- P​epper Park, National City, California

Experience summer on the waterfront at Pepper Park

A​ctivities galore on the Port of San Diego's waterfront

2w ago

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.

Motorsports legends Phil Hill, Shav Glick & Carroll Shelby

Motorsports legends Phil Hill, Shav Glick & Carroll Shelby

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

J​et ski rentals are popular

J​et ski rentals are popular

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!

W​hen the bell rings, you've got a fish on!

W​hen the bell rings, you've got a fish on!

I​t was a little too small to keep, so they threw it back into the water and it swam away.

I​t was a little too small to keep, so they threw it back into the water and it swam away.

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

Y​our first sneak peek at the Home Page of my new "AutoMatters & More" website — COMING SOON!

Y​our first sneak peek at the Home Page of my new "AutoMatters & More" website — COMING SOON!

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

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Comments (8)

  • What a great way to spend a nice summer day! That boat looked like a lot of fun (although I can definitely tell you boat launches are tricky).

      15 days ago
    • I probably spent nearly as much time in the park as I would have spent at the lowrider car show that I was expecting.

      I've never backed up anything with a trailer. I probably never will.


        15 days ago
  • Great shots, Jan! Love the pirate flags. Be sure to repost in USA News!

      15 days ago
  • Jan, just some random comments/questions. Did other people turn up expecting the low riders auto show? You seem to live in a nice location in SoCal with access within a reasonable driving distance to beautiful locations.

    That fish that the kid caught was real ugly. I’d throw it back even if it was legal size. Imagine that looking up at you from a frying pan!

    When I was younger, and depending on where I was living, I’d probably be doing one of two things on a beautiful summer’s day. Either at the beach with friends and a cooler of refreshments, or exploring scenic and twisty country roads in my then current car.

    Now I’m likely indoors trying to stay cool, or outside spraying weeds in the blazing sun. Not quite as exciting as back in the day, but I still pedal around my neighborhood if it’s not too hot.

    Reading your post with all the photos was really relaxing…I totally enjoyed it. Good luck with the website. Don’t panic… a few days one way or the other won’t matter. David.

      15 days ago
    • Thanks David,

      If anyone else showed up to see the lowriders show, I did not notice. Perhaps only I thought that POSTPONED banner just applied to last year's show.

      I finished this week's column early. Now I have three full days to see how much...

      Read more
        15 days ago
  • What lovely scenery and great shots of the day!

      15 days ago
    • Thanks Eddie. After the disappointment of the lowriders show being postponed again, I was very pleasantly surprised by the variety of cool things to do in Pepper Park.


        15 days ago