Surprising and Strange

Idiosyncratic dinosaur ‘museum’ going extinct

Always a bit of an oddity, and itself a colorful exhibition of an Escondido antique dealer’s lifelong hobby, the Roynon Museum celebrating all things dinosaur, goes the way of the creatures celebrated within, that is to say, extinct, on June 30. Applying the lofty title of Roynon Museum of Earth Sciences and Paleontology to its decidedly idiosyncratic exhibit and purpose, museum officials this week posted…


Is Jennifer Lopez moving to Escondido?

Is Jennifer Lopez moving to Escondido? Only The Shadow knows. However, local radio stations and the Internet were buzzing about the possibility that Jenny on the block was moving to this block. While it might be true — who knows, Donald Trump might be president; the Cubs might win the World Series — the rumor blasting across several local radio stations and celebrity web sites…


Death and dying with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

The archive of the influential psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who developed the theory of the five stages of grief, has been given to Stanford Libraries, Stanford University officials said this week. What does that have to do with Escondido? Plenty. Of special note in the archive are complete runs of newsletters from the Shanti Nilaya Healing Center, which Kübler-Ross founded in Escondido, as well as manuscript…


22 years ago, Heaven’s Gate couldn’t wait

Dateline Rancho Santa Fe. March 26, 1997. A 911 call came into the San Diego Sheriff’s Communications Center. It was treated as a prank call at first. From what turned out to be a nearby payphone, the caller said something so preposterous that dispatchers took their time in relaying the information to central command. “This is regarding a mass suicide. I can give you the address,” the…


Why won’t scientific evidence change the minds of Loch Ness monster true believers?

You may have noticed a curious recent announcement: An international research team plans to use state-of-the-art DNA testing to establish once and for all whether the Loch Ness monster exists. And for those locally, check out The Grapevine’s consideration of our local monster wannabe, Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Moster, posted above, and here… Regardless of the results, it’s unlikely the test will change the…


Tracking the wild parrots of San Diego County

Seen a wild pandemonium of parrots lately? Report it immediately. That’s the question and request posed by University of San Diego Biology Instructor Dr. Janel Ortiz and her San Diego Parrot Project, along  with “parrot sighting submission form” and a hardy SDPP thank you. Ortiz took the academic show on the road Wednesday. That’s when she and her flock of students took flight with a…


‘Museum of What: Love Tour’ charms

It’s a bit pricy at $24 admission, but definitely different. They’re talking a pop-up 16,000-square-foot exhibition that opened Valentine’s Day at a former patio furniture store in the T.J. Maxx shopping center in Encinitas. Called “Museum of What: Love Tour,” this is a non-traditional pop up museum featuring an array of blissful exhibits that will inspire you to live, laugh, and love, according to founders Ann Delaney and Kyle…



Blast from the past at Cal State San Marcos

One eyewitness said the blast “looked like an asteroid attack out of Star Wars.” The witness was referring to rocks from a regular quarry blast above Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) raining down on campus about 3:15 p.m. Monday, July 30, 2001, damaging cars and buildings, but causing no injuries. For Robert Stakes, who had just begun his tenure as dean of extended studies, the rocks…


Lake San Marcos: World’s oldest dead ringer

That gruff yet recognizable voice. The trademark cigar. Those corny jokes that may, or may not, be funny but with that rat-a-tat-tat Vaudevillian delivery that never seems to fail. It might be. It could be. It was…. Al Mager? Or was it George Burns? For those who thought George Burns was a permanent fixture in the Las Vegas of the sky, think again. Al Mager…