Six people were honored in the first 2016 edition of “Who’s Who in Clairemont.” The criteria was simple (and tongue-in-cheek): live in Clairemont and send an e-mail to this column. In 2015, only five e-mails, all from men, were received. The sixth honoree – a woman – responded to an e-mail I had sent to her. In essence, she wrote that she was too busy to respond. I bent the rule to include her. How could “Who’s Who in Clairemont” be legitimate if it didn’t include women?
So here it is, Squaremont is proud to announce (ruffles and flourishes) “Who’s Who in Clairemont” for 2017:
Adam Chimowicz: Adam politely and correctly advised that Burgener Boulevard was not named after former congressman Clair Burgener and noted that San Carlos was named by Clairemont developer Carlos Tavares.
Jim Richardson: Jim also wrote a nice e-mail about Burgener Boulevard. The error was the impetus for the March 2016 column, “How Did Clairemont Streets Get Their Names?”
Wayne Maynard: Wayne had several questions about Clairemont history. He wanted to know if it was true that Clairemont Drive had once been an airport runway. The answer was, “yes,” and more detailed information was also included in the March 2016 column about Clairemont street names.
Linda Paulin: In response to the March 2016 “street” column, Linda wrote to advise that several street names in BayHo are named after yacht club members.
Julie McKane: Julie also confirmed several street names in BayHo were named after “yacht club buddies” of the developer.
Rowena Carlson: Rowena sent a detailed e-mail with information about the yacht club members whose names appear on street signs in BayHo. (Rowena grew up on Moraga and currently lives in Point Loma. Because of her interest and knowledge about her old neighborhood, she qualifies for this list.)
Leo Boeche: Leo has lived in Claremont for 57 years and wanted to advise that Clairemont was named after Claire Tavares and San Carlos was named after Carlos Tavares.
Joan Brosnan: Joan wrote to nominate Eloise Battle for “Who’s Who in Clairemont.” Her suggestion was the basis for a two-part series about Tecolote Canyon (April and May 2016). I was so impressed with Eloise, “the savior of Tecolote Canyon,” that I nominated her for the 2017 San Diego Women’s Hall of Fame.
Dr. Ken Berger: Ken, an erudite geography professor at Mesa College, took exception to the claim that Tecolote Canyon is named after the owl. His e-mail was lengthy. In Costa Rica tecolote means reddish brown. In Guatemala and El Salvador, it means drunk. In Mexico, it means owl, drunk and policeman. (I’m a baseball guy. I stick with the “owl” definition, because the Nuevo Laredo professional baseball team is known as Los Tecolotes. Their mascot/logo is an owl. The Tecolotes were champions of the Mexican League in 1953, 1954, 1958, 1977 and 1989.)
Gerry Perez: Gerry wanted to nominate his neighbor, Carrie Johnson, for Who’s Who “—she’s a two or three time Olympic kayaker. Super nice gal.” Through follow-up, I learned Carrie no longer resides in Clairemont, but her parents, Ron and Sally, do and they are “two of the nicest people you could ever meet,” so…
Ronald and Sally Johnson: Based on the recommendation of Gerry Perez, Ron and Sally Johnson, are part of the 2017 “Who’s Who in Clairemont” list, because they are nice.
Linda Swofford-Ten Eyck: Linda was “perturbed” that I failed to mention St. David’s Episcopal Church in the February 2016 column, “The Heart and Soul of Clairemont.”
Debby Park: Debby enjoyed the article about Clairemont churches and wanted me to be aware of the history of St. David’s Episcopal Church. (Thanks, Debby)
Robert Humphreys: In 1970, Robert visited and photographed the Cao Dai Temple in Vietnam in response to the Clairemont Caodist Temple featured in the February 2016 “Heart and Soul” column. Coincidently, over 40 years ago, I coached Robert’s son, Rob, on a Clairemont youth soccer team, the Maroons.
Carmen Casares: Carmen asked, “Are you Cid’s uncle.” (Yes, I am Cid’s uncle)
Kris Nieder: Kris wrote, “We’ve got quite a few wonderful people in this area.” She nominated several people who are included on this list below.
Iman Taha Hassane: Taha Hassane is the respected Iman/Director of the Islamic Center of San Diego.
Lallia Allali: Wife of Taha Hassane, Lallia is a girl scout leader and volunteer at Lindbergh-Schweitzer School.
Karen Scanlon: Karen is an expert on local maritime history, a writer, a speaker and a volunteer.
Charlie Bierman: Charlie has built and donated thousands of wooden toys to children. “He’s 92 years old now and still plugging away.”
Rev. Mack and Rev. Mary Alice McKinney: Mack and Mary Alice were involved in the Civil Rights movement. Together, they worked to protect minorities against housing discrimination in San Diego.
Dave Merchant: Dave sent a long e-mail sharing his memories of playing Little League at a forgotten ball park which will be the subject of a future column.
Joseph A: Joseph’s e-mail was a beautiful tribute to Tecolote Canyon. He grew up in Linda Vista, played in Tecolote Canyon and lives in La Mesa. Like Rowena Carlson, because of his strong connection with his childhood neighborhood, he appears on the 2017 “Who’s Who in Clairemont/Linda Vista” list.
Richie Morris: Richie is the only repeat from “Who’s Who in Clairemont (2016).” Regarding “Crusin’ with the Bay Park Boys (September 2016),” his e-mail was brief, “Awesome!” (Thanks, Richie)
Sarah Mesnick: Sarah wanted to know if there is a book about the history of Clairemont. Times publisher Chris O’Connell suggests that I should write a book about Clairemont. I have authored or co-authored ten books. Writing a book is like raising a thankless child… both endeavors require a lot of time, effort and love, but the rewards are minimal.
MA: A warm personal e-mail was received from an old friend of 97-year-old WWII Navy veteran Robert Garcia who was featured in the December 2016 issue commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.
Charlene and Chas Garland: Charlene bought a copy of Christmas in San Diego. It turned out they are fans of the column. (Thanks, Char and Chas)
Roland White, Elijah Thomas, Jake Pelot, Daniel Stokes, Erick Buchanan, Isaiah McDaniels, Erris King, Terrell Carter, Kenan Christon, Dylan Mack, Darius Wiseman, Eduardo Gonzales, Xavier Little, Daniel Hernandez, Donte Brown, Ke’ontae Springs, Tre Carter, Michael McIver, Treyvone Anderson, Devin Padua, Zachary Lapage, Brandon Lewis, Nico Rhodes, Gabe Battaglia, Kapre Melcher, Tanner Murphy, Bryson Collins, Antonio Araico, Elijah Deason, Keanu Mookini, Cesar Nillaga, Zacchaeus McCartney, Donte Grady, Sampson Niu, Chris Fatilua, Noah Saulo, Brandon Valentine, Eddie Carrera, Luis Garcia, Jojo Falo, Michael Johnson, Angel Calderon, Stevie Hicks, Jr., Josh Jezycki, David Lantz, Robert Ingram, Cesar Sanchez, Yamil Reynaldo, and their coach, Rick Jackson: These young men and their coach are members of the 2016 California State Championship James Madison High School Football team. Go Warhawks!
Happy New Year, Clairemont!