Ahhh, August. Only a few more weeks until the Santa Ana comes whipping through Escondido at 105 degrees F and 15 % humidity. Can’t wait. Then we hear comments like, “wow it’s so hot but it’s a dry heat.”
Folks, let me tell you that hot is hot no matter. I spent a lifetime one year at Ft. Bliss, Texas and yes that is a true oxymoron. The strong winds, high heat and low humidity occur in West Texas in late spring and carry a lot of sand with the horrendous winds. When the brown sky approaches, “Batten down the hatches” is the word of the day. Close all windows and doors, cover your car windshields and one does not go outside for extended periods.
Enough of that. This month we missed remembering one of the greatest sports stories in San Diego County history. This August 6 was the 20th anniversary of Tony Gwynn’s 3000th base hit making him one of Major League Baseball’s elite. The T-A of August 7, 1999 was the full-page article by Steve Schofield commemorating Gwynn’s feat. He was and is one of San Diego’s greatest legends, sports or otherwise. My hope was, as probably with most Padre fans, that Tony Gwynn would have played in Petco Park. It’s a shame that numerous frivolous lawsuits delayed the opening and prevented him from playing there as he had already retired.
For many years I worked on the Jaycees Annual Christmas Parade and have chaired five parades. Every year the club selects a Grand Marshal and a few times sports celebrates were chosen but we never had Tony Gwynn as a Grand Marshal and for good reason, which I shall explain.
One year we had the Padres’ Terry Kennedy and the next year he was traded. We also had Padres’ Kurt Bevacqua and he too was traded the next year or so. I think you get the picture now. We were reluctant to have Gwynn bless the parade for fear he might suffer the same fate. Kinda like the Sports Illustrated curse and there was everyone in this county wanted to keep T. Gwynn wearing a Padre uniform. Number 19 was a career Padre and we are all grateful for his commitment to San Diego.
Another date gone by without much note was August 16. It’s hard to believe that it has been 42 years since his untimely passing. I was an Elvis Presley fan, but not a fanatic, since “You Ain’t Nuthin’ but a Hound Dog” and grew to like him more and more as he aged. I believe his voice was getting better and better until the last year or so of his life for what became obvious reasons. No point mentioning Woodstock since it has been covered ad nauseam.
Add-on to last week’s column regarding our streets. For addresses, all even numbers are on the East and North sides of the streets and all odd numbers are on the West and South sides of the streets. Some addresses are a bit confusing in that Oakhill Drive ends at Citrus Avenue. Then more than a half mile east picks up again at Hayden. South Broadway ends one block south of 15th Avenue and picks up again for one block about a half mile south off Vermont. Don’t ask me why this is. Many years ago, I attempted in vain to have these two remote sections renamed.