Will Marshmallows Fly in OB on July 4th?

by on June 4, 2014 · 91 comments

in Civil Disobedience, Culture, Environment, History, Media, Ocean Beach, Organizing, San Diego

Aftermath of July 4, 2013 marshmallow war.

It’s exactly one month away from July 4th, and in the past, July 4th has meant another of the infamous OB Marshmallow Wars.  But this year many OBceans hope it will be different.

Last year, the OB Town Council approved a resolution calling for no marshmallow wars for this year.

The Town Council was driven to take this position after hearing so many complaints from locals about the growing craziness of the yearly event begun in 1985 that has increasingly spread and caused more and more damage to public and private property.  Many OBceans were outraged by the aftermath of last  years July 4th celebration and the horrendous mess that greeted the Village citizenry the morning after.  This has been an ongoing problem and issue for OB>

But the Town Council’s resolution was not a consensus of the community.  We ran a poll on the OB Rag last August, and not half wanted to ban the event. Another poll found a little over half supported the OBTC’s ban. Others from the community had other ideas or didn’t think it would work, etc.  In fact, the OB Rag made a suggestion last year to corral the event and allow it to become a celebrated but controlled fun-fight.

We inquired of the OB Town Council recently and its President Gretchen Newsom of just where the group is on preventing the marshmallow wars to occur.

And unofficially Newsom told us that the Town Council has met with the San Diego Police Department, and are placing the finishing touches on a public relations campaign. Part of that campaign will be organizing volunteers to help collect marshmallows before the fireworks.

They’ll also be having a press conference a few days before the 4th to help get the word out. Plus, marshmallow guns have already been banned from the OB Street Fair in late June, and the OBTC will be  conducting outreach to local merchants to request that they not sell marshmallows.  Newsom promised more in the works.  They have a committee working on it and they are sure to be heard from as we approach the holiday.

Part of the OB Rag’s objections are centered on the fact that a true consensus of the community was not achieved, that one organization – even as wonderful as the OBTC – cannot by fiat do away with a community tradition – that has many adherents within and without the community.

We believe that the Town Council has pushed a community problem into now becoming a police problem.  It is now up the cops to control the crowd and prevent any marshmallow throwing. So many questions emerge at this point.  Will there be sufficient numbers of police officers to control and prevent marshmallows? Will their presence stifle the genuine celebrations? How exactly will people be sanctioned for throwing marshmallows? Could they be put into clean-up details? Will the cost of extra police be justified?

Any time a willy alcohol-fueled crowd is subjected to police pressure,  problems can occur. We don’t want to see a riot on July 4th. And we hope the Town Council’s resolution holds and their PR campaign is persuasive.

We just respectfully believe it could be handled a different way.


{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

Aging Hippie June 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm

From our perspective, the marshmallow war is as much part of OB tradition and culture as the comically misshapen beach Christmas tree and the inappropriately timed chili cookoff. We don’t think it can be prevented, and if it could, we would lose more than we gained.


Catherine June 4, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I don’t agree that the resolution or these efforts mean the police are required to prevent marshmallow throwing. I think someone should clarify that with the PD. It’s not illegal to throw marshmallows, the OBTC is just making a smart choice to use the PD’s ability to reach people through the press to discourage it. That’s not the same as it becoming something that the police need to take action on. I certainly would hope the police won’t use it as a reason to arrest someone for disorderly conduct unless they are truly being disorderly. I’m no fan of the marshmallow wars. It’s the reason I don’t take my very young children there on the Fourth anymore. It’s just a wild, unsafe scene.


Aging Hippie June 4, 2014 at 3:11 pm

If you involve the police, they will do what police do – bully people. That’s their function and their training. We can expect this years’ 4th of July celebration to be marred by violence.


John June 4, 2014 at 8:08 pm

I can’t say I’ll shed a tear if the only ones getting the business end of the swinging nightsticks and being stomped by the goose stepping jackboots of SDPD are drunken litterbugs who destroy our community and hightail it out of here and let us clean up the mess.
Being a longtime resident on the edge of Dog Beach park I’ve witnessed this every year, people come from elsewhere, trash the beach, then go home and sleep it off. I used to invite friends over to party, for the last decade after tiring of strangers’ drunken destruction, I lock down and lay low.
Marshmallows are a particularly smelly, gooey mess and harms wild birds who eat them and get sick. The ideological benefit of expressing our freedoms is hardly worth the negatives.


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 7:56 am

So you’re in favor of police brutality, as long as it’s just tourists and drinkers who get beaten.

You’re a textbook conservative. Why in the world do you live in the most liberal neighborhood in San Diego county?


John June 5, 2014 at 7:27 pm

I was being facetious, amusing even. You were the one who mentioned police violence, not me- and it’s absurd to think SDPD would resort to violent tactics over marshmallows anyway.
Additionally, your attempted ad hominem slur adds nothing to the discussion, and only displays detached ignorance. Textbook conservative, that’s a hoot.
Pro gun control.
Anti death penalty.
Anti war on drugs.
Pro choice.
Voted for Obama.
Yeah it’s the GOP for me!


Jon June 4, 2014 at 1:54 pm

With all due respect, I don’t feel littering, pollution and general mayhem should be a part of any communities culture or tradition. The MM wars are a far cry from the tradition of a chili cook off or a Christmas tree celebration that brings out the best in us. This event is a disgrace, and I will be glad once I don’t have to wake up early on a July 5th morning to scrape that crap from our storm drains and our veterans plaza. Surfrider Foundation reported picking up more than 2000 POUNDS of trash on our beach last year. Most of it stuck or wrapped in the thousands of melting gooey marshmallows. Hardly a fun little family tradition. I’m a proud OBcean, but this event has put a shameful light on our community. RIP marshmallow war. Can’t say I’ll miss you or your environmental mess.


Jason June 4, 2014 at 9:37 pm

then move to la Jolla


Jon June 5, 2014 at 7:40 am

What a clever and reasoned response. So, I should move to La Jolla because I don’t thoroughly enjoy picking up your garbage and waking up to thousands of pounds of trash on our beautiful beach? Sorry, but I love this place too much to feel bullied by those who want to trash it in the name of a good time. What if we had a cigarette butt fight? Those don’t hurt, or melt. Clean up would be easier.


Bearded OBcean June 4, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Yah, there aren’t too many bystanders that are hit in the side of the head with the misshapen Christmas tree or from eating a bowl of chili. Once again, those with families will be forced to look elsewhere for their July 4 activities as OB is given over to drunken crowds intent on causing mayhem.


Aging Hippie June 4, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Yeah I saw a couple of people got concussions and one had a fractured hip from marshmallow impacts last year. Oh wait, no I didn’t, because they’re marshmallows!


Bearded OBcean June 4, 2014 at 3:46 pm

You think getting hit in the face with a soaking wet mm or a frozen mm, which were thrown with regularity, feels like a feather? Lucky you then.


gristmiller June 4, 2014 at 3:51 pm

I am thinking—a little anarchy on the Fourth of July is quite patriotic! I have not seen the the nuts in the marshmallow thing and if I did would say something. I understand—not the answer for everyone. A vigilant (not vigilante) group of citizens in bright yellow vests or something, holding obvious video cameras and, maybe, radios, would put a stop to dangerous threatening behavior in most cases.
I believe I saw a SDPD car drive through the melee at the foot of Newport, two years ago, receiving a pummeling of marshmallows and then went around the block to do it again!
Times Square was cleaned up several years ago by monitors with radios.


MacMac June 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm

I have that on the video I posted below. The SDPD car doing a drive through. The one of the officers I was standing with, laughed calling the driver a rookie – Yet his SGT stated, “at least he is protected inside the car.” Seconds later we were rained on by marshmallows. Classic moment.


Tyler June 4, 2014 at 5:21 pm

I’ve been plenty vocal about my disdain for the marshmallows both publicly and privately so I won’t rehash old arguments. I just want to again say I find it disappointing that about half of such a “progressive” community, including a leader in the community like the OB Rag, either endorse or indirectly endorse such a large amount of littering and general disrespect for the community and the people that make up OB. If you allow others outside the community to treat OB like a dump on July 4, some will continue to treat OB like a dump every other time they come here…. And the evidence is everywhere. We as OBceans should be a role model in SD for a clean and healthy beach neighborhood.

Traditions are a great thing, but this isn’t one of them.


Frank Gormlie June 5, 2014 at 9:17 am

Tyler – you need to re-read the article. The OB Rag has come out consistently against the trashing of the neighborhood and in favor of a controlled, corralled event, that costs money – for the clean-up – similar to what the events are like both in Spain with their tomatoes and Italy with their oranges.

Sure, lots of people come from outside OB for the MM war but OBceans are kidding ourselves if we don’t understand that MANY OBceans also take part. It’s a young people’s gig – really – if you check out who is really involved.


Tyler June 5, 2014 at 9:54 am

Sorry – I was just worked up a bit when I wrote that out last night. Agreed that the Rag isn’t directly/indirectly endorsing it.

And yes, it’s definitely a younger thing.. if we define younger being under the age of let’s say 20. Most people my age in their late 20s and early 30s that I know are sick of it. And also yes, many OBceans are still involved. But that doesn’t make it right. For every OBcean that is super active in our community, there is another one who couldn’t give a **** and just use OB as their playground. Since they know the other half of us constantly clean up after them, they continue. It’s not just the marshmallows. It’s really indicative of the larger picture. It’s probably like that in many communities but I expect more from OB.


Goastskull June 5, 2014 at 1:00 pm

And there are those OBHceans who both take part in this AND care about the community and even take part in the clean up afterwards. I’d have a hard time believing you don’t know of any. Everything isn’t so black and white us or them.


Goastskull June 5, 2014 at 1:04 pm

And there are those OBHceans who both take part in this AND care about the community and even take part in the clean up afterwards. I’d have a hard time believing you don’t know of any. Everything isn’t so black and white us or them.


Tyler June 5, 2014 at 1:10 pm

No one said there aren’t any that partake and clean up. The fact is, you are a small, yet commendable minority. Unfortunately, since the dawn of time, idiots have ruined fun things for the rest of us.


MacMac June 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm

This was filmed a few years back. It seemed like a great community gathering. I understand there is a major clean up after. Money spent to suppress this event with extra law enforcement could be spent on clean up crews instead. This is a fun family friendly environment. I do know there are always a few trouble makers in every crowd, and I’m sure the police can do what they are trained to do and police them out. Looking Forward to the liberation of the marshmallow people for years to come!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZfpv06yF4g


obecian June 4, 2014 at 7:40 pm

If you want to have a marshmallow fight, you should have it in your backyard, not our collective backyard. Then it would be your job to clean it up, not ours. Throwing marshmallows in your backyard is not a crime. Littering thousands of marshmallows on our streets and beaches is disrespectful and illegal. Local merchants shouldn’t promote it or contribute to the mess by selling them. To put it in terms an “Aging Hippie” should be able to understand: It’s time to “mellow out”, NO MORE WAR!


Jason June 4, 2014 at 9:37 pm

you should move to hillcrest…


Aging Hippie June 4, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Dude, it’s just people blowing off a little steam. Besides, whether you like it or not, or even whether I like it or not, it’s not going away anytime soon. The only thing adding cops to it will do will be to turn it into a riot, complete with arrests and assaults.


obecian June 4, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Blowing off steam shouldn’t leave a sticky, nasty, long-lasting stain on our neighborhood.

And for the record, I didn’t call for the cops to regulate with a heavy hand. Catherine thought it wasn’t illegal. It is illegal, just like the unenforced littering signs say.

More importantly,

I asked for the locals and merchants to not support it.

Who’s in?

It’s already on the verge of a riot. It may have been fun while it was local, but its grown too big for its britches. We all know there are better ways to blow off steam in OB.

Mellow Out, No More War


Jason June 4, 2014 at 9:36 pm

What ever! Let the marshmallow fight live on… I’ve been in San Diego now for 25 years watching everything fun dwindle away. No more drinking on the beach, no more marshmallow fights, no more this no more that. Its ridiculous. We clean up afterward and all is well a few days after. Stop trying to squash everything fun about Ocean Beach and San Diego. Let the traditions reign on and keep our city the way it is…


Aging Hippie June 4, 2014 at 11:17 pm

^ This.


Tyler June 5, 2014 at 6:56 am

I guess it is time to rehash old arguments….this is not the same marshmallow war of years past, and trying to label this argument as just some people trying to kill a tradition and fun is pathetically childish and shortsighted.

So many of you clearly only see the fun of it in a vacuum of your own experiences. It’s as if you completely block out the mayhem from your minds. Those of us living near the action see our homes littered with them in recent years. I came home last year to my dog eating marshmallows and puking several times hours later. My fiancé was hit with an egg one year in the face and a flaming marshmallow in another.

No, you collectively do not clean up. About 0.2% (a joke but it’s probably accurate) of participants actually clean up the day after and the coming days after. Most of huge cleanup is done by residents who didn’t even participate like myself and my neighbors. Why should we have to pick up after the others…. It’s the only reason it looks half decent afterwards. Last year Newport and Abbott areas took well over 2 weeks to finally be clean. The sea wall even longer.

Yes, it used to be fun. And for those of you who are drunk and having a good time right as the war happens I’m sure it’s fun for a bit, especially as you leave for home at the end while only a few stay behind to clean up and then the rest of us come and clean you mess the next day. I’m tired of it and I know many others are. When people from as far as Arizona come in just so they can trash our neighborhood in the name of “fun,” something needs to be done.


SaneVoice June 5, 2014 at 10:17 am

You’ve been in San Diego 25 years. Well, that means you’re an adult so maybe it’s time to grow up. You want to complain that you can’t drink on the beach ? You can blame our current mayor and the lunkheads in PB who couldn’t handle their alcohol and started a riot in 2007. Those same type of people are the ones who have ruined the marshmallow fight. They couldn’t exercise some personal responsibility like the PB drunkards and had to overdo it, ruining a good thing.

Since all your fun is being taken away, maybe you should just move to a place where you can exercise your “right” to trash the environment and assault innocent people.


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 7:51 am

Perhaps if the marshmallow war were replaced by something else, say a public s’mores buffet or a nerf battle (people will pick up their own nerf balls cause they cost money), then the marshmallow “war” would die a natural death, and OB would still have an off-beat, funky tradition. Or a specific marshmallow area could be designated; maybe you wouldn’t get 100% compliance, but it would be an improvement.

But none of those solutions are being proposed. The solution being proposed is to bring in a bunch of armed guys with bad attitudes to suppress any excessive exuberance via threats and violence (you may not think so, but that is what will happen). The tradition isn’t being modified or redirected to make it less harmful, it’s just being suppressed by threat of force.

We’re going to find somewhere else to be on the 4th this year – neither of us wants to be tasered or shot or hit with a nightstick or slammed on the hood of a police car, just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Good luck with your riot.


want2surf June 5, 2014 at 8:22 am

This is no longer a “tradition” worth saving. The ugly facts about it are well documented and discussed, especially the sheer volume of people coming in, trashing our town and running away from it all. If you’re a blind, ignorant d-wad and just respond that everyone else should move to La Jolla or Hillcrest, then you’re not part of any solution and maybe you should move to PB (and take the MM War with you). Let the OBceans who really care about our town come up with solutions that don’t include the police coming in and bashing people. It’s not going to be solved in one year or this year, but it has to start with something constructive because the status quo isn’t working. Responsible OB business not selling MM’s and MM guns will at least put a dent in it.


Debra June 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Well said. BRAVO!!!


Byron Wear June 5, 2014 at 8:49 am

I think the general consensus is that OB is done with marshmellow fights. Maybe we establish a NEW eco friendly litter free tradition for th 4th. Any ideas?


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 8:52 am

Already posted them, they were ignored. Still there if you want to look.


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 8:54 am

Additional: sell the s’mores for $1.50 or 0.50 + an unopened bag of marshmallows.


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 8:57 am

You could also get the “fair food” companies (like the ones at farmer’s market and others) together to set up a whole little mini-fair of MM-based dishes, and trade food tickets for unopened bags of MM.


Frank Gormlie June 5, 2014 at 9:27 am

Byron Wear – Please see links in post to the OB Rag’s recommendations.


Byron Wear June 5, 2014 at 10:37 am

all good ideas.


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 11:22 am

I notice that the commenters in here who favor an outright ban and using force to achieve it, start out talking about the environment or community, but then eventually admit that either they were struck by a stray marshmallow, or had to clean marshmallows off their own property, or some other personal impact of the marshmallow war. Jus’ sayin’…


Tyler June 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm

I also cleaned up several square blocks around my house the morning after, as well as the veterans plaza and the beach? I also clean up dog beach and my street/alley almost daily. What’s your point?


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Too subtle for you?

My point is that ersatz environmentalism as a cover for personal vendetta is disingenuous.


Tyler June 5, 2014 at 1:13 pm

You are off your rocker.


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Struck a nerve, didn’t I?


Tyler June 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm

A nerve? No. Your accusations and insinuations are comical, as are some of your other posts.


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 11:29 am

I bet if you went to Kraft’s PR department and told them you were with OBTC and you wanted to create a July 4th marshmallow festival, and wanted to ask them for sponsorship, they would probably cut a check for a million or two….


Mike James June 5, 2014 at 11:35 am

Bottom line, the Marshmallow Wars has gotten out of control. While it was fun in the beginning, there are those who show no respect for the O.B. community. It has become violent and the clean-up of the resulting mess is costly. The environmental damage is unknown.

The consequences of it continuing at this level will be the canceling of the fireworks off the pier. Unfortunately a few years without them might be the only way to get the message across.

As president of the O.B. Merchants Association in 1980, I was the who one proposed bringing back the fireworks after a 5 years hiatus, so for me I take this very personal.

Sorry Frank, but it is my opinion that a “controlled fight” is idealistic and if it were to be implemented would require months of planning and coordination by hundreds of volunteers.

I am hoping the community will back the efforts of the Town Council and the Mainstreet Assoc. and become involved to keep this great tradition of fireworks off the pier alive.


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 11:43 am

So Mike, which businesses do you own? Readers may want to express their opinions about your stand with their wallets.


Byron Wear June 5, 2014 at 11:54 am

Mike is a long time dedicated and respected Ocean Beach community activist and volunteer.


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 12:09 pm

I was asking him, not you.


Mike James June 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Thank Byron, I want that in my obit. :)


Mike James June 5, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Hello Aging Hippie, I guess you are inferring I have some financial stake in all this.

For the the record I am currently a struggling freelance web designer working out of my studio apartment. (Contact me if you need a website)

I was part owner of the James Gang from 1976 to 1992. After that I was a bartender at Sapporo’s, Tubaman’s, Shanty Hogan’s and Cheswick’s.

I was a founder of the Ocean Beach Merchants Association (now Mainstreet) and served as its first vice-president at the age of 23. I was president of the OBMA in 1980, when I proposed we bring the fireworks back and in 1983 when I was a key player in fighting the City Council when they tried to increase the density levels in the community. I served on the Planning Board in 1980. I was president of the Ocean Beach Town Council in 1988. I was president of the Ocean Beach Geriactric Surf Club (all members were president).

Since 1980 I have announced the O.B. Parade and have been an auctioneer of the O.B Xmas Auction. I was co-chair of the first Street Fair in 1983. I booked the bands for the Street Fair for six years in the 90’s and a stage manager for another five.

As a Universal Life minister I performed close to a fifty weddings for O.B. couples. I performed improv with the Grunion Players for 2 summers on the O.B Pier.

It was my brother Rich who started O.B. Tree Fesitval (with help from the brothers). He also started the Street Fair community mural. Rich passed away a few years back.

My brother Ron created the Peninsula Arts Festival in 1988. He is retired and writes a Travel Magazine with his wife.

My brother Greg quit the business to take care of his kids and served as president of their PTA for 5 years. He now works for San Diego Unified.

My brother Pat has been the president of the Ocean Beach Historical Society for the past 10 years. Pat worked to save the O.B. Library and was a vocal opponent to Starbucks. Pat and his wife were the last family members of the James Gang business. He sold the company several years ago. Pat rents his home in Ocean Beach and just started his new job teaching prisoners screenprinting.

If you think we did all this for the money you would be way off base, we did it because we were proud OBcieans.


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm

No, I was inferring that you prefer to use force to make others comply with your point of view, rather than seek compromise or explore options, and that some of us might like to know that when deciding whether to patronize your establishment(s) and thus help finance the forced conformity agenda.

Unfortunately, it appears that you own no establishments.


Bearded OBcean June 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm

What part of Mike James’ comment refers to the use of force?


Mike James June 5, 2014 at 1:54 pm

To the Angry Aging Hippie. What is the forced conformity agenda are you referring to?


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Your support for the use of armed thugs (police) to control your neighbors forcibly, rather than consideration of options such as limiting the area of the marshmallow fight or creating some type of marshmallow festival to replace it.


Mike James June 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm

To the Paranoid Aging Hippie. I read the rest of your posts. It is starting to make sense why you would threaten me.
You wrote:
“The solution being proposed is to bring in a bunch of armed guys with bad attitudes to suppress any excessive exuberance via threats and violence (you may not think so, but that is what will happen). The tradition isn’t being modified or redirected to make it less harmful, it’s just being suppressed by threat of force.”

I would never condone anything of this nature. Hell, I am a Unitarian Universalist.

That seems to be your take on the Town Council’s proposal. How you came to this conclusion I am not sure. Nobody proposed anything of the sort. Time to change your strain of chronic.

I support the Town Council’s effort of Public Relations, creating respect for the community, by asking merchants not to sell Marshmallows, by respectly asking people not to condone the Marshmallow Wars.


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm

As an OWS member, I’m very familiar with police tactics. The plan to bring in a large number of cops, with chips on their shoulders already because they’re being asked to work a holiday surrounded by a bunch of “dirty hippies”, is going to have just one possible outcome – a riot.

I did not threaten you, any more than I “threaten” Walmart or BP by refusing to shop in their establishments.

And if you read all my posts, did you even stop to consider for a moment any of the ideas in them? Or were you just looking for a sound byte to pull out of context to justify your own rigidity?

Nice stereotyping, btw.


Mike James June 5, 2014 at 2:40 pm


Just to clarify, I would never ask the police to try to use enforcement. It would be a disaster and would not be fair to them.

It was Frank that inferred that Police action might be necessary under the Town Council proposal, it was never suggested as a plan of action. I am sure if you asked Gretchen, she confirm that this would be frowned upon. (Frank why you always starting shit :))


Mike James June 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm

I read your ideas and with one month to go they are unrealistic.

Prove me wrong and get off you ass and start planning. I know from 35 years of activism that great things can be achieved by organizing and planning.

OWS member is that the best you could do? No SDS. Now that’s when the cops had chips on their shoulders. (Free Frank)

Isn’t calling yourself a Hippie a stereotype?


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm

It says “aging hippie”, not “aging pothead”, that was your stereotype.

With less than a month remaining, many of the ideas are impossible. About the only one that might have a chance to succeed would be corralling the marshmallow fight. It seems there is very little way of avoiding the inevitable violence this year. Maybe members of OBTC “frown upon” police action, but that’s a lot like siccing a pit bull on somebody and then ordering it not to bite them in the face; it’s not even listening anymore.

I looked up SDS in the urban dictionary, but I really doubt that’s what you meant…

I don’t think I can contact Kraft or local food vendors as a representative of OBTC, since I’m not, I’m just an old dude who lives here. But if anybody in the TC thought any of the ideas were worth considering for 2015, maybe I could help?


Mike James June 5, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Sorry Aging Hippie, it is just 90% of the hippies I know like their medicinal herbs.

Thank you sincerely for offering your ideas and help.

SDS stands for the Students for a Democratic Society.
Surprised a old hippie like yourself wouldn’t pick that up right away.

As far as OWS, I was walking through downtown in support of you guys.

Now you want to do something real useful get involved in the community fight against City Planning Commission, they can use an aging hippie like yourself.

Peace. Out.

SaneVoice June 5, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Wanna avoid the “inevitable” violence ? Grow up and stop acting like an immature child, holding onto some event that has no place in OB or anywhere else for that matter.

Mike James June 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Just saw the Urban Dictionary definition of SDS. lol I don’t know you that well to judge.

claudia jack June 7, 2014 at 9:04 pm

WOW, Mike, I ditto everything you said~~ I believe loving OB is so important~~ I moved here in 1957, I went to school here, raised my kid’s here and I work here, own a business and I volunteer 100%>> Being involved in a great community makes a difference~~ I have enjoyed volunterring with you over the years & I believe WE make a difference!!!!!! As we look to the future, I welcome anyone who wants to give back to OB & can be Positive, YOU will make a difference~~ I have noticed some people make excuses and most of the time they are left on the back burner, and that’s OK, most of us who are Strong pick up the pieces and keep thinks afloat~~~ Thanks Mike for being so Special!!! ox Claudia


OB Dude June 5, 2014 at 11:56 am

I will support those business which do not encourage trashing OB and the MM event does not provide any benefit to OB …IMO

As for the James Brothers, they have been around OB for years and contributed immensely…thanks guys :-)

on other posts…..What’s up with telling people to move out of town…just because they don’t agree with your opinion??? That attitude sounds childish and not very OBish! WE AREN’T ALL THE SAME! Some people like different stuff ….DUH!


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Yeah, why listen to any positive suggestions or try to compromise when you can just get armed bullies to terrorize people who disagree with you?


SaneVoice June 5, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Hmm, armed bullies terrorizing someone who disagrees with them. That sounds like what the immature participants in the marshmallow war do (which could already be construed as the riot you keep on mentioning).

But by all means, continue your illegal assault tactics in your marshmallow war. My attorney thanks you in advance for the fees he will collect and I thank you in advance for paying off the note on my car and the vacation you’ll be paying for after I have you arrested for assault and the subsequent civil lawsuit I file against you and any of your other armed bullies.


Goatskull June 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm

How about changing it to a water gun fight? Oh wait, that ultimately didn’t work out well for Balboa Park the last time. Ok how about a pancake toss?


tj June 5, 2014 at 2:36 pm

If marshmallows are outlawed, only outlaws will have marshmallows ….



Jon June 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm

^ now THAT was funny. :)

I’m amazed every year at the few fighting so hard for their right to throw trash into our beaches and streets. It’s inconceivable to me that this is what gets 55 comments in a day, and not actual important issues like the degradation of our community plan at the hands of the city.


Mike James June 5, 2014 at 3:04 pm

You are right Jon. The watering-down of the Community Plan is most important issue facing the community in a long time. Time to rally the troops and fight the Planning Commission.


Goatskull June 5, 2014 at 2:52 pm

We could give the police marshmellow shooters.


Tyler June 5, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Maybe we could hang a large sign on the pier? “Respect OB. No more marshmallows.” Something to that effect. I’ll gladly chip in money for it. At least we put our feelings out there. Won’t change overnight but we make it obvious to beach goers how we as a community feel. We may not all agree on how to stop it but I think a majority agree it’s out of hand and needs to be curbed in some way.


Mike James June 5, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Another sign:
Fireworks Next Year? No more Marshmallows!


Aging Hippie June 5, 2014 at 9:50 pm

Blackmail. What a wonderful, positive idea.


OB Dude June 5, 2014 at 10:01 pm

I will make a donation for that sign!


Mike James June 5, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Reality check. Losing the fireworks a a real possibility. If we have another year like last year no one will sponsor this event.

I offered you an olive branch Aging Hippie, you are hopeless.


Aging Hippie June 6, 2014 at 6:57 am

Reality check. Adding large numbers of police officers is not going to prevent “another year like last year”, instead it will make it even worse.

You know, Mike, you remind me a lot of that monologue in “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner”, the one that begins with “What happens to old men?”. At some point, you went from fighting “the man” to being “the man”, from advocate to curmudgeon. What changed you? How did you lose the empathy and intuition that would have informed you that this “plan” (massive police presence) would have the opposite of the intended effect?


Tyler June 6, 2014 at 9:19 am

Don’t feed the trolls, Mike. This guy isn’t worth responding to anymore.


Mike James June 6, 2014 at 10:00 am

Thank you Tyler, it was tough but I resisted. No arguing with a lunatic.


Aging Hippie June 6, 2014 at 9:52 am

We really need the ability to block/hide posts from other users here. I’m tired of Tyler’s name calling every time someone disagrees with him.


SaneVoice June 6, 2014 at 10:15 am

You do have that ability. You can close your eyes or go to a website that’s more aligned with your immature ideals.


Aging Hippie June 6, 2014 at 11:14 am

When my wife and I first moved to San Diego, we were both charmed by the character of OB, and decided this was the neighborhood we wanted to live in.

When we became homeowners in OB, I thought that it might be good to get involved in the community, especially a community I thought was liberal and tolerant. I thought I’d attend some meetings or volunteer for some activities.

However, you people have convinced me that this community is neither liberal nor tolerant. In fact, if it weren’t for the initials, it would be difficult to tell that this wasn’t the forum of some suburb of Dallas or Mobile. Most of the people here are openly hostile, condescending, rigid, dictatorial and unreflective.

So I won’t be coming to any meetings, or volunteering any time. I regret my decision to buy a house here, but nothing I can do about that for several years. Thanks to everyone for showing me the true character of this community, just wish it could have happened before we bought property.


John June 6, 2014 at 11:41 am

That’s just the marshmallows talking. When you come down, remember “liberal” is defined by The New Online Dictionary as ” open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.”
But really, sounds like you are new in town? Have you been around for the cleanup of any of the prior celebrations? Why do you think most oppose this?
You might try an experiment of roasting a few bags of MMs and distributing them across the living room, the halls, etc, bet you have nice carpets. Mush ’em in real good. Come back a day or two later and try and clean them up.


SaneVoice June 6, 2014 at 11:52 am

Then it seems you’re part of the problem and not the solution since it’s below you to come to meeting or volunteer time. You expect everyone to just lie down and let outsiders come into OB, trash the place based on their “tradition” while we, the people that care about our neighborhood clean it up. But now we’re the bad people because we’re standing up and trying to make our community safe ?

Save your crocodile tears too because you’ve been pretty busy yourself condescending people on this site.


Liveinob June 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Here’s what I plan on doing, I was in one of the .99 $1.00 etc stores in OB last week and in the back on a bottom shelf were at least 100 bags of marshmallows, I had a basket full of stuff I never knew I needed, brought it up to the smiling man at the register and said, “I’m sorry , but I can’t support your business as long as you sell Marshmallows before the 4th of July “. I took a photo and plan on doing some more shopping in OB and Not Buying Anything in the stores that sell marshmallows!
Whose with me?


Mike James June 7, 2014 at 5:10 am
jupiter jones June 9, 2014 at 8:42 pm

The marshmallow tradition in OB has got to be one of the happiest, funniest things I’ve ever participated in! It’s all good fun and I think it should continue. We all pay taxes so why not hire some currently unemployed people to clean up the day or two after the event? It simply results in some much community joy it would be a true shame to stop. Stopping this, with a police enforcement, combined with the new spy camera in OB, is just a little too much control for our community.
Give us a break grouchy people and let us keep our traditions and uniqueness!


Frank Gormlie June 9, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Jupiter sent this: ‘
The marshmallow tradition in OB has got to be one of the happiest, funniest things I’ve ever participated in! It’s all good fun and I think it should continue. We all pay taxes so why not hire some currently unemployed people to clean up the day or two after the event? It simply results in some much community joy it would be a true shame to stop. Stopping this, with a police enforcement, combined with the new spy camera in OB, is just a little too much control for our community.
Give us a break grouchy people and let us keep our traditions and uniqueness!


Tyler June 10, 2014 at 6:31 am

Maybe Jupiter should have gotten involved last year when this was at a fever pitch.


SaneVoice June 11, 2014 at 10:36 am

Hire some unemployed people ? No. How about you clean up the mess you made ?

This “tradition” is a stupid and irresponsible event that should go the way of the Dodo. I wonder how many participants in this event are also the same people who protest Sea World and want the whales freed. Bunch of hypocrites who care nothing about the environment or the harm that this “tradition” does to local wildlife.


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