Articles by dweisman

24 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…



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…


It’s National Fluffernutter Day. Hooray?

Every dog has its day, they say, and apparently so does every cause, effect and plain old thing. Welcome to Friday Oct. 8, 2021. It’s National Fluffernutter Day. Correct, National Fluffernutter Day is observed annually on Oct. 8, according to the National Day Calendar. This is a day set aside each year to make, and enjoy, the savory sandwich consisting of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. Fluffernutter dates…


Robynn Nussbaum and The Shoe Lounge

Robynn Nussbaum put her heart and soul into The Shoe Lounge. It was a small, yet elegant, haute couture footwear and accessory store she opened at Del Rayo Plaza across from Fairbanks Country Club. An avid tri-athlete and marathon runner with three young children and four step-children, the 44-year-old Rancho Santa Fe resident had a passion for shoes. She dreamed for years of opening an…


Holy Cow! Harry Caray’s Pantry ghost

Choices for “Take out” in downtown Rancho Santa Fe. The Bistro…Owner / Chef Mozy Jahanguiri, who has run restaurants in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Dallas, has opened The Rancho Santa Fe Bistro in the space formerly occupied by The Pantry on Paseo Delicias. Mozy has prepared a menu that offers a wide variety of healthy smoothies and juices, along with bistro favorites including grass fed sirloin burgers,…


Local ironworker Paul Pursley spent 10 weeks at Ground Zero following Sept. 11

Sept. 11, 2001: Local ironworker Paul Pursley spent 10 weeks at “Ground Zero” following the terrorist attack. His major complaint in the years following concerned his inability to get correct, and affordable, treatment due to the costs involved, costs that Congress finally agreed to add funding to the 9/11 First Responders fund almost 18 years later. “Ironworkers worked every day,” Pursley said. “We went on 12-hour shifts…


Sending in the llamas and clowns on 9/11

Sept. 10, 2001 was pretty much like any other day. That is to say honored only in its passing, don’t remember what happened. Sept. 11, 2001, as we all know, was a day seared in our personal and national memories like few others. Don’t know when the carnage began, but at my Del Dios home phones started ringing way too early in the morning and…


Pala Store at the end of the road

Pala Store may be a hundred yards away from Pala Casino Spa & Resort, but it feels like a creature from another planet. It is, too, for this store lives in a parallel universe, both in space and time. At 3000 Pala Mission Road, the store that has served as focal point for nearly eight decades was, and remains, the only store from Pala at…


Quest for hats: A hat is a hat is a hat, especially come Del Mar Opening Day

Come opening day, Friday, July 16 at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club; hats, hats and more hats are the madcap sidebar to the main story of the moment, namely the excitement of racing’s return. This post-pandemic opening day is not only about big bets and fast horses, but celebrating the season in style.Make sure to put your best hat forward and participate in the famous Opening Day…