Monday, September 28, 2020
MEDIA MONDAY / WHY IS THE LATE TOM WOLFE STILL A DORK IN LA JOLLA?
The author of “The Pump House Gang” (La Jolla’s surfer scene in the late 60s) died in 2018 and an obit ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune by John Wilkins. Wilkins piece offers background on Tom Wolfe, the pump house and its denizens and why Tom Wolfe was reviled by some that led to the “Tom Wolfe is a Dork” graffiti on the pump house.
TOM WOLFE WROTE TOO MUCH ABOUT WINDANSEA SURFERS
So claims a classic 1973 article in the San Diego Reader by Jane Weisman. Surfers in 1965 cling to the pump house in the Windansea beach area of La Jolla. Click here.
WHAT IS A PUMP HOUSE?
A pump house like the one above at the foot of Nautilus Street in San Diego’s La Jolla community is a City of San Diego water-utility station. It contains mechanical equipment needed to pump storm water run off into the sewer system instead of the open beach. That's Tom Wolfe posed with the pump house in the background. Tanned locals in beachy San Diego still are in awe of Wolfe's vanilla white double breasted suit. "We never saw that much untanned white on any of our beaches before or since," said one denizen. Photo by James Skovman, 1982.