Tag Archives: lemon grove california

I’m on my way right now!

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zoey the Cool Cat and I are going to stay with the larger-than-life theme that we seem to have going right now.

After I graduated from Texas A&M University, I spent a lot of time representing my fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed service fraternity. One of the chapters that I represented was at Texas Lutheran College; it is located in Seguin, home of the world’s largest pecan.

World's largest pecan

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That was the largest edible roadside attraction I had ever seen until I got to San Diego. Just south of where I live in La Mesa is the city of Lemon Grove, where they claim to have the best climate on Earth.

Lemon Grove, California, welcome sign

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m thinking “No.” as to the best climate on Earth, but it’s something one cannot prove one way or another. After all, some people think International Falls, Minnesota, has the best climate on Earth….

Lemon Grove was settled in 1869 but didn’t incorporate as a city until 1977. The 2010 census found a population of 25,320, in a city of just 3.88 miles, making Lemon Grove a densely populated city of 6,500 people per square mile (ppsm)! Not quite New York City with its 27,778 ppsm, but higher than San Diego with 4,003 ppsm.

From the early part of the 20th Century to the late ’70s or so, Lemon Grove was a city of lemon groves…. Hence the name. Oranges and avocados also were popular, but lemons were the cash crop. Sadly, there’s not a single lemon grove left in Lemon Grove due to the continued overpopulation of the Earth and the need for houses, restaurants, stores, and gas stations…………

Lemon Grove is, however, where you can find the world’s largest lemon:

The world's largest lemon

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Located at 3361 Main Street, adjacent to the tracks for the Orange Line of the San Diego Trolley, the world’s largest lemon is about ten feet wide and six feet tall. There are a dozen lemon trees planted behind the lemon but they never appear very healthy, probably due to that intersection being one of the busiest in East San Diego County. Imagine trying to produce lemons in the midst of car exhaust fumes, tire rubber, brake dust, oil fumes, gas fumes, cigarette butts….

When I was researching the lemon, I found a tourist site providing address, directions, and hours. Under hours, it said “Always visible (Call to verify).” Under what conditions might something not be visible when it is ten feet long and six feet high. No phone number was listed so who do you call to verify visibility? I can imagine the phone call:

“Hello! This is the City of Lemon Grove. How may I help you?”

“This is Russel Ray. I’m a tourist. I’d like to come see the world’s largest lemon. Is it visible right now?”

“Oh, I’m sorry sir. For that information you’ll need to speak with the Lemon Grove Tourist Bureau. I’ll connect you.”

“Thank you.”

“City of Lemon Grove Tourist Bureau. How may I help you?”

“I’m a tourist in town from La Mesa. I’d like to come see the world’s largest lemon. My tourist book says to call to verify that it is visible. So is it?”

“Well, sir. The world’s largest lemon is ten feet wide and six feet tall. Since Lemon Grove has the best climate on Earth, even better than La Mesa, I suspect that it is visible all the time.
I have lived and worked in Lemon Grove for 21 years and we have not experienced any phenomena that have prevented visibility. Well, except at night when the street light at that corner is not working.
So I would have to say, ‘Yes, it is visible right now, and probably still will be visible when you get here…. Unless we get the big one or the second coming of Christ, and then all bets are off as to whether the world’s largest lemon will even still be here, much less visible.’ ”

“Thank you! You’ve been very helpful! I’m on my way right now!”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved byThis post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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New library in Lemon Grove, California

Grand opening for the new Lemon Grove library

curtains coming soon

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego is building a new central library.

The citizens voted it down several times because (1) it was too expensive. (2) people don’t go to libraries anymore because of the Internet, Google, Wikipedia……, and (3) books are so last decade.

Of course, a great City Council will find a way to do things even when the public says no. I mean, who knows better, a Council of Twelve or 60% of the voters? I’m thinking Council of Twelve………………

You can see some pictures of the new San Diego library here: America’s second largest dome is nearing completion. At the time I wrote that post, the new central library was supposed to open in late March or early April 2013. Here it is May 30, and I think the opening has been pushed back to August or so.

But this post isn’t about the new San Diego library. Instead, it’s about the new Lemon Grove library. Lemon Grove is just south of me in La Mesa, and the new Lemon Grove library is about two miles from me. It was supposed to open on June 1, 2013. Unfortunately, it opened early, on May 23. Thus they took a page from retail and called it a soft opening. The official grand opening will be Saturday.

Since I am not going to make the official grand opening, I went over yesterday to have a little look-see. I was impressed. I’m really happy to see that libraries are remaking themselves so that they will still be relevant decades from now — books, audio books, DVDs, CDs, computers………….

New library in Lemon Grove, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

New library in Lemon Grove, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

New library in Lemon Grove, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

New library in Lemon Grove, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The library is very bright and open with natural light streaming in from walls of arched windows and lending itself to not being stuffy like so many libraries. At nearly 13,000 square feet, the Mission-style library features a grand staircase entry, Friends of the Lemon Grove Library bookstore, a computer room, project rooms, and a new community room.

New library in Lemon Grove, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The middle school campus of the Lemon Grove Academy for the Sciences and Humanities is connected to the library on one side. During school hours, children have their own private entrance into the library. How cool is that?!!

Lemon Grove Academy for the Sciences and Humanities

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The new library is located at 3001 School Lane. Kinda makes sense. The Grand Opening celebration will be Saturday, June 1, at 10:00 a.m.

Map to new Lemon Grove library

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and since I love books
I approve this post!Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The world's largest lemon

World’s largest lemon, the lips, and going with your feelings

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Just south of where I live in La Mesa is Lemon Grove.

Lemon Grove, California, welcome sign

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lemon Grove was first settled in 1869 by sheep rancher Robert Allison. Other settlers followed — vegetable farmers, and sheep and poultry ranchers.

In the early 1900s, the citrus industry was booming, and many of the Lemon Grove farms and ranches were converted to citrus groves, mostly lemons but also oranges. Sadly, there’s not a single lemon (or orange) grove left in Lemon Grove, California.

It was at that time that the community became known as Lemon Grove, and on July 1, 1977, the name was made official when Lemon Grove incorporated as a city.

As of the 2010 census, the population was 25,320 spread out over 3.88 miles, giving the city a population density of a whopping 6,500 people per square mile. It doesn’t feel that dense when you go over there.

In 1930-31, Lemon Grove was the center of the first successful school desegretation court decision in the history of the United States. The case resulted from the Lemon Grove school board deciding to build a separate school for chilcren of Mexican heritage.

On January 5, 1931, Jerome Green, the Lemon Grove Grammar School principal, under instructions from school trustees, refused to let Mexican children enter the school and directed them to the new school. Children previously had been instructed by their parents to return home if they were sent to the new school. Ultimately parents refused to send their children to the new school, resulting in a boycott since they were not allowed back at the Grammar School.

In the court case that resulted, the judge ruled that children of Mexican origin could not be segregated under the laws of the state of California because they were “of the Caucasian race.” Thus laws allowing segregation of “Oriental,” “Negro,” and “Indian” children did not apply. The case is known as the “Lemon Grove Incident,” sadly making it sound rather minor and incidental.

I had not explored Lemon Grove in several years so I found some old things still around and some new things that had popped up.

First up is one of my favorites, the lips on the hillside at Lemon Grove Avenue and High Street:

Lips in Lemon Grove, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The story is that in 1977, a teenager named Stephen Garcia painted the indentations in the boulder to look like lips. Technically, the “Lemon Grove Lips” are located just a few feet in La Mesa, but the City of Lemon Grove maintains the lips as a piece of public art. The red paint is that used by the city to paint street curbs, officially calling it “curb red.” Occasionally the lips get hit by vandals who scrawl graffiti on them, but within hours the City repairs the damage.

Next up is the world’s largest lemon:

The world's largest lemon

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The world’s largest lemon is located at 3361 Main Street in Lemon Grove, California, adjacent to the tracks for the Orange Line of the San Diego Trolley. It is about ten feet wide and six feet tall. There are a dozen lemon trees planted behind the large lemon but they are not doing so well, at times looking like they are on their last root.

When I was searching for information on the large lemon, I found a site providing address, directions, and hours. Under hours, it said “Always visible (Call to verify).” I’m trying to determine under what conditions something that is ten feet long and six feet high might not be visible…………lol

Just down the street from the world’s largest lemon is the Grove Pastry Shop:

Grove Pastry Shop in Lemon Grove, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have been by the Grove Pastry Shop dozens of times, but I had never been around to the left side. I found a beautiful and pleasant surprise, four murals depicting the history of the Lemon Grove area:

Lemon Grove mural

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lemon Grove mural

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lemon Grove mural

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lemon Grove mural

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

While I was walking around taking pictures, I had this feeling that I was being watched.

My wise old grandmother always said, “Go with your feelings.”

Under the watchful eye of a cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat
and I approve this post!Zoey the Cool (wet) Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos