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His own slice of serendipity

I enjoyed Dan Evans’ article in last Sunday’s News-Press & Leader, “Finding Serendipity at the Days Inn pool.” During the late 1960s I lived at the Aztec Motel in San Diego for a year while working as a teaching assistant at San Diego State College. The place probably dated from the early 1950s, judging by the wooden, low-cost architecture of the one-story building. An elderly couple ran it, with mostly Hispanic help. All were nice, down-to-earth people.

The Aztec Motel was close to the school, so I could walk to work as I could not afford an automobile. There were several restaurants nearby—one I think was called the Wagon Wheel All You Can Eat (for one low price). Fast-food places were still quite uncommon then.

Saturday nights had the usual quickie rendezvous — lots of slamming car doors on arrival, with loud action in the rooms. Still, most people were respectable.

No swimming pool or food machines were on the premises. To save cash, I cooked in my room with an electric fry pan. Washing my pots, pans, dishes and silverware was easy: I put them on the floor of the shower, sprayed liberally with dish-washing soap and ran the hot-water only shower for a half-hour. This was followed by a liberal dose of Drano poured into the shower drain.


The Aztec Motel has a website these days, but the place looks to have been enlarged (made two-story) and modernized greatly.

Richard B. Cathcart