OB History: The In-Between – a Place Where Young People Could Hang Out

by on January 20, 2022 · 5 comments

in History, Ocean Beach

A look back at The In-Between in Ocean Beach, a place on Newport Avenue where young people could hang out or find support.

By Eric DuVall / Point Loma – OB Monthly / Jan. 19, 2022

The 1960s were a time of societal upheaval. Popular social and elected leaders were shot down in broad daylight. The only thing about the the U.S. involvement in another war in the Far East that could be deduced with any clarity was that we did not seem to be winning. (Feel free to insert your favorite Country Joe and the Fish lyric here.) An air-raid siren went off every Monday at noon as a not-so-subtle reminder that nuclear annihilation was a very real possibility that might well go down in the middle of any balmy San Diego afternoon.

In the second half of the decade, a groundswell of disaffected young people decided to try something different. They wanted to give peace a chance. That, or hang out and get stoned, whichever came first. So it was that an estimated 100,000 young Americans — flower children in training — gravitated to the Left Coast and rendezvoused in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for what was known as the “Human Be-In.” It was the summer of 1967, which would be remembered as the “Summer of Love.” “Peace and love,” preached the hippies, as they came to be known.

In San Diego, 1969 was a remarkable year. All year, it was the city’s 200th birthday party. Remember the “Warm Lights of Welcome”? The orange and white Christmas lights? We certainly had ours up; maybe that’s why I remember.

In 1969, the San Diego–Coronado Bridge opened to vehicle traffic and the San Diego Padres were reborn as a Major League Baseball team.

In 1969, a man from Earth first walked on the surface of the moon, and that summer, some 400,000 hippies and 32 bands spent a muddy three-day weekend on a hillside in Bethel, N.Y.

Meanwhile in Ocean Beach, community concerns bubbled and fizzed about the doings and denizens of an erstwhile teen center on Newport Avenue.

For the balance of this article, please go here.

Eric DuVall is president of the Ocean Beach Historical Society (obhistory.org). Historical Society board member Kitty McDaniel contributed to this article. Basic membership in the Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is $15 annually, tax-deductible.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie January 20, 2022 at 12:24 pm

I worked at the In-Between for a year back in 1973. I was counselor, janitor and manager all wrapped into one job. We had everything and nothing, but we did offer a place to sit down, coffee and just “be.” Dickie Magidoff also worked there.


Dickie January 22, 2022 at 3:50 pm

Yup I did work at the InBetween, in 1974, into 1975. It was then under the umbrella of the Community Congress of SD. Like Frank I worked in the Drop-In Center as a “peer counselor” so-called. During that winter, a bad one by SD standards, a group of self-starting transient folks, led by a big and burly VN vet who called himself “Mud” (never learned his name), organized themselves and had a little soup kitchen in an apartment across the street. One particularly rainy nasty night a group, approached us late (we closed at 11 pm) to ask for shelter overnight, a bigtime rules no-no.. We said no, but locked up very gently and they in fact stayed that night and maybe one or two others. The response from Comm Cong people was swift and frantic and the dropin center was closed down soon thereafter. I vented about it in a long article in the old ink-and-paper OB Rag in March or April or May of 1975 I believe. Check it out.
I don’t know how this fits into the above history, maybe it comes after the timeline. Some very vivid memories


Thomas Ultican January 21, 2022 at 5:54 am

In 1968, I joined the Navy to avoid the Army and hated it. Lonely and disaffected, I found the In-Between. I had almost forgotten why I first fell in love with OB and the corner Newport and Abbott. Thanks for the wonderful article.


Frank Gormlie January 21, 2022 at 9:43 am

Thomas, what year(s) were you there? Maybe I served you coffee.


Don Wood January 21, 2022 at 2:52 pm

Around 1970, I was working as a welfare eligibility worker for the County. I worked mornings at the welfare office downtown and worked at the In Between in the afternoons as an outreach worker. Most of the kids coming in off the street didn’t have a place to live, so they didn’t qualify for General Relief welfare checks. But I knew every homeless support facility manager in San Diego, and could usually find them places to crash for several weeks. If they didn’t get a job and a place to live by then, they usually moved on to another city. My little cubbyhole office was upstairs by the window. I liked the work since it got me out of the regular welfare office and closer Mission Beach, where I lived in those days.


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