2019

Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Monster: Fact or fiction?

Go down to Hernandez Hideaway at rural Lake Drive in Del Dios and people will swear up and down the long wooden bar that Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges monster, really truly — well, almost definitely exists. “The Lake Hodges Hodgee monster is kind of like the Loch Ness monster,” said Stan Smith, a long-time Del Dios resident. Smith, a cowboy poet and man about…


It’s National Fluffernutter Day. Hooray?

Every dog has its day, they say, and apparently so does every cause, effect and plain old thing. Welcome to Tuesday Oct. 8, 2019. It’s National Fluffernutter Day. (Also, the start of Yom Kippur, 5780, but that’s a tale for another day.) Correct, National Fluffernutter Day is observed annually on Oct. 8, according to the National Day Calendar. This is a day set aside each year to make,…


Climate Action Plans: A Tale of Two Cities

A funeral was held last month at the site of Iceland’s Okjökull glacier. A century ago it covered nearly six square miles, measuring 164 ft. deep. Today, it’s less than one square mile, 49 feet thick. The shrinking sheet of ice can no longer be called a glacier. A tombstone plaque was placed at the site. A Letter to the Future  This monument is to…


Before Babe Ruth, there was Gavvy Cravath

(Editor’s Note: Gavvy Cravath was an Escondido native, perhaps the first Major League Baseball star from San Diego County. Patrolling right field at the historic Baker Bowl for the Dead Ball Era Philadelphia Phillies, he led the National League in home runs six times in the years just prior to Babe Ruth’s arrival on the scene. Later, a Laguna Beach municipal judge, the crusty Cravath,…


‘Lord of All Indoors’ soccer legend Steve Zungul lives quietly in Escondido retirement

Reclusive and sitting in a luxury home high above the San Pasqual Valley, the charismatic  “Lord of All Indoors” Steve Zungul continues to mystify and impress, albeit out of the public eye. He hasn’t spoken to anybody in the media for over a decade. His legendary indoor soccer career continues to do all the talking. Fans of the Croatian indoor soccer scoring machine, perhaps the…


In age of Drumpf, Tony Clifton claims foul

Editor’s Note: Michael Patrick Welch, renowned New Oreans writer, musician, teacher and friend of The Escondido Grapevine, conducted an interview with the provocateur known to Andy Kauffman and Bob Zmuda fans as Tony Clifton. While others have shunned this outstanding piece of informational journalism, we embrace it and re-print this as a public service. “After a year of chasing Tony Clifton to get his thoughts…


Carpetbagger Issa in, criminal Hunter doomed in 50th Congressional District

It’s a crappy day to be Republican Duncan Hunter. It’s bad enough that his wife has been flipped by federal prosecutors. Now it’s clear his own political party wants him gone. And there are more questions about his most recent campaign finance report. This morning former 49th District Congressman Darrell Issa held a news conference to announce his candidacy for 50th District seat held by…


YOUR state senator Brian Jones opposes gun control and state assault weapons ban

Leave it to the poor suffering residents of the Duncan Hunter-Joel Anderson reign of Trumpist political terror, and corrupt behavior, to be saddled with their obvious successor at outrageous and dangerous political malpractice. Enter the gates of gun violence hell with state Sen. Brian Jones, (R-NRA), elected in California’s 38th Senate District, as the successor to ALEC’s favorite son, Anderson, who got term-limited out of…


Out & About—She sneered at me…. TWICE!

She informed me that the Academy was private property and that I couldn’t take pictures. I apologized and told her I would leave. Then I asked her what the Academy was. She said, “It’s an Academy.” — Russel Ray When I was up in North San Diego County a couple of weeks ago visiting the San Pasqual Battlefield State Park for my San Diego Historical…


Owning San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones

According to her 2018 campaign disclosure statement, mayoral candidate Rebecca Jones received $50,965 in donations from 180 individuals. Only 53 have San Marcos addresses. Seven of ten of her cash supporters were, like me, not eligible to vote in the election. Jones’s opponent, Chris Orlando, raised $29,000 in donations from 139 individuals, 94 of whom have San Marcos addresses. I was disappointed to learn that…