Birthday Greetings!

by on October 25, 2009 · 3 comments

in Media, Ocean Beach


Fireworks over the OB Pier, July 4, 2009. Photo by Jeff Stone.

Here are a few birthday greetings from Dickie Magidoff, Wireless Mike and Doug Porter. Let’s start with:

Happy Birthday OB Rag!

By Doug Porter

I started contributing to the OB Rag blog towards the end of its first year.  Having returned to San Diego after thirty some odd years as a hospitality manager, it took a little while for me to find my “voice”.  This is, as you may have heard, an all volunteer effort, so finding your passion has to come from the inside.

We’ve all grown older and part of that process is the realization that you aren’t quite as smart as you used to think you are.  Thanks to the OB Rag I have been able to reconnect with both the writer and the activist voices inside of me that I’d neglected in my travels and travails over the year.  Having realized that, boy, am I dumb!

None-the-less, I’m damn proud of the work that we’ve done so far.  I appreciate that we’ve just scratched the surface and our product needs to always be improving.  Reader feedback has been invaluable towards that end, and I always feel that a story isn’t complete until the comments from our readers are posted.

The way we interact with and are influenced by the media is going through a period of profound change.  The days of mass-media having a license to print money while they ran roughshod over the needs of community are drawing to a close.

The modern day story of the OB Rag blog extends way past this particular web address:

Our stories relevant to national issues are being picked up and read nationally through the Daily Kos and other forums.  Our OBRagBlog Facebook (make us your friend, today!) page now acts as a news aggregator, with an additional half dozen or so stories relevant to our community being posted daily.  We’ve been nominated (vote for us by clicking on the icon at the upper right hand corner of the front page) to best political blog over at the Blogger Choice Awards website.

I can’t tell you exactly what the future holds (I’m not as smart as I used to be, remember?), but I do know that change is in the air.  It’s my perception that community based reporting is a part of the future and it is my anticipation that our efforts will pay off in the long run with a “seat at the table” for citizen journalists with whatever evolves next.

Thanks to Frank & Patty for making this blog possible and asking me to contribute.  And “thank you” to all the people in the community that have supported the Rag.


‘I was in high school when the first OB Rag appeared … now 39 years later, I write for it’

by Wireless Mike

When the print version of the OB Peoples’ Rag was started, I was a student at Point Loma High School. Someone was passing out copies of this mimeographed paper. It grabbed my attention because it had a distinctly anti-establishment look to it. It contained articles written by local community activists representing the views of ordinary people, which was a refreshing change from the conservative, pro-corporate, pro-Nixon slant of the U-T and other local news outlets. This stuff was real, written by real people, for real people.

About a year ago, I was telling a friend about this old newspaper from the 70’s. I Googled it to see if there might be any information about it online, and there it was,! The articles captured the same grassroots attitudes as the old print version, but tackling modern issues facing the OB community. I started commenting on posts, and eventually contributed my own posts.

The original OB People’s Rag kept citizens informed about local issues like the Collier Park Riot; the attempts to “gentrify” OB with high-rise resorts; the creation of OB Peoples Food Store; the heavy-handed tactics used by the police against OB citizens; and a lot of day-to-day issues that are long forgotten. The modern OB Rag Blog has tackled similar issues that the corporate news media just doesn’t seem very interested in. The OB Rag Blog continues a proud tradition of keeping OB citizens informed about the things that affect our community.


Happy Birthday OB Rag From a Former Member of the Original Rag!!

by Dickie Magidoff

What an exemplary community blog. From my perch way up north in conservativeland it is so refreshing seeing people coming together around great feelings for their place and working and thinking together to make it better . . . with efforts to make ths surrounding world a bit better too. The movement in OB always seemed to embrace the essence of “Think globally act locally.” I am happy, proud even, to have been part of the original OB Rag and pleased as punch so many years later to to give support to this virtual Rag . . .

. . . and might I mention that the biggest common denominator in the two Rags is one Frank Gormlie who has in all the years I have known him always been doing some kind of progressive activist community journalism in San Diego. Thank you Frank for all your intiatives over the years . . .

. . . and thank you Patty for your technical, photographic, and general heart and soul contributions you make to add to the humanity of it all . . . please get all better soon . . . I want to take you and Frank on a hike . . .

. . . and thank you Doug for really entertaining and challenging pieces. I really appreciated your series on the People’s Food Store and look forward to learning more about one of my favorite subjects (food!!). So glad you’re back in SD and look forward to seeing you sometime . . .

. . . and to all you writers most of whom I don’t even know, thank you for some great mornings on the web catching up with what is on the mind of my favorite community in the world. You seem like a wonderful crowd (in the OB tradition) and I look forward to in-the-flesh conversations sometime when I get to visit . . .

. . . and if the party is not till later in November, who knows I might even be there . . .

love and support from norcal,


PS I LOVE the new black t-shirt .. . I am wearing it while I type.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina October 25, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Congratulations or Happy Birthday to the OB Rag!!!! I am very proud of the work you are doing. I read you many years ago and am happy that there is someone still in San Diego taking care of business!!!!! May you remain true for many, many years.


Sunshine October 26, 2009 at 6:39 pm

And I thought you were going to wish me a happy birthday…..yes, mine was the 25th. I don’t think of it in terms of age. Since the earth is traveling around the sun, it’s mileage! I’m just accumulating frequent flyer miles.

Happy Bday, OBRag! here’s to many, many more issues!!!!


lane tobias October 26, 2009 at 10:53 pm

frank, doug, and patty, you guys make this thing breathe. thank you for all your hard work and for letting me be a part of this “thing” we got going.



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