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Fred Dickey's Island of Human Drama

A novelist who believes every life is an adventure.

Articles and Publications by Fred Dickey

 (CLICK ON A TITLE BELOW TO VIEW THE ARTICLE or PUBLICATION- Newest at Top)

"The Way We Are" San Diego Union-Tribune (UT) Newspaper Columns:

2017

I Wish You and Journalism All the Best As I Step Away             9/25/17

Remembering a Time When Movies Were Movies and Monsters Were Monsters    9/10/17

La Mesa Man Trying to Blaze a Trail to Make His Pet Legal    9/4/17

Young Republican Stands Up for Free Speech at UC Berkeley    8/21/17

Homeless in San Diego, but Dreams Keep Her Positive       8/14/17

Family of Five's Home is a 1999 Ford Explorer                       8/7/17

Woman Picking Herself Up from One of Life's Saddest Falls   7/31/17

Her parents may return to Guatemala, but she's all Americana   7/24/17

Troubled Past, Iffy Present, but Upbeat for Her Future    7/17/17

Stifling of Campus Free Speech Tied to Coddled Youth   7/10/17

Quadriplegic Exemplifies Meaning of Her Name: Hope      7/3/17

Combat Vet Met His Biggest Challenge with Grace, Patience    6/26/17

Volunteer 'adventure' in Iraq still haunts Derek Coleman   6/19/2017

Helping Fight ISIS Fed His Hunger for Adventure                    6/12/2017

Ethiopian Immigrant Knows Pain Like So Very Few                6/5/17

Her View May be Skewed, but She Knows Life on the Streets   5/29/17

Cardiff Man Sends 10,000 Postcards - to Ask for a Kidney    5/22/17

Family Dreads Scourge That Stalks One of its Own            5/15/17

Store Manager the Epitome of American Can-do Spirit       5/8/17

Detective Mo Retraces Steps to Van Dam's Murderer          5/1/17

32 Years and Counting for Police Officer Mo Parga           4/24/17

Cardiologist Recalls "Every Single Person We've Lost"     4/17/17

Young Doctor a Master of Heart-to-Heart Patient Talks      4/10/17

Desperation Over, Education Holds Promise of Better Life    4/3/17

Don't Mess with Makita the Macaw                                      3/27/17

Big Shot CEOs Could Learn from Grateful Food Server      3/20/17

Flawed Parents, Heartache and Challenges Don't Slow Teen     3/13/17

Another Trial for a Woman Who's Endured Heavy Burdens     3/6/17

Mother's Compassion, Strength Help Troubled Son            2/27/17

Former Marine Gives Hope to Scarred Former Foster Youths   2/20/17

Former Foster Child Confronts Injustice with Kindness     2/13/17

Long Before Prime Time, Tucker Carlson Was a La Jollan   2/6/17

Surprise Call Filled Huge Gap She Didn't Know Existed     1/30/17

Calluses Don't Cover Retired Ironworker's Loving Touch      1/16/17

Spirit Raised Up Interned Japanese Americans           1/9/2017

Well-worn Words for Success in Business, Life               1/2/2017

2016

Restauranteur and His Plain-Spoken Passions                   12/26/16

Oceanside Couple Faces Prospect of Double Death              12/19/2016

Amid Lupus, this Family of Three Longs for a New Home     12/12/16

Hunger and Bullying Didn't Dim Teen's Bright Light            12/5/16

Blind Athlete, Holistic Health Provider Sees Through Fears        11/28/16

Mother of 3 Making Peace with Cancer and Death               11/21/16

This Cardiologist Looks at More Than a Patient's Heart     11/5/16 & 11/14/16

Indians and Spaniards at Ystagua: Trade, Disease, Violence          10/31/16

Ystagua, a Former Indian Village in Sorrento Valley                        10/24/16

Eviction Would Add to Life of Struggle for Ailing Woman                 10/17/16

A Little Insight Goes a Long Way with Sully's Airline Heroics           10/10/16

College Sports a Meaty Topic for Someone Who Knows                  10/3/16

Joseph Wambaugh: Marine Turned Cop Turned Bestselling Author   9/26/16

Frank Words from a Former Diplomat                                             9/19/16

Challenging Sons Cherished by Dedicated, Proud Mom                 9/12/16

Boy Saddled with Difficulties that Crushed a Father's Will               9/5/15

Mother Keeps Going Despite Horrendous Challenge                      8/29/16

Environmental Expert Sees change Ahead; Speed Is Issue            8/22/16

Shortage of Vocational Training Earns Schools an "F"                     8/15/16

Ex-officer's Point of View Worth Hearing, Like It or Not                     8/8/16

Faith Has Helped Teen Through Very Trying Times                           8/1/16

Reverend's Commitment Not Confined to the Living                         7/25/16

Love for Acting Voiced Without Sounding Rehearsed                     7/18/16

Psychiatrist Won't Trust His Subjects, for Good Reasons               7/11/16

Freedom but Frustration for an Engineer Who Fled Iraq              7/4/16

Retired Judge's Reality Gauge Is As Definitive As a Gavel Rap      6/27/16

A Bright Future Overcomes Dark Past for Resilient Teen                6/20/16

In Backyard Brawl, Beagle Is No Match for Raccoon                       6/13/16

Comedian Tells One Story That's Very Far From Funny                     6/6/16

Heroin Addict Has Endured Nightmare, Still Has Dreams                 5/30/16

Deadly Drip of Daughter's Drug Use Hits Like a Hammer               5/23/16

Former Cop's Stories Both Amazing and Disturbing                       5/16/16

Woman Paying for Poor Pick of Guys and Other Errors                   5/9/16

Tough to Say Whether the Punishment Fit His Crime                        5/2/16

His World Started Small, but Hard Work Helped it Grow                   4/25/16

Retired Cop Saw Barriers and Leaped Over Them                           4/18/16

Family Heard Death's Knock at their Door in Encinitas                      4/11/16

Tiny, Packed Store Speaks Volumes about Owner                     4/4/16

Through Love and Loss, Boy, 10, Amazes with Maturity                 3/28/16

He's Doggedly Determined to Find Home for Deserted Pets        3/21/16

Fateful Night in 2003 Forever Shaped Course of Teen's Life      3/14/16 & 3/15/16

Struggling to Break Free of Heroin's Embrace                    3/7/16 & 3/8/16

Coach Builds Winning Ways for Women, On and Off Court       2/29/16

Bravo to an Achieving Teen, and a Truly American Story             2/22/16

Social Worker Helps People In Pain, Keeps Own Spirits Up          2/15/16

Desolation On The Streets In San Diego Was His Youth             2/8/16 & 2/9/16

Former Chief of Schools Sees Way to Fix Education Ills                          2/1/16

Strong Teen Unbroken by One Extremely Bad Break                           1/25/16

Life Goes on with Purpose for One with a Lot to Mourn                       1/18/16

World War II Pilot Flew Against Winds of the Times                              1/11/16

Life Is Tough, But Single Mom Has No Quit In Her                            1/4/16

2015

One of Life's Big Lessons Comes Early for Little Girl                              12/28/15

Determined, Hearty Soul Bears Weight for Loved Ones                  12/21/15

Fighting Hard for Life, for Herself and Her Three Daughters              12/14/15

Dedicated Mom Holds Hope Son Will Get New Lungs                          12/7/15

Young Woman, Full of Strife, Not Bitter, Fearful                              11/30/15

Rattlesnake Bite Won't Poison Her Love of Adventure                  11/24/15

Back Is Turned to the Kind of Life Most of Us Are Clinging To      11/23/15

Hard Life Has Toughened Teen, but She Still Shines                     11/16/15

Disease Narrowed His World, Didn't Dim His Spirit              11/9/15

He Gives Voice to Solutions that Many Kids Relate To                  11/2/15

She Took the Higher Road When She Was Knocked Down         10/26/15

Retired Marine Colonel Backs Women, Not in Combat Roles       10/19/15

Psycologist Sees Many Ill Effects from Coddling Kids                 10/12/15

Scholar Brings Spirituality and Philosophy Into Clear Focus          10/5/15

Images Linger for Manager of Crime Lab in Chula Vista                 9/28/15

War Survivor Welcomed Challenges of Medicine      9/22/15

Family Was Transformed by Occupation in World War II                   9/21/15

Immigrant Teen Has Little, Except Tons of Talent to Go Far           9/14/15

Care for Mom, 108, a Huge Emotional and Financial Strain           9/7/15

Ailing Mother Searching for Homeless Son in San Diego           8/31/15

Former Doctor Sees Challenges Mount Along with the Years       8/24/15

Comes a Time to Honor a Cop Who Inspired His Community      8/17/15

Contrarian Henderson Gives His Word - On Any Topic          8/10/15

Petco Worker Won't Ever be Slowed Down by Limitations             8/3/15

Teen's Growth, Reaped from School Project, a Meaty Topic           7/27/15

Hangar-sized Legacy Befits an Early Pilot Still Among Us            7/20/15

After Years of Living in Fear, Chaldean Finds Peaceful Home        7/13/15

Grandmother in Rough Shape Won't Surrender - or Even Gripe       7/6/15

Nothing Is Preordained About Her Push for Big Changes           6/29/15

Prosecutor's Mission to Fight Gangs Is Personal           6/22/15

Funny Man Making a Name for Himself                         6/15/15

Severe Abuse As a Child Left Her Scarred, Not Defeated       6/8/15

Determined Young Man Devoted to his Teen Sisters                                6/1/15

Love for a Dad Who Struggled as a Provider Came Naturally           5/25/15

Nurse Brings Compassion When Caring for Mentally Ill                5/18/15

Lovely Soul's Smile Hides What's Been Awfully Tough                       5/11/15

Loss of Mobile Home Park a Trial for Older, Wise Residents               5/4/15

Leads Few, But Search for Killer Goes On                  4/28/15

26 Years Later, Poor Woman's Murder Still Baffles Ex-cop          4/27/15

Armenians Will Never Forget the Horrors of a Century Ago     4/20/15

Couple Enjoy Long Ride with Clydesdales               4/13/15

Assimilation Was Never an Issue for Filipino Family          4/6/15

Good Man Seeking Mate, but There's a Bit of a Catch                   3/30/15

Scientist's Deep Understanding of Dolphins Part of U.S. Defense      3/23/15

No Matter the Obstacles, She Never Gets Down or Quits    3/16/15

A Drunk Driver and His Victim     3/15/15

Every Life Is An Adventure for Writer         3/15/15

Pet Therapist Has a Way with Animals - and Their Thoughts            3/9/15

Young Woman's Empathy for Foster Children Has Deep Roots      3/2/15

SDSU Scholar Has Firsthand Reflections on Nazi Germany     2/23/15

Unbearable Family Pain Drove Woman to the Bottle       2/16/15

Following Loss, Devoted Single Father Helps Daughter Shine      2/9/15

Doc's Proactive Approach to Get Healthy and Stay Healthy      2/2/15

Military Man Struggled With, Now Embraces Life Change       1/26/15

Staying Power Doesn't Begin to Describe this Phenom            1/19/15

Recycler Takes Scraps, Then Makes the Most of his Life     1/12/15

Former Cop, Investigator Retains Humor Despite Cancer   1/5/15

2014

Fellow Dealt a Challenging Childhood Now Has Son to Raise    12/29/14

Teen Saddled with Immense Challenge Sure Needs a Break    12/22/14

Life was Life until Husband Passed on HIV Back in 1988     12/15/14

Horrible Itch Had Doctor Fighting to Save His Skin      12/8/14

Her "Normal" Should be a Lesson for "Normal" Folks     12/1/14

Alzheimer's Won't Deplete Man's Devotion to his "Darling"    11/24/14

Young Mother with Troubled Past Looking for Way Out      11/17/14

As End Nears, He Keeps Focus on his Legacy, Not on Fears     11/10/14

Teen Has Risen Above Mean Streets, Stayed True to Heritage     11/3/14

Neighborhood Mobilized Over Stray Pooch on the Porch    10/27/14

Bishop Wants No Forgiveness for Rebelling Against Rome    10/20/14

Philanthropist Has Vision for Community - and Newspaper    10/13/14

Foster Parent Opened Her Doors, Heart to Scores of Kids    10/6/14

Jewish Boy in Germany Just Barely Evaded Hitler's Hatred   9/29/14

Dreaded Call from Overseas Shattered Life of Military Wife    9/22/14 and 9/23/14

Advocate for Breast-Cancer Patients Knows Their Plight    9/15/14

Poised Under Deathly Frail Son's Tightrope Is One Rare Mom   9/8/14 and 9/9/14)

State Parks Worlds from Ordinary for Career Ranger    (9/1/14)

This Dog Lover Walks the Walk by Opening Her Heart and Home   (8/25/14)

Great Awakening After Real Nightmare   (8/18/14 and 8/15/14)

Hard Work On Trail Helps Man Clear Away His Grief   (8/11/14)

Hope Is All One Mother Has to Fight Off Worry, Dread   (8/4/14)

Conversation at the Airport Takes Off with Great Views  (7/28/14)

Convicted Killer's Spouse Struggles with Her Sad Reality  (7/21/14)

Imprisoned by Meth, She Tries to Break Free  (7/14/14)

His Magical Touch Brought Many Great Joy  (7/7/14)

Tremendous Spirit Lives On Where You Can See It, Feel It   (6/30/14)

After Crushing Defeat in Olympics, Scott Now Goes Extra Mile..  (6/24/14)

Remembering Great Runner's Inevitable Turn on Grand Stage   (6/23/14)

Here Comes a Very Different Kind of Bride - and Groom   (6/16/14)

Rebel Has Been Finding, Fighting for Cause Since He Was a Teen  (6/9/14)

83-Year-Old Learns to Keep Living After Heavy Loss   (6/2/14)

Surgeon's Consideration a Cut Above  (5/27/14)

Surgeon Found Treating Cancer Patients Was a Noble Calling  (5/26/14)

Cyclist Stunned Hit-and-Run Driver Remains Unpunished   (5/19/14)

Psychiatrist Confirms That Laughter Is the Best Medicine   (5/12/14)

Harley-riding Former Teacher Rails Against College System   (5/5/14)

Dedicated Actor Still Awaiting Long-Sought Role as Husband  (4/28/14)

Teen's Journey Isn't Over, But It's Hopeful   (4/22/14)

Girl Rises Above Trials with her Abusive Mom, Life of Poverty   (4/21/14)

Activist Lawyer Makes a Case for His Causes   (4/14/14)

Woman and Grown Daughter Don't Submit to Stigmatizing   (4/7/14)

Immigrants' Survival Story All-American   (3/31/14)

Plastic Surgeon Wants Patients to Face Up to Limits of "Work"   (3/24/14)

Family Dealt Staggering Misfortune Is Still Sanding   (3/17/14)

Stricken Woman Struggles to Preserve Life   (3/10/14)

Gruff, Retired Teacher Has Tough Solution for Education   (3/3/14)

Delay Tactics by Insurers Spark Outrage   (2/24/14)

Russian Soldiers' Unleashed Hell Scars a Memory   (2/18/14)

Boy Witnessed Years of Death, Destruction   (2/17/14)

Drug-Addled Family Didn't Pull Teen Down   (2/10/14)

Weathered Soul is Rustic and Real, Even if His Age is Iffy   (2/3/14)

In the End, He's There for the Patient's Peace   (1/27/14)

Young Mom Challenged by Life on the Streets   (1/20/14)

Aging Order Trying to Give Away Bundle   (1/13/14)

In Slab City in the Desert, the Lost Find Home   (1/6/14)

2013

Hopefulness Lives Among the Homeless (12/30/13)

More Than a Victim or Hero - A Survivor (12/23/13)

Family Courage Hasn't Waned As Trials Mount (12/16/13)

Tackling Topics with Former Chargers Great (12/9/13)

Dealer Looks Back at his Life in the Drug Game (12/2/13)

Father of 3 Fell on Hard Times, and Got Back Up (11/25/13)

Retired Judge Did Justice to His Profession (11/18/13)

Paralyzed Cop Doesn't Want to be Forgotten (11/11/13)

Face To Face (11/10/13)

He Keeps His Focus on His Abilities, Not Limitations (11/4/13)

Writer Finds Hidden Truths of World War II (10/27/13)

Franklin Might Lose Only Home He's Ever Loved (10/21/13)

Mom's Addiction Cost More Than Valuable Years (10/14/13)

Pioneer Cop's Years on Patrol Opened Eyes (10/7/14)

Celebrating Acceptance of the Midwife (9/30/13)

Lest We Forget, the Homeless are People (9/23/13)

A Comic Walks Into a Bar and Discovers His Calling In Life (9/16/13)

Affliction or Not, He'd Be Quite a Catch (9/9/13)

She Leads in Ongoing Battle with the Bottle (9/2/13)

Grasping the Gershwin Tale Is a Matter of Composure (8/26/13)

A Dilemma of Hard Feelings and Sympathy (8/19/13)

Bird Expert Must Adjust to Playing It By Ear (8/12/13)

His First Career Took Off, Then He Tried Nursing (8/5/13)

Backcountry Philosopher in Touch with Truth, Beauty (7/29/13)

True Believers Keep the Faith in Healers (7/22/13)

Tested Family Never Let Pity Become Part of the Picture (7/15/13)

Heart Aching, Hope Fading About a Son Who Drifted Off (7/8/13)

Family Has What It Takes to Make Dream Come True (7/1/13)

Worry, Wonder of Boy Living Among Nazis Grip Memory (6/24/13)

Poor Won't Find a Better Friend than La Jollan Colarusso (6/17/13)

Diploma Not Nearly Enough for Tests Given to This Teenager (6/10/13)

For Better or For Worse, Here Comes the Judge (6/3/13)

Ocean Beach Woman Finally Has a Little Peace of Mind (5/27/13)

At Nearly 100, She's Living Life to the Fullest and Enjoying It (5/20/13)

Killer Recounts Santana High Shooting (5/12/13)

Vice Principal Disciplined in Helping Teens Reach Potential (5/13/13)

Boxer from the Barrio Battles Obstacles In and Out of Ring (5/6/13)

Infused with Independence, An American Travels Onward (4/29/13)

Ex-Bull Rider Has Major Role in Western Rodeo Scene (4/22/13)

Man at Top of World's Largest Law Firm Still Stays Grounded (4/14/13)

Vista Man Throws Off the Shackles of Illiteracy (4/8/13)

Man Comes Long Way From Arduous Life as a Child in Nigeria (4/1/13)

Caregiver Offers Comfort In Companion's Time of Trial (3/25/13)

Tiersa and Cheddar Bob "Just Trying to See the World" (3/18/13)

99 Year Old Was Great at Running Races and County's Jail (3/11/13)

No Case Grows Too Cold for Determined Investigator (3/4/13)

Old Homicide Cases Have a Champion in Detective (3/3/13)

Teen and Her Grandmother Can Teach Us a Lot About Life (2/25/13)

Performer's Uncommon, Gentle Nature is No Act (2/24/13)

Cardiff Man Looks Back at Escape from the Holocaust (2/18/13)

Using Surgery to Fight Fatness A Gigantic Step In Difficult Trek (2/11/13)

New Reality for Ex-Drug Dealer a Life-Changing Experience (2/4/13)

Bug Man, 90, Really Knows His Creepy, Crawly Stuff (1/28/13)

Mira Mesa Boy is On the Ball, And I Don't Mean Sports (1/21/13)

Wonderful Soul Lives to Guide Homeless Kids Out of Danger (1/14/13)

Retired Fire Chief Shares Some Painful Memories (1/7/13)

2012

Los Angeles Times Magazine and Newspaper Stories:

The Relentless Reach of Laura Heilig   Thanks to a dogged San Diego detective and DNA science, a killer faces a jury 15 years after a gruesome sex homicide.

A Message From the Grave Fifteen Years After DNA Scientist Helena Greenwood Was Murdered in Del Mar, the Science She Helped Advance May Have Snared Her Killer

Levi Strauss and the Price We Pay The Cost of Apparel Has Declined for a Quarter Century, Helping Make Americans the Best-Clothed People in History. All Is Right in the World, Unless You Ask How It Happened.

Prison Rape Quick Now: What Has 2 Million Victims, Turns Passive Men Violent, Spreads HIV and Could Be Stopped Overnight? If You Said 'Prison Rape,' You're in on the Joke.

Undermining American Workers  Record Numbers of Illegal Immigrants Are Pulling Wages Down for the Poor and Pushing Taxes Higher

A Final Resolution An Oregon Man Suffering From an Untreatable Cancer Lives in the Only State Where He Can Legally Take His Own Life. He Makes the Decision.

At long last, Abe gets his due -- honest A new library-museum delves into the president's life, with boyhood scenes, everyday insights, a re-created slave auction and other exhibits.

The OD MD Physician and Author Jay Cohen Says Pharmaceutical Companies Are Endangering Lives by Recommending Drug Doses That Are Too High for Many Patients 

 Going, Going, Gone How Gray Davis Gave Up California's Last Chance to Settle Environmental Issues at Indian Casinos.

Who's Watching the Casinos?     Indian Gaming Is Transforming California Into the World's Gambling Mecca. Does Anyone in Sacramento Care?

It Was the Cat..    Naturalists tell us that, more than any other cause, roaming tabbies are the scourge of the little creatures that struggle to survive around and beneath us.

The Disaffection of Tammy Bruce Once a Leader in the National Organization for Women and a Voice for Gay-Lesbian Rights, Today the Former Talk-Show Host Is Politically Homeless--Though You Wouldn't Know It From the Hugs She's Giving David Horowitz, Larry Elder and Other Conservatives.

California's Big Gamble     If Voters Say Yes to Vegas-Style Casinos on Indian Land, Gamblers Won't Be the Only Winners and Losers. Everyone Will Feel the Change.

Indian Tribes Win the Jackpot in Campaign Finance Today there are few special interests richer than the gambling tribes. They have spread casinos across the nation that generate an estimated $12 billion annually.

Taking a Life     Joseph Luna Was Convicted 17 Years Ago of Killing a Fellow Prisoner. Now a State Corrections Official Has Stepped Forward to Say Luna Acted in Self-Defense and Should Be Set Free.

A Hit Man's Guilt     John Patrick Sheridan Was Lucky. He Murdered 'Big Mac' McKenna and Got Away With It. Then He Heard About the Dying Man's Last Words.

Reversal of Fortunes     Battles are heating up between tribal operators of casinos and those rural residents who relish tranquillity.

Busting The Good Samaritan     San Diego Police Called Wildlife Activist Bob Farner to Remove an Injured Deer. So How Did He Become The Focus of a Criminal Investigation?

An Uncivil Discourse     The Uproar Over David Horowitz's Ad in the UC Berkeley Newspaper Has Challenged One of the Fundamentals of University Life: the Free Exchange of Ideas.

Beverly Hills Law & Order    When a 19-Year-Old Was Shot at the Home of L.A. Clippers Owner Donald T. Sterling, Police Sought Charges Against His Son Scott. But the D.A.'s Office Declined to File, For Reasons Detectives Still Don't Accept.

The Perversion Of Hate   Laws Against Hate Crimes Are an Idea Gone Sour. Prosecutors Apply Them Unfairly and the List of 'Special Victims' Keeps Growing.

Gifts From Greeks    Arianna Huffington Is a Brilliant, Captivating, Wickedly Funny Enemy of the Establishment. She Also May Be a World-Class Opportunist.

Worst-Case Scenario     The Story of Herman Atkins' Years Imprisoned as an Innocent Man Might Scare the Hell Out of You. It Should.

Still Afloat After Sinking at the Box Office    What ever happened to that sailboat in the movie "Waterworld?"

Heavy Days at Jenny Craig    The Diet Company Soared With Its Sensible Approach to Eating and Weight Control. Then the Market Changed--and the Company Didn't

Chicago Tribune Magazine:

American History Magazine:

Emperor Norton  The addled ?Norton I, Dei Gratia, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico? was also the toast of Gold Rush San Francisco.

San Diego Magazine:

The Return of Pete Wilson    This is a man who would suffocate without the oxygen of politics. 

The News Without Paper    As newspapers decline and the Internet increases its presence in the news-gathering biz, San Diegans turn the page to fresh sources for local knowledge.

Penthouse Magazine:

Chuck Mawhinney?Chronicles of a Killing Man   The man is kneeling in the tall grass, unmoving as a lizard on a rock. He has learned the finesse of the expert killer, which is not to threaten but to lull.

As Novelist:

Fred Dickey has sold four novels to major publishing houses, including Burial In Moscow, which was reprinted in five languages.

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