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From the Archives: The Original "How San Diego Are You" Quiz in 2006

What's changed, and what hasn't, in defining what it means to be a San Diegan


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“In San Diego, status as a native-born carries undeniable cachet,” then-Editor in Chief Tom Blair wrote in his March 2006 editor’s letter. “Next best thing is an ability to demonstrate longevity. ‘Came here with the Navy after World War II’ is a common boast. ‘Went to elementary school here’ is another. So, what does it mean to be a San Diegan?” The magazine published a six-page quiz to “determine how you measure up.” It was sort of a checklist or bucket list with 111 items, and if you scored a perfect 111, you could “call yourself a native—even if you just blew into town.”

“When we did ‘How San Diegan Are You?’ in 2006, it was well received by the public and other local media,” recalls Ron Donoho, the executive editor who compiled the questions. “I remember the TV stations picked up on it, and Jeff & Jer Showgram filled a big portion of one morning radio slot by reading and answering the questions from the feature.”

A lot has changed, but some things remain the same. Coincidentally, we highlight two of the same hamburger joints—Rocky’s and Hodad’s—in our 2019 edition!

In 2006, we had a scoring system with various titles, from Alonzo Horton (80–111 points: “San Diego’s founding father would be proud”) to Zoned Out (0–19 points, and the suggestion that the reader head back to Arizona).

Donoho himself aced it, of course. “Me, I scored as an ‘Alonzo Horton.’ It helps if you’re writing the questions!”

 

Sample items from the 2006 quiz:

❑ Forgot which fruit level you parked on at Horton Plaza.

❑ Protested the entrée of Starbucks in Ocean Beach.

❑ Have always hated Los Angeles.

❑ Rode belly-to-belly on the red trolley (next to a guy with his face painted powder blue) on the way to a Chargers game at Qualcomm Stadium.

❑ Can recite verbatim radio and TV commercial jingles for McCune, Hoehn, Baker, and Mossy car dealerships.

❑ Waited while the cast paused as a plane flew overhead during a performance at the outdoor Starlight Theatre in Balboa Park.

❑ Can’t imagine life without a Republican mayor.

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