So long Simpson's - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

So long Simpson's

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - This is a story that began long ago and far away.

"Grandpa started in 1928 up in Pasadena at the end of a dirt road," Cathy Smith said.

It was there Harold "Hal" Simpson opened a nursery business. Simpson's Nursery thrived until 1968, when the City of Los Angeles decided to build the 210 freeway right through the property. So Hal relocated the nursery in Jamul, where it sits today on 25 acres under the guidance of Hal's granddaughter Cathy and her husband Lee.

"We're more than a nursery. We somewhat entertain the folks," Lee said.

In the midst of the gentrification of San Diego's backcountry, Simpson's remains an island of old-fashioned country charm, a rustic reminiscence of the way we were. Antique cars and rusted relics and fresh red apples, all part of the Simpson's experience.

But for those of us who through the years sought refuge in this sanctuary, the end is near, because Cathy and Lee are about to retire.

"The plan is we're going to stay open until we sell all the merchandise. Once we sell all the merchandise, then we're going fishing," Lee said.

It won't be long, because Simpson's is selling everything at half price, and even though the Smiths are deeply rooted in the community, and will hold on to the car barns for fundraisers, Cathy is ready to cast off.

"I knew (Lee) was serious. We were going to retire. He bought me this pink fishing pole and it's going to happen," Cathy said.

"She hasn't put it down since she's gotten it," Lee said.

Today at Simpson's Nursery, they were hauling away the bargains. But it was more of a lovefest than a plant sale.

"You can't believe how many hugs, how many kisses, how many gifts, thank yous and cards," Lee said.

A last chance to say thanks for the memories.

Simpson's Nursery
13925 Hwy 94
Jamul, CA 91935
(619) 669-1977

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