2022

25 years ago, Heaven’s Gate couldn’t wait

Dateline Rancho Santa Fe. March 26, 1997. A 911 call came into the San Diego Sheriff’s Communications Center. It was treated as a prank call at first. From what turned out to be a nearby payphone, the caller said something so preposterous that dispatchers took their time in relaying the information to central command. “This is regarding a mass suicide. I can give you the address,” the…



Before Babe Ruth, there was Gavvy Cravath

(Editor’s Note: Gavvy Cravath was an Escondido native, perhaps the first Major League Baseball star from San Diego County. Patrolling right field at the historic Baker Bowl for the Dead Ball Era Philadelphia Phillies, he led the National League in home runs six times in the years just prior to Babe Ruth’s arrival on the scene. Later, a Laguna Beach municipal judge, the crusty Cravath,…


Historic Inn at Rancho Santa Fe reportedly sold

The historic Inn at Rancho Santa Fe reportedly has been sold with the announcement expected this week, according to sources who did not want to be identified. The sale reportedly will be completed by May 18. Speculation was that all employees would be laid off and have to re-interview for jobs with the current general manager and executive chef leaving the Inn. No further details…


They threw me out of Bill Clinton’s office

“Ooh, let me get it back, let me get it back,  Let me get it back, baby, where I come from It’s been a long time, been a long time,  Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time. Yes it has” — Led Zeppelin Yes, it’s been a real trip — and way too much Linda Tripp although Sarah Paulson’s got to get numerous…


‘Married at First Sight?’ If you must, reality TV show shoots at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe this week.

Lights, camera, weirdness. “Married at First Sight,” the Lifetime Channel reality TV show matching total strangers in unholy matrimony upon first meeting, shoots its brand of unreal magic through Feb. 5 at the ultra-exclusive Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. Check it out. If they’ll let you. They threw me off the set for having the audacity to walk up the Inn’s primrose path, lingering for…


Ray Bong, S. Creamcheese, ‘Competitive Non-Drinking’

About a dozen years ago, my friend Suzy Creamcheese and I discovered the most brutal sporting concept known to the human race, we call it “Competitive Non-Drinking”.  At that time, I smugly informed him that I had made a great achievement– I had gone for two weeks, 14 whole days, without taking a drink of alcohol.  He nonchalantly replied that it had been 20 days…


Pastor hikes road to glory with heavy cross

Pastor Wes Mauch took a road less traveled through Valley Center, carrying a 38-pound wooden cross, a well-worn Bible and message all the way to Rancho Santa Fe. Mauch, 66, walked along the side of Cole Grade Road, wooden cross on his shoulder and all, “doing what Jesus asked me to do,” he said while vehicular traffic whizzed by as if he were invisible. When…


Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Monster: Fact or fiction?

Go down to Hernandez Hideaway at rural Lake Drive in Del Dios and people will swear up and down the long wooden bar that Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges monster, really truly — well, almost definitely exists. “The Lake Hodges Hodgee monster is kind of like the Loch Ness monster,” said Stan Smith, a long-time Del Dios resident. Smith, a cowboy poet and man about…


Why won’t scientific evidence change the minds of Loch Ness monster true believers?

You may have noticed a curious recent announcement: An international research team plans to use state-of-the-art DNA testing to establish once and for all whether the Loch Ness monster exists. And for those locally, check out The Grapevine’s consideration of our local monster wannabe, Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Moster, posted  here… Regardless of the results, it’s unlikely the test will change the mind of…