous tumbles of magenta bougainvillea, past dirt roads that disappear into orange groves dappled with midday sun, you'll find Peter Schaner. On the back porch of a rambling farmhouse, Schaner sits in a wooden chair and shoos the five dogs milling about. He tends to Joseph, the youngest of his eight children. (December 30, 2004)
  • San Marcos

  • Looking for a representative cross-section of San Marcos residents? Try the 24 Hour Fitness in the Vons center at San Marcos Boulevard and Rancho Santa Fe Road any weekday morning around 6:30. As you walk through the automatic doors, you’ll see the early-20-something Front Desk Girl hauling out the racks of spandex workout gear (20% Off!), her long blond hair pulled back in a ponytail. (December 24, 2003)

1970 Laguna fire - shot taken from Country Crest Drive, El Cajon. “We had trained for a fire coming down Kitchen Creek as much as you could train.  But as far as training on anything like the Laguna Fire — no way."

1970 Laguna fire - shot taken from Country Crest Drive, El Cajon. “We had trained for a fire coming down Kitchen Creek as much as you could train. But as far as training on anything like the Laguna Fire — no way."

  • Pine Valley girl recalls the 1970 Laguna fire

  • The phone rang a lot that morning. My mom spoke in the urgent yet businesslike tone she got when important things happened. My dad left the house before breakfast to drive the short mile and a half up to Sunrise Highway and to look at the fire. When he got back, my mom called the firemen and told them to stand by in case the fire came into the valley. (February 12, 1998)

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