The Very First Issue of the Original OB Rag, Vol. 1, No. 1

by on January 24, 2011 · 21 comments

in Culture, History, Media, OB Time Machine, Ocean Beach

Front cover of the first OB People’s Rag. The text is reproduced below. Masthead and graphics by John Lyons and front page text by Frank Gormlie.

Here it is – the very first OB Ragthe OB People’s Rag – published on September 17th, 1970. It was four pages – front and back of 2 pages stapled together.  This is great because we have been missing many of the issues from the Rag‘s first year, including this very first edition.

A blogger’s sibling found it in some old files and sent it our way. We have scanned all four pages – see below – plus we have retyped all of the articles so you don’t have to squint and ruin your eyes.  In addition, we have included all of the graphics and most of the hand-drawn headlines.

And of course, the language in the articles is sooo-seventies, a mix of the  raw rhetoric and bravado of the campus militant with the casual drawl of the counter-counter, as the staff was a bunch of young twenty-somethings, half still in college and the other half fresh off the campus.

So, here you go, the very first OB Rag:

Page 1

Volume 1 Number 1 – September 17 1970 – Blue Sky – Ocean Beach Peoples’ Rag

Welcome Back to School (for those who go…)

WELCOME BACK to the finest educational institution of the most powerful nation and civilization that has ever existed. You should be proud to be part of this great free school system in this great state of CALIFORNIA.

You’re luckier than you realize… in some countries schools are ringed with barbed wire so that the students can’t escape and in other barbaric societies armed guards patrol the school corridors insuring that the students don’t become unruly.

So be grateful for in some authoritarian countries on the other side of the iron curtain student lockers are routinely searched for contraband by the secret police, and the homes of students can be entered by the police without warning or knock.

In some overseas dictatorships students are taught in their social sciences that they live in a class less society and the school system exists solely as government propaganda machine.

We have it so much better than those totalitarian regimes where student writings and newspapers are censored and controlled by the government. So when you get to that part of the Pledge: “… with liberty and justice for all…” hold your head up high for you know that we in America send men to die for those words.

“I Pledge…”

School is starting this week, The people of the Rag realize that high schools are prisons of boredom. That they do not relate to the world or community and serve mainly to keep young people off the street so they can’t cause any “trouble” and brainwash youth with some of Amerika’s great bullshit. High school students are starting to see that their textbooks are nothing but transparent lies.

The Rag hopes to have a column in every other issue written by and for high school students. If you are interested in telling the truth about the bullshit that comes down in the schools come to 23xx Etiwanda St. on Monday night at 7:30 for a rap and planning sessions.

Page 2


Women are constantly being abused and harassed This comes down hardest on freaky and minority women. Both the pigs and our brothers treat us like less than regular people. The pigs benefit from this because we provide money for them and relaxation for our bothers so they’ll be satisfied enough not to fight their oppression. In O.B. the “hippie chick” image is pretty popular. But is it really good? Always having our bodies on show, not having much to say about things.

Working women have spent time doing hard work which makes us feel shitty and them spending the rest of the time pleasing people by putting on a false image. Walking around Newport and the beach- how do people really relate to you? Your body, and if you don’t respond submissively through your body then you’re messed up.

From their own experience whether as housewives or workers women are becoming more aware of the economic, political, and social injustices that arise from male chauvinistic elements in our society. We recognize low and unequal pay scales in work, job discrimination, the exploitation of our bodies, and the problems that arise from being tied to the home as an unpaid and unrecognized labor force.

People are out to change this thing we live in. And a lot of women are realizing that their roles should be changed. Us being submissive all the time, sexually and mentally, and doing the worst jobs isn’t good for us, isn’t good for our brothers, it’s just good for the pigs that run this society and ar3 making lives lousy. It is important for women to rise up, to take part in the changes and change our lives. We must struggle with our brothers, helping them to see that women playing lower roles hurts them and us. We will gain our dignity and together fight the people who hurt us both.

Already in San Diego women are getting together organizing things like day care centers, programs and a newspaper. We think it would be good for O.B. women to get together and talk about the specific abuses coming down in O.B. Also, the women should be taking an active part in the other thins beginning here, like the O.B. Peoples’ Rag. If women would like to get together, come by 23xx Etiwanda next Wednesday night at 7:30.


“MDM” meant “Movement for a Democratic Military”.

Down at the beach and on the streets you may have noticed groups of short-haired guys, who, if you look closely seem like they might be right on people. They are most likely GI’s stationed near by. A few years ago, most of these guys were just like you are now. They were in H.S. or hanging out on the streets. Some of them joined the military because they got busted by the man and joining the service was a way of getting out of going to jail. Others joined because it was the best way they knew, at the time, of dealing with the draft – a problem all males have to or will have to face.

GI’s are forced to get their hair cut short and dress in a typical straight style or the busted by the military pigs. It is no accident that these rules have been enforced. The military fools from tricky Dick Nixon to the lifers know that it is in their best interest to keep up this separation.

By keeping GI’s away from the people, they can be used to fight against the people. Next time the pigs riot and we hold them off for awhile, GI’s will be called out against us. Which side do you want to be on?

Page 3


“STP” stood for either a “Serve the People” storefront opened on Voltaire Street, or for “Stop The Pigs”. (Take your choice.)

At noon, October 3, the people of San Diego County will march from Horton Plaza to the police station. The march will protest the repression suffered by the youth, Black, Chicano and poor white communities in the hands of the pigs.

In 1969 the SDPD conducted over 424,000 Field Interrogations: mostly against youths, Black and Chicanos. Over 47,000 arrests were made that year. 65% of the charges were dropped.  33% of those arrested were youths.

It is time the people unite and defend themselves from the many abuses the pigs inflict upon them. Be there! All Power to the People!


Ocean Beach is a ghetto, a poor white ghetto and thus like barrios and ghettos all over Amerika, the police and fat-cat capitalists have virtual freedom in manipulating, controlling and oppression the people.

OB’s history of oppression is just beginning – for the plans the corrupt city government and such humanitarians as C. Arnholt Smith have for OB do not include room or space for the people, the youth, the poor of our community.

Slowly the small old single family dwellings are being bought up to pave the way for large high-rise, high-priced apartments and hotels.  The rich, all white conservatives that run San Diego have great plans for the entire city – and especially the beach areas; they want to make San Diego the Miami Beach of the west coast.

(It’s no coincidence that Nixon has his strongest backings in Miami Beach where he was nominated and in San Diego where he spends an overly proportionate amount of his time, for the same kinds of people run both towns.)

The ruling class of San Diego wants OB’s excellent beaches for themselves and their cronies. In their view OB has to be cleaned of “the bad elements” (the youth and the poor) so that Hilton will build the hotel he’s promised.

This clean-up program is currently under way in the form of increased rents and evictions and by gradually increasing the police intimidations and harassments thus virtually forcing the “bad elements” to leave.

In order to combat this piggery, the Rag is compiling a list of evictions and harassments. If you can help us or give us some info, contact the Rag office.

Page 4

Media Message from the Staff

Since neither the present political, social nor economical institutions of our community, our city, or our state are designed to directly fit the needs of the people, the people must find ways to fit their own needs; the OB Peoples’ Rag is one such way.

The OB Peoples’ Rag will address itself to the problems and needs of the people and the community:

the Rag will create a continuous dialogue within our community thus providing a voice for its youth and its poor;

the Rag will keep the community informed on local, national and international news that pertains to the people and our culture with a revolutionary analysis;

the OB Peoples’ Rag will pressure for the radical social, economical, political and cultural changes that our society needs in order for the people to have their just and rightful power and freedom.

The people who put out the Rag are young human revolutionaries. We realize that there must be a revolution within ourselves as well as without. Thus to struggle for a new world, we must struggle within ourselves to become new women and new men untied from the hang-ups we acquired by growing up in a racist, male-chavinistic, egotistical and money-grabbing society.

OB is a community mainly made up of surfer, long hairs, service people and young workers. Our problems are basically the same problems as the Chicano and Black in southeast San Diego, the same as the greaser in Chicago, the same as the Puerto Rican in New Your City ….

Our  brothers and sisters in these other communities have realized this and they’re gettin’ their shit together. It’s ’bout time we got ours … for you know, “those not busy being’ born are busy dyin’,” is right on! If we don’t seize the time, the time will seize us.

The OB Peoples’ Rag is designed to serve the people of OB and the success or failure of the Rag depends on the response from the community.  Any person wanting to work on or with the Rag – come to the planning session 7:30 Monday night at our offices 23xx Etiwanda St.  Any news that relates to OB can be reported by calling 224-xxxx.


There should be no undercover police.  There is because the pigs job is not to serve the community but to keep the people from raising up and taking their just freedom. It will be a community service function of the Rag to expose and publicize narks and other undercover pigs.  If you have pictures of undercover pigs in O.B. bring them by the Peoples Rag office at 23xx Etiwanda. We will print the pictures. The spirit of the people working together is stronger then the pigs terror.

Peoples’ Revolutionary Granola

Into a very large bowl place:

2-3 lbs. rolled oats
2 cups wheat germ
2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups sliced almonds
1 tbsp. salt

Into another bowl pour:

1 1/2 cups oil; 2/3 cup water
3 tbsp. vanilla

Pour liquid into bowl of dry ingredients; mix well.  Spread the Granola mixture over baking pan and bake for 1 hour at 250 degrees. Remove from oven when Granola is golden. Let cool and add raisins. Optional ingredients: walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, dope.


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Click on the images to see scans of the original pages.
The images are large and may take a few second to load.

For other OB Rags that have been scanned, go here.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

doug porter January 24, 2011 at 9:15 am

wow. a blast of history. wish I had memory cells from that far back that were still working.


Frank Gormlie January 24, 2011 at 9:41 am

Doug, do you remember when the STP office opened on Voltaire Street? Was it opened by time of this first issue?


doug porter January 24, 2011 at 10:11 am

no, the stp office was opened in april or may of 71.


Frank Gormlie January 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

The graphic for the “Media Message from the Staff” was supposed to represent, as I recall, John Thomas Lyons, Judy, Marilyn Maquire, myself, and another John.

You do have to excuse the language in this first issue. It definitely reflected the times and our college militant slang of the early 1970s. I think the word “pig” must have been used a thousand times in this first edition.


bodysurferbob January 24, 2011 at 9:42 am

let’s have a contest: let’s see who can count the most accurate number of times the word “pig” or a derivative was used in this isssue.


Wireless Mike January 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Thanks to my sister, Mary Lou. She found this copy of the OB Rag in her Point Loma High School yearbook. What a find! It is a time capsule of social thought from a turbulent time.


Frank Gormlie January 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Wireless, please thank Mary Lou for all of us – you can’t believe what a find this is. She deserves an OB Rag T-shirt.


Diane5150 January 25, 2011 at 3:04 am



Diane5150 January 25, 2011 at 3:14 am

I keep re-reading and wow. “The schools in other countries being prisons,” now our schools are prisons. The struggle for a woman to be treated with respect, and “now women are allowed to be whores.” Government corruption, poverty, the fight for the freedom to alter perception with personal substances.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

An amazing eye opening blast.

Thank you


Frank Gormlie January 25, 2011 at 9:17 am

I guess you’d have to say that the front page article of the first OB Rag was my first foray into satire.


Diane5150 January 25, 2011 at 3:32 am

Hey I invented a new drinking game. everytime you read the word PIG take a drink of your Bloody Mary.


Frank Gormlie January 25, 2011 at 10:22 am

Diane – you must have been drunkered than a skunk by time you finished reading our first issue.


Diane5150 January 25, 2011 at 10:44 am

Rule number one: When inventing a drinking game make sure you have enough supplies to determine a winner at the game.

Rule number two: Don’t play alone.

Rule number three: Don’t play alone at night on the internet.


Gary Ghirardi January 25, 2011 at 8:12 am

From radical to progressive? What does it all mean?


dave rice January 25, 2011 at 11:17 am

I still think these old scans are f’in awesome…


Steve Zivolich January 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm

A yes, our days at Point Loma High are featured in this text.


Frank Gormlie January 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Isn’t that ironic, Steve, this first edition was found in the yearbook of a former student of PLHS. I recall passing out this edition in front of Point Loma HS – 4 years after graduating.

And thank you Steve Zivolich, for making a generous contribution to the current OB Rag, and helping to allow us to continue publishing.

Steve and I were in print shop together in the 9th grade at Dana Jr High, and we published a flier about Memorial Day – which we repost every year.


Ernie McCray January 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Bitchin’. I remember those days with the police department’s “Red Squad” stirring up stuff between the Black Panthers and US and other black revolutionary organizations. I used to use the term “pig” so easily and now it’s odd sounding, kind of comic. But it sure wasn’t funny back then. Our police department acted just like “pigs.” Being a young black man around those people was no picnic in Balboa Park.


OB Mercy January 26, 2011 at 8:37 am

I grew up in Los Angeles, was a radical protestor (Students for a Democratic Society, SDS, and the RSU, Radical Student’s Union) and this was in high school, class of ’72. I remember using the word PIG all the time referrring to the police who used to rough us up at demonstrations. At the time, the LAPD had printed on their cars, “Pride, Integrity, Guts,” thus, the acronym being PIG. Not sure which came first, us calling them that because it was on their cars, or them adopting us calling them pigs and then trying to turn it around for positive and putting it on their cars. Couldn’t seem to find the right answer searching the Net. Great reading this first edition!!


Allen Lewis February 18, 2011 at 11:07 am

I am thinking back to the 60’s and I was one that was busted more times than most, and I’m not hostile towards the MAN, I will tell you this… during the OB riots on LongBranch st. I was stopped in a hot wired car had railroad tracks on both arms, after a good bit of harassment they let me drive away. O by the way did I say I didn’t even have a licnse, and when I took Space Mans car for a joy ride at age 13( yes he had one in 1963)and got busted all they had me do was get out and walk away. I have many stories like this. I have more history in OB than most and I am here to say Cops are what you make them, Cheers.


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