1st OB Rag History

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WHY OCEAN BEACH? WHY A NEWSPAPER? WHY THE ‘RAG’?

By the end of July of 1970, Gormlie and Susan were moving back to their house on Etiwanda Street – a house purchased by her family in late ’68. What with that house, and his parents owning a home in Point Loma since the early fifties, Gormlie already had ties to the community of Ocean Beach. He had both body and board surfed its waves since he was 13; his uncle and namesake had owned the OB Camera for years, his mother had worked there after his father, having retired from the Army in early 1961, lost his job at Convair in the recession of the early sixties. Many of his friends from high school were from OB.

1968: The Rowdy College-Surf Town Morphs Into Hippie Haven

OB was already well-known for its rowdy and irreverent culture of beach, surf & beer; but by 1968, it began its transformation into something more. Bleach blond long-haired surfers lived next door to long-haired hippies, and soon you couldn’t tell them apart. It became official: Ocean Beach had become the hippie mecca. Since the late sixties, Ocean Beach had morphed into the hippie hangout for the entire city. OB had become the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego, shadowing the more famous early birthplace of hippie-ism. But if you were young and a hippie in San Diego, you ended up in OB.

Before it was a hippie town, Ocean Beach was a college beach town, filled with students and surfers. Typical of such summer-oriented youthful beach towns — little more than sand arenas of beer-energized crowds on those the hot days, there was an innate rebelliousness. It was like the atmosphere of a constant spring break hanging in the air.

Over the springs and summers near the end of the decade, there had been a number of rowdy confrontations with police officers — usually on a hot day — usually beginning near the foot of Newport, when water balloons — careening through the crowds — got out of hand. The cops would arrive, and then they would become the targets. There had been the famous Easter Riots.

On one occasion, the skirmishing between police and locals became so intense and out of control, that the police chief himself, fresh from the golf course, arrived to personally direct house-to-house searches, as his officers sought those sandy scofflaws. During those days, young Doug Porter, right out of Point Loma High School, collaborating with Norm and other locals, had been publishing OB’s very first underground newspaper, “The OB Liberator”. Their next issue had an enlarged photograph of this head of police, clad in his golf shirt, standing in the middle of the street on the last block of Long Branch, waving his hands as he directed his officers, some of whom can be seen upstairs on the porch of a two-storied building going door-to-door. (Porter would later work on the OB Rag, and eventually end up a major writer on the San Diego Door in the mid-seventies.)

OB As An Insurgent Community

Ocean Beach, then, for Gormlie, presented itself as one of those college communities where the new politics were sprouting. OB had no college itself, but its beach cottages and apartments were filled with students from State, UCSD, Cal-Western not far away. OB was a college town without a college. He likened it to those other insurgent neighborhoods like Isla Vista, Berkeley, Ann Arbor, where, with idealism perhaps stronger than realism, there were real efforts being manifested in creating alternative social-structures within those communities, alternatives to establishment values and institutions.

Tom Hayden, the well-known activist, had written of such insurgent communities. He advocated radicals establishing “beachheads” of progressive politics within the college towns that surrounded the exploding college campuses. Gormlie read him and took him literally. OB was going to be one of these beachheads. Community organizing was where it was at, he thought. This was where he was coming from, when he convinced his close friend and fellow UCSD radical, John Lyons to move to OB and in his discussions with Bo Blakey, the third member of the first OB Rag core, over what to do politically — once they settled in at the Etiwanda house.

“STREET JOURNAL” – San Diego’s First Political Underground Newspaper

Gormlie had been inspired by San Diego’s early ‘underground’ or alternative newspapers, particularly the San Diego Street Journal. The Street Journal, originally the San Diego Free Press, had been organized by a collective of students and grad students from UCSD. Upon the assassination of Martin Luther King in April of 1968, this collective had formed, had moved off campus “to be more relevant”, and began publishing the Free Press out of an old beat-up, two-storied Victorian house between Hillcrest and downtown. They changed their name to the Street Journal, and took on the establishment — and made history. The Street Journal’s campaign against C. Arnholt Smith – Mr. San Diego of 1960 – a major kingpin in local banking and power circles – was instrumental in helping to bring his corrupt empire down. But all this was yet to come. Gormlie saw the potential of a newspaper as a wonderful organizing tool.

There were days when Gormlie felt that journalism was in his blood. He had led renditions of student newspapers during his grade school days, he had written an article or two for UCSD’s radical student newspaper, but he had no formal journalistic training. Having found himself to be an activist at heart at college, this tug of war between his journalistic side and his activist side would plague him for decades. But in the summer of 1970, Gormlie wanted some kind of vehicle, some kind of “in” for his anticipated community organizing. He also understood the power of words — having been a good writer throughout his academic career, and he understood that the power to define events was potentially earthshaking. There was a tradition in this country – starting with Ben Franklin – of the little newspaper standing up and criticizing the rulers. Now, inspired by the Street Journal, Gormlie wanted to do an underground newspaper. It seemed like an excellent idea.

“The Rag” Gets a Name

What about a name? Gormlie had heard about and read an alternative newspaper from Austin, Texas, called “The Austin Rag.” It sounded very cool, as “rag” was often used to describe a newspaper derogatorily. Open a Websters New Collegiate Dictionary, and look up “rag” and in bold capital letters you’ll find at definition number (3), the word, “NEWSPAPER.”

Feeling a certain pride about the community, the future editor wished to enhance its identity and reputation. There was the Austin Rag; he had a subscription to the “Berkeley Barb,” had read the LA Free Press many times, had seen the Village Voice. “OB” had to be in the name. So, it was to be “the OB Rag”, but Gormlie wanted something in its name to signify that the paper belonged to the community, to the people of the community — it became “the OB People’s Rag.”

That Fall — in September, when it’s still hot in San Diego, the first issues were published. Over those first months, the paper settled into publishing every other week — twice a month. It was generally able to keep this publishing schedule over the five years it lasted. It evolved from a scrappy, mimeographed and stapled hand-out to a full-fledged newspaper on newsprint, respected and supported within the community. The Rag evolved into a real community newspaper. Its staff changed several times over those years during the first half of the seventies – three times just within the first year. But the Rag survived and thrived, reaching its peak somewhere in mid or late 1974. It was printing 5000 issues, had an office on Newport, and had staff meetings comprised of a dozen people. Art Kunkin, then the publisher of “The LA Free Press”, the grandparent of West Coast underground newspapers, once called the OB Rag, “the best community newspaper in the country.”

The OB Rag – the Long View

The Rag’s vibrant and brilliant young staffs, energized and wise before their age, were knowledgable and on top of the most important and significant issues facing Ocean Beach in those days. On the international and national level, the War, of course, was the big issue. Locally, the threat of gentrification and over-development (“Miami Beachization”), more than any other immediate and OB issue was consistently challenged by the Rag. The Precise Plan – the urban plan that would have drastically transformed the community and in the process, uprooted much of the poor and youth within the population, was met headon by the Rag. In conjunction with local environmentalists, the Rag helped lead the creation of a successful alternative to the plan. The paper led on many other issues, as well: the lack of adequate childcare, organic food, sexism within the community and within the counter-culture, community control of the police, the list goes on…. Often staff members were leaders in their own right in many of the various organizations and alternative institutions that were being created and developed within the community.

Over time, the Rag, in reflecting the trials and tribulations of the community, did give voice to the new sub-culture with its distinctive left-wing irreverant attitude. It blended news and activism and became an outlet for journalistic, artistic, poetic and organizing talents. Importantly, it connected Ocean Beach politically with the rest of the world and it tried, at first very raw, to bring the best politics to OB. It was local and internationalist at the same time.

Not only did the OB Rag reflect the new counter-culture and its adherents within the community, not only did it provide an outlet for homegrown voices of left-wing populism and solidarity, and not only did it lead the seaside neighborhood in many issues, it was responding to a critical need of a sub-culture that was bursting through the seams of the traditional culture, and all the while, being suppressed by the mainstream culture. It needed a voice, a sympathetic voice.

(continue to “Summer 1970“)

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Evonne Schulze November 2, 2007 at 11:14 pm

Imagine my surprise when i ran into Genie Phllips and she told me the Ob Rag was back and Frank was still in there plugging!!!!!

I wish you great success and I am going to spread the word to some of the “oldies” that are still around. This is great. Maybe we can even get a few stories about what once was and that nothing has truly changed, etc.

I will stay in touch….cheers, evonne

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Avatar Nancy 22 November 25, 2007 at 3:02 am

Thanks for the site.This oldie wants to say.I do recall the “old days”.The beaches were actually clean.2000 the last time I visited with the grandchildren I told them there used to be abalone in the tide pools under the pier before their dad was born.
Another war and a generation later the Ocean Beach Rag is sill alive and so is Hope.
The Rag and the folks that worked on the paper ment Hope and struggle to show that there is something else an alternitave to repression.
Would some one else share what the Rag ment to them?
Thanks
Keep on Keeping On
Little

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Avatar Clark DeLeon December 10, 2007 at 12:07 pm

Congratulations on the OB CyberRag. I worked on an underground/alternative weekly in Philadelphia called The Drummer in the early 1970’s and also the daily student newspaper at Temple University. This prepared me for the day when I would become a columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer, which I was for more than 20 years. I currently write a column for the Philadelphia Metro.

I give this as background just to show you that I’ve been there, done that. Which is why I appreciated the story of the origin of the OB People Rag. My sister and brother-in-law, Denise and Stuart Seymour, have lived in OB for almost two decades. My family gets to visit for a week almost every summer, and I love the OB vibe. We’ve got a section of Philadelphia called South Street, which is like Newport Avenue with the Delaware River at the end instead of the Pacific Ocean. South street was the result of the same kind of political and community awakening that took place in OB during the late 60’s and early 70’s. I can report that your east coast hippie cousins are still rocking the establishment, establishing justice, working with rather than against the environment, living large and taking responsibility for their communities.

The activists of old have become the parents and grandparents of today. And they haven’t sold out (not all of them, anyway). It was a great time to come of age and I still see its spirit alive and well in the biker bars and coffee houses, in the Chop Shop art gallery and on the sideways of Ocean Beach.

Clark DeLeon

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Avatar zariel December 28, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Only in OB could a mix like this have happened. Does anyone remember the original OB peoples food store located in the small [bike?] shop before it moved up the street into a rebuilt pool hall? The OB free school? Hallelujah michael? Eru, Skyhorse Largo or any number of rare and unforgettable characters that lent this funky beach town its quite original vibe that gave this Philly boy a mental makeover thats lasted a lifetime. Good to see you still groovin

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie December 28, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Zariel – check out our series on OB People’s Food Co-op – which includes a photo of the old store front.

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Avatar Eliel September 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Yes Zariel; I do remember the OB peoples food store. It was a small little place and I was greeted by a (then) young lady who welcomed me. My first impression was “gee, I don’t think this is going to last long.”

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Avatar Marjorie Ann Drake March 19, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Wowie, I guess we’re getting old, hmmmm? Anyone remember the Red House and the DC Blues Band?
Oh yea, and Spaceman…what a trip. Thanks you guys, outasight.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie May 6, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Marjorie – sure we remember the Red House. It will be referenced, I understand, in up-coming additions to the OB Rag history, as yet unwritten. The Red House was an activist home during most of the seventies, painted red, and was a center for the radical antiwar movement in OB . The structure still stands today, but the lot has been divided.
I also remember the DC Blues Band. And Spaceman. I met him when I was a teenager and still have my Space Number, which will save me when the aliens land. Hey, when are they landing? We need something in this country.

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Avatar Winston July 16, 2008 at 5:30 pm

I lived in OB in the early to mid 60’s. In 1965 I was 5 years old. Spaceman would come by our house from time to time. We lived on Coronado Ave. until the house we rented was sold and the land used to build apartments. One time Spaceman tried to get me to take money from my mothers purse to give to him. I remember people talking about his drinking. At that time he was pretty old. I think he made the news from time to time. I now reside in Tennessee.

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Avatar Peter May 25, 2016 at 7:35 pm

Yes I too remember the spaceman, he had membership cards which i bought when I was 12 years old! Wish I still had it, got lost in the shuffle. I was there with my father Dan Simmons at the riots, it was quite something!! My father was very involved with the Ocean Beach Ecology Action Commettie along with Hap and Glenda Ferris.

Cheers! Peter

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Avatar Ray Gavin December 7, 2009 at 6:00 pm

We moved into OB in 1954. we lived on seaside st and went to sacred heart academy. We were a big family 9 boys and 2 girls and of course we were catholic. early on i remember knowing the location of every fruit tree in the neighborhood. we played in the canyon at the north end of seaside. the trek to beach was a daily summer routine. Down the street lived the Lockwoods and Ray Baumbaugh. Ob was a very quiet place to grow up in. The old house is still there at 2319. Phil meeker, dennis brooks, ronnie green, the lucido family and the bettencourts. Hangin out at the Rec center. I sold papers on Newport st in 57 and 58. The frichtels and Shermans. Always did a little shoplifting at Cornets. I loved the fries at the jack in the box on the coner of froud and sunset cliffs. Paul, one of my brothers…the Wolf….on his velsey-jacobs board. I remeber going to see Endless summer in 58 at the loma theater…wow ..what a time..

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie December 7, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Ray, wow, what a treasure trove of memories! I also lived on Seaside but much later. I went to high school with some of the Lockwoods and Marty Bettencourt. The only thing I differ with you about is when the original Endless Summer was shown. It was more like 1963 to 1964. I saw it at the PB elementary school auditorium and the producer – I forget his name – gave a live narrative.

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Avatar Kathy Brunow nee Griffin March 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm

You mean the Jack in the box was on Sunset Cliffs and Froud before Voltaire and Sunset Cliffs. I remember the one on Voltaire and Sunset Cliffs being built in 1965.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 23, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Kathy, I believe Ray misspoke. Sunset Cliffs and Froude is down on the Cliffs and there’s never been a JinB there.

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Avatar Kathy Brunow nee Griffin March 24, 2015 at 3:27 am

I’m thinking this is true.

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Avatar Lorne Hillier December 28, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Greetings OB! Ray, I am sure you remember one or the other Hillier at Sacred Heart, since there 12 of us! Your sister was in my class…yep I did the tour from Kindergarten to 8th grade there, then on to Uni after that! Lots of religion in those days! Theresa was in my class with the Caseys,Beckmans, Lucidos and many more ( well NOT that many…I think we had 12 boys and about 18-20 girls in our class) We lived on the 4400 block of Santa Monica…straight up from the ‘Tower’..we checked the surf every day from the middle of the street…counting the sets. The one thing I miss the most is the chicken from Ma and Pa Zekes…I wonder if that recipe ever was passed along? It sure beat KFC all to hell!

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Avatar steve ottinger January 11, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Wow Frank! you lived on seaside too? and you remember the lockwoods? our house was strait across the street from the lockwoods! it was the big ugly pink house with the pillers. hell, Jimmy lockwood dam neer lived at our house. you also remember the Motts? these were some of our good friends! Do you or any one els here remember the Ottinger family? we were well known as well. I sure do miss the OB days, we left OB in 1974 and moved to coos bay oregon. It was one of the biggist mistakes my folks ever made. in fact to be totaly honest with you. In my life! I dont remember ever being as happy as I was as a young kid in ocean beach. When we left! I left my heart in ocean beach, and took OB with me insted, to a place where Cali’s were not welcomed. It seemed the bikers here were the only ones who ever really did exsept me for who and what I was. But at the time a lot of them were from Cali as well, and no one here wanted to fuck around with these boys. Now 44yrs old with unproudly! two murder trials under my belt. I fined my self once again facing yet another tial! one that ive ran from for 9yrs! wich is coming to an end this spring when I turn my self in, and if it goes well! then Im done with the law! once and for all!! Its time for some peace, love , and happyness to come my way again. wish me luck my brother! and thanks again…….. truly The OB- Kid!

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Avatar Wayne Roche May 24, 2010 at 3:21 pm

What a blast from the past! I moved to California when I was 23 and went straight from the east coast, to Ocean Beach. I lived at a few places in O.B between March 78, and November, 79, but I started out in a very “modest” apartment above the shoe store on the corner of Newport and Bacon. Being from the NY suburbs, (New Rochelle, just north of NYC), O.B. was sort of a culture shock…one I embraced with open arms, and an open mind!
Like most kids my age at that time, I had this preconceived notion that I was going to be hangin out with alot of blonde, blue eyed Californians, listening to the Beach Boys while cruisin around in a T-Bird or a 49 Ford Woody with my long board bungeed to the top…Kawabunga!!!….wrong.
Instead, it was a melting pot of souls from all over the country…the world! In fact I do actually remember meeting one girl from San Diego…only one. And NOBODY listened to the Beach Boys!
Ok. Some of my fondest memories are: Sunshine Co. Saloon, Clint Carey(The Spaceman), The Arizona at 6 in the morning!, The Black (my favorite head shop), Square Pan Pizza, Over the Top, Foggy’s Notion, learning to surf, and the parties…oh lord, the parties! But mostly, the people. Although my time in O.B. was only for two years, I met some of the finest people in my 54 years on this planet. I love and miss all of them…Patti-Jo, Phil, Gypsy, Richard, Terra, and the list is just too long to type!
I guess this is just me sharing some nostalgia with you. Sort of a walk down memory lane for me.
You know, it’s funny…I’ve been asked over the years, if I ever get homesick, and the always say yes…for Ocean Beach. I felt instantly connected from the very first moments that I stood on Newport Ave., in front of the shoe store, looking west toward the beach…and the bikinis…and my home.
So I’ll close this by saying that with all that life hands us, good and bad, we all have at least one memory that makes us smile every time. For me, that’s the time that I experienced O.B.
As your Governor once said…”I’ll be back.”

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie May 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Wayne, thanks so much for visiting us, and please come back soon and often. Know most of the references that you mentioned. Some like Spaceman and Square pan Pizza are gone, some have been altered like the Arizona, and some are just still there, like the Black and the Sunshine Co.

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Avatar Chuck Marlow May 26, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I grew up in OB. My folks owned the Newport Pastry Shoppe across the street from the Strand. Previously, they had the bakery at the corner of Newport and Bacon. I remember the beach before the pier was built. Destroyed a great left ride. Do miss the beach as now I live in Sioux Falls, SD.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie May 26, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Chuck, welcome back, in a way. I definitely remember that great left before the pier was built. But I don’t remember your folks’ bakery across from the Strand. I do remember one up a block east. At any rate, come back for a visit soon and often. Check out our scanned old original OB Rags and some of the history that surrounded its publication.
peace.

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Avatar Chuck Marlow May 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Frank:

If I remember right, the folks closed down the bakery in 1965. Stiff competition from the bakery/coffee shop up the street and Safeway. Remember Ma and Pa Zeke’s? The folks sold the older bakery to them. Must have been in the early 50s. Its good to read about OB. Hey, I even still have an OB sticker on my pickup driving around Sioux Falls…Saw an OB sticker on a vehicle in the Black Hills last summer…Still keep in touch with Doug Tillinghast.

Chuck

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie May 26, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Sure, Chuck, Zeke’s is definitely in my teenage memory bank. A weird place but they sold great chicken out that side window on Bacon. The two young kids working for them turned out to be full-fledged KKK members complete with sheet, and they pranced around Newport a couple of times in full regalia.

I don’t remember your folks’ bakery but I can see why they had heavy competition from up the street, as that is the bakery I remember – wonderful fruit pastry squares! (No, I’m not hungry, just on a dessert fast for 8 weeks.)

The OB sticker does get around. A friend by the name of Michael Steinberg once lived in OB, had moved back east to the Carolinas, and was traveling back to Cali by Grayhound, and as the bus was pulling into the Bay Area in the early morning hours, the first car he sees on the bridge was a VW with an OB sticker.

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Avatar TEK August 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Chuck,

Didn’t you take drama at Mesa from Art and Woody?

Art Noll passed away last year, and a bunch of people turned up,
John Peters, Scott Beverly, Milt Woodruff, of course, lots of
the old cast.

Tom Kopache is one of the few actors to be a Star Trek
regular…bought an old Plymouth from him for $25,
such a deal. Last I heard, Barry Messer was a leader in
the Masons.

I spent every spare evening in 1968-70 at the InBetween.
Got to know Ann Dosher and some of the OB “leading lights.” It was
always fun when someone would stagger in and collapse, and
we’d load them into the ’55 Chevy and cart them to the ER
to get jumper cabled. The Black moved to the InBetween’s
original site. I still can’t imagine being an undergrad without
a place like that…how can people grow souls? (Or barnacles,
anyway?)

The administration of the grants which kept the InBetween running
would fill a book in itself…all the qualified “social scientists” were absent,
doing research in some other country, and they hired some character
with no qualifications at all. Then there was a coup d’etat where some
outside characters tried to take over the board. Dennis Ewald got a
copy of the bylaws and stopped them cold. (I’d have like to see DE
under Roberts’ Rules(!)

I remember The Lost Coin where the Campus Crusade for Christ
set up across the street and toward the ocean from the InBetween.
Bunch of satanists showed up (IN CAPES!) and a weird time was
had by all.

There was always access to coffee in OB. Truly, a civilized place.
And Zeke’s Chicken Liver and Mayo sandwiches.

Sigh.

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Avatar Chuck Marlow January 11, 2016 at 6:52 pm

Holy cow. I just read your reply. I remember Art and Woody. Do you remember Sheelagh Royle? She became a good friend for many years. She sold marijuana brownies at one of the drama dept bake sales, and spiked Woodys coffee with acid..She passed away 5 or six years ago. There were so many great folks in the drama dept then.

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Avatar TEK January 17, 2016 at 9:29 am

Hi, Chuck! Sure I remember Sheelagh. Frank Cipriani said “That girl’s a walking bust!” Evidently she stood up in the caf, brandished a doob, and said “C’mon, Frank, let’s DO one!” She was free and amazing, I’m sorry she’s gone. I didn’t know she turned Woody on. Wow. Judy Mullinex died less than a decade after our theatre seasons…car accident involving a VW Mini-Royal. Fiberglass went into her blood. Doug Smalheer, a Mesa history teacher, came down to the Apolliad and got involved in acting when the campus-wide war protests started, and continued to be involved in theatre all his life. He passed last year, remembered fondly by generations of history students.
I ran into Tom Aycock at the Airport back in the late ’80’s when I worked for PSA. He was some kind of tour guide.
You’re right, were were lucky knowing such a group of people. I really miss them.

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Avatar Margaret Smith September 15, 2011 at 9:51 am

Oh Boy, do I remember Ma and Pa Zekes Chicken. Our mom would send us up there for chicken and Oh how I remember the aroma. It was hard to stay out of it on the way home. Definitely in the 50’s. I have tried many times to duplicate that flavor and have never been successful. What a breath of fresh air this site is. Wonderful to have a connection to the place I was born and raised. Thanks so much for this. It is now on my favorites.
Margaret

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Avatar Robin "Bobby" Smith September 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I remember the NPS well as I was a frequent customer of two cookies on the way home of OB elementary; circa – early 50’s. I can still smell and visualize the bakery and remember the (paper mache?) baker on the wall behind the front counter. I remember the woman (your mom?) that often tended the front counter as being very kind to a young consumer just learning how to use money.

Cheers, Robin

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Avatar Boweenie Blossom August 24, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Only those of us who were lucky enough to be born and raised in OB know the true spirit of our community. I’m the oldest daughter of Terry “Boweenie” Bowman. The Lockwoods are family to us and on my maternal side I’m proud to be the cousin of David Velasquez (red house) anyone remember him? I miss the smell of Zeke’s, he lived across the street from me on Coronado, (his house smelled just like his resturant) and there was not a single thing you needed that Cornets did not have. I love my town and have seen it go through so many changes, we must not give up on our town and what the hell is that line at hodads all about, and what is more hypocritical than all those new cars in OB peoples food store parking lot. Get with the OB spirit and put those homeless bums to work there for their food..REMEMBER the real OBPeoples if you wanted to buy you had to contribute. Another thing I find so absurd it’s hilairous is the “OB Community Service” facade where the Inbetween used to be.

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Avatar domaserisk August 29, 2010 at 11:34 pm

who was shaking his head back and forth knowingly Grissom shifted his eyes over at Brass,

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Avatar Kathryn Rogers October 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I lived in Pt. Loma/OB from 1958 til 1970 something. It sure is fun hearing of all the stories peeps have of the old home place.
Like to clear up a few things and add a bit of history to the archives.
My parents owned Homer’s Variety store prior to Cornets. It was a true 5 & dime and it’s sign reflected that. Cornets about put us out of business and was one of the first “chain” stores in Ob.
The Methodist church had a really great lay youth teacher who came up with the idea of The Inbetween. If you were looking towards the beach, it was on the right hand side of Newport and was called The Inbetween because it was in between 2 bars. I helped open the place and was in on the painting of the map right inside the door.
Across the street was The Paisley Pelican, the 1st head shop prior to The Black. I remember collecting banana peels, ala Mellow Yellow, there and used to sew clothing for sale in the shop.
I still have pictures of the OB drum company and of Mike Stewart of the OB School House. I used to live in the school house with Mad Madeline, Mike’s mother and Mike who had the attic all to himself.
We had a huge candy section in Homer’s and we would fill up a sack and check out movies at The Strand. We were a rowdy bunch and would take cap guns to the Western’s being shown and follow right along with the movie. I remember being at the Strand one night and there was a war protest with peeps setting trash cans on fire in the middle of the street and then marching down one isle and up the other with war posters and chanting “No more war!”.
There was an OB 9 (or 11, can’t remember all that much!” that went to jail for printing a “How to Make a Moltov Cocktail” in a local rag… was that you? and getting a lot of publicity and trouble from it.
I used to hang with the local bikers, The Family, and went by Gypsy aka Kay. It would be fun to see if anyone remembers me.
Lot’s of fun in OB and I was right there in the heyday. Wouldn’t have traded those times for the world!

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Avatar Chuck Mattsen November 26, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Loved hearing the mention of Homer’s. I lived in Ocean Beach in the early through mid ’60s and spent a lot of time in Homer’s. My mom and dad owned a restaurant just a few doors up on Newport, Audrey’s. As for the Strand, I remember getting in on weekends for 6 RC Cola Bottle Caps. I remember seeing many old sci-fi and horror flicks there (and the “Honeycomb” song that never stopped playing before the movies would start.

Miss OB a great deal (especially now that I’m living in NW MN, not far from Fargo, ND and the Canadian border).

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Avatar Kathryn Rogers October 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm

To add to my very long post above…
I really have had a good laugh at some of the things that are being complained about “now” and fer sher were complained about back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The Wall at the bottom of Newport was torn down because of complaints that the hippies used to congregate there. They tore it down then and now there are complaints because of the very same issues now? Ahem…. some people never learn.
Also, there were a lot of complaints in the 60’s about panhandlers (and I of course had been guilty of that myself). 2010 redux! LMAO
Same as it ever was.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie October 19, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Kathryn – welcome back! You’ve added some great history. Go check out our recent posts on the Strand Theater. And you’re absolutely right, some things don’t change, just people’s perceptions. Come back again and often!.

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Avatar Chris Anderson January 9, 2012 at 10:22 am

Frank,
You may not remember me, but I remember you (Boy Scouts and camping). I was a few years younger that you. Berdines Stationary in OB and that tiny stamp & coin shop.
Those were good times in O.B. in the 60’s

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Avatar Sam May 16, 2012 at 5:57 am

As a sailor fresh out of boot camp in 1970, my head was more into the community than the Navy. It was tough trying to gain acceptance on the beach so my friends and I bought wigs and spent as much time at OB and PB as the Navy allowed. After our service schools were finished we got orders to our ships and set sail to explore the world. It was a glorious year and part of who I am today is because of my experiences in the San Diego area, primarily OB and PB. Thanks to my brothers and sisters of the beach community for accepting sailors who were not part of the military machine of that time when nobody understood the difference between the troops and government politics.

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Avatar steve zerbe January 12, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Grew up in OB, Cape May, Narraganset,and Cable street. Remember Zeke’s, and then the antique store and the square-pan pizza place.. found a postcard of the old Zeke’s place here – http://www.usgwarchives.net/ca/sandiego/postcards/zekes.jpg

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie January 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

Wow! Thanks Steve – great photo! Sure I remember Zekes, and their side take-out window. One of the kids that used to work there loved to don his white sheet once in a while and parade around like he was a real Klanner.

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Avatar rick lambert July 6, 2014 at 4:49 pm

i definately remember ZEKE GREEN. i never saw his place in ocean beach , but he told me all about it…….in 1981-83 , i and some friends had a sort of deli in the sports arena area, next to a health food store and the [still there] baskin robbins ice cream shop. it was called ,mexicater, rich and famous foods. Zeke would frequent our place and he showed me how to, CUT UP A CHICKEN, and he shared his fricassee chicken recipe with me. he was a great guy and i always enjoyed his visits. guess he is gone by now. does anyone remember his last name?

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Avatar Alan de Chezet February 17, 2013 at 11:34 am

I have been living in Canada (Beautiful British Columbia for the last 20 years), since my dad moved us all from Point Loma in ’74. We lived at the top of Hill St., with me at Sunset View Elementary, but my older sister at Sacred Heart, where my mom, Dimitry, was a part-time secretary. We used to shop on Newport, and I remember Cornet (styrofoam “surfboards,” etc.) and Homer’s, as well as the hardware store, perhaps adjacent Homer’s, where I think there was a old 10-cent coke machine. We had friends that ran a “health food store” (do people even say that anymore?), the Girardis. My grandmother used to take me to The Little Chef for Milkshakes, and I recall Hodad’s on the beach. My mom and dad reliably packed us into the “square back” VW, a ’72, sometimes with a few other kids from Moana Drive (no seat belts for us and the Lacey and Pugh kids; we sat on the rubber mat floor), and we would spend the day at Ocean Beach, learning to bodysurf or thrashing around in a dingy in the waves. My sister’s pal was Maria Kaufmann (spelling?), who lived adjacent Sacred Heart. Her brother was Carlos, a nice kid. I think another of her pals was Ellen Christiana. My sister used to come home with stories of a kid named Brian Piggot, and Father Gomez, Father Sprou, and all the Sisters. She and my mother loved that school. I recall seeing “It’s a Mad, Mad, … World” at The Strand, and as a younger kid walking with my mother among the tide pools. I could not have asked for a better childhood.

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Avatar Theoni (TEK) April 29, 2018 at 9:03 am

I remember that health food store with their smoothies and fruitsalads. Vic Gerardi was a student at Mr. Jong Lee’s Tang Soo Do school. I think he took his black belt test the same year I did, 1973, don’t think he stuck with it. I do know he got a religious calling and joined the Marshal’s force to work in the San Diego Jail.

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Avatar Barbara Jeanne Urso May 10, 2014 at 10:32 pm

In 1963 thru 1967 myself & friends frequented a Bar to dance on Bacon St. in Ocean Beach. It just had a large dance floor & Juke Box, no live music. I can’t remember the name of the place but it is now known as Winston’s Beach Club. I’ve asked many people in Ocean Beach, but no one seems to know the name. I think the Arizona was next door to it.

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Avatar Theoni (TEK) April 29, 2018 at 9:01 am

Was that bar the Calypso? I only heard of it once, when I was at Hoover. Thought it was close to the water….

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Avatar Robin Burrell December 24, 2017 at 5:22 pm

I lived in OB from 60 to 69. Worked for Zeke and Gladys for 2 years. Wow, I remember al lot of the names of the people you are talking about.i do remember the excitement of the pier opening and the new Denny’s that is now gone. And the infamous OB riots in 67?. I was there for all the fun. I live in New England now but one in a while I do venture back

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Avatar Theoni (TEK) April 29, 2018 at 9:10 am

OB Denny’s was a launching pad into the world of military intelligence:). Well, for a few of us, anyway. Perry was a couple years older, came to Mesa from a tour in Turkey snooping on radios, Brian Bennett joined up when his dad busted him for LSD, and like Perry, got out for acting oddly. I joined 1975 after college when I was laid off at Wavetek, went to Korea. We all went to Defence Language Institute in Monterey. I was the only one who completed my tour…I rather enjoyed it, actually. None of the others did, I guess. Even Dave Glass, who ended up in the USMC left early. But thinking about hanging around the InBetween (the later InBetween, gratias, on the left side) was a way to ignore the cold when it was cold.

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