Articles by dweisman

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…


Memories of Pikake Gardens

Its gates are forever locked. The koi have died. A lonesome breeze blows through faded gardens overgrown with weeds. The waterfalls have ceased falling and even the roses have faded into wilted dreams. Welcome to Pikake Botanical Gardens at 15515 Villa Sierra Road, once one of the wonders of the horticultural world, now reduced to ashes and memories. A private botanical garden on nine acres,…


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…



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…


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…


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…