Who’s Who in Clairemont?

Bill Swank outside the Buena Vista Garden Apartments on Cowley Way in 1955 with East Clairemont in the distance.

By Bill Swank

Contrary to common misconception, Clairemont is not named after former U.S. Congressman Clair Burgener. He has a street named for him, but not the entire community.

Google “Clairemont” and you will learn that 80,000 of us live in a community named after the wife of developer Carlos Tavares, who happened to be a building partner with Clair Burgener.

On an overcast day in the late 1940s, Claire Tavares looked east at a sunny mesa from her Mt. Soledad home. She turned to her husband and said, “That’s where you should build homes.”

80,000 people are a lot of people, but apparently none of us are very important.

Wikipedia reports three “notable residents” from Clairemont: novelist Adam Gnade, serial killer Cleophus Prince, Jr. and Playboy model and television personality Kendra Wilkinson.

Surely Clairemont can do better than this.

Who is Adam Gnade? Many of his book titles cannot be printed in a family newspaper. His publisher, Pioneers Press, claims one of Gnade’s books made Powell’s small press best seller list which might be equivalent to being the world’s tallest midget.

Clairemont needs to recognize significant members of our community. Please e-mail bill@clairemonttimes.com with your nominations for individuals who deserve to be honored in “Who’s Who in Clairemont.”

Andy Warhol predicted that some day, everybody would be famous for 15 minutes. This is such an opportunity.

To date, most of the correspondence received at my Clairemont Times e-mail address is from individuals who claim they can improve the profitability of the newspaper’s website. Another e-mailer mistakenly thinks I am the crime and safety reporter for the Clairemont Times. These people would never qualify as legitimate Clairemonters.

Are there famous Clairemonters from the past?

Did you know Claire Monter (a woman) gave birth to a son, Jean Baptiste Bogaerts, on September 20, 1808 in Antwerp, Belgium?

According to the 1940 national census, Claire Monter (a man) lived in Kansas City, Kansas.

Margot Horgan describes herself as a “Clairemont-er.” She is affiliated with Clairemont Communications and specializes in helping others manage their “freakouts.” A black Labrador Retriever named Billy is the Chief Motivational Officer at Clairemont Communications. Because Clairemont Communications is located in Raleigh, North Carolina, Margot is not eligible for “Who’s Who in (our) Clairemont?”

Then there are the Clairemonsters. According to their website, Clairemonsters support and promote San Diego’s finest community. They are involved with our local schools. Julee Jenkins is a founder of Clairemonsters. When contacted about possible consideration for inclusion in “Who’s Who in Clairemont,” she politely responded that she was “knee deep in school” and unable to send a bio. Being “knee deep in school” qualifies!

The remainder of my e-mail correspondence this past year has been from real people who live or work in Clairemont and made comments about “Squaremont.”

For that reason, they join Julee Jenkins in Squaremont’s initial 2016 edition of “Who’s Who in Clairemont.”


Julee Jenkins, founder of Clairemonsters

Tom Leech, author

Bruce Miller, retired city engineer

Richie Morris, real estate agent

Mike Pallamary, surveyor

Ronn Rohe, notary public

Congratulations, Julee, Tom, Bruce, Richie, Mike and Ronn. If anybody asks, it is permissible to brag that you are listed in “Who’s Who in Clairemont.”

Shortly before Christmas, three perfect strangers approached to ask if I was Bill Swank. They said they like the column, which qualifies them with the distinction of being “perfect” strangers. Surely, they didn’t recognize me from the 1955 picture in the Squaremont box. How did they know who I am?

If these gentlemen will send an e-mail with their names and credentials, they will receive serious consideration for “Who’s Who in Clairemont” for 2017.

Do women read “Squaremont?” More women are needed for the list.

History is an important component of this column. 1916 was a year of invention. The origin of hamburger buns, Lincoln Logs, supermarkets, cloverleaf traffic interchanges, tow trucks and condenser microphones trace back 100 years.

Make 2016 a year to do something noteworthy to qualify for “Who’s Who in Clairemont 2017.”

Happy New Year!

Email: Bill@Clairemonttimes.com

Bill Swank outside the Buena Vista Garden Apartments on Cowley Way in 1955 with East Clairemont in the distance.
Bill Swank outside the Buena Vista Garden Apartments on Cowley Way in 1955 with East Clairemont in the distance.

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