Saturday, March 26, 2011

Living on the edge

Greg O'Neil has a little shop in La Mesa Village. The Navy vet, who had to leave the service because of a horrible accident, takes pride in being able to sharpen anything -- knives, cutlery of all kinds, tools,  etc. He's a craftsman, first and foremost. His story for my  "A Living in La Mesa" series:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What do John Wooden, Kevin Bacon and Kemba Walker have in common?

Long after John Wooden won his last NCAA title as basketball coach at UCLA, the Wizard still has roots deep in college basketball. See how he's connected to the stars of this year's NCAA Tournament in my story on's Page 2:

Dude! These boards look awesome

YES snowboards came out with its Great Dudes of History line late in 2010, and it's been a hit with riders everywhere. Who wouldn't want to spend the day on the slopes with John Lennon? My story on's Page 2:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Her career came into focus

Hillary Gardner started snapping photos of her young niece while she was in high school, and she hasn't put the camera down since. She's drawn to capturing moments of people in families, their relationships, their smiles, the way they interact. Her profile for my "A Living in La Mesa" series:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Joltin' Joe's in Escondido

If you love coffee, you'd love Escondido Joe's, a little coffee house in downtown Escondido run by Damon Parker and his wife. My profile of Parker for the "On the Job" series in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scoring 50 in a tournament game? It's a long shot

It's been a long time since a player scored 50 points in an NCAA Tournament game, 1987 to be exact. If Jimmer Fredette of BYU were to do it -- and he had 52 in a game last week -- he'd join a terrific honor roll. My piece on's Page 2:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Quadrophonic sound

Larry Wagner, a music teacher who has run Wagner's School of Music for 30-plus years, loves kids -- which is a good thing, since he not only works with them every day, but in one day became the father of four boys in one day when his wife Janna gave birth to quadruplets. His profile for my "A Living in La Mesa" column:

Going to the dogs: the all-Iditarod team

Butch Huskey, the former Mets prospect, is just one of several athletes with a perfect name for the Iditarod, the annual dog sled race in Alaska. My piece on the "All-Iditarod team" for's Page 2:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fabulous Fivesomes...

The Michigan basketball recruiting class of 1991 was dubbed "The Fab Five," but there have been plenty of other notable "fives" in the sports world besides them. My story on Fab Fives for ESPN:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A park the Chargers once called home

Sunset Park in La Mesa is home to baseball fields, playgrounds, a gym and a basketball court. There's very little there now to let visitors know it was once was the Chargers in-season practice facility for several years in the 1960s. My story for La Mesa Patch:

To book lovers, bookstores are places to savor

The plunging economy and transformation to digital technologies have taken their toll on bookstores. Borders is in trouble, and independent stores have long struggled. But if bookstores ever vanished, book lovers would be in deep mourning; to them, the venues are much more than stores. My story in the Union-Tribune: