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[Book Review]

Local Knowledge


ABANDONED SAN DIEGO, 96 pages, paperback, published by America Through Time, 2019, Jessica D. Johnson author

review by Rob

I like this little book because I love San Diego. Any book that attempts to reveal useful hidden knowledge pretty much has my vote, but since ABANDONED SAN DIEGO is about my hometown makes it all the more dear. Here’s my disclosure up front. Now you know, I do have a bias. I also need to say Jessica has been a contributor to Reviewer Magazine’s print version, submitting some choice local color editorial that has ran in our pages, most notably a story about exploring the interior of The Lake Hodges Dam. So I like this book for that reason too: its author has been a friend of the magazine. But I’ll try and be professional, give it an honest review anyway and not be a glowing fanboy.

ABANDONED SAN DIEGO covers the region with five chapters. One, Abandoned Mines of San Diego explores a bit of the forgotten local mineral resource exploitation of the past. Two, the Highway That Time Forgot, which details the early twentieth century history of Highway 80. Three, Suburban San Diego Ruins, which may surprise readers with its hidden gems. Four, Urban San Diego Ruins, which is valuable in its cataloging of a diminishing genre. And my favorite, chapter five, Historic Cemeteries, which profiles some of our neglected local grave fields.

The tragic disruption of the Mission Hills Pioneer Park cemetery is most poignant. The graveyards’ defilement reads like an account of historical revisionism during the mid-twentieth century, one politically motivated, an essentially hostile act against the memory of the founders of early San Diego. But why?

There’s much more, such as The California Theater in downtown whose section summons up the ghosts of entertainment and nightlife past with many color photos — the book is well illustrated — and the Sunset Cliffs cave at Smugglers’ Cove highlights the bootleg era when San Diego’s southern border was a new link to Tijuana’s steady stream of contraband.

The only real negative issue I would find with ABANDONED SAN DIEGO is in the title. For so many decades this city has been in the path of progress, not decline. Ever since Los Angeles became traffic-filled and smog-ridden San Diego real estate sellers could add a high percentage as a sun tax. New citizens moving here from back east or the midwest, or any people looking for the good life in a growing city with low crime and sunshine, grabbed up available parcels. There’s never been any real “abandoned” anything here. There’s been “derelict” San Diego, or “sitting temporarily vacant” San Diego, but the owners, their heirs, or hungry would-be purchasers would always have an eye on it, waiting for the right economic moment to make their move, to pounce. Be it because of the excellent natural harbor or the thrillingly varied geography or the fine weather, this has never been a ghost town.

However so much good revealing splendor is packed into this tiny book, and I rarely use this phrase, it’s truly a must-read if you find yourself interested in the fascinating background of what local civic boosters once appropriately called America’s Finest City.

Despite the lack of truly abandoned real estate here, there’s still plenty of subject matter to fill another volume. I asked Jennifer about the old mine in Black Mountain my friends and I used to hike to back in the mid-1970’s which was omitted from ABANDONED SAN DIEGO. It seemed like the perfect story for its first chapter. She cited page space and word count as limitating it in print here but I think it’s listed on her website, She’s also diversifying into covering hidden California.

This was Jessica Johnson’s first outing as a book author and I hope we can look forward to more of her whimsically fresh views about San Diego and beyond.


From Amazon:
About the Author JESSICA D. JOHNSON is a native San Diegan who has lived her entire life in and around “America’s Finest City.” While she loves San Diego’s major attractions, her life’s mission has been to explore and describe the unknown and overlooked wonders of the area. Her work reached fruition in her creation of the website, which has received millions of unique online visits, and has become an invaluable resource for tourists and local explorers alike. Her work has been featured in local and national print media, radio and television, and she has written extensively on a wide variety of things San Diego.

Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: America Through Time (February 25, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634991044
ISBN-13: 978-1634991049
Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches

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4sale: The Book Of Joe, signed, with original art


For Sale

The Book Of Joe, signed, with original art: $349

SIGNED WITH ORIGINAL ART! This amazing 2003 first edition release from Last Gasp comes with a felt tip drawing by Coleman on the title page. As such it is a signed first edition that is one-of-a-kind with actual ORIGINAL ART IN IT BY THIS AMAZING ARTIST. The book itself is in like-new unread condition as it was purchased by me in 2003 in North Park, San Diego, at a small bookstore/book signing event directly from the famous artist/author himself. The artwork depicted inside was also drawn in my presence.

The pages are of course all intact and clean, just like new, and the book was acquired as a collector investment so it was never read. You can eventually resell it for a lot more as this artist is still growing in popularity. The dust jacket is like new and immaculate. It was covered on day one with a clear wrap and still is today.

This is an incredible value for an incredible library addition. The price may change without notice. So if you’re serious I’d jump on it now.

Contact me at if you want to buy this fine art book. The Price is $349. This one is for connoisseurs and lovers of outsider art history.

Thank you!

~ Reviewer Rob

Hardcover, 206 pages, published by Last Gasp and La Luz de Jesus books. 12.3 x 10.2 x 0.9 inches.
With essays by Anthony Haden-Guest, Rebecca Lieb, Asia Argento, and Jack Sargeant. Keys to the paintings by Katharine Gates and “Bibliografica Colemania” by Don Kennison. [Official description]

For Sale: THE BOOK OF JOE, by Joe Coleman
For Sale: THE BOOK OF JOE, by Joe Coleman
For Sale: THE BOOK OF JOE, by Joe Coleman
For Sale: THE BOOK OF JOE, by Joe Coleman
For Sale: THE BOOK OF JOE, by Joe Coleman
For Sale: THE BOOK OF JOE, by Joe Coleman
For Sale: THE BOOK OF JOE, by Joe Coleman
For Sale: THE BOOK OF JOE, by Joe Coleman
For Sale: THE BOOK OF JOE, by Joe Coleman
For Sale: THE BOOK OF JOE, by Joe Coleman
For Sale: THE BOOK OF JOE, by Joe Coleman
For Sale: THE BOOK OF JOE, by Joe Coleman
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Hannah Haddix — Ayahuasca Ritual

[First Person]

An Ayahuasca Ritual With Mom

by Hannah Haddix

Feb 16, 2017 2:58pm

Hannah Haddix, tripping in South America.
Hannah Haddix, tripping in South America.

Last night we had another ceremony beginning at 9pm and I haven’t slept since. ((It ended up being over 24 hours until I could muster the ability to slip into sleep realms.)) This time it was Dionisio’s lovely wife, Aubrey, conducting the ceremony. Aubrey created a much more spiritual and ritualistic environment for us. She picked some large aromatic flowers from the property and placed them in the center of the maloca along with incense and other ceremonial accoutrement. She had a large and pleasantly deafening singing bowl, and an instrument that sounded like a babbling brook. It was all women in attendance. In order going around our Maloca circle: Aubrey, myself, mothership, Rachel, and Mansi. It’s difficult for me to fathom putting my entire experience into words because it was beyond the capacity of language. Infinite epiphanies and immense deep healing at the atomic level. I saw Ma!! Kali Ma! My entire trip was rejoicing in her Infinite beauty and unconditional love. She is in absolutely EVERYTHING! I saw her love and energy in all creatures, plants, minerals and vast spaces in between… READ MORE HERE

[Hey there sports fans. In order to pay for the kitty litter we’re moving select archived files slowly over to behind the mysterious paywall. So unless you can’t afford a coupla bucks you can read the rest of this amazingly fine story, of over 4000 words, HERE. If you haven’t yet, please feel free to JOIN US. ~ Reviewer Rob, Editor]

WNBRPDX 2016, photo by
WNBRPDX 2016, photo by
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skeleton email — Danger Factory


Rex Edhlund (Danger Factory, Industry Showroom, Hypno, Kulture Magazine) Responds To An Enemy Well-Wisher

Rex Edhlund, a public post
[This is a reprint from his Facebook. Check out Rex Edhlund’s newest project, ~Editor]

Got a weird email from a person a zillion years ago. I suppose it’s cool to get me remembering things for a possible memoir.

“Ha ha. You are my enemy of long ago, who slung the N-word at me in negative anger. No ass kicking at the time, you got a pass on that one, pal. Still got nothing good to say about you, but on the other hand. It’s good to see that you are alive and well. ”

Rex Edhlund
Rex Edhlund
I responded –
I think you got the wrong guy dude. I don’t think I have ever called someone the N-word.
But if you were my enemy, it must have been because you were fucking up. If you have nothing good to say about me… you never knew me.

He came back with-

No, I got the right guy… Rex from the Circle of Friends loft in S.D. I am Gerald, the one who had Dread locks, the same one that your boy Shifty dissed my God father, and both of you dissed my Friend from D.C. Dave Holliman. (Who helped you shoot a video project and Green Jelly Studios).
I was also the guy who talked up for you when you were to Chicken Sh*t to face Brother Kieth from The N.O.I. over some T-shirts that they paid you for, and you never made for them? Yeah, my last encounter with you was when you kicked me out there and said from a distance away, and I quote “I getting tired of that N-word hanging around her giving tours”.
The day you said that, I was there with Check signer’s son, Joe Cheatem. His father Chuck was about go half with my God father, Roland Beanum and invest 300k in that. place. After that incident, I never went back there. Even after I was invited back a few weeks later by Mushured, and another guy who worked for for Hypno.
I went to work with WorldBeat, and a few other orgs, before going back into raising money for music & films productions. Since then, I have been investing in, and consulting land deals. You also called me a pathological liar back then too. Wow, well this pathological liar is holding more than 200k in his bank acct, and has his own fund. I can say some good things about you, I respect you for doing Hypno & Sin mags, you seemed to be a pretty straight up dude, and good/person person, that is before Shiela & Blair sunk thear hooks into you.
Don’t mean no ill towards you, but that’s the way it went down, Bro. Maybe you’ve changed since then, but the way I see it, we were once friends, but parted was as enemies. But, I never wish bad on anyone. It’s good to see that you’re still around. No apologies were ever issued from you after those incidents listed in the above, but just to let you know. I forgive you for all that f*cked up sh*t. You be good to yourself, and good rest of your journey. FIN.

So, after THAT blindside. I wrote this.

Okay, you’ve been stewing on this for 25 years, so I will level with you.
I remember you. I still don’t believe I said N. I would be more of a “Motherfucker” kind of guy. I am 99.9999 percent sure you heard someone else and attributed it to me. It has happened a few times, that a memory gets stretched to villainize me. It sucks to be in charge. Anyhow, I have always hated racial shit and it would be a far stretch for me to stoop that low. That being said, if I was under some kind of fury and madness, and DID say it… it was a psychotic fluke that I regret and will never recreate. If you are correct, I apologize for that horrible discretion with all that I have. That would have been a person I would have hated to be.
Now, for you to discover how you were perceived.
While you had your free reign of the space I paid for, Gravedigger (RIP recently) watched you and called you out repeatedly as a liar. I gave you the benefit of the doubt but then caught you in a half dozen lies. You weren’t a straight shooter then. You embellished the FUCK out of everything. It got troubling. Very.
You were also treating the loft like some kind of dot com money making scheme. That wasn’t interesting.
This was a project that didn’t owe anyone a hall pass. It wasn’t funded. It was a recession! I worked my ass off and gave every penny I had accumulated to creating a mad punk art space for mind expansion, creative exploration, media, and collaboration. Unfortunately, humanity has far more users than contributors, so it was not possible. My Utopian delusions were unrealistic. There were too many unnecessary complications, I sadly gave up and decided to step away from the incessant arguments that disrupted what could have been a creative process. Disruptions that you participated frequently in and often interrupted the business of the magazine. Which I remind you- PAID ALL THE FUCKING BILLS!!!! For everyone!!! And made the space free for everyone. A color-free, class-free, creative meritocracy with all walks of life participating. I am biased, but only towards creativity. You can be whatever color or belief, it’s the core that I care about. I’m surprised that wasn’t obvious. But I had given it a 3 year fight, and left it to die under its own weight or thrive without me as I went on to other projects. It collapsed not long after I left.
Shifty? He dissed everyone, then went on to fuck EVERYONE. He wasn’t my partner by choice. I inherited him. So, no surprise or defense there. He was nuts. I did my best to harness him.
Don’t know what I was overwhelmed with regarding Brother Kieth, but I printed a ton of stuff cheap for him before my shop was burglarized and ransacked. I had nowhere to go but the magazine. I might have been on a deadline or something. There was shit tons of stress and I was the SOLE person who had accepted responsibility for rent and the safety of ALL the equipment at the loft. I must have been sideswiped that day. I’m sure I could have ultimately handled it, and it could only have been a difference of a couple dozen shirts. That’s all he ever did. It’s a different story, but The Store That Cannot Be Named was another creative hub attempt that was broken into and robbed of pretty much everything. I am an early punk rock kid with no family or support system just doing my scrappy ass best in San Diego, so it killed me. I had a yard sale and put it all into starting the loft in order to take the job as Editor of SIN Magazine. A job that was only possible if we all jammed into the loft at 6th and Broadway.
The rest, about investment schemes and that shit… there should NEVER have been any investors in the loft. Ever. Your family was saved. It was an art experiment that took everything I had. Plenty of good came from it. The magazine paid ALL THE BILLS, Circle of Friends just brought the toys and chaos. I had to deal with running a mag on a shoestring AND deal with a million wild cats screaming around what I had intended to be a communal creation space. You made it weird and you had to go. You were but one of dozens of people I had to remove. Nobody else ever fucking stepped up, they just murmured in the background and then I had to fucking do it. It sucked. But it had to be done, so, there I was, my life depending on it. I did what needed doing.
You going on to make money is not what would impress me. In fact, every pathological liar I have ever met went on to make plenty of money, particularly in real estate. To share situations, I am similarly successful. I am happily retired from the results of endeavors, and moving into more, but the most important thing is that after the loft I went on to create more projects that shared and helped nurture success for not just me but for everyone. D-Town, Industry Showroom, the Bohemian Market, Danger Factory, it goes on. Now, finally realizing that the rising tide of those around me is what makes me most fulfilled, I am working primarily in the nonprofit world to help kids that were as fucked up as I was. Fucked up but with a desire to be good, great even. Even if no one ever knows. Even if those that got tossed off the free ride will try to demonize.
Sorry it stuck with you so hard. I hope you learned from it. You weren’t being one of the good guys back then. You were trying to turn an art project into an investment scheme. It would not have worked and it would have negatively affected all parties involved. It couldn’t have been allowed.
If that is somehow wrong, then the lesson is to see how you were perceived.
Bottom line?
You better find a better enemy. I just don’t fit the bill.