La Jolla: Evolutionary and Revolutionary

In the not-so-distant past, or even today for that matter, La Jolla, much like other mostly urban portions of the country was itself delicately dealing with a whispered and shadowy anti-semitism. In the mid-century even real estate agents were willing parties to selective exclusion, though not necessarily guided by any ideology. It was recently revealed to us that the Jewish community in the ‘60s had another name for La Jolla – La Goya. It wasn’t until the founder of UCSD, Roger Revelle, discovered that the best educators to staff his nascent faculty were to be found on the East Coast and in the Jewish community. Through his hiring Roger Revelle single-handedly altered the residential and to a degree the cultural landscape of The Jewel. We invite you to discover an important part of La Jolla’s history as witnessed by La Jolla Insider and resident Anne Arenson Winter.

Growing up in La Jolla when it was “The Village” by Anne Arenson Winter

     My family emigrated to the US from Johannesburg, South Africa in 1977. At that point in time there were very few other South Africans and for that matter very few non-Americans in La Jolla. My parents travelled to various countries (Canada, England) and about four US states before determining the most suitable location for the four of us. Our move to the US was facilitated by the international company my father worked for. Our immigration and purchase of a home was also facilitated by some very colorful Washington DC lobbyists and Congressmen, one or two of which (we learned later) may or may not have been CIA agents. 

     When we arrived, our apartment at the Seville in downtown La Jolla was not ready for us so we moved into the LJ Beach and Tennis Club. It was April, my sister and I were not in school yet so we went to the beach each day, ate pancakes (a new delicacy) and watched I Love Lucy episodes. TV was amazing. We had barely been exposed to TV because it came late to South Africa and there was only one station with three hours of programming each night. Once we moved into the Seville we tried about 6 weeks of school (La Jolla Elem. and Muirlands and “graduated” and enrolled at La Jolla Country Day for the next academic year. I got an incredibly good education and made two lifelong friends there. Many of us still keep in touch with a number of our LCJDS friends. As kids, the most fun part about La Jolla was that my sister and I could walk alone anywhere in the Village. 

     In high school my sister worked at Swensens when it was on the corner of Pearl and Girard. My friends and I spent endless hours at the mall, at Wind-and-Sea and at the Shores unsupervised. We were never able to do this in South Africa. The not so fun part was living at the Seville where we were the only children and the only Jewish Family. 

     Our home was purchased from the extended Adolph Coors family at a time where there were “restrictions” on Jews owning property despite Jonas Salk’s premise that if he can’t buy a home in La Jolla, why would he accept a job in La Jolla. I always wondered if the Coors family would have approved the sale had they known the details. 

     Things had changed since Dr. Salk’s appointment, but not that much. I spent only three years living full time in La Jolla before I left to attend college and live in Los Angeles for 30 years. Despite keeping an apartment in La Jolla and visiting frequently, I did not come back to live full time in La Jolla until 2014. I regret that my youngest child’s education included attendance at a middle and high school in San Diego and wasn’t able to have a similar La Jolla experience as mine. La Jolla is a treasure. Today, ten years later there is not a day that I do not appreciate my house, my neighbors, my neighborhood, the weather, the smell of the beach and my memories.

Anne Winter - Then
Anne Winter Now

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