Photos of Vietnam War Memorial in La Mesa.

At the center of La Mesa's HYFD Vietnam Memorial Park stands a three-sided monument containing many plaques.
At the center of La Mesa’s HYFD Vietnam Memorial Park stands a three-sided monument containing many plaques.

A beautiful memorial in La Mesa remembers Vietnam Veterans who gave their lives for their country. The Heartland Youth for Decency Vietnam Memorial Park was originally built in 1970, then restored and rededicated in 2014. It can be found at the corner of University Avenue and Nebo Drive.

A community group of young people called Heartland Youth for Decency (HYFD) built the monument at a time when there was a great deal of contention about the Vietnam War. Its purpose was to honor veterans from San Diego’s East County who were killed during that horrible war.

Here are photos that I took today. The small Memorial Park can seem lost in the endless hustle and bustle of surrounding streets. But words that speak of courage, grief and honor stand quietly waiting, for any who wish to see.

Read the captions for a bit more description.

Flags fly in the January breeze. A helmet atop a cross, signifying those killed during the Vietnam War.
Flags fly in the January breeze. A helmet atop a cross, signifying those killed during the Vietnam War.
Greater Love Hath No Man... Heartland Area Vietnam Deaths
Greater Love Hath No Man… Heartland Area Vietnam Deaths
We of Heartland Youth for Decency dedicate this monument to the young men from our own generation who have given their lives that we might be free.
We of Heartland Youth for Decency dedicate this monument to the young men from our own generation who have given their lives that we might be free.
A man died for me today...
A man died for me today…
A beautiful tile mosaic bench in the park with American flag and peace sign.
A colorful tile mosaic bench in the park with American flag and peace sign.
A second bench has a star at either end.
A second bench has a star at either end.
A bald eagle, symbol of the United States. Freedom Is Not Free.
A bald eagle, symbol of the United States. Freedom Is Not Free.
A simple, emotionally powerful letter at the base of the flagpole. ...Most of all, Father, I love you.
A simple, emotionally powerful letter at the base of the flagpole. …Most of all, Father, I love you.
To one side stands the POW/MIA Empty Chair. And the words: Lest We Forget.
To one side stands the POW/MIA Empty Chair. And the words: Lest We Forget.
Powerful symbols in a small La Mesa park.
Powerful symbols in a small La Mesa park.
American eagle and flag mosaic art on rear of the POW/MIA Empty Chair is by the Rainforest Art Project.
American eagle and flag mosaic art on rear of the POW/MIA Empty Chair is by the Rainforest Art Project.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A day to celebrate reading across America!

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. Mason Cooley
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. Mason Cooley

It’s time to celebrate Read Across America Day!

Today many hands, young and old, will be picking up a book or their favorite e-book reader. Many eyes and minds will be enjoying that uniquely human activity: reading!

Why is March 2 designated National Read Across America Day? Because it’s the birthday of Dr. Seuss!

As many of you know, Dr. Seuss was the pen name of Theodor Geisel, who made his home in La Jolla, a beautiful community in the city of San Diego.

Months ago during a walk through La Mesa, a city in San Diego’s East County, I took photos of a chalkboard that was standing on the sidewalk in front of Maxwell’s House of Books.

Please enjoy two quotes about the magic of reading!

Books are a uniquely portable magic. Stephen King
Books are a uniquely portable magic. Stephen King

Would you like to read a few philosophical, very short stories?

They can be found on my website Short Stories by Richard!

The tasty ingredients of La Mesa Oktoberfest.

What makes the annual La Mesa Oktoberfest such an awesome event?
What makes the annual La Mesa Oktoberfest such an awesome event?

It seems the tasty ingredients that make La Mesa Oktoberfest so awesome aren’t very secret. Because I recorded them with very little effort this afternoon.

La Mesa Oktoberfest is said to be the largest Oktoberfest in San Diego County. It’s held each year in historic La Mesa Village. Thousands turn out to enjoy the fun.

So what are those tasty ingredients?

Food, drink, friends, good conversation.
Food, drink, friends, good conversation.
Sausages.
Sausages.
Cool cars.
Cool cars.
Colorful dance.
Colorful dancing.
A massive Spaten Hofbrauhaus Biergarten!
A massive Spaten Hofbrauhaus Biergarten!
More sausages.
More sausages.
Lederhosen.
Lederhosen.
Thrilling rides.
Thrilling rides.
Inspiration.
Inspiration.
Cuckoo clocks.
Cuckoo clocks.
Sidewalks jammed with happiness.
Sidewalks jammed with happiness.
More sausages.
More sausages.
A huge container of mustard.
A huge container of mustard.
Smiles.
Smiles.
Family.
Family.
And more sausages!
And more sausages!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Fun street art found around La Mesa.

Live free like a butterfly. Street art in La Mesa.
Live free like a butterfly. Street art in La Mesa.

I found a lot of fun street art during a random walk around La Mesa. I bounced from color to color like a butterfly, my feet pointed in every direction. I wandered down University Avenue, up La Mesa Boulevard, along Spring Street. Most of the artwork was discovered on sidewalk electrical boxes. These photos are in no particular order.

Butterfly painted on an electrical box.
Butterfly painted on an electrical box.
Street art shows colorful cars.
Street art shows colorful cars.
A lots of mostly happy faces.
A lot of mostly happy faces.
Two giraffes.
Two giraffes.
A panda bear.
A panda bear.
High voltage heart and two roses.
A high voltage heart and two red roses.
The fish tank.
The fish tank. Perhaps it contains an electric eel.
Three fish.
Three fish.
A white goose.
A white goose.
Two owls.
Two owls.
A blue bird.
A blue bird.
Graffiti child on a wall ready to play hopscotch at Coin Haus.
Graffiti child on a wall ready to play hopscotch at Coin Haus.
Exotic mural up high in the alley behind Amethyst Moon.
Exotic mural up high in the alley behind Amethyst Moon.
Koi.
Koi.
An abstract design.
An abstract design.
Butterflies and flowers brighten a La Mesa sidewalk.
More butterflies and flowers brighten a La Mesa sidewalk.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Fun new murals at Sheldon’s Service Station!

A frog in a red teacup floats on a tea river.
A frog in a red teacup floats on a tea river.

Yesterday I spotted some fun new murals in the process of being painted at Sheldon’s Service Station, a popular La Mesa breakfast and lunch spot. Many years ago this coffee shop’s building was a La Mesa gas station.

A friendly guy at Sheldon’s Service Station said an artist named Kara has been working on the two murals for a couple of weeks. Take a look!

One of two fun new murals being painted on outdoor walls at Sheldon's Service Station in La Mesa.
One of two fun new murals being painted on outdoor walls at Sheldon’s Service Station in La Mesa.
Funny animals in the imaginative mural include Droopy and tea-drinking pelicans!
Funny animals in the imaginative mural include Droopy and tea-drinking pelicans!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

La Mesa dancers walk to fight breast cancer!

I spotted these friendly people heading along the sidewalk during my walk in La Mesa.
I spotted these friendly people heading down the sidewalk during my walk in La Mesa.

I was walking through La Mesa today, taking random photos of street art, when I happened upon some super cool people!

Ladies from the Flavor Company, a cultural fusion dance troupe headquartered in La Mesa, were greeting strangers all up and down the sidewalk. With big smiles they were promoting a walk coming up for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of San Diego! The 4-mile walk will be taking place Sunday, October 14 in Balboa Park!

Talk about setting a great example for us all!

Click the above links to learn more!

Smiles from some of the ladies of the Flavor Company, a cool dance troupe headquartered in La Mesa.
Smiles from some of the ladies of the Flavor Company, a cool dance troupe in La Mesa.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

A walk through history in The Village of La Mesa.

Photo taken from the intersection of La Mesa Boulevard and Spring Street shows a small stretch of The Village.
Photo taken from the intersection of La Mesa Boulevard and Spring Street shows a small stretch of The Village.

On Sunday morning I took a short walk in the heart of La Mesa. The most fascinating stretch was through the historic area of the city known as The Village. I walked up La Mesa Boulevard from Spring Street to Legacy Park, then back down along the opposite sidewalk.

Not only is this stretch full of local history, but it’s home to the La Mesa Walk of Fame, which honors individual contributions to the city by accomplished and generous residents. In my photos I’ve included a few notable plaques.

The Village on a Sunday morning was very quiet, with a smattering of locals eating breakfast or an early lunch in the small eateries that I passed. The Village, with its plain, practical buildings from a bygone era, feels very modest. It doesn’t strike me as a place that attracts hipsters–more a cherished place for families and ordinary folk and people like me who enjoy a slow Sunday stroll.

I took photos. Please read the captions for a few explanations of what I saw.

The City of La Mesa Walk of Fame can be experienced on both sidewalks along La Mesa Boulevard, between Spring Street and 4th Street.
The City of La Mesa Walk of Fame can be experienced on both sidewalks along La Mesa Boulevard, between Spring Street and 4th Street.
Bill Walton graduated from La Mesa's Helix High School. He was inducted into the NBA basketball Hall of Fame as one of the greatest players of all time.
Bill Walton graduated from La Mesa’s Helix High School. He was inducted into the NBA basketball Hall of Fame as one of the greatest players of all time.
Walking through the Village up La Mesa Boulevard. The buildings are modest but retain local history and many memories.
Walking through the Village up La Mesa Boulevard. The buildings are modest but retain local history and many memories.
The La Mesa Craft Corner on a quiet Sunday morning.
The La Mesa Craft Corner on a quiet Sunday morning.
A nice lady with some Fourth of July crafts smiles for my blog about San Diego.
A nice lady with some Fourth of July crafts smiles for my blog about San Diego.
The Lookout is public art project in Legacy Park, the small triangle where La Mesa Boulevard, 4th Street and Allison Avenue meet.
The Lookout is public art project in Legacy Park, the small triangle where La Mesa Boulevard, 4th Street and Allison Avenue meet.
The Lookout was created by a family of artists--Jesus Dominguez, Mary Lynn Dominguez and Amy Dominguez. It depicts the colorful history of La Mesa.
The Lookout was created by a family of artists–Jesus Dominguez, Mary Lynn Dominguez and Amy Dominguez. It depicts the colorful history of La Mesa.
Closer photo of The Lookout at Legacy Park. Eight mosaic panels made of tile show historical events in La Mesa from 1912 to 2012.
Closer photo of The Lookout at Legacy Park. Eight mosaic panels made of tile show historical events in La Mesa from 1912 to 2012.
At the center of The Lookout is the John B. Reed Centennial Time Capsule, to be opened in 2062.
At the center of The Lookout is the John B. Reed Centennial Time Capsule, to be opened in 2062.
Legacy Park also includes a memorial clock and a bronze sculpture of the Helix snail.
Legacy Park also includes a memorial clock and a bronze sculpture of the Helix snail. The 1939 U.S. Post Office Building is seen in the background.
Children are encouraged to ride this fun bronze snail!
Children are encouraged to ride this fun bronze snail!
Felix the Helix. The story goes that Rufus King Porter named Mount Helix after the Helix aspersa, a European garden snail that was discovered locally.
Felix the Helix. The story goes that Rufus King Porter named Mount Helix after the Helix aspersa, a European garden snail that was discovered locally.
Now I'm walking back down La Mesa Boulevard on the other side of the street. A small slice of Americana. The modest shops and buildings recall a simpler time.
Now I’m walking back down La Mesa Boulevard on the other side of the street. A small slice of Americana. The modest shops and buildings recall a simpler time.
La Mesa Historical Society plaque shows a prosperous Lookout Avenue circa 1929. The street was renamed La Mesa Boulevard in 1940.
La Mesa Historical Society plaque shows a prosperous Lookout Avenue circa 1929. The street was renamed La Mesa Boulevard in 1940.
Family and a flag bench in front of Amethyst Moon, a unique gift store in The Village of La Mesa.
Family and a flag bench in front of Amethyst Moon, a specialty gift shop in The Village of La Mesa.
The are many plaques in the City of La Mesa Walk of Fame. This one celebrates James Culbert, inductee into the National Sprint Car Racing Hall of Fame.
The are many plaques in the City of La Mesa Walk of Fame. This one celebrates James Culbert, inductee into the National Sprint Car Racing Hall of Fame.
Another plaque celebrates Dr. Ellen Ochoa, graduate of Grossmont High School and the first Hispanic woman astronaut.
Another plaque celebrates Dr. Ellen Ochoa, graduate of La Mesa’s Grossmont High School and the first Hispanic woman astronaut.
A photo of the Heller Building, now home of an escrow company.
A photo of the Heller Building, now home of an escrow company.
La Mesa Historical Society photo of the Heller Building in the 1940s. It has housed many businesses including Gilbert's five and dime and Culver's drugstore.
La Mesa Historical Society photo of the Heller Building in the 1940s. It has housed many businesses including Gilbert’s five and dime and Culver’s drugstore.
Maxwell's House of Books adds life to The Village.
Maxwell’s House of Books adds life to The Village.
It is a tie between men to have read the same book. Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is a tie between men to have read the same book. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Old photo on ATT building shows telephone company worker in the undeveloped hills of La Mesa many years ago.
Old photo on ATT building shows telephone company worker in the undeveloped hills of La Mesa many years ago.
The Village is a modest few blocks in the city. Full of history and memory, it provides a taste of days when La Mesa was a small American town.
The Village is a modest few blocks in the city. Full of history and memory, it provides a taste of days when La Mesa was a small American town.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Murals in urban park celebrate La Mesa volunteers.

A small park located on the 8300 block of La Mesa Boulevard contains murals that celebrate people helping people.
A small urban park located on the 8300 block of La Mesa Boulevard contains murals that celebrate people helping people.

Yesterday I discovered a very special park in San Diego’s East County city of La Mesa. The small urban park is called Walkway of the Stars. You can find it in the historic heart of the city, a stretch of La Mesa Boulevard called The Village.

Civic-minded volunteers who have worked over 10,000 hours for the community are celebrated with stars embedded in the park’s walkway. Colorful murals on either side show people helping people.

Come with me and we’ll take a look…

City of La Mesa Walkway of the Stars, in recognition of our community volunteers.
City of La Mesa Walkway of the Stars, in recognition of our community volunteers.
One mural in the park shows youth working to clean up graffiti.
One mural in the park shows youth working to clean up graffiti.
One mural behind a small succulent garden shows musicians in a public concert.
One mural behind a small succulent garden shows musicians in a public concert.
Volunteers in the community help to teach swimming.
Volunteers in the community help to teach swimming.
A volunteer coach teaches baseball.
A volunteer coach teaches baseball.
A closer look at humanity in one mural.
A closer look at humanity in one mural.
I believe this mural depicts the annual La Mesa Flag Day Parade.
I believe this mural depicts the annual La Mesa Flag Day Parade.
Clowns bring joy.
Clowns bring joy.
Volunteers help to keep La Mesa parks beautiful and friendly.
Volunteers help to keep La Mesa parks beautiful and friendly.
Lots of dogs and a smile.
Lots of dogs and a smile.
Painted dog on a utility box seems to have jumped out from the bustling mural.
Painted dog on a utility box seems to have jumped out from the bustling mural.
One mural pays tribute to volunteer law enforcement.
One mural pays tribute to volunteer law enforcement.
This pedestrian walkway has been transformed into a landmark known as the Walkway of the Stars. The park and its murals honor La Mesa volunteers who have 10,000 hours or more of service.
This pedestrian walkway has been transformed into a landmark known as the Walkway of the Stars. The park and its murals honor La Mesa volunteers who have 10,000 hours or more of service.
Walkway of the Stars provides a public "Thank You" to dedicated citizen volunteers who make La Mesa a better place to live.
Walkway of the Stars provides a public “Thank You” to dedicated citizen volunteers who make La Mesa a better place to live.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Cool pics of old La Mesa railroad depot and train!

Dad and son check out old steam locomotive on display at La Mesa Depot Museum.
Dad and son check out old steam locomotive on display at La Mesa Depot Museum.

I’ve driven past the La Mesa Depot Museum many times over the years, but have never stopped to check it out. Today I remedied that very unfortunate situation!

Here’s a ton of cool pics. The small display train and historic railroad depot are found along Spring Street near the center of La Mesa, in San Diego’s sunny East County. I walked from south to north with my camera.

A friendly volunteer told me a little bit about the locomotive, reefer (refrigerator) car and caboose on exhibit, plus facts about the old La Mesa depot and San Diego and Cuyamaca Eastern Railway line. The depot is La Mesa’s oldest building and the only surviving San Diego and Cuyamaca Railway Station. Over the years it has experienced a colorful history, serving as an antique store and a worm farm! Please refer to the interesting signs, and my captions. Hopefully you get an idea of how awesome this place is!

The La Mesa Depot Museum is operated by the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, which displays many old trains in Campo, an hour’s drive east of San Diego near Mexico. I went there with my family when I was very young and took a fun train ride. I plan on going again one day!

Locomotive was donated after 43 years of service to the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association.
Locomotive was donated after 43 years of service to the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association.
Looking up into door of steam locomotive Mojave Northern Railroad #3.
Looking up into door of steam locomotive Mojave Northern Railroad #3.
Old No. 3 originally hauled lime from a quarry near Victorville, California.
Old No. 3 originally hauled lime from a quarry near Victorville, California.
Part of the complex machinery and controls in the steam locomotive's cab.
Part of the complex machinery and controls in the steam locomotive’s cab.
Pacific Fruit Express reefer car on display at old train depot in La Mesa, California.
Pacific Fruit Express reefer car on display at old train depot in La Mesa, California.
Southern Pacific Railroad caboose can be boarded free by visitors on Saturdays, 1-4 pm.
Southern Pacific Railroad caboose can be boarded free by visitors on Saturdays, 1-4 pm.
I saw a bunch of people during my short visit. There were many excited kids!
I saw a bunch of people during my short visit. There were many excited kids!
Entering the caboose, to check out what life was like working on the railroad.
Entering the caboose, to check out what life was like working on the railroad.
The conductor had high windows to see around the train during operation.
The conductor had high windows to see around the train during operation.
A freight train's conductor or crew could sit up here to see in every direction.
A freight train’s conductor or crew could sit up here to see in every direction.
That's quite a climb, even for a tall guy like me!
That’s quite a climb, even for a tall guy like me!
The small La Mesa depot sits near tracks now used by the San Diego Trolley Orange Line.
The small La Mesa depot sits near tracks now used by the San Diego Trolley Orange Line.
The depot opened in 1894, and this 44-star flag would've flown above it.
The depot opened in 1894, and this 44-star flag would’ve flown above it.
Information sign outlines the early history of La Mesa's train depot.
Information sign outlines the early history of La Mesa’s train depot.
Historical photograph of a train stopping at La Mesa.
Historical photograph of a train stopping at La Mesa.
In the early 20th century the depot was sold and moved on various occasions.
In the early 20th century the depot was sold and moved on various occasions.
McKeen Car at the La Mesa Depot.
McKeen Car at the La Mesa Depot.
This very small building contains lots of cool stuff!
This very small building contains lots of cool stuff!
City of La Mesa Historic Landmark No. 6 on side of 1894 train depot.
City of La Mesa Historic Landmark No. 6 on side of 1894 train depot.
Ticket office in depot contains various old telephones and a telegraph.
Ticket office in depot contains various old telephones and a telegraph.
The telegraph key still works!
The telegraph key still works!
Telegraphic messages were received here!
Telegraphic messages were received here!
Looking out through ticket window at the tiny train depot waiting room.
Looking out through ticket window at the tiny train depot waiting room.
In one corner of the office is an old-fashioned manual typewriter.
In one corner of the office is an old-fashioned manual typewriter.
This old wood stove still works and provides a lot of heat!
This old wood stove still works and provides a lot of heat!
Signs bring to life the old train time table and Western Union office.
Signs bring to life the old train time table and Western Union office.
An old railway hand cart for hauling freight or luggage.
An old railway hand cart for hauling freight or luggage.
Sign tells complex story of the San Diego, Cuyamaca and Eastern Railroad.
Sign tells complex story of the San Diego, Cuyamaca and Eastern Railroad.
Here comes the San Diego Trolley, approaching the nearby La Mesa Boulevard station.
Here comes the San Diego Trolley, approaching the nearby La Mesa Boulevard station.
The La Mesa Depot Museum is a fun place to visit on a Saturday afternoon!
The La Mesa Depot Museum is a fun place to visit on a Saturday afternoon!

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