Monday, April 28, 2008

How Hot is Hot?

I am not sure I can remember a day in April reaching 95 degrees. I was slow enough to be recruited to do the Second Annual San Luis Rey Marathon yesterday. Since my friends approached me a few weeks ago it seemed OK. Their caveat was I could pick the start time. As the time came closer I choose a 3am start thinking how hot could it be before ten in the morning. I found out quickly Sunday it could be really hot. Maybe mid eighties by 9am. We finished up at the Cafe, shortly after I drove home to discover that it was 95. Like most Coastal Californians we have no air conditioning so it was a tough afternoon.

Being hopeful that today might be better I have had my cool bubble burst. Even Yahoo calls for it being 90 and usually they are low. The best part is the beach is calling and I am going to cool off.

The photo shows three of the participants of the 2ND Annual San Luis Rey Marathon just before the start. I took the photo.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

1954 Ford Crown Victoria Visits the Cafe

Cool Cars cruise into the 101 Cafe with regularity. It is not unusual to see a T-bucket, Cobra or a vintage Model A on any one day. Leaning about the car culture that we live in is always a treat. Jim 'JT' O'Connor drove his 1954 Ford 'Vic' into the 101 on the way to a Plate Show on Camp Pendleton later in the morning. JT, Jim gave me a primer on old license plats and his car's was a good example of what they looked like. The California plates looked brand new, but were purchased by a family member for Jim's Vic. He showed me a trick he invented to hide the modern stickers which are required by DMV, but he makes disappear for car shows. Simple and way cool his ingenuity will help make the plates even more attractive to car collectors.
JT tells me you can expect to pay $ 300 to $ 400 per plate for these collectibles.

Junior Seau Pays Forward

Oceanside's Junior Seau does his share of payback to his community, but continues to step up and give big to the kids of Oceanside. He spends time at our beach in his beautiful home, surfs, swims, runs and walks our Strand with family and friends. You can also see him spending time with kids showing them how to workout to improve their lives. He spends time at our Boys and Girls Club and gives back more than any of Oceanside's successful citizens. He has a small business empire including Seau's "The Restaurant"which keeps him busy when he is not playing in the NFL. Junior is a favorite son to be most proud of.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Lights at the 101 Cafe

It seems like there is never a time that some road work is being done around the Cafe. When it was first built the road (Highway 101) was already paved and the sidewalks were put in that
same year in 1928. Since we have had the Cafe for over twenty years of its 80 year history the projects are too numerous to count. Needless to say that the present project to put left turn signals on Coast Highway in order to turn onto Wisconsin Street is welcome. They are projecting completion in a few months so you can experience an important part of our history at the Cafe, change.
We will commit to provide you the best food and service in this new atmosphere which will provide some entertainment for the big and little kids in your family. If you happen to just want to check out the workers then come in between 7:00am and 3:30pm Monday through Friday and of course you want to avoid them come in any other time.

Two Headed Cow Questions

Ever wondered where the Two Headed Cow was displayed in Oceanside or what the name of an early hotel that used the Mission San Luis Rey as its promotion? How about how many piers there have been, well then you only need the assistance of the Oceanside Historical Society. For over twenty years the Society has dedicated itself to find these and many more local history answers. Volunteer driven they have helped publish two books on our history and given assistance to untold number of fact seekers. They have helped school kids with their assignments and college students track the history of local agriculture. They have helped families find out about their Oceanside heritage and have put on some wonderful history programs. The last program in February on Trains was a big hit and the next program yet scheduled about our Piers will be very popular.
Kristi Hawthorne leads the organization as their President and the most hard working advocate of saving our heritage. She also acts as our Archivist and has complied an endless amount of our history. She authored the very popular local history Oceanside "Where Life is Worth Living" in 2000. Our community owes a big thanks to her for her continuing contribution.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Oceanside Surfing Events

Oceanside has been the Surf Contest Capital for many years. There were so many contest the City Staff had to finally put a limit on how many there could be. Here are the contest already on the City's Calendar for this year:

April 26
Oceanside P.D. Annual Pal Surf Contest for Middle School Students
South Pier 7am - 1pm

April 26 27
NASSA Open #10
South Jetty 6:30am - 6:30pm

May 7 - 11
North Jetty 8am - 4pm

May 17 18
Interscholastic Surfing Federation
South Harbor Jetty 7am - 4pm

May 17
Moonlight Beach Paddle & Swim
South of Pier 8am - 11am

May 31
CSF California Series #8 Championships
Oceanside Pier 6:30am

August 14 17
Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club
South of Pier 6am - 5pm

November 1 2
NSSA Open Season
South Harbor Jetty 7am - 6pm

November 15
Volcom's Blowfish Surf Series
South Harbor Jetty 7:30am - 5pm

Spectators are always welcome and free. Great fun watching these classic performances on the beach.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Soccer Kids are coming to Harbor Beach in Oceanside CA

Harbor Beach is one of the most beautiful and wide beaches on the West coast. Protected by the Harbor jetties it makes the perfect home for Southern California Beach Soccer Championships May 3 + 4, 2008.
Harbor Beach got its team sports beginning when the Beach and Harbor Athletic Association ( BAHA ) produced the first Over-the-Line Tournament, the Harbor Beach OTL over twenty years ago. In just a couple of years the tournament was the second largest in the world, but never rivaled the games that OMBAC still produces for San Diego on Fiesta Island at Mission Bay.
The soccer event is more of a family event and promises to be a huge success with thousand playing and viewing. What could be better than kids at the beach.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sprinter Folks Keep Coming to the 101 Cafe

The Westminster Presbyterian Church group from Escondido was a pleasure to lead today. They came to have a good time and it appears an historic tour of downtown Oceanside and a meal at the 101 Cafe was just what they wanted. They seemed to enjoy reaching back into their own lives to compare some of our local history with theirs.
They discovered how much fun an adventure on the Sprinter can be. They all said they would be back.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Oceanside's Wide Sandy Beaches

Most visitors to Oceanside do not know how our beaches stay so wide, but if you lived in town for almost any time you would have seen that there is dredging of our Harbor mouth more years than not. Built in the early 1960's it was predictable that sand would fill the mouth our our Harbor and the Camp Pendleton's boat basin next door.
We are fortunate this year to have a very capable company, Manson Construction completing our project in just a few weeks. The last company failed to get the job completed and by the time another contractor was hired the dredging was completed in the summer.
It would be easy to guess that over five million cubic yards of sand has been deposited on our beaches since 1963.
While other communities grapple with sand erosion on their community's beaches we have had an endless supply. It makes our Harbor safer and our beaches wider, a win-win for us all.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Unintended Consequences

Saturday was a day for something new at the 101 Cafe. After eighty years of doing business that is saying something.
This Saturday in rolled a fire truck filled with passegers at the Cafe who had begun their journey in Valley Center. Of course we have had many guest from Valley Center over the years, but none had made the trip beginning in a fire truck followed by a Sprinter ride to Downtown Oceanside and a finally another fire truck ride to the Cafe. Yes the Papa Bear Breakfast Club had made the historic trip to make their Sprinter ride even more unique.
Ron Powell made the arrangements to come to the Cafe with his breakfast club friends plus one, Christa their favorite waitress from Papa Bears, a Valley Center Cafe. Kevin Johnson drove the completely restored classic 1954 Ford Crown fire truck for the days outing. A good time was had by all.

Later this week an Escondido church group is meeting me at the Sprinter Station in Downtown Oceanside to continue their adventure. I will walk them around some of the historic sites including the Pier and then lead them to the Oldest Cafe on US Highway 101 on the West Coast, the 101 Cafe.

It looks as if the unintended consequences of the New Sprinter service is good for business.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

From here to There

It seems so long ago that two towns, Oceanside and Escondido were connected by a train that brought passengers and products to market. Of course that changed so many years ago few remember it. But, now 'Sprinter' rail service has begun passenger service again and these two cities now are bracing for a success few envisioned. Already the numbers of eight thousand a day are being reached and with each new day records may fall. Primarily setup for commuters the new 'Sprinter' is carrying more Explorers than anyone envisioned and its not even Summer yet. These Explorers are your Aunts and Uncles, Sisters and Brothers, Moms and Dads as well as vacationers who have found the $ 4.00($ 2.00 for Seniors) for all day riding a great deal.
We can already see the riders in town looking for things to do and where to eat.
We have received phone calls letting us know that groups are coming to the 101 Cafe for a meal. Just a few blocks South on Coast Highway from the Depot it is an easy walk for anyone wishing to take their trip back in time. The Cafe offers a free brochure on the Historical buildings in the downtown. It is open from 6:30 AM till Midnight everyday, Christmas.
The new Sprinter is a great ride, new, quiet and smooth and offers views of the four cities (Escondido, San Marcos, Vista and Oceanside) along the route few have ever seen. Make plans now for this great ride.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Downtown Oceanside, A busy place

Over 120 year ago Oceanside began as a train town when the railroad came from the East in Colton to San Diego via Oceanside. The early train builders knew the Coastal Plain was ideal to build the rail on because of the narrows where the rivers and streams hit the coast. Yes they were saved money.

So what has gone on Downtown, well I think a lot of credit should be given to the thousands of Downtown Merchants themselves. After the train era ended in the 1920's with the advent of the automobile businesses thrived and tried hard to keep up with their owners needs and growth was impressive.

Our community had growth spurts and downturns as would be expected in the new West. Stock market crashes, a depression and World Wars slowed and accelerated our growth, but after WWII our growth seem to never stop.

Lets skip forward to today. MainStreet Oceanside (MSO) began as the Downtown Business Association in the 1990's. It was formed to help promote the Downtown and solve some of its problems. Through partnership with the City, School District and businesses the Association became a shaper of a New Downtown. Many years later the Association took their organization to a new level and applied for and became a Main Street Association. Under this moniker it has grown to become the Downtown Business connection that facilitates its programs and help operate some typical City functions to continue the improvement of Downtown. Dedicated business people and volunteers work tirelessly to keep making our Downtown the jewel next to the shore. And yes you can still visit it by train, Amtrak , Metrolink , Coaster and Sprinter