How to get support from fellow Veterans in San Diego.

I discovered a program in San Diego that provides advice and support for Veterans. It’s a confidential peer-to-peer program, where Veteran volunteers mentor other Veterans. The program is called “Vet to Vet” for that reason.

I found out about this program while walking randomly around Balboa Park. A notice was pinned to a bulletin board and I took a photo. According to the information, the meetings of Vet to Vet are confidential and no appointment is needed. It’s a safe place to be for a couple hours a week. All the info you need is right here–click the photo and it will enlarge:

Click this photo and it will expand for easy reading. You'll find information on meeting places and some phone numbers.
Click this photo and it will expand in size for easy reading. You’ll find important information on meeting places and a few phone numbers.

If you’re a Vet who’d like to volunteer, or if you’re a Vet who’d like a little support or someone to talk to, or you’re just curious and want to learn more, give that phone number on the flyer a call! And if you know a Veteran in San Diego who might appreciate a helping hand from someone who has walked in their shoes, why not pass along the info?

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 perfect summer Sunday in Balboa Park.

Musicians entertain Balboa Park visitors at the House of Hungary's festive lawn program.
Musicians entertain Balboa Park visitors at the House of Hungary’s festive lawn program.

Another perfect summer Sunday. I found myself once again in Balboa Park. This afternoon, there was no better place in the world.

Please enjoy some photos…

A warm summer afternoon. A man and his dog rest beneath a dinosaur near the San Diego Natural History Museum.
It’s a warm summer afternoon. A man and his dog rest beneath a dinosaur near the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Sunshine on the south side of the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.
Sunshine on the south side of the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.
San Diego Civic Youth Ballet had a Fairy Tale Village set up today in the Casa del Prado's outer courtyard.
San Diego Civic Youth Ballet had a Fairy Tale Village set up today in the Casa del Prado’s outer courtyard.
The laps of two Western characters await people with tired feet in Spanish Village Art Center.
The laps of two Western characters await people with tired feet in Spanish Village Art Center.
Beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival architecture at the west end of the Casa de Balboa, photographed from El Prado.
Beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival architecture at the west end of the Casa de Balboa, photographed from El Prado.
People walk past ornate arches connecting the Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
People walk past ornate arches connecting the Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
Looking through one of those arches at cool greenery between the two historic buildings.
Looking through one of those arches at cool greenery between the two historic buildings.
Folks walk down toward the Casa del Rey Moro Garden.
Folks walk down toward the Casa del Rey Moro Garden.
A beautiful view few visitors see. Part of the rear of the House of Hospitality and nearby Casa de Balboa.
A beautiful view few visitors see. Part of the rear of the House of Hospitality and nearby Casa de Balboa.
Flowers beside outdoor dining at The Prado at Balboa Park.
Flowers beside outdoor dining at The Prado at Balboa Park.
A tranquil and shady place to sit on a summer day in the Japanese Friendship Garden. I worked for a while on a short story here.
A tranquil and shady place to sit in the Japanese Friendship Garden. I worked for a while on a short story here.
The Sunday afternoon lawn program today at the International Cottages was put on by the House of Hungary.
The Sunday afternoon lawn program today at the International Cottages was put on by the House of Hungary.
Hungarian sausage and crepes were being prepared at one end of the lawn!
Hungarian sausage and crepes were being prepared at one end of the lawn!
I confess I had a tasty sausage with lots of mustard on a delectable roll of bread. But those crepes do look good.
I confess I had a tasty sausage with lots of mustard on a delectable roll of bread. But those crepes do look good. I’ll try one next year.
Ladies play cards on the grass at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Ladies play cards on the grass at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Folks sit under the Spreckels Organ Pavilion colonnade and listen to a free Sunday performance. Four finalists are auditioning to become San Diego's new Civic Organist.
Folks sit under the Spreckels Organ Pavilion colonnade and listen to the free Sunday performance. Four finalists are auditioning to become San Diego’s new Civic Organist.
Looking beyond the fountain in front of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Looking beyond the fountain in front of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Riding a bike through Balboa Park on a perfect summer Sunday.
Riding a bike through Balboa Park on a perfect summer Sunday afternoon.
A banner by door to the Balboa Park Visitors Center. Enjoy every little bit of summer.
A banner by door to the Balboa Park Visitors Center. Enjoy every little bit of summer.

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

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Scenes of life at Ruocco Park.

Walking very slowly, rhythmically, toward Ruocco Park, playing bagpipes.
A man walks along slowly, rhythmically, playing bagpipes.

Just before sunset I found myself at Ruocco Park, between the USS Midway and Seaport Village. Many were out in the warm air enjoying life. I saw people talking, laughing, creating music, walking, skating, sitting, catching a ball on the grass . . .

People at a picnic table and on the grass at Ruocco Park.
People at a picnic table and on the grass at Ruocco Park.
Couple rolls down the Embarcadero on inline skates and a skateboard.
Couple rolls down the Embarcadero on inline skates and a skateboard.
Kid looks with yearning at an ice cream seller's cart.
Kid looks with yearning at an ice cream seller’s cart.
Folks talk as the sun approaches the horizon.
Folks quietly talk as the sun approaches the horizon.
A family walks along and gazes out at a sunlit ship.
A family walks along and gazes out at a sunlit ship.
A slow walk along San Diego Bay at Ruocco Park.
A slow walk along San Diego Bay at Ruocco Park.
A couple sits on a bench inside a work of public art, The Riparium, in a corner of Ruocco Park.
A couple sits on a bench inside a work of public art, The Riparium, in a corner of Ruocco Park.

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!

Comic-Con insanity! More cosplay and a TV star!

An uncanny cosplay of Spock!
An uncanny cosplay of Spock!

Here comes another big dose of 2017 Comic-Con insanity! Check out all these photos of great, inventive cosplay! And other cool stuff! And I had a sighting of a big TV star, too!

A happy Star Wars family heads down Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp during 2017 Comic-Con.
A happy Star Wars family heads down Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp during 2017 Comic-Con.
This member of the Fantastic Four seems embarrassed. Probably due to their last movie.
This member of the Fantastic Four seems embarrassed. Probably due to their last movie.
I'm not sure what this dog's super power is.
I’m not sure what this dog’s super power is.
Lots of leathery costumes. I see Flash and Deadpool.
Lots of leathery costumes. I see Flash and Deadpool.
Now that is one wicked Venom cosplay!
Now that is one wicked Venom cosplay!
She-Hulk and Raven cosplay during 2017 San Diego Comic-Con!
She-Hulk and Raven cosplay during 2017 San Diego Comic-Con!
An awesome Dumbledore cosplay!
An awesome Dumbledore cosplay!
Walking around Comic-Con is like voyaging through a crazy, wacky, wonderful dream.
Walking around Comic-Con is like voyaging through a crazy, wacky, wonderful dream.
A tiny alien gives me the thumbs up near the Donut Bar.
A tiny alien gives me the thumbs up near the Donut Bar.
A steampunk Ghostbuster shows me his very cool proton pack.
A steampunk Ghostbuster shows me his very cool proton pack.
Donate blood during Comic-Con at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel and you'll get this cool shirt!
Donate blood during Comic-Con at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel and you’ll get this cool shirt!
A friendly Harry Potter says hello.
A friendly Harry Potter says hello.
Even Flash can't remove his eyes from that spellbinding phone.
Even Flash can’t remove his eyes from that spellbinding phone.
This might be my favorite cosplay. Opera Bugs Bunny! What's Opera, Doc?
This might be my favorite cosplay. Opera Bugs Bunny! What’s Opera, Doc?
Members of the Montrose Magpies Quidditch team!
Members of the Montrose Magpies Quidditch team!
I was told this is a cosplay of Spartan Mandalorian.
I was told this is a cosplay of Spartan Mandalorian.
Must be out of web fluid. Because Spiderman's hanging at the end of the line.
Must be out of web fluid. Because Spiderman’s hanging at the end of the line.
It doesn't seem people talk to each other anymore. Perhaps escapism can go too far?
A similar sight everywhere. People don’t talk to each other like they used to. Perhaps escapism can go too far?
Cosplay from Dragonball Z.
Cosplay from Dragonball Z.
A morning session of Ninjago yoga (ninjoga) at Comic-Con!
A morning session of Ninjago yoga (Ninjoga) at Comic-Con!
Princess Leia sets up a cut-out of Bernie Sanders.
Princess Leia sets up a cut-out of Bernie Sanders.
Meet Mr. Nice guy!
Meet Mr. Nice guy!
Cosplay of a Star Wars Jawa.
Cosplay of a Star Wars Jawa.
This must be Captain A-mario.
This must be Captain A-mario.
Lightsabers and minions...
Lightsabers and minions…
Bare-chested Outlander guys were getting lots of attention near the Omni.
Bare-chested Outlander guys were getting lots of attention near the Omni.
This guy is raising awareness about the charitable organization Oxfam. They are providing help for refugees.
This guy is raising awareness about the charitable organization Oxfam. They are providing help for refugees during the current crisis. Refugees are real people in a real world.
Actor Grant Gustin, who plays the superhero Flash on CW looks down on the Comic-Con crowd from a Hard Rock Hotel balcony.
Actor Grant Gustin, who plays the superhero Flash on CW looks down on the Comic-Con crowd from a Hard Rock Hotel balcony.
Three large Alien eggs on display. I didn't hang around because I noticed one was opening.
Three large Alien eggs on display. I didn’t hang around because I noticed one was opening.
A good old fashioned Stormtrooper.
A good old-fashioned Stormtrooper.
And a very inventive Star Wars speeder!
And a very inventive Star Wars speeder!
Hi Gumby and Pokey!
Hi Gumby and Pokey!

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!

Super fan is first in line for Conan at Comic-Con!

This super fan is the very first in line for the Conan O'Brien show at 2017 San Diego Comic-Con!
This super fan is the very first in line for the Conan O’Brien show at 2017 San Diego Comic-Con!

A line has already started next to the Spreckels Theatre. That’s where Conan O’Brien will treat audiences to his unique humor later this week. The Conan talk show on TBS is returning to Comic-Con once again! Get ready for ConanCon in San Diego!

Who is the first in line? A super fan! She smiled for my camera!

Conan's show on TBS will be staged inside the Spreckels Theatre July 19-22.
Conan’s funny talk show on TBS will be staged inside the Spreckels Theatre July 19-22.
Here on First Avenue next to the Spreckels Theatre is where a huge line will grow. Team Coco ticket pick up!
Here on First Avenue next to the Spreckels Theatre is where a huge line will grow. Team Coco ticket pick up!
This guy had to settle for first in line at a Conan bus stop on Broadway!
This guy had to settle for first in line at a Conan bus stop on Broadway!

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!

Time, memory, and the history of Old Town.

Photographs of Old Town's history slowly fade with the passage of time.
Photographs of Old Town’s history slowly fade with the passage of time.

I recently walked down a few streets in Old Town that are seldom visited by tourists. After taking photographs of the Old Adobe Chapel, I noticed that across Conde Street there was some sort of structure containing glass display cases.

Upon closer inspection, I saw this was an outdoor exhibit concerning San Diego’s early history. And that its contents were in a sad state of decay.

No one seemed to know who’d created this exhibit until I spoke to a cashier in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park’s visitor center, inside the Robinson Rose House. She told me the structure had been built decades ago for the Old Town Mexican Cafe and that the displays had been designed by a woman who loved history. But she had gone blind.

Time moves incessantly forward.

You can find this fascinating but faded exhibit on Conde Street, behind Cafe Coyote.

Displays behind glass windows include old photos and historical artifacts. This was created many years ago, I was told, for the nearby Old Town Mexican Cafe.
Displays behind glass windows include old photos and historical artifacts. This was created many years ago, I was told, for the nearby Old Town Mexican Cafe.
It is silks, satin and fancy soaps, blue jackets, denims and bear grease... It is Richard Henry Dana visiting the pulperia...rowdy sailors, soldiers; gambling and vigilantes...
It is silks, satin and fancy soaps, blue jackets, denims and bear grease… It is Richard Henry Dana visiting the pulperia…rowdy sailors, soldiers; gambling and vigilantes…
Early residents of Old Town, slowly fading.
Early residents of Old Town, fading away.
A collection of photos show life as it was in Old Town San Diego.
A collection of photos show life as it was in Old Town San Diego.
It is chocolate cups, gunpowder, Louis Rose's seaweed mattresses... Spinning wool, Juanita's cactus garden...a game of basketball behind Seeley Stable...
It is chocolate cups, gunpowder, Louis Rose’s seaweed mattresses… Spinning wool, Juanita’s cactus garden…a game of basketball behind Seeley Stable…
More old photos. Life remembered here as it once was...
More old photos. Life remembered here as it once was…
A few household objects in one display case. Perhaps life those many years ago wasn't so very different...
A few household objects in one display case. Perhaps life those many years ago wasn’t so very different…
Youthful faces, now fading.
Youthful faces.
Faded by time, now ghostlike.
Faded by time, now ghostlike.
Memories of days gone by can be traced now only by adobe hummocks that the yearly rains are slowly beating down.
Memories of days gone by can be traced now only by adobe hummocks that the yearly rains are slowly beating down.
History captured, for those who might pass down the sidewalk.
History captured, for those who might pass down the sidewalk.
Palms grow. Some words fade.
Palms grow. Some words fade.
Wooden boxes were sunk in the center of Fitch Street from the river bank to the post office for sewage.
Wooden boxes were sunk in the center of Fitch Street from the river bank to the post office for sewage.
Photo of the Old Adobe Chapel. In November when it was complete, the little church could be seen for miles around...
Photo of the Old Adobe Chapel. In November when it was complete, the little church could be seen for miles around…
By 1866, the little adobe chapel was enclosed in clapboard and a new roof was installed. It served the community of Old Town for decades...
By 1866, the little adobe chapel was enclosed in clapboard and a new roof was installed. It served the community of Old Town for decades…
The Old Adobe Chapel has been preserved. Now a historical landmark, it stands across Conde Street.
The Old Adobe Chapel has been preserved. Now a historical landmark, it stands across Conde Street.
Decayed flag and old photos of tall flagpole at center of La Plaza de Las Armas.
Decayed flag, and old photos of flagpole at center of La Plaza de Las Armas.
Old photos of the Campo Santo Cemetery. Words describe: A mingling of men, women, and children from places and lives so different...
Old photos of the Campo Santo Cemetery. Words describe: A mingling of men, women, and children from places and lives so different…
One empty display case, graffiti and a place for the homeless.
One empty display case, graffiti and a hard place for the homeless.
A monument to the human desire to remember.
A monument to the human desire to remember.
Many years, many faces.
Many years, many faces.

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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!