1966: Swing Wide, Sweet Chariot

News from the January, 1966 editions of the Lemon Grove Review.

A look back at Lemon Grove 47 years ago.

His Way:  The old pro, Max Goodwin, the 37-year editor of the Lemon Grove Review, ran a weekly editorial, "The Dimmer View," that fulminated against politicos, punks, profligates, pacifists, and procrastinators -- all ye who spurned flag and country, ignored children, taxed anybody, and scorned Lemon Grove -- and made of small town life a thing so densely packed with drama as to leave us gasping for more.

Between the school, club, church, business and political stories were sandwiched inch-wide diaries of lives gone astray, to wit:

Mrs. Dunsmuir's Comeuppance:  Her hubby had fled with their life savings she sobbed to Sheriff's deputies, leaving her with Baby Dunsmuir, an old Chevy and not a sou to fling at a cat.  But, as the deputies learned forthwith, Mr. D. was dead on the back porch, the life savings were still in the bank and the old Chevy belonged to her brother.  Her sweet chariot was the Mercedes-Benz parked on nearby Eldora Street.

That's the whole story.  Ransack the Review though we will, we cannot find another syllable about Adele Dunsmuir, her hapless hubby, their helpless babe, or whether she went to San Quentin, Bellevue or to sterner stuff.  

Call home if you know anything.

Post Mortem:  "Dear Editor," began the letter. "We wish to thank our many friends for their kindness and thoughtfulness at the funeral of our late father and regret any inconvenience caused when the casket accidentally slammed shut on someone's hand and when the punch bowl cracked.  The Weglin Family, Englewood Drive, Lemon Grove."

Wish we'd been there.

Man on Fire:  Joseph Luther Moore, 73, Grove Place, torched his vacant rental unit and his pants two days before the expiration of his $7,000 fire insurance policy.  He was arraigned for arson in Superior Court, but his bail was dropped from $1,100 to $500 when he showed the judge his burned pants and a note from the doctor saying he had cancer and wasn't going anywhere.

Or maybe he was.  A sad, grim tidbit about a lonely guy in trouble.

Reading the Will:  Andrew McCulloch, Spring Valley, had a wife, three children and a mother. Ten years on he hadn't updated his life insurance or social security beneficiaries.  When he died everything went to Mom and the family got zip.

Mrs. McCulloch sued her mother-in-law, who fought back.  In court, the judge ruled that the insurance beneficiary was at odds with McCulloch's notarized will, which left everything to his wife and kiddies.  But Mom still got the Social Security money.  

We bet she got other stuff, too, like alienation and no grandkids coming to Sunday dinner.

Probably a Typo:  The ad for Pal's Restaurant, 3521 Imperial, read, "Special of the House:  1 Dozen Eastern Dried Oysters $2.25.  Thick sirloin on the hoof $1.95.  Pizza Pie a la mode 80¢.  Our special green cheesecake $1."

They lived dangerously then.

Fever All Through the Night:   Money Management, a regular column in the Review, closed with this stemwinder:  "Many people caught up in 'Finance Fever' do not realize that the higher the potential return the higher the risk when no return can mean no risk, but some risk with promise of reasonable return is your best bet when attempting to refinance your home during what appears to be good rates but may not be."

Is there a doctor in the house?

Wisdom of the Ages:  "When your pipes burst it is because the water inside has turned to ice and has no way out unless it explodes."

This, in the best climate on earth.

Stars Ascendant:  Harry Griffen, Alton Drive, chair of the Helix Irrigation District, was named vice chair of the District Securities Commission and chair of the Irrigation District Section of the California Water Districts Association.

Larry Clark and Trenton Huls bought Lemon Grove Culligan Water, Olive Street, from Virgil Stevens for more than a half a million dollars.  Stevens had purchased the Culligan franchise in 1949 for $40,000.  He and Mrs. Stevens took the profits and ran to a 1,485-acre ranch in Lebanon, MO to raise black angus cattle.  Moo!

Marion Higgins, Mt. Vernon Street, was named by Gov. Pat Brown to his state-wide Citizens Advisory Committee on California Beautification.

Lemon Grove Fire Chief Pappy Hensley recommended promotions on Jan. 1 for Jerry McReynolds, Washington Street, from fireman second class to fireman first class, and Dale Chamberlain from fireman first class to engineer.  Our fire district also bought six new tires and tubes for Engine 6 for $422.40.

Bob Turnbull, Imperial Avenue, son of noted optometrist Dr. Amorita Treganza, Kempf Street, was cast in the hit TV spy series, "The Man From UNCLE," that aired from 1964 to 1968.  UNCLE meant "United Network Command for Law and Enforcement."

Darcy Tyson Cremer, Troy Street, married Kenneth Priest, Englewood Drive, in La Mesa Methodist Church.  Darcy's parents, George and Wilma Cremer, lived in the H. Lee House for half a century (today it is the Tudor Revival cultural center in Civic Center Park).

Jack W. Koop, manager of the Lemon Grove branch of First National Bank, welcomed the bank's very first computer.  The bank tossed a party on Jan. 21 in the San Diego branch and the public was invited to see checks being deposited not by hand, but by computer.  Eureka!

Shadows of Our Remembered Ancestors:  Kumeyaay healer, Isabel Choe Thing, about 75, Olive Street, died on Jan. 4, 1966 in county hospital after a lingering illness.  She was widely respected for her vast knowledge of medicinal herbs, lore that she passed on to her daughter, Jane Dumas, Central Avenue, and granddaughter, Daleane Dumas Tatlock.

Isabel was married to Ambrosio Thing whose family gave its name to Thing Valley, Thing Mountain and Thing Ranch in this county.  Like her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Juan Choe of the Jamul Indians, she lived in both Tecate, Mexico and Lemon Grove.

Mrs. Thing did not live to see the completion of an herbal dictionary, a four-year project conducted by famed anthropologist Florence Shipek (1918-2003).  But Mrs. Shipek's son, Carl, reports that the field notes for the dictionary have been incorporated into a for-credit Ethno-Botany course at Kumeyaay Community College, starting Jan. 29, 2013.  The teachers will be Jane Dumas, Richard Bugbee and Michelle Garcia.

Jane Dumas was a consultant to the permanent murals inside the Parsonage Museum, 3185 Olive, painted by Kathleen Strzelecki and Janne LaValle in 2003-2004.  We are delighted to hear that this leading cultural carrier is doing well and continuing to share the oral traditions of the Kumeyaay with a new generation.

About this column: Compiled by Helen Ofield, president of the Lemon Grove Historical Society, from newspapers archived at the H. Lee House Cultural Center. Each week, we take a peek at the past with some news and advertising highlights from a randomly chosen edition of the Lemon Grove Review. In 2012, Ofield was awarded second place in non-daily reporting and writing from the Society of Professional Journalists for the column.

Jenny February 07, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Hi, My name is Jenny, I have read your story about Shadows of our Remembered Ancestors; I was interested in the Kumeyaay healer Of Isabel Choe Thing I wanted to know more about her,You don't mention her fathers name, I believe it would give me more information, to my family tree, Isabel is a related person, If you can help Please contact me Thank You; Jenny


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