Mecca of puppy love
[Ref: “The South Park blueberry girls,” Vol. 8, Issue 17, or online at bit.ly/2wr4zfv.]
We live across the street from this amazing mecca of puppy love … moved here a year ago after 22 years in Ocean Beach and a long friendship with the wonderful activists of OB Dog Wash.
Our little Chiweenie loves the folks of South Bark and so do we. We keep our eyes open for sketchy folks and wish our wonderful doggie neighbors safety and prosperity … go blueberry girls.
—Kat Baldwin, via gay-sd.com
We adore South Bark and one of the many reasons we miss being in South Park so much! So bummed to hear about these break-ins, but warms my heart to see the community rally. Love, love, love that community.
—Alison Hilles Ganz, via Facebook
Honoring Mel Merrill
[Ref: “Community mourns the death of Meldon ‘Mel’ Merrill,” Vol. 8, Issue 17, or online at bit.ly/2vgcqs5.]
Thank you so much for that beautiful written obituary. I have a copy and will frame it and treasure it.
—David Ramos, husband of Mel Merrill, via email
Wonderful piece on Mel, thank you.
—Nicole Murray Ramirez, via email
Carol and piano bars
[Ref: “Carol Curtis: Hillcrest’s ‘piano wench,’ Part One,” Vol. 8, Issue 16, or online at bit.ly/2uDcg1; and “Part Two,” Vol. 8, Issue 17, or online at bit.ly/2vXRCqc.]
I just wanted to thank you for the great article on Carol in particular, and piano bars in general. It was very thoughtfully detailed, and very interesting to read. So much about not only Carol’s history, but the history of the bars I grew up with and loved so much.
I’ve known Carol since the early days at Bourbon Street, which must be, what — 25 years now? So great to relive all those memories. Maybe one of these Mondays, Carol can introduce us at the Caliph. Keep up the great work!
—Rob Wilkerson, North Park, via email
Mortality tested on the street
[Ref: “Editorial: Slow the hell down: pedestrians are people too,” Vol. 8, Issue 17, or online at bit.ly/2wCdF9o.]
Looks like you’re on to something! County just released a report [bit.ly/2vwsfKC] Aug. 24 that said pedestrian deaths were up countywide in 2016 [the number was 101, from 93 in 2015].
—Ben Cartwright, via email
This is no joke; I live on Rue D’Orleans [too] and have dealt with the same issue. It’s a dangerous street that crosses over to Adrian, and these drivers do not understand that when the [crosswalk] symbol comes on, that it’s our turn to walk. I have lived there since 2011 and I cannot count the number of times I have almost been hit. One time I even threw my Slushie at a windshield and then ran off. It is dangerous and I am sick and tired of being blamed by the drivers that it is my fault.
How come the city has not done more for the safety of pedestrians in my area? I only hope that they put up more safety signs for us. One of these days I am going to get hit going to 7/11.
I think there’s a lot the city could do — reducing the width of streets, prohibiting red light turns at certain intersections, reducing speed limits, etc.
—Thomas Michael, via Facebook
I drive around town all day for work. Believe me, it’s not just the drivers, people need to obey the walk signals, too. When it starts flashing red, it means to not enter the crosswalk, but pedestrians ignore it all the time. I’m as careful as I can be while driving, but pedestrians should realize that cars need some time to make the turn.
I saw a guy nearly get hit in front of MO’s the other day because he decided to cross at the last minute, as a car was turning, and I think the driver just didn’t see him. Yesterday, there was one woman walking down the street instead of the sidewalk with a baby in the stroller. Later, two other women with a baby walked right in front of me on Thorn Street, after seeing that I was close to the intersection. It wasn’t a four-way stop, they didn’t have a protected crosswalk, and the problem was not that I was speeding. Fortunately, I saw what they were about to do, so I slammed on my brakes. I’m very careful about respecting pedestrians, but San Diegans seem to think it’s okay to walk in front of moving cars.
—Kathy Warner, via Facebook
Great article. I have been solely taking public transportation now for about a year. And I am always completely shocked how people do not even pay attention to the people in the crosswalk.
Once, I was crossing the street and somebody was blocking the crosswalk and there was oncoming traffic that I would’ve had to walk right into in order to get past the car. I had no other choice but to turn around and wait for the second time for it to go green for walking. And yes, when I’m crossing the street from Trader Joe’s to get to the bus stop for the No. 10 to head back home, those cars coming out from Ralph’s pull out like they just don’t care.
—Ilka Weston, via gay-sd.com
The last two times while crossing in a crosswalk, my cup of coffee or water bottle flew up out of my hands and hit their car/truck. They stopped but had nothing to say since I was in the crosswalk with signal on my side. Must be getting old losing my grip.
—Ronda Ruckle, via Facebook
Add Mission Hills to the list. The intersection of Goldfinch and Washington streets is so dangerous! People on their phones trying to make the light … ridic! And University Avenue doubles for the Autobahn!
—Courtney Ray, via Facebook
I wish pedestrians in Hillcrest, especially at night, followed the lights better, it’s scary to drive there, too many people in dark clothing dashing into traffic. I mean this ol‘ country girl in the land of lots of traffic and glaring light.
You definitely need to be aware night and day, people just don’t watch for pedestrians. I had the same problem when I rode a motorcycle; you are just plain invisible (or so it would seem).
I have to admit, I tend to drive fast, but not in Hillcrest. Can you imagine the headline? I Uber there whenever I can.
—Gina Roberts, via Facebook
San Diego drivers are terrible about yielding to pedestrians. I hate walking anywhere. I had a friend who was actually hit in a crosswalk in Hillcrest, on Robinson, and she had to go to the hospital for a knee injury.
—Warisa Chulindra, via Facebook
On saying ‘goodbye’
[Ref: “Life Beyond Therapy: How to say goodbye,” Vol. 8, Issue 15, or online at bit.ly/2vXwP6a.]
Just read your article in Gay San Diego on “How to say goodbye.” Great work! I just recently retired and am still coming with terms the fact that I may not work again. Your article really made me see that I need to enjoy my memories of a great career (44 years in nursing) and look forward to what great adventures I may experience in my new lifestyle. Thanks!
—Tom, via email
More memories of our bars
[Ref: “Out of the Archives: The history of our bars,” Vol. 8, Issue 6, or online at tinyurl.com/h6nhfyx].
Bourbon Street … everyone loved the place. I recall meeting the owner a time or two, a handsome guy, intelligent and good business sense. That place began as a broken down straight bar which had an ABC restriction on it (close at midnight) because of so many fights occurring in the bar.
There used to be a place right next to Cheers called Adams End (1814 Adams Ave., I think) which when I first found it, it was called Suds UP, but it was closed and then opened as Adam’s End. It was owned by a guy named Ken Pero. He wanted to have a gay bar and lesbian bar and so he was able to buy this old straight place which he called Eve’s End. At first, a few jerks from there would come down to Adam’s End after midnight and try to start a fight but we were all gentlemen and the creeps gave up.
Ken’s ownership didn’t last because Mr. Pero was in over his head and never paid his bills. Adam’s End actually had a court ordered till tap at one time. I loved Adam’s End. It survived after Mr. Pero’s ownership. Anyway, this Eve’s End place closed and one day re-opened as a place called the Stage Coach. They had one of those giant television projectors there and you could watch movies. The Stage Coach didn’t last and it became the first Pecs, leather and S&M orientated. That went on for a while until the owner took a trip to New Orleans. He was really taken with the “Big Easy,” so he converted Pecs into Bourbon Street.
He also bought the place that is now Pecs and opened a place for the girls … and called it Bella’s. However he had trouble with the hired help. One night there was a fierce lover’s spat; one gal smashed her pick-up truck through the wall of the building and so Dave, (I think his name was … can’t remember his last name; Heineman, I think) said ‘To hell with that,” repaired everything and the place became the new Pecs and it is still Pecs today. It [originally] was a broken down straight bar called the Alabama Club, named for the ship, like so many of the streets in North Park named for ships of the fleet.
Any way, Bourbon Street did really well but Dave, the owner, was HIV-positive and I don’t think he made it to the new medicines’ time. It seems to me I heard that he died and the rest is history. I felt bad to hear that Bourbon Street closed and changed hands. It was very popular.
I left San Diego in 2004 and live in Houston now. Time really does march on but the poem is right: “Accept the council of years with grace.” Take care everyone!
—Tom Vierling, via gay-sd.com
[Ref: “Plea submitted in Melero death,” Vol. 7, Issue 6, or online at bit.ly/2x6nWaL.]
My name is Annette Pullen and I was a good friend of Oscar. I travel a lot and was headed back to San Diego in a few days and was going to look him up. I do not know if you know his partner or a family member, I would like to say that I’m sorry for their loss. We have known each other since 1981 and we both were in the mortgage business.
When I go to San Diego, I’ll check out the salon.
—Annette Pullen, via gay-sd.com