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You wrote: “OK. You say “La JOE-yah,” I say “La HOY-yay.” Let’s call the whole thing … University City North.”

And that, right there, explains why La Jolla has become a joke.

If you had said Pacific Beach North, then at least you would be correct geographically. As I grew up in this area, generically referred to as San Diego, La Jolla started west of Interstate 5. One old-time resident of La Jolla said that the purists even defined it tighter. If you couldn’t see the ocean, then you weren’t in La Jolla.

But realtors and business developers started stretching La Jolla. It went east of Interstate 5, all the way to 805, and in some cases, beyond. Is that really the La Jolla of Girard, et al?

Here is another reason it is a joke. “Way back when” there was a Republican convention that saw a lot of people from the San Diego area attend, and report back. The people that went from El Cajon were dismayed to find out that their name tags said their name, and under that, San Diego, CA even though El Cajon has been an incorporated city for many, many years. At the same convention, to rub salt into the insult, other delegates had their name, and under it, the city showed as La Jolla, CA, which of course is not a city. La Jolla is a community within the city of San Diego. No, I was too young to attend.

Take that one step further. When the zip code system came to San Diego, the city of San Diego zip codes all began with 921, then the next two digits were the postal code. So for example, the State College (SDSU) area where we lived became 92115 and my grandparents in Normal Heights had 92116. If you were outside the city of San Diego, whether in a community or an actual incorporated city, your zip code began 920, then the next two digits were based on an alphabetical list. 92001 was Alpine, 92002 Bonita, 92040 Lakeside, 92041 La Mesa. And amongst those “not in the city of San Diego” zip codes was La Jolla: 92035.

Yes, now a community can get their own zip code, but when that happened, the story was that Republican money in La Jolla had their reward for all their contributions: Name tags at a convention and their own zip code.

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