January 2022

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…


Is Jennifer Lopez moving to Escondido?

Is Jennifer Lopez moving to Escondido? Only The Shadow knows. However, local radio stations and the Internet were buzzing about the possibility that Jenny on the block was moving to this block. While it might be true — who knows, Donald Trump might have been president; the Cubs might have won the World Series — the rumor blasting across several local radio stations and celebrity…


‘Lord of All Indoors’ soccer legend Steve Zungul lives quietly in Escondido retirement

Reclusive and sitting in a luxury home high above the San Pasqual Valley, the charismatic  “Lord of All Indoors” Steve Zungul continues to mystify and impress, albeit out of the public eye. He hasn’t spoken to anybody in the media for over a decade. His legendary indoor soccer career continues to do all the talking. Fans of the Croatian indoor soccer scoring machine, perhaps the…


More nuclear power is no solution to climate crisis

If you live in Orange or San Diego County, hopefully you’re aware that San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) has been turned into a nuclear waste dump for the foreseeable future. If you live on planet earth, you’re wise to be tracking domestic and foreign moves to increase reliance on nuclear energy. The United States ushered in the atomic age in 1945 by dropping a…


First survey of California’s bees in 50 years will look for effects of habitat destruction

When you think of California in the 1970s, maybe you think of hippies, Fleetwood Mac or skateboards. But if you’re an entomologist, you might think of all the natural spaces that have since been devoured by urbanization and wonder what happened to the native bees that lived in them. The question isn’t one of mere nostalgia or curiosity. Insect populations around the world are plunging…


Bill Murray ‘ghostbusted’ at Kit Carson Park?

“My friends were out at 1am smoking weed at Kit Carson Park in Escondido when they saw Bill Murray walking through the woods like a phantom.” — Jibby_von_HaHa on Imgur and Reddit Secret Pokemon Go character? Look-alike or hoax? Big Foot, abominable snowman and Hodgee the friendly Lake Hodges monster be damned, meet the latest myth to blow through Escondido town, the ghost of Bill Murray….


Idiosyncratic dinosaur ‘museum’ went extinct

Always a bit of an oddity, and itself a colorful exhibition of an Escondido antique dealer’s lifelong hobby, the Roynon Museum celebrating all things dinosaur, went the way of the creatures celebrated within, that is to say, extinct, on June 30, 2019. Applying the lofty title of Roynon Museum of Earth Sciences and Paleontology to its decidedly idiosyncratic exhibit and purpose, museum officials this week…