SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — On Friday, the News 8 morning crew made a trip out to La Mesa and its surrounding areas to showcase those communities of San Diego.
With that in mind, we dove into the News 8 archives and unearthed some snippets from the past in East County neighborhoods.
Join us for this walk down memory lane and click here to see how things have changed!
Part of News 8's "Our Town" series from 1978, this clip showcases the San Diego neighborhood of La Mesa. The self-proclaimed "Jewel of the Hills" was like living in a Norman Rockwell painting, according to narrator Doug Oliver.
In the spring of 1995, News 8's Larry Himmel took a stroll down La Mesa Boulevard in East County San Diego. Larry popped into several quaint shops including a seashell store, a shop that repaired antique radios and one that specialized in anything with an angel on it. While some of those shops are no longer standing, the village today is still full of the small-town charm Larry showcased.
Oktoberfest in La Mesa has been a tradition for decades and in 1980 - and many other years - News 8 was there. Reporter Bridget Asaro showed off the 6th annual festivities complete with strudel, bratwurst and, of course, steins of beer.
In 1981, News 8 featured a special lady in the La Mesa area of San Diego. Evelyn Estabrook wrote the words and music for "The Jewel of the Hills" - an ode to her community.
In 1994, News 8's Larry Himmel explored the history of El Cajon in east San Diego. While the area had grown a great deal, some aspects remained the same. Larry cited an essay from 1900 which characterized the community as "middle-class" and "politically conservative." Larry's piece also explores some of the traditions of El Cajon including the Mother Goose Parade which started in 1947.
Speaking of The Mother Goose Parade... these two clips from 1980 and 1981 with News 8 reporters Liz Pursell and John Culea feature the excitement of the annual event which had grown over the years. It's easy to see why the parade is still going strong over 70 years after it began. In fact, this year’s parade – the 72nd held - is this Sunday!
Throwing it WAY back, this vintage News 8 footage of El Cajon shows the East County San Diego neighborhood in the 1960s. From the Jaycees club to a school house to a fire house to Miss El Cajon, these snippets don't have any sound but they sure do capture the spirit of the city over half a century ago.