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AutoMatters & More: Experience summer on the waterfront at Pepper Park

Phil Hill, Shav Glick and Carroll Shelby at California Speedway in 2006
Phil Hill, Shav Glick and Carroll Shelby at California Speedway in 2006

This has been a week filled with surprises. As I discussed with you last time, my plan for the days ahead was to finish the work that I needed to do to take my new “AutoMatters & More” website live. Instead, as it often does, life took me by surprise and pointed me in unanticipated directions.

After I submitted my column for publication last week I worked like mad, with the goal of uploading hundreds of my oldest columns to my new website so that I could take it live. My primary goal for that website is for it to become the online home in “AutoMatters & More” for the many amazing and memorable people, places, things and events that I’ve covered over the past 20-some-odd years — in 699 columns — and continue to cover each week.

For example, in one of my old columns I discovered a photo that I had taken of Phil Hill, Shav Glick and Carroll Shelby — all of whom are famous in the world of motorsports, but sadly all of whom passed away years ago. In another column there are photos of vintage cars racing in the historic car races at Coronado — an event that is no longer held. These images from the past should be shared.

HUMMER launching a boat
HUMMER launching a boat

Unfortunately, after a few all-nighters, I could see that I could not possibly do all of the work that remains in just one week, while also continuing to cover events and write new columns. Resigned to that realization, on Saturday I woke up early and headed to National City’s Pepper Park to cover the 10th Anniversary ‘San Diego RollerZ Only’ car show.

I had seen it promoted on Eventbrite.com. This show, which was to include lowrider cars, pedal cars and trikes, as well as vendors, food, music and more, had been postponed from July 2020 to July 10, 2021 due to COVID-19. The date had been changed on the old flyer, which still had “POSTPONED” slashed across it.

Group of people exercising in Pepper Park
Group of people exercising in Pepper Park

When I arrived at Pepper Park, immediately I knew something was wrong. The parking lot had plenty of open parking spaces, and there were no lowriders anywhere. It was only then that I realized that this car show had probably been postponed yet again.

Now I had a choice to make: either return home to continue working on my new website, or try to “make lemonade from lemons” by covering how people were spending this beautiful San Diego County day in Pepper Park, and on the adjacent waterway. I grabbed my camera and began to explore!

Kayaking past Pepper Park
Kayaking past Pepper Park

I discovered that people were launching boats from the ramp into the waters of nearby Sweetwater Channel — which feeds into San Diego Bay; fishing from the public fishing pier; having picnics, exercising and relaxing on the grass; and more.

I spotted a yellow HUMMER, as it was about to launch a boat into the water. Figuring that its owner was probably wondering why I was photographing it, I explained to him that I was taking the pictures for my column — since the lowriders car show that I’d expected was not happening.

He told me that he and his family often take relaxing cruises around the bay in his Chaparral Sunesta, to enjoy the weather. Today they expected to visit Point Loma, Coronado and the Silver Strand area.

Young fisherman catches the biggest fish of the day
Young fisherman catches the biggest fish of the day

I asked him for tips about backing up a trailer. He said to relax, and to always make sure that you look around the area first to make sure that everything is clear.

I spoke with a gentleman who was relaxing on a bench, enjoying the view of Sweetwater Channel as boats, kayaks and jet skis passed by. He said he would try to send me information about future lowriders car shows.

Elsewhere, a group of people were exercising to the beats of music.

Another gentleman, this one retired from the Post Office, was teaching a young boy how to fish. First, they fished for small bait fish, and then the boy proceeded to catch the biggest fish of the day!

For information about all of the Port of San Diego’s waterfront parks, with videos, visit:

https://www.portofsandiego.org/see-and-do/parks?location=All&page=1

I absolutely commit to taking my new website live soon. I’ll let you know here when I do!

To see additional photos, visit www.drivetribe.com, click on the magnifying glass, select “POSTS” and enter “AutoMatters & More #700” in their search bar. Please send your comments to AutoMatters@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2021 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #700


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