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By ROBERT GARDNER | June 9, 2006
As family legend has it, centuries ago, our ancestors were dwelling in Scotland during a famine. The local peasantry was starving in the countryside, while the local lord was cozy in his castle. With the help of his knights, he had taken whatever food there was from the peasants. In addition, he had a substantial garden within the castle walls, so he and his were eating well. The peasants would have been wiped out if it wasn't for one person within the castle walls ? the lord's gardener.
By ROBERT GARDNER | March 31, 2006
My stalwart dermatologist, Dr. Mailman, has retired. It was a terrible blow. After all, I was practically one of the family, in there once a month, regular as clockwork, to have numerous skin cancers removed, thanks to a lifetime in the sun. That was my downfall. Just having me as a patient added value to his practice. Dr. Mailman isn't the first doctor I've lost to retirement. Years ago, I had the profound good fortune to have a doctor move in next door to us in Shore Cliffs. He's been gone probably 30 years, and I have forgotten his name, but he had a real flair for the profession.
By ROBERT GARDNER | May 26, 2006
When I was growing up in Balboa, most of our residents were veterans of World War I. Dick Whitson, Frank Finster, Theo Robbins, Clayton Thompson, Irvin George Gordon, Harry Williamson, Lancey Sherman, Lloyd Clair, Gene Fenlon, Harry Estes and, most important of all for this discussion, Gus Tamplis all saw military service. You would think with so many vets that Memorial Day would have been a day of recollection or reflection, a moment to ponder the futility of war, to think of lost comrades.
By ROBERT GARDNER | May 5, 2006
At the conclusion of World War II, a new crop of community leaders came into town. Oh, much of the old guard remained ? Paul Palmer, Theo Robins, Lancy Sherman, Walter Spicer, Harry Welch, A.B. Rouselle, Lew Wallace, Lloyd Claire ? a truly remarkable group that had dragged our town through the Great Depression and a World War, and had changed that town from a honky-tonk summer resort and small fishing village into a desirable community surrounding the foremost yachting harbor on the Pacific coast.
By ROBERT GARDNER | June 30, 2006
The Fourth of July approaches, and with it, the city's efforts to see that the celebration is a decorous affair. Not only do we have signs announcing no fireworks, but the signs also say there is no alcohol in public places. I gather this is to keep private parties from spilling out into the streets and getting too loud. This was not always the case. Loud parties were a way of life in Balboa during the 1920s and '30s. Of course, we didn't have amplified music, which drives even the deaf to distraction.
By ROBERT GARDNER | March 24, 2006
I've been thinking that maybe we need something other recreational activities have: a governing body that sets out the rules and regulations of that activity. If we had such a booklet, some of the brouhaha might have been avoided because it is clear that Councilman Dick Nichols doesn't know the rules of the beach. Now, there are rules and there are rules. The city has certain rules ? when the beaches are open and when they're closed, when surfboards are allowed, the amount for parking fees.
July 11, 2000
ROBERT GARDNER As I have mentioned before in these dispatches, whenever Gino Boero and I get together, we tell each other Sam Oxarart stories. I have just remembered one that I have not even told Gino before. This I shall call "The First Sam Oxarart Story." In it, Sam is taking tickets at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa when a man he has never seen before walks up to him, knocks him down, says, "Stay away from my girl" and walks away. You will have to admit that is an experience most of us have never had. But things like that happened to Sam Oxarart.
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