Category Archives: Spring 2012 Issue


At first glance they look like a gang of renegade bikers with patches and rocker bars adorning their bikes and leather vests as they gather in a Coronado grocery store parking lot. There are no two individuals alike, each bike, vest, and the various other allegoric symbols speak of very diverse gathering of  souls with a unifying bond and with a single solemn objective.

Most of them are Vietnam vets, but their are also simply patriots both male and female. The leader calls the group to attention and they gather around him. He explains the mission to newcomers in the group, and in this case it is to escort a young Seal Team member’s coffin to Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.

He hands out dog tags to each member. Each time they assemble, new members get their “first mission” tags, but most are getting another one of many. Instructions on how to process in unison along the highways are then given followed by precise directions.

Frenchie, a biker/pastor/patriot, is called upon to give the blessing. It is simple but powerful — the words delivered in such reverence — big men are moved almost to tears.

A single but most powerful word is the basis for such dedication. It is never spoken in casual tones by these Patriots because it is most cherished, revered, and never ever used lightly.

Every action by the Guard speaks of “RESPECT” for the memory of the fallen and their grieving loved ones.

The waves of emotion ripple through the crowds gathered along the roadside to watch this awesome, yet bittersweet convoy. The first into view are the rippling stars and stripes  affixed to the back of the bikes followed by the sound of powerful Harley Davidson motorcycles like a division of Sherman tanks as they thunder by.

Even more moving is to watch the dark green military buses carrying the fallen soldier and his family as they pass next. Even after they have passed, some men are still saluting as they disappear across the Coronado Bay Bridge.

The Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) is a motorcycle club whose members attend the funerals of U.S. Armed Forces members, firefighters, and police at the invitation of the deceased’s family. Patriot Guard Riders’ representatives state that they are not a chartered motorcycle club, but a group of patriotic individuals with an unwavering respect for those who risk their lives for America’s freedom and security.

The group was formed in 2005 to shelter and protect the deceased’s family from protesters such as the Westboro Baptist Church, who claim that the deaths of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are divine retribution for American tolerance of homosexuality. PGR members position themselves to physically shield the mourners from the presence of the Westboro protesters by blocking the protesters from view with their motorcade or by having members hold American flags. The group also drowns out the protesters’ chants by singing patriotic songs or by revving their motorcycle engines.

Although initially founded by motorcyclists, the organization is open to anyone regardless of political affiliation, veteran status, or whether they ride or not. The only prerequisite is “a deep respect for those who serve our country: military, firefighters, or law enforcement”. The Patriot Guard was established in Mulvane, Kansas at the American Legion Post 136 in 2005.

The group’s mission quickly expanded to include the funerals of law enforcement officers, fire department personnel, all first responders, and any active duty member or veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces from all previous wars and conflicts, and it is now largely focused on recognizing and honoring the sacrifices of fallen service members as well as their families and loved ones. As of March 2011, PGR reported over 220,000 members. In addition to their attendance at funerals, the group also greets troops returning from overseas at welcome home celebrations, deployment ceremonies, and perform volunteer work for veteran’s organizations such as Veterans Homes. The group also assists families in financial difficulties with travel and housing arrangements. They also visit military hospitals to encourage and honor wounded service members of the United States Armed Forces.



Posted in Clarion Causes, Spring 2012 Issue | 1 Comment

Spring 2012 Issue

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By Lynne Koen

Janis Lyn Joplin was born to loving parents Seth and Dorothy Joplin in Port Arthur,Texas on January 19, 1943. Janis had a happy family life, yet she was very shy when it came to relating to others outside the home. She never seemed to quite fit in with the other girls at school. Janis wasn’t pretty enough to be one of the “popular girls”. She was awkward and different. At Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur, Janis tried fitting in by joining various clubs on campus. As a result, she joined Future Teachers of America Art Club and the Math Club. Janis thought she’d finally become popular and likable, but her superior intellect far outshone that of her fellow students further alienating Janis from her biggest desires to belong, to be liked, and maybe even to be loved.

In those early days, Janis took out her sadness and frustration out in her art. She was always drawing or painting. Janis also loved music only not the type of music her classmates enjoyed. Janis went for the Blues. She loved the black singers’ songs about hard work, loss, and pain. As she got more and more into the Blues Sound, Janis’ appearance began to change radically. She teased her frizzy hair up high and wore all dark clothing. Janis was being led to the “Beat Scene”.

She found friendship with five smart, intellectual-type boys at school. Though highly intellectual, these boys were also major non-conformists. They marched to a different beat, and Janis fit right in. Janis finally had some confidence, and she started speaking up in class about equality for blacks and civil rights in general. Boys at school would follow her around throwing pennies at her and shouting “nigger lover”, but Janis didn’t care. She had her tightly knit group now. Janis and the boys would travel all over — hanging out in coffee houses and going to concerts. They drank heavily and even dabbled in drugs (mostly speed). One day they were returning home to Port Arthur and Janis was singing along with the car radio. One of the boys remarked, “Damn, you can SING!” Janis giggled and said, “Yeah, I guess I can!”

Janis graduated from high school in June 1960. In the fall, she attended a technical college and learned “keypunch” an early cousin to computer programming. Janis’ mother, Dorothy, knew Janis wanted a life outside Port Arthur, outside Texas, and thought Janis could get a good job just about anywhere with her technical skills.

Janis went to live in Los Angeles under the watchful eyes of her mother’s two sisters. She got a job as a keypunch operator for the telephone company in L.A. Soon the 9-5 grind got tedious for Janis who longed to live the total Beat life on her own even if it meant struggling to make ends meet.

One day while traveling on the bus, Janis struck up a conversation with a fellow traveler. She learned this man lived in Venice Beach. On a lark, Janis passed her stop and went with him to Venice. There Janis found the artistic freedom she craved. Creativity and expression of freedom not to mention drugs and alcohol were seen as portals to heightened experience and deeper understanding of life. In Venice, Janis found a ramshackle place she could afford on her own, and there she settled in happily singing and playing guitar at local coffee houses. This lasted only a short while though as Janis felt stifled in L.A. She’d heard of a larger Beat community in San Francisco’s North Beach area. So she went up there to check out the scene. There she befriended a fellow artist who was a doorman at the Fox and Hound Coffee House.

The first time Janis showed up to sing there she wore a WWII bomber jacket, Levis, and a blue work shirt. She had a cigar dangling from her mouth. Janis went from not fitting in to standing OUT in a big way!

Janis wasn’t making enough money to support herself so she went back to Port Arthur in December, 1961. She shocked everyone with her clothing style — newfound “California Swagger” and aggressive ways. In retrospect, this was Janis’ way of covering for the fact that she didn’t make it on her own in California and also to mask her massive insecurities.

Restless, Janis soon discovered that she couldn’t stay home for long so she followed a few friends to Austin and the University of Texas in the summer of 1962. There she was voted “ugliest man on campus”. Janis treated this as a joke, but in a letter home to her parents, she asked how people could be so cruel. Austin had a very strong music scene — mostly country, bluegrass, and folk. Janis joined a band and became very popular in Austin.

Janis bragged to friends about her many sexual escapades in California, but truth be told, this was much exaggerated as part of the whole Janis’ character she was trying so hard to convey. One night while Janis performed at an Austin club, a music promoter from San Francisco approached her and talked her into trying the San Francisco scene once again. She was promised an enthusiastic audience as the scene there evolved into a pre-hippie mode. Back in San Francisco, Janis became hugely popular as promised.

Musicians didn’t make much money, but they were allowed to “pass the hat” at the end of each performance. Janis’ hat always filled to the brim each and every night. A fan offered Janis a free place to live — a basement apartment Janis shared with a friend, fellow artist, and kindred spirit, Linda Gottfried. It was at this point that Janis began drinking heavily. She considered drunkenness as an aid to personal spontaneity and total freedom. She also began taking a large amount of speed because it was cheap and seemed to counter balance the alcohol effects. Janis was functioning but never sober.

By 1965, Janis was in love with a speed freak named Peter de Blanc. Shortly after they became engaged, Peter was hospitalized for speed-induced psychosis. This was enough to scare Janis straight for the time being. Once released from the hospital, Peter helped Janis buy a bus ticket back to Port Arthur promising to join her there shortly. Janis went home and began planning her wedding. She gave up the radical look and seemed to embrace the traditional lifestyle she’d rejected for so long. She even enrolled in a “poise” class in summer school. Janis also began seeing a therapist to whom she admitted trying various drugs while in California.

In addition to the constant use of alcohol and speed, she also experimented with Quaaludes and Demerol to help come down off the speed. During this time, as Janis waited for de Blanc, she didn’t even take a drink. Peter de Blanc wrote to Janis and even visited Port Arthur once. It gradually became clear that de Blanc was seeing other women. So Janis called the marriage off and began seeing other men.

In the summer of 1966, Janice was asked to sing for a San Francisco band called “Big Brother and the Holding Company”. Janis had been sober for 12 months and was confident she now could withstand the California drug culture. The San Francisco scene had changed markedly while Janis was away. The Beats had paved the way for the new Bohemians, the hipsters now known as “hippies”. Free Love was all the rage along with mass quantities of drugs and alcohol. Janis was known to enjoy the sexual company of both men and women. She was comfortable with her bi-sexuality and communal living. LSD or Acid was fairly new on the scene and was still legal until possession became a misdemeanor in October 1966. In the music scene, folk and blues had given way to psychedelic rock.

Big Brother and the Holding Company were known for their “freak rock” music. Loud and raunchy, Janis fit right in. It was a perfect fit for all, and six days later, Janis was in the band. At this point, Janis was simply one of the guys not yet touted as a star.

The band along with their extended families all moved to a large hunting lodge in Lagunitas, north of San Francisco in Marin County. There the band could rehearse any time they wanted without bothering anybody else except maybe the Grateful Dead who had a lodge down the road. They were unlikely to mind!

Those were very happy times for Janis. She began seeing Joe McDonald of Country Joe and the Fish. Janis took Joe to her apartment in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood — the Mecca of hip in those days. There, Joe saw a softer side to Janis. Her apartment was warm and welcoming filled with Victorian “fru fru”, velvet couches, and ornate antiques. From there, Janis and Joe would call local radio stations and request their bands’ songs be played. Then they’d sit back and listen, basking in their newfound fame.

However, with fame came pressure from fans for Janis to get wilder and louder on stage. She started doing drugs again — this time heroin, always mixing with alcohol, her favorite being Southern Comfort. With this combination Janis felt she was invincible — whatever inhibitions she once had no longer existed. Janis fed off her fans’ feeding frenzy. They wanted to see her get crazy on stage– the wilder the better. Janis gave them what they wanted and then some.

Big Brother and the Holding Company were known primarily for their concerts and not their record albums. It was the visual of Janis doing her thing that attracted the fans. By 1967, thousands of young people were pouring into San Francisco. The vibes of peace, love, and harmony were alluring to young folks in an uncertain world. The highlight of the year was the “Summer of Love” which officially began in June with Big Brother and the Holding Company among the acts at the Monterey Pop Festival. As she skipped onto the stage, Janis looked like any other hippie chick: Peasant top, blue jeans, long frizzy hair framing her face. But when she started singing, she blew everyone away with her voice that concurrently purred and wailed sending shivers through the crowd.

Cass Elliot of the Mamas and the Papas sat in the front row. After hearing Janis sing “Down On Me”, Cass sat stunned mouthing one word over and over again: “WOW!” With this performance, Janis Lyn Joplin became a mega star. For Janis, Monterey was a harbinger of fame and fortune changing the history of women in Rock and Roll forever. When the festival was over, Janis partied with members of the Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, and Jimi Hendrix. Everybody was drinking whiskey, smoking pot, and dropping acid — Hendrix more than anyone.

As her band’s fame grew to epic proportions so did their checkbooks. Janis began a life of outlandish opulence and luxury. She drove a psychedelic Porsche around San Francisco where fans and friends would always leave notes under the windshield wipers wherever the car was parked. Janis wore the finest “threads”: silk, satin, feather boas, beads, and bangles.

While touring with the band, Janis would hang out in the streets and park with fans. She also began partying with members of the Hells’Angels — a motorcycle gang that often provided “security” for concerts. While music was her life force, audience’ adulation fed Janis’ restless spirit. Peter Albin was leader of Big Brother and the Holding Company and also the band’s spokesperson. Janis started vying for that role which caused discord among the band members. Suddenly, the band took a back burner to the sensational chick singer, Janis Joplin. Interviewers and media were only interested in talking to Janis not to the band as a whole.

Riding high on the band’s strong reviews, manager Albert Grossman scheduled a U.S. tour that began in February of 1968. Right before the tour began, he changed billing. From now on the band was to be known as Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin. Janis was the big draw and everybody knew it. Later that year, while in the studio working on the album, “Cheap Thrills”, the whole ethic of the band began to unravel. Trying to wedge their experimental sound into a tight album format was failing. As Janis was dead-on every take, the increasingly unhappy band members kept making mistakes. Out on the road, the world had turned ugly. The ideals and values of the “Summer of Love” were badly shaken as the war in Viet Nam raged on, and the civil rights movement reached a fevered pitch, but the band played on. Now known as Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company, the whole band was so unhappy at this point that they all started shooting heroin just so they could stand to be on stage together.

Janis had outgrown Big Brother. Janis was torn as she’d been with the same band for so long and became famous with this group. Sadly, Janis knew she had to move on. Rolling Stone magazine described Big Brother as “messy and a general musical disgrace”. The album, “Cheap Thrills”, was certified gold before it was even sold on the market. The pre-order sales were off the charts. Unfortunately, it was already too late as Janis announced she was leaving the band in the summer of 1968.

Janis formed a new band called the Kozmic Blues. With only 3 weeks to prepare for their debut, the group didn’t have enough practice or time to get to know each other. They failed to work well as a group. This pushed Janice even deeper into drugs and alcohol. She became very depressed, and she missed the camaraderie she had with her bandmates in Big Brother. In the year that Janis toured with Kozmic Blues, the band received cool welcomes at U.S. concert venues. The reviews were a bit kinder in Europe, but not much. It was obvious that Janis was unhappy, and the band was mechanical in backing her up. During this time, Janis was constantly high. She became cocky and rude, completely out of control in public on a regular basis. With her outrageous rock-star antics, it was hard to believe that Janis was actually a very intelligent, well-read person. However, those in the know-knew. Janis actually had her own production company, Strong Arm Music. She’d performed over a hundred live concerts in three years and had the forethought to create a corporation, “Fantality” to merchandise fan memorabilia.

Then came Woodstock. The days of August 15-17, 1969 would go down in history as the biggest musical extravaganza ever. Janis was right there, seemingly happy for the first time in a long while amidst a slew of fellow rock stars such as Jimi Hendrix and Joe Cocker. Kozmic Blues toured heavily throughout the rest of the year. Janis pushed herself harder and harder begging her fans to get up and dance with her. As she poured her soul out to the crowd, they rewarded her with the adulation she so badly needed. By the end of 1969, it was a year marked by profound highs and devastating lows.

Janis knew she needed a break. She found it in a new home in the mountain community of Larkspur, California where she moved in December of 1969. Janis decorated her new home much in the same fashion as her Haight-Ashbury apartment — Victorian knick knacks, velvet furnishings, lots of stained glass, and Oriental rugs. Kozmic Blues disbanded at the beginning of 1970.

Worn out, Janis began to plan her first real vacation with a friend. They decided to go to the Carnival in Rio. Janis kicked heroin cold turkey and fell in love with a man named David Neihaus. Her plan was to return home with Neihaus, but he was detained due to a lapsed visa. Janis let her upset become an excuse to use heroin again, and when Neihaus showed up two days later, Janis was high and planning another tour. The couple agreed they each wanted different things from life so they parted ways.

Janis connected with singer and movie star, Kris Kristofferson, at a party one night which became a three-week, drinking-drugging binge. Janis had formed a new band called “Full Tilt Boogie”. This band had a stripped-down, sound design to showcase Janis vocals. Janis continued to see Kristofferson, who even moved in with her for a brief period of time. One night, he sang her a song he’d written called, “Me and Bobby McGee”. Janis included the song on the playlist for her new album, “Pearl”. Though their romance fizzled, Kristofferson had unknowingly given Janis what would become her most famous song. Janis loved the idea of being in love, but her drive to perform and insatiable need to connect with her fans far outweighed any one personal love affair.

In June 1970, Janis appeared on the Dick Cavett Show with Full Tilt Boogie. Janis announced on the show that she was going back to Port Arthur for her ten-year high school reunion. Janis’ career was at an all-time high though her alcohol and drug abuse was starting to show. Her face became muddled and puffy. She’d gained weight, which she tried to cover up with ever more flamboyant costumes.

In September of 1970, Janis and Full Tilt Boogie began studio rehearsals for the new album, “Pearl”, named after African-American singer and actress, Pearl Bailey. In what was to become one of her last interviews, Janis was asked why she worked so hard. She replied: “It sure as hell isn’t for the money.” She went on to say: “At first it was to get love from the audience, but now it’s to be able to go as far as I can go — to reach my full potential.” Sadly, Janis had her demons. They lurked right out of sight waiting in the wings to pounce.

Janis had been rehearsing a song called, “Buried Alive in the Blues”. She planned to record it the next morning. Tired, drunk, and alone in her room on the night of October 3rd at the Landmark Hotel, Janis shot her last dose of heroin. Right after, she went to the lobby and bought a pack of cigarettes, went back to her room, and sat down on the bed. A few minutes later, shortly before two in the morning, Janis slumped over, wedging herself between the bed and the nightstand. When she failed to show up for rehearsal that morning, John Byrne Cooke drove to the Landmark and found Janis dead of an accidental overdose of heroin mixed with alcohol. Janis Joplin was 27 years old. Her obituary in Time Magazine reported: “She died on the lowest and saddest of notes.”

A stage play “Love, Janis” (based on the book of the same name) written by Janis’ sister Laura Joplin, features some of Janis’ iconic performances and also excerpts from some of the letters she wrote home to her family over the years. It’s a revealing look at the different sides of Janis Joplin. The wild-eyed rock star versus the sweet, loving sister and daughter. Janis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 12, 1995. 


Posted in Clarion Rock, Current Issue, Spring 2012 Issue | 1 Comment



(Excerpt from upcoming The London Dialogues, by Alan Graham)

I worked at Jackson’s Tailor Shop in Liverpool, England. It was nineteen sixty-two, and I was seventeen years old. Lunch time was the most exciting part of my day. My lunch was always the same and never lost its wonderful taste — an ice cold coke in the old-fashioned glass bottle and a hot dog with onions. I would make a short walk to a narrow back street in the busy fruit market area. Most of the buildings were storage warehouses save for a single pub. One of these warehouses had been converted into a cramped basement nightclub.  

Monday through Friday were dedicated to matinee performances by up-and-coming rock ‘n’ roll groups who played American rhythm and blues as well as rock ‘n’ roll music from the likes of Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Roy Orbison, Sam Cooke, Joe Tex, and a fabulous never ending host of other greats. Included in these would-be rockers were Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Searchers, Cilla Black, and Rory Storm and the Hurricanes — all of whom would become part of the great new “Mersey Beat”. As my lunch hour ended, I had heard “Sweet Little Sixteen”, “Long Tall Sally”, “Tallahassee Lassie”, “Three Cool Cats”, “Rip It Up”, and many more.

Among all of these rockers in the making, one group stood out showing much promise. Clothed in black leather jackets, Levis, high-heeled boots with silly haircuts, these lads were cool, cheeky, and gave it their all. Very soon, this group, my favorite, would become famous, seemingly overnight. They transformed the City of Liverpool, Rock ‘N’ Roll, and the Liverpudlians themselves.

The Beatles would leave Liverpool and head for “The Smoke” (London – the Big City). I never saw them perform live again, but marvel at their meteoric rise.  They were now singing their own compositions. Suddenly, the old music was left behind in the dust as a new paradigm shifted.

We all sang the new material with home-grown pride. Their first hit was “Love Me Do” followed by “Please, Please Me”. What followed was nothing less than an avalanche of creative energy not seen since the 1920’s renaissance in Paris.

When the Beatles left the City of Liverpool, my lunch time was not the same.   Even though the new music raged on, for me something was missing. So, I too left following my “Fab Four” to the Smoke. I took the midnight mail train out of the Liverpool Central Station, the cheapest fare you could find. It was a six-hour journey as the train stopped to deliver mail at each city down the line.

At six a.m., I stood outside of Euston Station surveying my new surroundings and wondering where the Beatles might be. I took a tube train to Marble Arch. I picked the biggest hotel I could find and went in to ask for a job. There weren’t any, but a sweet old lady in the personnel office gave me a lead to a construction site in a beautiful rural town on the outskirts of the city. The work was grueling, yet the pay was three times more than I ever would have gotten in Liverpool. 

One morning, I was digging a ditch for a gas main when two Rolls Royce Silver Clouds passed by. The fellow working with me said, “You know who that was, don’t you?” I said, “No, who?” “That was the Beatles. They live just across the street at St. George’s Hills.” St. George’s Hills was a luxurious gated community where only the very wealthy resided. It now included the world-famous Beatles.  Of all the places I would land for work, it would be right where my beloved Beatles dwelled. Although, I never saw them in the flesh or did those Silver Clouds ever pass by again, it was a quiet thrill that I had followed them unknowingly to precisely where they lived.

When that job ended, it was onto the next which would be a stint working in the Helena Rubenstein Cosmetics factory. After that, I worked in a factory that produced fiber glass materials such as mannequins and retail displays. I then went to work with British Railways as a night porter. Eventually, I landed in Earl’s Court aka Bed-Sit-Land, a bustling, upscale West London borough populated by mostly single, young people. The 1860’s era terraced housing was now converted into single rooms and two-bedroom flats – hence, Bed-Sit-Land, short for bed sitter flats. Bed-Sit-Land was also a cosmopolitan tourist hub that attracted students from all across the globe. 

“Michelle, ma belle, these are words that go together well, ma Michelle…” My favorite group was now world famous and their songs dominated the air waves.  It was wall-to-wall Beatles music in addition to fabulous groups like the Rolling Stones, the Who, and Pink Floyd. My favorite perfume at the time, was girls. I liked them very much, and they liked me just as much. I had two girlfriends from Sweden, one from New Zealand, one from France, one from Germany, and several from Earl’s Court who just happened to be from England. The number would eventually grow to ten. I now worked as a fry cook at the local Wimpy Bar, the equivalent of the American burger joint named for the hamburger-gulping character from the Popeye cartoons.

Since the Beatles’ phenomenon, England had shed its dreary bounds. It was now awash with an explosion of music, art, and fashion – outrageous fashion, bizarre art, and super cool music. I was in paradise and I was as free as a bird. At the drop of a hat, I would hitch-hike to France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Norway, or anywhere else that took my fancy. 

One summer evening, I stood in front of Earl’s Court Station watching/studying people, another one of my favorite pastimes. A strikingly beautiful girl with long brown hair and blue eyes came out of the station. She looked at me and kept on walking. I followed her asking if I could walk with her. She said, “Well, I’m going home.” So, I volunteered to escort her. “Where do you live?” I asked. “In Vasagatan” “I have never heard of Vasagartan. Is it around here?”   “No,” she said, “it is in Stockholm. I am from Sweden.” She stopped and laughed at my surprise. “This could be a very long walk”, I thought to myself.

Tanya explained that she had been working in London for the summer and was about to leave hitch-hiking her way back home. That very evening, she was taking the midnight ferry from Dover to France. I volunteered to escort her all the way to Sweden. It was now she who was surprised, “You would? You would?” I would and I did.

I went directly home, packed a few things in a knapsack, and off we went. We had a wonderful adventure crossing Europe through France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, and all the way home to Vasser Garten (Water Gardens) in Stockholm.

I stayed with her for a couple of weeks.  Although she was lovely and fun to be with, Sweden was dull and so were the people. I was used to gregarious, outgoing, friendly people. The Swedes were decidedly reticent and emotionless.  The night before I left, I sat in a small club, where a local guitarist played Beatles’ music, if you can believe that. He was struggling with the lyrics as he translated, “Yellow Submarine”. When it came to the part, “We all live in a yellow submarine”, the musician was having difficulty finding the word for “submarine”. Submarine as a single word is nonexistent in Swedish. He simply replaced it with “under vasser buss” (underwater bus). No matter where I went, the Beatles had been there ahead of me and had left their magic mark.

Back in London, Earl’s Court was as groovy as ever. Hordes of tourists and students came flooding into the community to see and hear the English music scene. The Liverpool accent was now a major asset. Excited American girls would sit and listen to my every word trying to mimic me as they giggled with delight. “Please come and meet my friends” was a common request. As surely as a celebrity “without portfolio”, I was the next best thing to a Beatle. “Talk like John Lennon. Talk like Paul McCartney. Can you sound like Ringo?” I spoke as I usually do in a thick Liverpool brogue, but to my audience it was as magical as hearing an English rock star. I was the only Liverpudlian (scouser) in town which set me apart from everybody else. I was a very singular fellow indeed. I was untethered to anyone or anything. I was floating in the land of milk and honey surrounded by beautiful girlfriends.

Rock ‘N’ Roll ruled the world. A massive upheaval in a once-stuffy society had now blossomed into a wild, hippie culture. Young people were very close and friendly, sharing and caring for each other in a near fantasy world. The new music kept on coming, so did the college kids. I was at a magical crossroads and each new face presented a fresh, new adventure.

American kids were friendly, generous, and intelligent. They were bringing their culture to ours. We shared each other’s customs like gleeful children. A decade earlier, it was the Americans who ruled the roost. Elvis was king of the world and English musicians mimicked American rock ‘n’ roll.

Now, the Beatles were king. They had simply taken Rock ‘N’ Roll and transformed it into a sort of early punk rock, just four kids and their instruments. The original was ladened with brass backup – sax, trombone, trumpet, and big bass drums — but now, anyone who could play guitar or a set of drums could form a band. Very soon, there were hundreds of new groups as the Mersey Beat and the English Sound set off to conquer the world.


by Alan Graham

It was nine a.m., and the little town of La Mesa was awakened by the sound of John Lennon’s voice belting out “She Loves You Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” He was not alone: Paul, George, and Ringo were singing along with him.

The Fab Four had not aged in all these years and looked like they were ready to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show as they chatted with customers outside of “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, a little British shop.

A news crew was setting up for an interview. So the lads went inside and stood before the cameras. They were innocent, cheeky, cute, and contagiously funny as they answered questions.

A reporter asked “How do you find America?”  John Lennon answered, “Turn left at Greenland.”

I suppose I should also say that although it really was not the Beatles, it might as well have been. It was a tribute band called “Britain’s Finest”. Not only did all of them look very much like the lads themselves, which was good enough for me, they sang just like them, and they actually captured the true essence of the original band.

All in black right down to the Beatles’ boots, they tapped their pointed toes to the beat as they stood singing, “Falling, yes, I am falling, and she keeps calling me back again”.  I have seen many look-a-like acts over the years, and in each case, there was always something missing. The voices were good but did not look the part or looked good but sounded awful. Britain’s Finest rules. They have it all: the look. the sound, the mannerisms, and the very spirit of those four lads from Liverpool.

CONTACT INFO: (858) 598-7311



Posted in Clarion Rock, Current Issue, Spring 2012 Issue | Leave a comment



Michael W. Timson teaches trumpet and music theory to both kids and adults. He has played the trumpet since the age of ten and studied classical trumpet with a retired extra member of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Michael has studied jazz with a Denver jazz trumpet player/educator/international recording artist as well. He is the assistant director of California Bugles Across America.

In November 2003 with encouragement from his graphic artist wife, Sandy, he started his own UCH/UCHSC employee-based jazz ensemble called Fitz 5to9, which continues to play without him every Thursday evenings at the Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion lobby in Colorado for patients and visitors.  Fitz 5to9 produced two demo CDs in 2004 and 2006. On October 22, 2006 the band played live for the Denver Morning Show on CBS4.

In 2010, Michael has started the development Michael has started the development of a new employee-based ensemble called San Diego 5to9 Jazz.  Having played twice for the Scripps Information Services quarterly meetings, he currently is looking forward towards leading the new group into the local music and health care fundraising community.  He is also volunteers his time at local San Diego music stores to continue his love for private teaching on evenings and weekends.

Contact Info: Office: 858.678.7764; Home & Studio: 760.294.8809; Weekend Music Studio: 858.863.3370

Posted in Clarion Causes, Spring 2012 Issue | 1 Comment



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By Y.W. Grossman

Astoundingly, for most of our history America’s nickname for Pit Bulls was “The Nanny Dog”. For generations, if you had children and wanted to keep them safe you wanted a Pit Bull, the dog that was the most reliable of any breed with children or adults.

The Nanny Dog is now vilified by a media that always wants a demon dog breed to frighten people and LHASA-APSO BITES MAN just doesn’t sell papers. Before Pit Bulls, it was Rottweilers. Before Rottweilers, it was Dobermans, and before them German Shepherds. Each breed in its order were deemed too vicious and unpredictable to be around people. Each time people wanted laws to ban them. It is breathtakingly ironic that the spotlight has turned on the breed once the symbol of our country and our national babysitter.

In temperance tests (the equivalent of how many times your kid can poke your dog in the eye before it bites him) of all breeds, the most tolerant was the Golden Retriever. The second most tolerant was the Pit Bull.

Pit Bulls’ jaws do not lock. They do not have the most powerful bite among dogs; Rottweilers have that honor. They are not naturally human aggressive. In fact, Pit Bull puppies prefer human company to their mother’s two weeks before all other dogs, and they feel as much pain as any other breed (accidentally step on one’s toe and you’ll see).

The most tolerant, patient, gentle breed of dogs is now embarrassingly portrayed as the most dangerous. It would be funny if the new reputation did not mean 6,000 are put to death every day, by far the highest number of any other breed euthanized. That’s a lot of babysitters.

Posted in Coronado Canine, Current Issue, Spring 2012 Issue | Leave a comment



♥ A Dog’s Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep. The king-size bed is soft and deep. I sleep right in the center groove. My human being can hardly move! I’ve trapped her legs. She’s tucked in tight. And here is where I pass the night. No one disturbs me or dares intrude till morning comes and “I want food!” I sneak up slowly to begin my nibbles on my human’s chin. She wakes up quickly. I have sharp teeth. I’m a puppy, don’t you see? For the morning’s here and it’s time to play. I always seem to get my way. So thank you Lord for giving me this human person that I see. The one who hugs and holds me tight and shares her bed with me at night! Author Unknown






Posted in Clarion Causes, Coronado Canine, Current Issue, Spring 2012 Issue | 1 Comment



We have to say goodbye to a very special family member, ZORRO!  Here’s to you special boy who gave so much love to your parents & made joy look so easy.  We will miss you, Zorro!  Big human hugs!  Say hello to all of our favorite doggies!

Michelle ‘n’ Raymond Fisher with a very special Zorro!

Posted in Coronado Canine, Current Issue, Spring 2012 Issue | Leave a comment


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DNA has become a huge research resource for proving one’s lineage especially in proving blood lines. I have been a genealogist since August 1967, and I began my search on my family tree because my father had been adopted out of his family during WWI at the age of 12 days. I wanted to prove who his parents were, and I had some knowledge.

I knew my grandparents lived in Tucson, Arizona and had for many years. I tried to contact them with no success, but I did learn that my grandfather William Joseph White (LeBlanc) had passed away less than a year earlier on Sept 14th, 1966. Luckily for me, I found I had a great uncle who was a bishop in the Mormon Church, and he was more than willing to share information with me as my biological grandmother in Tucson would not answer my letters. She and my grandfather had eloped in Alamosa, Colorado just prior to his being called away to WWI.

He was a part of the PFC 59th Infantry 4th Division in World War I (the 59th Infantry, organized in 1917 by transfer of men from the 4th Infantry, saw hard fighting as a part of the 4th Division in Champaign in the Aisne-Marne engagement in Lorraine at St. Mihiel and at the Meuse-Argonne. In the Aisne-Marne offensive the regiment did gallant service against the Chateau-de-Diable north of the Vesle River). He was an American of French-Canadian descent and spoke fluent French and was being sent to the front lines. After he left, her father learned of the marriage and had it annulled. Then they found out she was expecting a child.

My grandmother was friends with one of the Nichols’ girls who told their mother about the unwanted baby boy. The family adopted my father as their fourth child (and I might say favorite child!) When my grandfather came home after one year, he and my grandmother Leah May Hebble were married again on 3 Dec 1919. He then went out to the Nichols’ farm and demanded his firstborn son back, and my grandfather R. P. Nichols drove him off the property with a shotgun.

The adoption had not yet been finalized. It took place in court in Alamosa, Colorado on 15th December 1919. They were heartbroken to have lost their firstborn, and they went on to have another beautiful baby boy, who unfortunately died of baby food poisoning in 1921 at the age of 5 months, 25 days; they then had a daughter in 1924 and another son in 1933. 

The daughter who was my biological aunt, of course, actually wrote me a letter sometime in the late 1960s threatening to sue me for stating that her parents were the parents of my father. After her death, in Tucson in 1997, her only child, my cousin found among her important papers, my father’s original birth certificate with her parents names on it. Actually when my Dad went into the Army during WWII from Coronado, the Department of Commerce had to issue him a birth certificate with his birth name, William Hebble White and his date of birth 16 Sept 1918 even though his name was legally Richard Virgil Nichols. I cannot imagine that nowadays a baby could be adopted out with the court records saying “abandoned at birth” when the father was unaware of the birth and overseas at war.

Things have changed a bit in the past 92 years. My father never met his parents, siblings or nephew. His mother actually outlived him by three years when she passed away in 1979. I submitted my brother Nick’s Y-DNA in 2008, and he connects to seven LeBlanc’s with 67 markers, all from the same ancestor Daniel LeBlanc of France and Canada

Take some time to look over your own family tree and consider what you are looking for from a test. Do you want to prove or disprove a family legend? Family Tree DNA has the largest DNA database in the world for genetic genealogy. As of April 02, 2011, the Family Tree DNA database has 329,073 records. 

Some facts about inferred DNA: Y-chromosome DNA only gets transmitted along the direct paternal line (from father to son). The parts of the chromosome that are tested for genealogy usually do not change from one generation to the next. If they do change, it is usually only by one count on just one of the markers. Therefore it is possible to infer the test results from someone who has taken a DNA test to all of that person’s paternal line relations for several generations back. 90 percent of genealogists choose Family Tree DNA – with the largest DNA database.  As of January 21, 2012, we have a total of 357,160 records!

My very favorite DNA is a story about an Englishman who finds out he is a Yank! This happened 63 years ago during WWII. A retired Englishman learns his father was an American soldier from Louisville, Kentucky. After a lifetime, a Briton is shocked to learn he’s a Yank!

By Byron Crawford • • May 25, 2008:

A romantic tragedy of World War II linked across an ocean by a single strand of DNA is still unfolding in Kentucky this week. On his deathbed a few years ago, the man Peter Vickery had always believed his father disclosed that Peter was not his son — Peter’s real biological father was an American soldier. “I felt a bit numb,” said Vickery, now 63, a retired truck driver who lives in Birmingham, England.

His 88-year-old mother, who is a patient in a nursing home in England with her mind weakened by a stroke, would later admit to Vickery’s younger sisters that, yes, she’d had a brief fling with an American soldier in February 1944 while her husband was serving with British forces in North Africa. She had given birth to Peter, the GI’s son, in October 1944. She could no longer remember the soldier’s last name only that his first name was Robert, and he was over 6 feet tall and in his early 30s. She had never heard from him again after their passionate, fleeting affair in London. “They had met as part of a foursome, but I don’t know with whom, and they had gone out dancing,” said Vickery. “I heard that from my sisters. I found it embarrassing to talk with my mother about it.” His mother’s heartbroken parents had sent her away from their home in Cardiff to live with an older stepsister in Birmingham after learning that she was pregnant. For a while after her husband returned from the war, she had pretended that Peter was her sister’s baby, but the truth finally surfaced. Although she and her husband remained married for many years, and even had three other children, they divorced later in life. “I was kind of glad, really, when I found out that he wasn’t my father because we hadn’t gotten along that well most of my life,” said Vickery.

In January 2008, Vickery sent a DNA sample to the web site:, hoping that he might miraculously find some link to his real father. About the same time, Rick McCubbin, of Bardstown, Kentucky — an avid genealogist who is the U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Kentucky — entered his DNA sample on the same site hoping to locate McCubbin relatives in Scotland. When notified about their matching DNA a few weeks later, Vickery and McCubbin began exchanging e-mails. 

Vickery shared his story with McCubbin and provided his mother’s information about a soldier named Robert, who had passed through England in February 1944. “Ten minutes later, I get another e-mail back from Rick,” said Vickery. “I nearly fell out of my chair.” McCubbin wrote that his great uncle Robert, who was well over 6 feet, had been in England in early 1944 when he was 32. He had been among the U.S. 29th Infantry Division troops who stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day. He survived the landing but died in battle several weeks later. He was never married. Could Rick McCubbin’s great-uncle have been Peter Vickery’s father? Despite the DNA and matching descriptions, McCubbin, who had been a Louisville police officer before he was named U.S. Marshal , continued to look for evidence carefully cross-checking the dates on military records and letters. 

He sent Vickery the last picture his family had made of Robert Elvis McCubbin dressed in his Army uniform about 1943, and Vickery showed it to his mother. “Yes,” she was sure the soldier in the picture was Peter’s father. “Her face lit up,” Vickery said. “She asked if I would leave the picture with her. She touched my face and said, “He was a lovely man.” Peter Vickery, who is married but has no children, arrived in Kentucky on Tuesday to meet “an extra family” he never knew existed. “I really couldn’t afford to come, but when I found out he (Robert) had two sisters alive, I thought I’d better get over here and meet some of these people,” he said. As fate would have it, Rick McCubbin, the family historian, has kept all of his great-uncle’s personal effects all these years — the flag from his coffin, his Purple Heart medal, the letters he wrote home, and his wallet containing $1 and some phone numbers, which had been found with his body on the battlefield. Late last week, McCubbin, Vickery, McCubbin’s son, Aaron, Rick’s brother, Mike, and their father, Ron, visited the old family graveyard in Hart County and the home on East Kentucky Street in Louisville where Vickery’s father lived before the war.

Tomorrow, Rick McCubbin, Vickery and other members of the family will visit the burial site of Robert Elvis McCubbin in Louisville’s Evergreen Cemetery, where for the first time in 63 lost Memorial Days, Peter Vickery will finally place a flag on his father’s grave. “That’s probably going to get to me,” said Vickery. “When your life suddenly changes direction at this time in your life, it’s kind of difficult. I’ve been an Englishman for a long time now, and now I’m newly American.” Note: What amazed me about this story was the photo that accompanied it, Vickery, the Englishman, and the McCubbin men looked like brothers, the genes were so strong!

A Success Story Submitted by Jim Miller

My father was born Carl Rhoads Jr. in Texas and never met or even knew his father’s name until he was an adult. His mother was in another relationship when he was an infant and called my father James Miller after that man. Her history with men wasn’t very good and my father never had a father in his life. Unfortunately he passed away in 2007, never even certain whether Carl Rhoads who may have been his father really was based on his mother’s lifestyle. After my dad passed, I read a story in AARP and then saw a TV story about DNA testing and decided this would be the way to give my dad a history even if a little too late to do him any good. I turned up an exact genetic match at 37 markers 0 distance to another Rhoads. He had a family tree with only one Carl Rhoads in the tree born in Oklahoma but raised in Texas where my father was born. More research resulted in a great family tree which included a large number of famous relatives. My father never had much of a family, and I know he always regretted not having any roots. I started my search to honor my dad and have a feeling he rests a little more at peace now that he has roots.


I am amazed myself at the capabilities in DNA matching, and just last fall Family Tree DNA in Houston, Texas provided conclusive proof through their Family Finder test that two NFL players are half-siblings. Until just a few months ago, Xavier Omon, of the San Francisco 49ers & Ogemdi Nwagbuoof the San Diego Chargers, did not even have a clue that the other existed. In early August at the request of ESPN, the Family Tree DNA lab preformed the test and the result was unequivocal definitely half-siblings. This story can be found on the ESPN website under a “Brother’s Tale”.

A brothers’ tale for Omon & Nwagbuo: They plan to meet for the first time Thursday when the 49ers play at San Diego In a few days, the NFL will make its final purge, casting away pieces that don’t fit. Xavier Omon, a fourth-string running back for the San Francisco 49ers, might be on one of those lists, and it won’t be a stunning revelation for a man who has been cut three times. In life, like in football, Omon has struggled to fit in. He was one of just three African-American kids at Beatrice High School in southeastern Nebraska, and freshman year, he says he was called the N-word. “Honestly,” he said, “I beat the hell out of the kid. It never happened again. His father called once, when Xavier was in fourth or fifth grade, and promised to visit. Omon says he never heard from him again. So for nearly 26 years, Xavier Omon felt as if he had half of a life. Then a message came that changed everything. Afraid at first.. It started, of all places, on Facebook. Delorise Omon, Xavier’s mom, was catching up with an old acquaintance on the computer last winter. The man informed her that Chris Nwagbuo, Xavier’s biological father, had died in 2004, and that one of his sons — a half-brother of Xavier’s that he’d never met — just happened to play football, too. For the San Diego Chargers.

“It was crazy,” Xavier Omon said. “It’s like a movie.” Ogemdi Nwagbuo and Xavier Omon found out in December that they are half-brothers. It should have jolted him from his chair, prompted him to rush to his smartphone to check the Chargers’ roster. But Omon hesitated. He was scared. If he took that step, there was no turning back. He’d have to call Ogemdi Nwagbuo, but what if he rejected him? Or didn’t believe him? After pacing for 20 minutes, Omon decided he had nothing to lose. He clicked on the website and found the face and name. Ogemdi Nwagbuo, defensive end, 6-foot-4, 312 pounds. Born in 1985 just like Omon. He then needed roughly five friends to persuade him to make the call. Omon says receiver-turned-reality-TV star Terrell Owens was one of those supporters who helped him muster up the courage to hit the send button. And thus began a nine-month relationship via texts, Skype and late-night phone conversations. Ogemdi Nwagbuo and Xavier Omon found out how much they were alike, how their first love was basketball, not football, how their paths to the NFL were unconventionally jagged, how both of them are waiting out this final cut, though Nwagbuo is seemingly a lock to spend his fourth straight season with the Chargers.

Genetic Genealogy allows us to trace the path of our ancestors and find out who they were, where they lived, and how they have migrated throughout the world. Find the race of your ancestors by discovering your haplogroup. Were they European, and if so, which haplogroup did they belong to? Do you have a Native American Ancestry? What about African ancestry? Do you belong to the famous Jewish Cohanim line? Were you related to Niall of the Nine Hostages? Find out these interesting facts and many more. A surname project allows people from all over the world with the same or similar surname to use DNA markers to determine the roots of their surname and reunite family groups. By comparing your haploytype to other males, you can begin piecing together the puzzle of your global family network.

Because your haploytpe is passed down to you from your ancient forefathers, all males who share the same lineage as you, even if it is very distant, will have the same haplotype as yourself. Using this powerful information, you can determine whether a family line with your same surname shares a common ancestor with you (same family line as yourself) and which family groups originated from a different line. It is always important to try to have the oldest male members of your family line tested as soon as possible to capture important information before it becomes too late. DNA testing has become a very powerful tool for individuals to discover their past and is becoming one of the fastest growing hobbies in North America and Europe. Individuals around the world now have this hobby at their fingertips. A mother passes on her mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to both her daughters and sons. Only daughters have the ability to pass it on to the next generation though. This means that both men and women can take the mtDNA test. You will then match both men and women.

I hope that I have inspired you to look into your family genealogy and the advances made the last few years through Y-DNA  for males and mtDNA for females. Who knows you may discover your ties to royalty and legendary figures here! Many famous figures of the past, including royalty, have had their DNA analyzed, and now you can see how you are related to these figures.

Don’t know where to start? Want to join a lineage society such as the Colonial Dames or Daughters of the American Revolution and you need help with your society application, than I may be able to help you! Every genealogy project is unique, and my objective is to assist people pursue genealogical research. While no genealogical researcher can guarantee results, your best hope for finding the traces of your ancestors’ footprints may rest with an experienced researcher. If you want to contact me for further information, please feel free to do as by email: or 619-694-9415.

Posted in Current Issue, Spring 2012 Issue | 2 Comments


Posted in Coronado Culture, Spring 2012 Issue | Leave a comment




Is a Facebook Group devoted to members sharing their fond Coronado memories of growing up here.  Different members begin threads and watch out, Coronadoans from many generations living both here in Coronado still or having relocated join together to exchange remembrances of days gone by. The following are two favorite subjects of all of ours:  Food & Stars! 


Denise Adams Shirley began this thread:  OK I’ve got one…What was your favorite place to eat on the island when we were growing up and old enough to go out and choose for ourselves?

Left to Right: Denise Adams Shirley ’69, Pamela Murphy Moreno ’72, Elizabeth Betsy Johnson Richie ’71, Nikki Delaurentis ’71, & Wendy Berry Pullin ’71


And our comments were:  You Know You Grew Up in Coronado When…

Wendy Sanger McGuire Unreal! I got this in the mail from someone in Lakeside yesterday. I told him how we all felt about the Mexican Village and that if he sent it, I would donate it to the library archives, and he sent it so we all could enjoy!

Lynne Harpst KoenWith family – Mex Pac & Marco’s. On our own: Bob’s Drive In, Papa Tom’s, CharBurger, Orange Julius, Greasy’s!

Denise Adams Shirley – HMMMM…Maybe Mexican Village was the BEST!

Michael Kelly – Stretch’s & such a nice guy! Karaoke King when Mex-Pac started doing it in the 80s!

Donna Huchthausen Davis – Old Mexican Village & Stretch’s…

Nancy Trepagnier – The Old Mexican Village

Kimberley Graham – The Village Burrito was to die for, shredded beef or chicken with gobs of melted cheese & their yummy signature sauce. Start with a crisp quesadilla adorned with green chiles & the best dressing on the Mexican Village romaine salad ever. And not to be completely stuffed, you had to end with the homemade classic dessert, Mexican flan. I truly miss the Mexican Village!

Nancy Cox Castro – Mexican Village…the way it used to be – always a fave!

Andy Niemyer – As a kid, it was a “big deal” to go out: La Avenida, Mexican Village, and Dino’s were all places in town my parents took us.  I remember taking dates to Marco’s, the Brigantine, and the Chart House. After I moved back to Coronado with the Navy in ’73, I was a regular at Papa Tom’s – Biggest burgers ever! Of all the natural changes that have happened in my home town over the years, the Mexican Village is the one I will miss the most.

 Scott Young – Marco’s, to this day, I still crave their pizza!

Mike Jarvis – Marco’s had the best after surfing scarf food in the world!

Katie M. Farnsworth – Favorite place was Marco’s! Yum!!

Suzi Lewis — My family’s favorite dining establishments were: Marco’s, the Manhattan Room, and the Mexican Village. During my short visits to see my dad and mom or step-mom, I’ve been taken to Miguel’s, Costa Azul, Bistro D’ Asia, and the Island Café. Al and Kimmie took us to Il Fornaio.

Kimberley A. Graham – Almost every Friday night whilst growing up, we ordered two large pizzas from Marco’s (one extra cheese & one with everything – no anchovies)! So delicious! It was our special treat. They had the best homemade sausage. When I moved back to Coronado to raise my kids, we also made Marco’s a ritual. We would walk in & the Palumbo sisters would just start cooking for us. I miss Marco’s so much & so do my kids!

Martha Torkington – Marco’s!!!

Kimberley Graham — Does anybody remember the little hamburger shack next to the car wash by Perkin’s Bookworm? It wasn’t Circus Drive-In, who had the best greasiest fries. Or does anyone remember the pizza at the Manhattan Room? And then there was Trout Almondine at Dino’s. That would be with your parents. And I will forever miss Marco’s & Chu Dynasty. One of the Palumbo sisters has opened an Italian restaurant in IB called Café di Roma. I am excited to try it.

Wendy Sandy McGuire — Frances Palumbo advertises her catering in the Eagle and the new restaurant in IB is Cafe di Roma. Ganosh Gourmet carries their sauces, foccacia bread, and turkey sausage for those too tired to go down the Strand, but we also eat there every chance we get! All the sisters are working there, and it is awesome.

Denise Adams Shirley – OOOOOOHHH Marco’s…AND Jalisco’s! Yummers!!!

Tim Hinsvark — Chart House all-u-can eat ribs night, Brig, Mulvaney’s salad bar, Capt Jack’s was ok, Marco’s, Mexican Village, that deli where Leroy’s is now, Jalisco’s Cafe in IB.


Lynne Harpst Koen – Remember the little submarine sandwich place?? YUMMY Samis! Kathy Williams Campbell and I used to pig out on them in the median right there on Orange. Then we’d go to Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors for dessert. Ah! Those were the days, my friends!!


Kimberley Graham — How about the garlic bread spread at Northwoods Inn?

Michael Kelly — Coronado Pharmacy Fountain Patty Melts…the best!

Kimberley Graham – On my own, for me, it was always Clayton’s for the roast beef sandwich with cheesecake for dessert & Coronado Pharmacy lunch counter for the pimento cheeseburger.

Helen Nichols Murphy — Coronado Pharmacy fountain! Of course, my Mom was the Manager & the Best Cook in town! No one could make a Hamburger like my mom “Mallie”!

Aleene Queene — You’re so right, Helen! Best hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and many soups!! Mallie was the best!

Barbara Gatzert –Mulvaney’s…So much fun with friends. I’ve got good memories of the drug store counter and their malts.

Bill Meyer — Sorry girls, but I beg to differ. The Coronado Pharmacy fountain had nothing on the Night and Day Cafe. And my mom was the best cook the Night and Day Cafe ever saw. The fresh hash browns were to die for.

Denise Adams Shirley — Gotta go with Bill on this one…I’m sure your Mom was an awesome cook, Helen…it’s just the Hash Browns that got ME!! lol

Kim Harris — I liked Papa Tom’s burgers and Clearman’s Little Northwoods Inn had a great, huge chili burger, free if you could eat two, and peanut shells on the floor.

Charles Crehore – Remember CharBurger French fries? Yum!!

Denise Adams Shirley – I know Charlie, they were the only burgers that tasted char-broiled…NOT like Burger King, huh?

Brenda Jo Robyn – CharBurger drive-thru on my bike!

Maggie McDonoughAnybody remember ‘Mi Casita’? In the block that doesn’t exist anymore…I remember a munchies buzz there…laughing hysterically with an unforgettable best friend, Alice Stocker,and almost getting kicked out…I’m smiling now from that memory…

Charles CrehoreWe used to make food sculptures and turn water glasses upside down at Clayton’s and they would just laugh.

Mark Washabaugh — Mulvaney’s for prime rib. Marco’s for pizza. Cruising to IB to eat at Oscar’s, and of course, McDonald’s.

Old color photo postcard from c.1950, shows interior view of La Avenida Cafe with the 1938 El Dia del Mercado mural by Ramos Martinez

Lory Frank Farrior – How inviting! What is there now?

Michael Kelly — Some three-story monstrosity with multiple restaurants and shops. The murals were purchased by a Japanese company in the early 90s and stored for years until the new Coronado Library got a hold of them and displayed them. They did a GREAT job! How many “Jack Salads” did I toss there? All of us that worked there lived off Jack Salad! nom nom ~ Still know the recipe….neener neener neener! I loved working there so much!!!

Teddi Setterlund – La Avenida!

Helen Nichols Murphy – My mom worked there for years and loved it! The Jack Salads were the best!

Denise Adams Shirley — La Avenida was the BEST!

And now for the famous recipe for Jack’s Salad!  Thanks, Michael

Michael Kelly – 1 egg first, then juice from one lemon, beat thoroughly in bowl, 2 caps of Worcestershire sauce. The secret is to add garlic to your oil days in advance to infuse the oil. I think it was a 1 cup ladle we used. Then we sent the Romano cheese through an old meat grinder, so it came out round, thick, and coarse (NOT PARMESAN) about a cup. The croutons were homemade along with the garlic oil. Salt and fresh COARSE ground pepper to taste. The Romaine must be thoroughly washed and dried or the oil will not stick. No anchovy paste was ever added. They served it with chicken or cold jumbo shrimp too. I do it by “eye”, so I will make a batch and “measure”.


Elizabeth Betsy Johnson Richie — La Avenida for many things…primarily Jack’s salad, and Mexican Village for Mexican Pizza (and their salad ROCKED too). Before I was old enough to go out on my own…La Avenida for hot chocolate and fresh cinnamon rolls after mass on Sunday with my Dad.

Barbara Gatzert – Oh, the best hot chocolate…Memories of my Dad taking me, I believe the name of the restaurant was La Avenida…Oh I had to get up so early at 6 LOL…I love you Dad…

Kimberley Graham — I remember going as young girls to Anderson’s Bakery & eating donuts hot out of the fryer in the darkness of the night. It was the yummiest of the yummiest. I also remember putting down a half dozen glazed donuts on Saturday mornings as a ritual. At that time, no one thought it was bad for you. It was just yummy.

Suzi Lewis – I still think they were the best doughnuts in the world. Remember the holes?

Maureen Rutherford Nieland — I have always said that  it was Anderson’s Bakery that kept me from getting my stomach pumped. There were a few kids that had to go to the hospital to get their stomachs pumped after eating lunch at a drive through (or drive up) that used to be next door to the “Night and Day” Cafe. I was the only one that went to Anderson’s for my usual Lime sherbet cone dipped in chocolate sprinkles…I think the lime sherbet did it…That was my favorite there…

Michael Kelly — I was the one up at 5:00 in the morning “injecting” the Jelly- Filled Donuts (as a kid I ALWAYS wondered how they did that), dipping them in chocolate and nuts, putting them in those gold trays, and displaying them before the door’s opened. I was the “Donut Dresser”. Lol! I think my FAV donut was Bud’s Buttermilk Bars! Nothing compares to this day!

Aleene Queene — Yes, Michael, Bud’s Buttermilk Bars!! None anywhere compare!!

Michael Kelly — They were dark and crispy on the outside but super soft on the inside and must of weighed a pound a piece…They were amazing!

Denise Adams Shirley – I can just smell it…mmmmm!

Helen Nichols Murphy — I miss Anderson’s Bakery! Wish it was still here along with Marco’s & Coromart, LOL!

Chuck McIntyre — Helen…I too missed it on a trip back home. I walked in and looked through all the cases and nothing seemed to be very appealing. The “Anderson’s charm” was gone for good for me. Anderson’s pastries were so yummy. To this day, their Bear Claws are still the benchmark by which I judge all others by. I almost forgot I had a job there for a few years. Bud and Clare were great to work for.

Katy Tahja — Their Christmas goodies were awesome…Kathy Alban

Michael Kelly — Wow….this hit me hard. Bud was the nicest, kindest man I have ever met. He was in the bakery almost daily and was renowned for his Pfeffernüsse cookies at Christmas and Buttermilk Bar recipe. I have NEVER tasted anything in comparison to date. There is a picture of Cheryle in my album here. Darn it…here come the waterworks…

Andy Niemyer — I never had “mass-produced” bread until I moved away from Coronado for college. We always got sliced bread from Anderson’s. Gosh I miss that stuff. Ever so often, as a “treat” we’d get some of the pastries, too.

Michael Kelly — That bread slicing machine at Andersons first scared the crap outta me. “Would you like your bread sliced thin or regular?”

Lala Chappell — ‎”And would you like it with or without fingers?”

Michael Kelly — Lala….You had to step on a gas pedal thingy and feed the bread from behind the blades, then push it as close as you could with your hands. CRAZEE! I think that machine had to have been acquired by Bud! It was old…

Paul Fournier — I’ll always remember the coffee cups on the pegs on the wall and the smell of everything baking right when you walked in. I walk into bakeries and think,”not as good as Anderson’s.”

Michael Kelly — Paul…That was the “Coronado Coffee Club”! You either brought in your favorite coffee cup from home and placed it on a peg OR Anderson’s would sell you a plain white coffee cup and paint your name on it. There was a little sink in the corner toward the cake display. After your morning coffee, you would rinse out your cup, and place it back on your peg. Great memory!

Mike Atencio — Absolutely. They always smelled good too. I would stop and enjoy the smells on Saturday mornings just waiting for them to open the place up. I didn’t mind waiting outside before they opened or in line inside. It was worth it.

Tina Shoys — That was the BEST bakery! I’d forgotten about it.


 Lynne Harpst Koen began this thread:  How about – “WHAT FAMOUS PEOPLE DID YOU SEE/MEET?” Growing up here in Coronado?

Lory Frank Farrior — Susan Dey from the Partridge Family. Literally bumped into her at the Del. Saw George C. Scott at a private showing for the Greek Tycoon. Cathy Coleman was with me. First night I got tipsy.

Janet Brooks GreeneI ran into Dick Van Dyke…literally…running in the front door of Coro-Mart! All I remember is saying “sorry” then looking WAY up into his face…It was a WOW moment for this kid!!

Brenda Beth Allison — When I worked at the Hotel del, I heard stories about Orville, and they were not very flattering. They called him a “prude”.

Ted Nulty — He would rub two quarters in my face if I got there after 4:30 and say “If you would have gotten here sooner this could have been yours!” I got out of X-country practice and started my shift at 4:00. Had to dash to the Shores to try and make it on time during rush hour. I had ladies tip me $2-$5 dollars for a delivery and they would say “Thank you”. Orville never did. Won’t buy his Pop-corn to this day.

Joe Hewitt — Yeah I meet Orville outside of La Perla one day on the side lawn area. I guess he was doing a commercial or something, and he lost the tiny foam piece that goes over a lapel microphone he was wearing. It fell in the grass!! He asked me to help them look for it, and after about an hour of searching for it, we couldn’t find it…I asked him didn’t he have extras and he said yes! But he didn’t want to waste 15 cents!! Hahaha! That was when I realized the man was pretty tight with the cash! LOL

Carrie Woodruff — Got to interview Orville for journalism class and met John Travolta in Pizza Galore and got to walk with him up Orange Avenue! Such a nice guy.

Ted Nulty — Orville was an ASS!!! Hated that man with a passion. He was so rude to me and the other kids that worked at Coronado Pharmacy as delivery drivers!!

Laurie Hunt Puglia — I guess I got him on one of his good days. He was very nice to me and gave me a jar of his popcorn. I love his popcorn especially the Homestyle…I am going to go pop some now.

Carrie Woodruff Just goes to show you, treat people as you want to be remembered when you’re gone.

Robin Summitt Hunt — He was rude. He came to my teller window at BofA…glad it was a quick transaction.

Marnie Constance — He came into KFC often when I worked there, and we all hated him. He was so rude!

Michael Kelly — Orville lived in La Perla with his female “partner” Pat. I had met both he and Pat when he was still alive and have been in their home. Pat gave me a KPBS tape on “The Mansion” on Ocean Blvd that I still have.

Paul BerryMy dad held me on his shoulders to see Marilyn Monroe when she was filming “Some Like It Hot” at the Hotel Del.

Rob SquiresPeter O’Toole, David Janssen, and Orville Redenbacher.

Jeffrey Donn Hansen Sr. — I interviewed Eric Estrada at the Del for Mrs. Wright’s Journalism class. He was there to crown the queen of the ball.

Mark Washabaugh — I stood next to Steve Martin at the Del’s tennis shop and didn’t even know it.

Maureen Rutherford Nieland — Watched “Some Like it Hot” being made and got Jack Lemmon’s autograph — lost it years ago. Loved watching them all. Of course, Marilyn Monroe & Jerry Lewis got a rap for being pretty rude on their visits to Coronado. Johnny Downs, of course. I met many more working in Vegas for 38 years. Oh yes, almost forgot one of my favorites in Coronado, was seeing Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and Trigger in the 4th of July Parade long before the bridge came in. They had to come all the way around the strand or by the ferry. I can’t remember which way they came, but guarantee it wasn’t easy. Trigger had all the heavy silver they put on him too.

Wendy Pullin – Not a one.

Wendy Sanger McGuire — Remember when Fred MacMurray was here to film “The Chadwick Family” and the Islander Marching band made a bundle of money from appearing in the final scene?

Mary Lou Staight — This is what I remember about the movie, The Chadwicks:
1) Fred MacMurray and the rest of the cast were all familiar ’60s – 70s TV faces, not to mention Disney (nod to the Village Theater). I went through each actor’s list of work, and most of them were in family-oriented sitcoms at this point. In other words, we knew who they were because they came into our living rooms regularly.
2) If the TV Movie got good ratings, it might have been turned into a regular series. Obviously, it wasn’t. I am giggling because in my opinion – it stunk.
There are four reviews on the site (I am a regular on Imdb). The reviewers were all about twelve years old when they saw the show, and they all LOVED it…and cried. The bar for twelve-year-old movie critics isn’t very high. It was an uninteresting, boring drama. Hollywood had not yet entered the world of “Dallas” and “Dynasty”, so they hadn’t particularly got it right.
3)Filming in Coronado! And, the day WE got to be in a movie! The band and drill team were in their marching uniforms. The drill team stood for hours in front of my house. I lived in that white house next to the Sacred Heart playground. 7th and C was a very important corner for standing and waiting for your queue. I guess Fred MacMurray was nice and signed autographs. He had to play bagpipes and walk in front (or back???) of a small plane. The town was throwing him some kind of parade in his honor??? This all had to do with someone dying in his family, and he was somehow a hero. I can’t find or remember the actual story. I do remember a scene of the inside of a hospital and everyone was crying. It started out as this happy family and then the whole movie was about all of the terrible things that were happening to them. It was just depressing. The two things I remember most: The entire band/drill team scene was during the ending credits – WHAT! The town people were the “parade watchers” — something Coronado people were BORN to play!!! And, they were barely shown. Now, here’s the sin of ALL sins. Before the parade scene, Fred MacMurray’s cab is driving across the bridge away from Coronado. He decides right there and then, he CAN’T leave his beloved Coronado! Right in the middle of the bridge (the very top) he tells the driver to “TURN AROUND”…ON THE BRIDGE!!! YOU CAN’T DO THAT!!! Now, if you don’t understand how this could happen — you are officially “New”! Of course all of us who know better – it was when those little plastic separator posts were in use. I can’t even imagine that now.

Scott Young — Met and got her autograph – Pamela Anderson about 8 years ago on the U.S. Ronald Reagan while it was ported at North Island. I’ll never forget, she gave me some words of wisdom to live by, she said, “my eyes are up here.”

Kimberley Graham — Partied with Robin Williams once. He was crazy & frantic like he is on talk shows. Followed me into the girls’ restroom. I had to tell him to skedaddle.

Suzi Lewis — He was best buds with one of my former housemates here. They went to high school together, and their families played tennis together. She said he was like that even before the coke. Drove people crazy.

Teddi SetterlundBeau & Jeff Bridges, Mohammed Ali. I worked in the sales office at the Del, and my dad was Del security, & I was lucky enough to meet and see many. A couple of the men were so handsome I was struck dumb. HAHAHAHA. Not to brag but I worked the hat check stand the night President Nixon met with the President of Mexico. There were a lot of hot shots there. John Wayne turned me down for an autograph & I tried on Nancy Reagan’s chinchilla coat. Great fun that nite.

Denise Adams ShirleyI am SO dissappointed in John Wayne…I bet Nancy Reagan was really a nice person!

Suzi LewisNo one, but my grandmom got me Lloyd Bridges’ autograph, and at the time, I wanted to be on Sea Hunt.

Kimberley GrahamMet Lloyd Bridges as well. He was a very nice man. I wanted to be a sea huntress too. Especially, playing with the dolphins!

Mary PruterI waited on Bonnie Franklin from One Day at a Time at Mulvaney’s. Also one of the main actors from Knots Landing!

Marci RoseMy grandmother played bridge with Jim Morrison’s parents! I saw Steven Tyler at Viva Nova. And of course Scout Wieland from Stone Temple Pilots lived in Coronado for years.

Kimberley Graham – When I worked at Le Meridien here in Coronado, we had many, many stars stay there. Just to name a few that I waited on & got to know included Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Valerie Bertinelli, Dan Akroyd, Wolf Blitzer & the CNN crew, Martin Sheen, Billy Joel, Larry King, etc. But by far, my favorite evening was when I was working in La Provence, the cocktail lounge. It was midnight & the only people in the lounge were Peter, the bartender, & I. The next thing we know is Steven Tyler & the entire band, Aerosmith, descended upon us with a few groupies after their concert. We entertained them & them us until 4 in the morning. I heard many an interesting story that evening. A definite never-forget time.

Robin Summitt Hunt — Orville Redenbacher, Dick Van Dyke, Robby Benson, George Gobel, darn-my mind just went blank–had lunch with the gentleman that played Marcus Welby M.D. — also quite a few more…made life interesting.

Denise Adams Shirley – Robert Young.

Robin Summitt Hunt Thank you…that was driving me nuts. Thanks Denise.

Sarah DawDick Van Dyke and The Who, Jimmy Carter.

Mark Washabaugh — Orville Redenbacher, Dick Van Dyke, Diane Carroll (she played a nurse named Julia), Steve Linde…

Steven Linde – Mark, thanks for the shout out! Lol…

Suzi LewisSomeone mentioned Robin Williams. He owns property up here in Sonoma, and I used to run into him at Fiesta Market. We have other celebs who own property up here, but either I never see them or am so blind I wouldn’t recognize them from the meter man/woman.

Armand DeCesare Jr. – I worked the front desk and later as a doorman at the Meridien.  I personally checked in Robin Williams, George Thorogood, the B52s, General Colin Powell (although he never came to the lobby), Lou Reed, Van Halen, Paul Weller, Lars Ulrich, and countless others. I worked there from 1991-1998. Oh, VADM Stockdale came in for lunch about once a month. Very nice man.

Kerry ProchaskaI was working at Central Drug Store at the time, and I remember Peter O’Toole coming in to buy something or pick up a prescription.

Kimberley GrahamJay Ruedi’s mother married an actor named Jim Hess who was in the Stuntman.

Mike Gaffrey — My sister was an extra in The Stuntman and had a couple close ups. We watched them film at the Del as well as the Children’s Pool in La Jolla.

Kimberley Graham – The Hotel Del Coronado used to host celebrity tennis tournaments. As kids, we used to run around and meet all kinds of stars. I don’t remember who I was with:  But we met Lloyd Bridges, Kurt Douglas, Kim Novak, Jerry Lewis, etc. at the Del.  My parents used to play tennis with Charlton Heston & the father from The Addam’s Family, John Gomez.  When I lived in Leucadia, I had my grand prize of partying with George Harrison, but also met people at celebrity tennis tournaments at La Costa down the street from my house like Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson, Michael Landon (“I Love Milk”), Clint Eastwood, all of the Monkees, Shaft (John Shaft), etc.  Life has been big & fun thanks to my roots in Coronado!

Robin Summitt Hunt — There was a film with Robby Benson (a lot of the girls at the front desk were fighting over who would get to check him in…also one with Susan Sarandon….us pbx operators sometimes answered ‘delmonico lodge’…That’s what they named the Del for their movie…also Ghost Story with Sebastian Cabot. I’ll have to check with Nancy, she was at the del longer than I was.

Gerald Washabaugh — Steve Martin, Sean Penn, Madonna, who were registered as Annodam at the Del, yelled at me for asking for an autograph for my niece, who was four at the time. Penn was cool and gave one. I interviewed the stars of Hart to Hart and Simon and Simon for school newspaper. Too many to name since I worked at the Del, most were cool some were plain asses. I was so happy when the Del kicked Madonna out and said she could never stay there again. Got in trouble trying to meet President Carter. The list could go on. I just remember one thing about stars that keeps me from getting star struck. They really are the same as us. Oh, was supposed to interview the Who, but when I showed up, I cannot remember her name, came walking out of Roger Daltry’s room half dressed and hair messed up. He said sorry and sent me on my way. He was too tired to do the interview.

Joey Harris – Elvira! I saw her arriving to pick up her child at Camp Marsten when I was about ten! I had a serious “schwing” moment!

Posted in Coronado Culture, Current Issue, Spring 2012 Issue | 1 Comment