OB Rag Interviews With Ocean Beach Heroes Over the Years

by on July 11, 2018 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

OB Rag writers have interviewed a good number of local individuals over the years, people whom we consider “Heroes of OB”. What better time to bring these interviews out from the archives and highlight these folks once again – during the doldrums of summer.

Gary Gilmore

Gary Gilmore – from October 2010

Gary Gilmore – Newport Avenue’s goldsmith par excellence – is proud of the fact that he arrived in Ocean Beach in 1973 with nothing else but the clothes on his back, his guitar, and his leather tools. He had journeyed across the country and had found heaven. And he’s been in OB ever since. His is a true classic rags to riches story. Yet it’s an OB hippie version of the classic. For Gary Gilmore certainly looked like a hippie when he arrived 37 years ago.

Gretchen Newsom

Gretchen Newsom – from November 2013

It is plain to see why the Ocean Beach Town Council chose Gretchen Kinney Newsom as its new president this Fall.  Gretchen is poised, attractive, smart, clear-headed and brings to this off-the-beaten-track seaside village more political experience than the Board usually sees in a decade.

Stefanie Sekich

Stefanie Sekich of Surfrider Foundation – from March 2010

Stefanie Sekich, local clean water activist and employee of The Surfrider Foundation.  Stefanie was the driving force behind the Save Trestles campaign which successfully blocked big developers and the Transportation Corridor Authority (TCA) from building a toll road through San Onofre State beach and the legendary Trestles surf spot.

Roger and Yasuko

Roger and Yasuko of Bernie’s Bikes – from October 2012

Current owner, Roger Lovett, had been a regular customer of Bernie’s since he was a kid. … When Roger bought the shop in it’s original location on Voltaire and Ebers in 1989 … Two years later in 1991, he moved the shop to it’s current location at 1911 Cable Street … About the time when Roger bought Bernie’s he met his wife, Yasuko, on a blind date. She has worked in the shop with Roger ever since.

Mindy Pellesier

Mindy Pellesier – from April 2018

It’s been 25 years now – a quarter of a century – since Mindy Pellesier and Jane Donley opened up Dog Beach Dog Wash, in February 1993, on Voltaire Street. It was the first do-it-yourself dog wash in San Diego. This year is also their 16th anniversary of sponsoring monthly Dog Beach clean-ups.

Jim Bell

Jim Bell – from April 2009

Jim Bell is a well-known. local environmentalist who has thrown his hat into the ring several times in recent years.  Jim also sits on the Board of Directors of People’s Food Co-op, and was instrumental in the design of the Co-op’s new building

Dave Martin

Dave Martin – from March 2013

Dave Martin, the President of the OB Town Council, agreed to meet me at Shades at 1 pm the other day. That was easy – as he has his own table there – the one closest to the kitchen, the bar, and the serving area – for, as many know, Dave owns Shades.

Jane and Tom Gawronski

Tom and Jane Gawronski – from February 2013

Jane Gawronski is the current chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, holds a PhD and is a retired educator – yet we had to schedule the interview around her busy schedule as she still sits on some non-profits and charter school boards, plus both she and Tom are on the OB Historical Society board. They also do the Donation Cans for the OBTC Toy and Food Drive and the Donation Cans for the OBMS Fireworks as well. Tom is also on the Planning Board and has actually been on it longer than Jane; he for 10 years – she for 8 years.

Claudia Jack

Claudia Jack from Feb 2015

Claudia Jack – a venerable fixture in a “who’s-who” of the people who make OB run – is definitely THE “Go-to-Woman” of Ocean Beach. If you need something, somebody, or have a question or issue about OB, Claudia’s the woman to see.

Dr Jeoff Gordon

Dr Jeoff Gordon – from April 2010

Though he doesn’t seem like he’s in a hurry, Ocean Beach’s Dr. Jeoffry Gordon gets a heck of a lot done. In addition to treating patients and managing his practice, Dr. Gordon speaks to local political clubs. He writes articles for medical journals. He works with the national movement for a single-payer health care solution. And along the way, the doctor stays powerfully well-informed in areas like politics, history, and finance.

Jim Liener

Pioneer School Founder – Jim Lienerfrom March 2014

Jim Liener knew there was a better way. Working as a special needs teacher in San Diego, mostly dealing with autistic children, he saw how the public schools system would routinely fail the kids that needed the most attention.

Jacob Magness

Jacob Magness – OB Lifeguard – from August 2010

Meet Jacob Magness, a native San Diegan who’s spent the last 13 years saving lives in Ocean Beach. As one of OB’s permanent lifeguards, Magness, 32, is no stranger to the ocean or making rescues. In fact, he’s been in or near the water for the last 24 years. “I started surfing at about eight or nine years old,” he said, “and started really liking the beach and the waves. So then my mom actually found a junior lifeguards program and signed me up.”

Gaston Soria

Gaston Soria – Mailman of South OB – from October 2010

Who is this man who knows all about you but you know nothing about him? Let me give you a hint: He is a native San Diegan. Born and raised in San Ysidro thirty-five years ago. … Received an AA degree from Southwestern College in Administrative Justice in 1999. Has an AS degree in the Science of Criminal Justice. Has received Achievement commendations in forensics, criminal investigations, probation practices, etc. …He is known by his trademark “hat”. … Let me introduce you to our Mailman – Gaston Soria – who has been carrying mail in this neighborhood for six years.

Isauro Elizondo

Isauro Elizondo – Falling Sky Potter – from April 2009

Any artist with the moniker of EZ is going to have to live up to the nickname. Isauro Elizondo does that in the first 30 seconds of conversation. Owner of Falling Sky Pottery on the corner of Abbott & Santa Monica, EZ is one of those individuals who makes you feel like a friend as soon as you walk in the door.

Marcus Turner

Marcus Turner – President OBTC – from May 2018

Marcus and Priscilla Turner, sit as board members on the Ocean Beach Town Council. And Marcus was just recently elected as the new president, replacing Gretchen Newsom, who retired from the board after many years. “I know,” he said, “I have big shoes to fill,” referring to his predecessor. He’s also very much aware, that in his new position, he’s the first African-American president of OB’s town council, formed 50 years ago in 1968. “It’s not lost on me,” he said, “being the first Black president of the Ocean Beach Town Council.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Molly July 11, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Whew! Some of these are priceless!


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