Witches of Chamoune Avenue

A long time ago when I lived in City Heights, a colorful neighborhood of San Diego, my neighbor, Letha, died. That left two houses needing to be occupied. One of them ended up rented to a nice Wiccan couple.

The woman was about 5’1″ and about 230 pounds. The man was about 6’5″ and roughly the same weight. The woman had a Kim Kardassian ass and frizzy gray hair. She was also missing several teeth. They had recently adopted an African refugee, a 3 year old boy named Rhys. They moved into the little white craftsman house on the corner that was surrounded by very tall trees — including a monkey-tail pine that dropped five pound pine cones at odd intervals. Those that fell from near the top made the ground shake when they hit Earth.

September 21 rolled around and they spent much of that morning cleaning up the yard. Because I only casually noticed them, I didn’t see them arranging rocks carefully in a circle or setting up a fire pit in the middle. I took the dogs hiking and came back just as dusk was falling and noticed there were more than a dozen cars parked around their house. Later I noticed there was a fire and people were standing in a circle around the fire. They wore white robes, most of them, but some of the men, including the husband, were wearing purple or some other dark color. Little Rhys stood beside his adopted mom.

“Witches,” I thought, and forgot about it.

Not long after there were sirens and flashing lights. “Yikes,” I thought, “not another shooting.”

The next day the cops went door-to-door with flyers and small envelopes that turned out to contain invitations to a tea party at the new neighbor’s house the following Saturday afternoon. The cop said, “Hi, I wanted to explain what was going on last night at your neighbor’s house. It wasn’t a Klan meeting. It was a religious ceremony. Your new neighbors are witches so there’s nothing to worry about.”

17 thoughts on “Witches of Chamoune Avenue

    • They were nice people and we had a friendly neighbor relationship. They ended up buying the house. Probably the best part of the whole experience was when they brought their little boy around the neighborhood for trick-or-treat. I just thought, “Wow, I live in a neighborhood where real witches take their kids out for Halloween.”

        • They weren’t the spell casting black magic kind of witches. More nature worshippers. They were good neighbors which was very important in that neighborhood — it was the highest crime neighborhood in San Diego so good neighbors, who were peaceful and took care of their property and watched out for others was very, very important.

          • Good neighbors are truly a blessing. Our backside neighbors are selling their house, and I am hoping for good neighbors. It was peaceful and I want it to continue.

  1. I would love to have neighbours like that. Never a dull moment – ooh I could write blogs about it, enough food for a year. I could also write blogs about my new neighbours. They are OK, but they have their ways.

    • I might. They’re nothing but a chapter, though and that, right there, is the story. There is no place in the world like that block was from 1987 until I moved away in 2003 and THAT was a big mistake, though I didn’t know it at the time. I was sitting on a fortune.

  2. The last paragraph was not at all what I was expecting–the good kind of witches! I would love to hear more about this neighborhood.

    • They were wonderful neighbors. I’m going to write about the hood someday. I’ve done a bunch of posts on it here on my WP blog. You can search under the tag “City Heights” to read more. I really loved living in the highest crime neighborhood in San Diego.

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