Legendary Locals of Encinitas

When Arcadia asked me to write Legendary Locals, the first thing my friends said was “you have got to get Maggie Houlihan.”

Irene Kratzer

Irene Kratzer

There was one person in particular I was told I really should include when I was writing Legendary Locals — Irene Kratzer. As always, when several people recommended the same local hero, contact details became rather vague. But the Cardiff Centenary celebrations were coming up and I was told she would be there. “You can’t […]

Larry Marquardt

Larry Marquardt

Fabulous showman that he is, Cardiff’s Captain Book would be the first to admit that the Encinitas Kiwani’s Literacy Program wouldn’t even get off the ground (or in this case, the high seas) without the loyal help of his fellow pirates.

Remembering Dorothea Smith

Remembering Dorothea Smith

It was with great sadness that I learned of Dorothea’s recent passing. But as her youngest daughter Tricia said, “It was the best possible death — she had no pain, no tubes, no aloneness, no indignities.”Anointed with rose and lavender oils, wrapped in silk and flower petals from her precious garden, and surrounded by her […]

Danny Salzhandler

Danny Salzhandler

“Put your name in the popcorn bucket and leave your ego at the door”. That about sums up the spirit of the many Poetry Slams organized by Danny Salzhandler since the late 1990s.The other instruction for budding poets is not to take it out on the judges if you get cut in the elimination rounds […]

Local Guy Forever: Fred Caldwell

Local Guy Forever: Fred Caldwell

As soon as I was asked to write Legendary Locals, I turned to the Encinitas cognoscenti to recommend suitable candidates. One name that came up over and over again was Fred Caldwell.

Cole Ranch

Cole Ranch

At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon… kids today just don’t know what hard work is! The majority of Olivenhain families in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were homesteaders who depended on farming for their income, and even the smallest children were expected to pull their weight. Up and awake by […]

The Ecke family

The Ecke family

There is nobody in Encinitas who doesn’t know the story of the Ecke family – how one man with vision, talent and daring turned an obscure field flower into the world’s most recognizable indoor plant and put Encinitas on the map as the Flower Capital of the World. But what about the woman behind him? […]

Bob Cozens: Public Service Personified

Bob Cozens: Public Service Personified

As a writer, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting quite a number of rock stars, actors and (in)famous politicians, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt so honored as when Bob Cozens invited me into his home last summer. I was uncharacteristically speechless to find myself in the presence of a legendary local with such […]

The Man from Mars

The Man from Mars

The 1883 Schoolhouse, home to the Encinitas Historical Society, has a huge array of old photographs, mostly showcasing the very earliest pioneers, so I was delighted to come across this faded photo in a forgotten pile of pictures. There was no clue on the back as to who it might be, other than the scribbled […]