Straws In the Wind – The 100th Birthday Party for Sunset Cliffs Park

by on November 23, 2015 · 0 comments

in Environment, History, Media, Ocean Beach


The crowd gathers at St. Peter’s by the Sea, Nov. 19, 2015.

By Lois Lane

Eileen Jackson, the long-time Society columnist for the San Diego Union Tribune, would have loved this party. The crème de la crème of Ocean Beach was there – members of the OB Mainstreet Association, the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Committee, the sponsoring OB Historical Society, the OB Planning Board, the OB Community Development Corporation, the band members of Liquid Blue, and the many neighbors and friends –nearly 200 in all –  gathered at St. Peter’s by the Sea Lutheran Church to celebrate the event – the Centennial of the Sunset Cliffs Park.


Kathy Blavatt in front of screen.

After introductions and announcements by OB Historical Society president Pat James and Board member Kathy Blavatt, a new organization, OB Citizens Against Privacy Abuse, was introduced by Rick Callejon, who invited those who are opposed to the police surveillance cameras on the beach to get more info and join them(

Then the main event kicked off – beginning with a proclamation from the San Diego City Council acknowledging the historic Sunset Cliffs Park. Also, the new park ranger was introduced, whose duties include overseeing Sunset Cliffs Park.

The pictorial slide presentation featured speakers from the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Committee.  Dr. Barbara Keiller provided a look at the prehistory, when dinosaurs roamed Point Loma and the current erosion reveals Cretaceous era artifacts, now housed at the San Diego Natural History Museum.


L to R: Conrad Wear, Ann Swanson, Dedi Ridenour, and new park ranger.

Dedi Ridenour covered the linear park, the area along Sunset Cliffs Blvd, with a then-and-now show of 1915 postcards of the park developed by Spalding, the sports equipment czar, compared with current photos . Finally Ann Swanson, gave an overview of all of the planning and prospects for improvements to this “neglected jewel in the rough.”

The meeting adjourned to ocean-blue and white frosted cake, served up by Susan James, as the attendees socialized in the balmy air of a perfect night in Ocean Beach.  The new St. Peter’s by the Sea church hall provided the perfect venue for this pleasant and charming event.


Lois Lane is the nom de plume of a local activist, whose views are not necessarily those of the OB Rag.

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