Tag Archive: Thom Halls

May 17

Cuesta College builds a campus

Cuesta College was moving to new buildings in 1976 after  early years in World War II surplus buildings.

Cuesta College celebrates 50 years this year and the first major milestone was when voters approved bonds to finance building a brand new facility to replace the 30-year-old wood frame military barracks. This story is from June 5, 1976. Story by Kay Ready Buildings—once whitewashed enlisted men’s quarters for Camp San Luis Obispo, now paint-chipped …

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Mar 01

SLO Uncovered – Pirate’s Cove, the naked truth about the origin of a nude beach

Pirate's Cove became known as a nude beach in the early 1970s.

Originally all the beaches in the county were clothing optional. According to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, traditional Chumash garb was a two-piece skirt for women and perhaps a belt for men. Then along came the Spanish friars and beach attire became more modest. When did Pirate’s Cove become the Mecca for nude …

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Aug 02

What do you want from life? The Tubes visit Cal Poly

The Tubes lead singer Fee Waybill sings at Cal Poly in a 1978 concert. ©2010 The Tribune/Thom Halls

Over a quarter century before Lady Gaga, the Tubes brought spectacle on a grand scale to the rock and roll stage. In 1975 the band released a self-titled debut album including the hit single White Punks on Dope. They won’t be appearing in a DARE commercial any time soon. At their peak the band had …

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Jun 16

Open wide, elephant caretaker

Caretaker Ray Ryan with Neena a 3-ton elephant.

Elephant breath checker? Pachyderm dentist? Sometimes you run across a photo that asks more questions than it answers. Fortunately the story published August 13, 1977 answers some questions. The photo at top was the A-1 teaser photo that invited readers to read the B-1 features section of the then Telegram-Tribune. Turns out Michael Jackson wasn’t …

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May 16

Telegram-Tribune darkroom

Telegram-Tribune darkroom at the Johnson Ave. office before expansion. ©2010The Tribune/Thom Halls

May 5, 1978 When the then Telegram-Tribune moved into their Johnson Ave. location the building was designed from the ground up to be a newspaper office. It was a first for an organization that had previous homes in a former auto dealership or above a brewery in what is now Mission Plaza. The building was …

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Mar 21

March snow blankets county

Laura Peterson, left, and Brandee Leonhardt, both of Morro Bay have snowfight on Highway 46 six miles west of Cambria. Photo by Thom Halls.

March weather came in like a lion in 1976 and was documented on the front page of the then Telegram-Tribune. Glad we didn’t have to get out the set of snow tires this year. Imagine a snowy Cuesta Grade, without a center divider. In 1922 a cold storm brought snow to the streets of San …

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Mar 10

Star Trek Fan Club Meeting 1978

Star Trek and Star Wars fan club meeting, 1978. Telegram-Tribune Photo by Thom Halls

The pitch to studio executives was a “Wagon Train to the Stars.” No, no, no, NO, not Hollywood stars, stay with me. Cue the music, Ba Ba BA – Ba BA BA BA BA “Space, the final frontier…” It’s a hit baby, I smell franchise. Uh, not quite. Though it would eventually produce more hours …

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Mar 08

Captain Buffoon, mornings on KSLY


Radio used to be entertaining. Decades ago it was local and staffed with real humans, the playlist was broader than the same 50 songs you have heard since for the last 30 years. There was room for surprise. Today most of the stuff that sprays over the airwaves is the sonic equivalent of cheese whiz. …

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Nov 28

1978 Carol Hallett and Ronald Reagan


June 8, 1978 A. David Chan asked about Carol Hallett and by good fortune I had her photo in the “someday soon” stack. Her biography says she was field office representative for Assemblyman, later Congressman, William M. Ketchum. Speak up if you know for sure, my guess is that she was the first woman elected …

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Sep 22

Ronald Reagan In San Luis County


Ronald Reagan at a fundrasier for assemblywoman Carol Hallett June 9, 1978. She later served in Washington in his administration. Above photo by © Thom Halls/The Tribune His first step onto the national political stage was stumping for Barry Goldwater’s presidential run in 1964. Then two years later Ronald Reagan did what Richard Nixon could …

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