OBceans In the News

by on February 12, 2011 · 5 comments

in Culture, Environment, Organizing, San Diego

Two OBceans are in the news over the last several days: David Klowden – who began a facebook opposing renaming the Coronado Bridge after Ronald Reagan, and George Murphy – who has been an activist in OB – on the OB Planning Board and as current Chair of the Friends of the Ocean Beach Library, as well as in the City-wide gay community.  We celebrate them both here … take a look.

George Murphy

Lambda Archives honoree George Murphy says he has simply done what needed to get done

By Esther Rubio-Sheffrey / SDGLN / February 10th, 2011

George Murphy was born on Feb. 29, 1940 in Peru, Indiana. Raised on a farm, Murphy had a “traditional” family, although he recalls knowing at an early age that he was not cut out for Peru.  He would go on to graduate from Ball State University in 1962, earning a teaching degree in Business. Upon graduation, he pursued his MS Degree from the University of Michigan in Guidance and Counseling, and it was during this time he felt comfortable coming out to his family and friends.

“Moving to Detroit really let me open up,” Murphy recalled. “I was finally able to grasp [my sexual identity] and accept that it was not bad [to be gay].

“For the most part, it was pretty good. I had one college friend who went berserk, and my parents at first did a lot of weeping and wailing. But as time progressed and they would come to church with me, they came to understand that I was happy.”

Upon graduation in 1965, Murphy taught and counseled in public junior high and high schools, and was a counselor at the Wayne County Community College.

“It was the 60’s, so I was active in school union activities, th

“It was the 60’s, so I was active in school union activities, the civil rights efforts, and local community and church activities,” Murphy recalled.  By 1971, Murphy had had enough of the snow and cold weather of the midwest, so he and his then-partner John Eberly moved to San Diego.

Stepping up to the Activist Plate

Soon after moving to San Diego, the Grossmont College ROP program hired Murphy to set up and direct the Adult Career Guidance Center in downtown El Cajon. Then in 1978, he was hired as a founding member of Cuyamaca College, also in El Cajon, where he was a counselor and international student advisor/program coordinator until his retirement in 2002.

Murphy did more than teach and help mold young minds though; for the last forty years, he also dedicated countless hours to help San Diego and the LGBT Community.

“There is always going to be [volunteer] work that needs to get done,” Murphy said. “If I don’t have a good excuse for not getting involved, then I think I need to be involved. It is a matter of jumping in because it is the right thing to do.”

You could say that Murphy jumped into his community work with both feet and in many ways was a part of shaping today’s San Diego LGBT community.

For the remainder of this article, please go here.

David Klowden

Leading Opposition to Renaming Coronado Bridge After Reagan

By City News Service / La Jolla Light / February 12, 2011

An Ocean Beach advertising copywriter is actively opposing a bid to rename the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge after the late President Ronald Reagan.

David Klowden, whose parents owned La Jolla’s well known Aesop’s Table restaurant until his father sold when his mother passed away, told City News Service his opposition is not with Reagan himself, but an aversion to renaming places with historical value.

“San Diego needs traditions,” Klowden said. “We need things to be preserved — we shouldn’t go around renaming things.”

Vince Vasquez, a National University economist, began an effort a couple weeks ago to rename the bridge by gathering petition signatures that will be sent to state officials. His campaign is in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the 40th president’s birth last Sunday.

Klowden, 45, said even if Vasquez succeeds, people are still going to call it what they do now, “the Coronado Bridge.”

Klowden, who described himself as “moderately liberal,” said he is going to do just what Vasquez is doing, collecting as many petition signatures as possible and sending them in to the state at the same time to show there is not unanimous support for a name change.

“I want to show there is bipartisan support from San Diegans and Coronadoans for keeping the name the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge,” Klowden said.

He pointed to his anti-renaming page on Facebook, which on Friday afternoon had 969 fans. A page maintained by Vasquez, by comparison, has 87 fans

Go here for the original article.

Sorry, we don’t have a photo of Klowden.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie February 12, 2011 at 11:40 am

I wish we could settle once for all the “true” spelling of “OBcean.” Or is it “OBcian”?


Patty Jones February 12, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I think you just put the B in the Ocean – OBcean


Gary Gilmore February 13, 2011 at 9:41 am

“Put the “B” in the Ocean… I like that!… I’ll abide.


Gary Gilmore February 13, 2011 at 9:41 am

Hey George! Real good to see that you’re getting some much deserved recognition. Keep up the good work! Cheers!


Marilyn Steber February 13, 2011 at 10:00 am

I heard a rumor from someone who listens to our disgraced former Mayor on the radio. I was appalled! I voted on the telephone line, but I wonder if that will be skewed. Can one vote more than once?


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