Video From 1990: Why Some People Don’t Like Ocean Beach

by on April 1, 2015 · 17 comments

in Culture, Environment, History, Ocean Beach, Politics

Here is a must see! It’s a 1990 video about Ocean Beach, just discovered in Paul Avery’s VHS archives.  It’s all about why some people don’t like OB.  It also contains wonderful – yet grainy – video footage from the summer of 1970 battle against the jetty that the city wanted to build.

The vid also displays some of the attitudes which you, dear reader, will find currently expressed in today’s social media about OB.

Paul says:

Just discovered in my VHS archives! SDSU Student Film Documentary about OB produced by my ex-wife and myself in 1990. Not much has changed :) You may be in it…

Posted by Paul Avery on Monday, March 30, 2015

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

stu April 1, 2015 at 9:41 am

Great video. When I first moved to OB in 86 I was told that I wouldn’t like and shouldn’t move there because of drugs and bikers. Being a little lame I thought they meant bicycle riders and I said I like to ride and didn’t think I had to worry about drugs.
Glad I didn’t take his advice


Geoff Page April 1, 2015 at 9:50 am

I concur, great video. I have to wonder about that young guy who seemed to have the same name as editordude though.

I came to OB in 1980 and I used to work all over the county. I always encountered people who, when I said I lived in OB, would not hesitate to comment about how OB was nasty and full of bikers and hippies. My response was always, man you are so right, you really don’t want to come down to OB. That was my half-assed effort to try and keep this great secret and it seemed to work for years. I knew that eventually the secret would get out and it has, but I tried. Besides, who needs people coming to OB who judge it from what other idiots say, like the guy in the video who said that and admitted he had never been here. I came to San Diego in 1977 and lived two years in La Jolla where I experienced far more crime that I ever have in 35 years of living in OB. I am so glad I found it.


Frank Gormlie April 1, 2015 at 9:54 am

Yeah, there is a guy on the vid that has the same name. WTF!!!


Frank Gormlie April 1, 2015 at 11:16 am

Do you hear the guy complain about “the trolls who live under the pier”? 1990 – 25 years ago.

Maryann Zounes was the very first Chair of the OB Planning Board, 1976.


Geoff Page April 1, 2015 at 11:53 am

Yes, I heard about the trolls and I saw some even further back when the seawall that I worked on was built in the late seventies or early eighties.

The name Zounes rings a bell, for some reason the name Will Zounes comes to me. I Googled the name and he is with the PD.


Sarah April 1, 2015 at 12:26 pm

That’s wonderful! But I had NO idea people smoked pot here.


mjt April 1, 2015 at 12:47 pm

I lived in San Francisco, in 1969 and 1970. There was an underground newspaper called Good Times, and a radio station, can’t remember the call letters, but they
complimented each other. I loved it so much.
Moving to San Diego 5 years ago, the OB RAG and OB brought back great memories.

The times, they are a dying, soon all that’s left are the history books.


obracer April 1, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Today tourism is a much bigger part of the economy in Ocean Beach , local restaurants and artist rely on visitors that visit the pier and boardwalk.

It may have been okay to urinate in public under the pier and smoke weed all day in public 25 years ago, today most visitors will leave with negative images of Ocean Beach when they walk down the steps and see a drunk person with their pants down urinating with a joint in his mouth or as they step over the drunks along the seawall on their way to access the tide pools.

I think our local business’ deserve better , rents are high, costs are high , and the pile of people not buying goods and services are also high as they lay around in front of a restaurant that offers great food and great service. Read local reviews about restaurants in Ocean Beach.

Have members of the O.B. Town Council ever walked along the beach they represent ?

Vince Adame aka obracer


objamie April 2, 2015 at 10:14 am

Why do you think tourists come here in the first place?

Cause all the other SD beach communities are homogenized.

This one will be where you want it yet, give it time. Then the old millionaires that own all those tax write offs selling junk can keep on collecting the royalties they richly deserve.


Brent Beltran April 1, 2015 at 2:51 pm

What did that clean shaven, Republican looking dude do with the scruffy, radical Frank Gormlie that we all know and love?


mr.rick April 1, 2015 at 8:15 pm

I’m having some trouble recalling any dynamite blowing up any equipment. Although, I do remember some beer bottles and gasoline pertaining to some cranes or something. But loud booms ? I was at the lot pretty much 24/7 until the first week of august. Then took of hitching to Portland for some counter convention to the American Legion Convention. So I guess I could have not been there.


Dave Rice April 2, 2015 at 12:08 am

Editordude used to look like a cop!


Geoff Page April 2, 2015 at 3:18 pm

That’s a little unfair, but you’re right. Maybe there is more to this guy than we all know…


Anna Daniels April 2, 2015 at 10:37 am

Paul & Frank, this is a wonderful blast from the past! When My Beloved and I blew into town on a Greyhound Bus, circa 1978, we spent a week trying to figure out where to live, and we definitely wanted to live by the water. La Jolla was expensive and oddly soulless. Mission Beach and Pacific Beach were little more than deep tans and shallow conversations. But Ocean Beach had a real sense of place–complex, nuanced and imperfect. And whimsical–I found a “ticket” from the Space Man of Ocean Beach tucked into a public phone on one of our first trips there. What Ocean Beach didn’t have was good public transit and what little was available was made worse when Prop 13 decimated the whole transit system in 1979.
Alas, the Space Man’s alternative vision of travel couldn’t get us to our jobs and we moved inland. I’m still hanging onto my space ship ticket. You never know.


Frank Gormlie April 2, 2015 at 11:47 am

This vid was taken close to the time I met you and Rich in City Heights.


bodysurferbob April 2, 2015 at 11:49 am

cowabunga! outtasite! rad-i-cal! the video from the summer of 1970 jetty crisis and craziness is suburb! wow, thank you paul avery for bringing these memories back. all you ob landllubbers, get your ocean beach history right chere.


Wireless Mike April 4, 2015 at 3:35 pm

I have seen a lot of anti-OB sentiment in the workplace. In one case, a coworker of mine was moving to OB and the company CEO heard about it. The CEO walked into our lab and loudly proclaimed “People who live in Ocean Beach have no ambition”. That did not sit well. Apparently he didn’t know that several of his key employees lived here.

A vice president at the same company (who was a recent transplant from Chicago) was relentless in his ridicule of San Diegans and OB in particular. That made for a very uncomfortable working environment in a San Diego company with several key employees from Ocean Beach. That was in the early eighties.

There seems to be a general attitude among some employers that OB residents are all druggies and bums and not good enough to work for them. They fail to understand that a lot of talented people are attracted to a free-spirited and tolerant community like Ocean Beach, and repulsed by the image-driven corporate yuppie lifestyle.


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