Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hoodlums in 1939

The Army and Navy Academy, originally located in Pacific Beach, moved to Carlsbad in 1937. Today, it continues to be a part of our community, with a most excellent and picturesque location on the northwest end of town. This 1939 article tells the story of some hooliganism that occurred on the campus by local teens. The way the situation is handled by the staff and community, via the Carlsbad Journal, demonstrates the sensibility of their time and place. FYI, in 1939, there was no Carlsbad High School. Carlsbad teens attended Oceanside-Carlsbad High School in Oceanside, now Oceanside High School.

The Journal is in receipt of a letter from Major John Davis, president of the San Diego Army and Navy academy, reporting that Mrs. Virginia Atkinson, their dramatics coach and their dramatics team, were continuously annoyed at the theatre last week by hoodlums.

The dramatics team was rehearsing for the State tournament held this week in Pasadena where the Carlsbad entry from the Military academy won second place and in which, there were eleven entries.

During the evening while rehearsals were in progress these hoodlums would pound on the theatre doors and throw rocks and other missiles at the building for no other apparent purpose than to annoy and disturb those who were at their work.

When Mrs. Atkinson went to the door and invited the boys inside they responded with language and epithets that are imprintable.

Some of the hoodlums were recognized and at least some of them are high school students at Oceanside, and one of them a senior.

President Davis in his letter to The Journal said that it is not the desire of the academy to make unnecessary trouble for the boys or their parents, that the school not only desires to avoid such steps, but wants still more to become a home institution, a part of the community life in Carlsbad, and he asks what can be done to avoid experiences of this kind in the future.

The splendid thing for these boys to do, if they read this report, would be to go to Maj. Davis or Mrs. Atkinson and apologize and promise not to repeat their acts of rowdyism.

Putting it mildly, it is unfortunate that a community like Carlsbad should have young men as residents whose idea of fun is to indulge in acts of vandalism, and worse still, should consider it smart to use vile language in the presence of a lady. Mrs. Atkinson will be able to forgive and forget, but the boys themselves, and high school students at that, will eventually suffer severe and unpleasant consequences for engaging in their idea of sport.

There is just one way that these boys will ever amount to anything. It won't help them any to be arrested and punished by law, but if they persist in such rowdyism that is what will happen to them. If they want to feel good again their only course is to report to the Academy that they are sorry.

That would be the first step toward becoming young gentlemen.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Coronado Fishing and Hunting Grounds

The ocean fishing off Coronado in plain sight of the hotel is unparalleled. During the season of Spanish mackerel, rock cod, barracuda, and yellow tail, a two hours' catch of a couple hundred pounds is an every-day affair. Spanish mackerel weighing from eight to nine pounds is a fair average.

Those who have had the most experience in all parts of the United States say that the California quail is the most difficult bird to kill, and get in your bag, that flies. The famous shot, the late Ira Payne, after failing to bag a single quail with nine consecutive shots, said that they are the most elusive and delusive birds he had ever tackled.

A reservation of 1,900 acres within one and one-half miles of the hotel has been stocked with thousands of jack-rabbits, and the management has cleared a field of one and one-half miles long, over which guests of the hotel on horseback follow a pack of thirty greyhounds.

These rabbit chases are now among the most popular sports in Coronado, and occur twice a week, and oftener, if a dozen riders desire to indulge in a chase.

There is no expense to guests to join any of these chases, except for mounts, it only being necessary for them to leave their names at the office one day in advance.

(From a travel brochure, circa 1900)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Viewpoints of time & place

"Just as travel underlines that obvious but ever-surprising fact that, from wherever you view the world, it looks different, so does history offer intellectually something of the same insight. Our surroundings have been the home to countless generations of people estranged from us by time, for whom the assumptions and realities of life were, in a myriad of ways, fundamentally different. That realisation [sic] should be revelatory, inspiring and admonishing in equal measure."

From the March 13, 2013 issue of Country Life magazine

"A Plea for Palomar", by J.H.Y., 1901

A poem written about Palomar Mountain, which had earlier been known as Smith's Mountain

Fell my oak and fell my pine-tree; send my cedar to the mill;
Strip the tangled pine from off me; roll my boulders down the hill;
Grade my summit; till my valley; tear away my woodland pride;
Parcel me in city lots, and run a railway up my side;
Rule my streets with dull precision, block by block, in order time,
Here a church and there a depot, where the tiger lilies grew;
Mar God's handiwork about me; let my beauty be a myth;
Then, defaced and desecrated, call me after Mr. Smith.

But while yet the stately cedar sentinels the sylvan lawn;
While at times from yonder thicket peeps the nimble-footed fawn;
While the glory of the morning breaks on precipice and peak,
And the winter sees my waters leaping down to Panama Creek;
While the valley smiles beneath one, stretching westward to the main,
Mile on mile of rolling pasture, green alfalfa, golden grain;
While I look on Catalina, far beyond the ocean shore,
And the gleam of sunny waters on the lake of Elsinore;
While I dominate the lowland, hill and valley, near and far,
In my majesty and beauty, let my name be Palomar.

Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke speaks on open space, circa early 20th c.

So far the tourist has not discovered it [Africa], and I would like to see it in its undisturbed glory before railways and air routes have arrived, before luxury hotels and nightclubs have grown up like poisonous fungi - before it’s been tarnished and made ugly for civilisation [sic] which is unable to let things well enough alone.

From Bror Blixen: The African letters, edited by Gustav Kleen, 1988

Sunday, March 10, 2013


As in the Roman year, so in the English ecclesiastical calendar used until 1752 this was the first month, and the legal year commenced on the 25th of March. Scotland changed the first month to January in 1599. This month was called Martius by the Romans, from the god Mars, and it received the name ‘Hlyd Monath’, i.e. ‘loud’ or ‘stormy month’ from the Anglo-Saxons.

From The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden, a naturalist who created this journal for the year 1906. She never allowed anyone to see it during her lifetime. She was born in 1871. After attending art school, she worked as an illustrator. She met her husband, Ernest Smith, a sculptor, while she was living in London. She died tragically, in 1920, drowning in the Thames while gathering buds from chestnut trees.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Early 20th c. San Diego County News Tidbits, Part II

Oct. 1905 – Home Co. telephone line tall post and four wires are on its way through town.

Feb. 21, 1906 – [A wish for a newborn girl] May she grow up to be a good woman and live to see her great-grandchildren.

June 1906 – San Luis Rey river still flows a good stream to the ocean.

March 1909 – Auto Club erecting sign posts on coast road marking every turn and danger point along the way as well as distances, directions, etc.

Dec. 1909 - Mr. Gainer…has embraced the Hindu religion and has traveled twice to India to learn more of its philosophy.

April 1910 – Halley’s comet could be seen all through April and will pass between us and the sun on May 19, 1910, and after that it will be seen in the evening sky. It will come again in 75 years.

May 1911 – C.S. Libby purchased old Christian Church on First and Hill St. in Oceanside. Will make it into a neat modern residence.

June 1911 – Mr. Baird moves to Long Beach, has a position with a motion picture concern. An expert photographer.

June 10, 1911 – W.R. Clark and family drove a team of horses down from Greenfield Monterey Co. in three weeks. Automobiles were counted on the trip – came to 640 cars.

July 1911 – W.S. Kelly has learned to run his new auto fairly well but says his family are shy of riding with him yet.

Oct. 1911 – A law passed in county requiring all travelers to have lights on their vehicles.

Sept. 1912 – Charles Kelly sold 52 horses to a purchaser from Imperial Co., Carroll Borden rode ahead leading two horses and Earl Frazee and Forrest Borden came along behind and kept them going. Many were wild but we took them down the 101 Highway to San Diego and camped in Mission Valley the first night. Only a few cars on the road then.

Jan. 1914 – Six airship passes in ten days in January. Pretty soon we won’t get out of bed to see one.

Dec. 1914 – Water is here in Carlsbad. We have seen it with our own eyes.

Jan. 1, 1915 – San Diego Exposition gets under way. Everything that would make noise was used after midnight.

June 1915 – Flying machines are so common these days that we merely take a peep to see which way they are going and then forget them.

June 1915 – Sam Thompson, of Orange, has five acres west of Highland, which will be planted in Avocado trees. This fruit is little known in this country, only a few trees having been grown in this vicinity but it is a staple product in Mexico and other Southern countries.

Feb. 1916 – High school pupils finding trains always late since the floods have taken to walking three to five miles to Oceanside.

Oct. 1917 – WWI housewives are asked to have meatless and wheatless days.

Oct. 1918 – Save fruit-pits, nut shells, etc. to make gas masks for our government.

April 1919 – Passenger plane is making daily trips between San Diego and Los Angeles. The fare is $25.00.

Sept. 1919 – The Carlsbad grammar school is growing larger again. Enrollment, now 18.

Sept. 1919 – President Wilson passed through on the rear platform of a train. In San Diego they rigged up loud speakers and they claimed that more people heard him than any man in the world.

Oct. 1921 – Mr. And Mrs. Abraham Lincoln Kentner from South Bend, Indiana visiting E.G. Kentner at the Twin Inns.

After his wife, Minnie Kelly Borden, died in 1919, Mr. Borden started looking for an assistant. In 1920, he said, “I am still in need of a helper on this paper. Someone who would rather do good than get rich.” In 1921, “Not yet having found an assistant who would be my successor, I am facing the apparent necessity of dropping the work for want of physical and financial ability to keep it going.” The last paper was dated January 1923. After printing the paper for 38 years, he was forced to stop because his health gave out and he died a year later.