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'My First Day' Episode 2

Portrait of Donna Frye as a child holding a shrub branch
Portrait of Donna Frye as a child holding a shrub branch

'My First Day' Episode 2
'My First Day' Episode 2 GUEST:Donna Frye, former San Diego City Councilwoman

KPBS explore new ways to create stories you want to listen to particularly stories that originate right here in San Diego. Today we are bringing you next from a new podcast called my first day. Stories told by Sandy Akins about what they remember about the first day they ever spend here. The podcast is produced and hosted by Andrew Bracken. The voice featured in this excerpt is one familiar for her work on the San Diego city Council. As an environmental activist and later as an elected member of the Council. Here is Donna Frye. The first thing I remember about coming to San Diego it was probably 1957 1958 was getting off the airplane at Lindbergh Field. It was still on the actual tarmac. There was no titles or shoes. You would walk right down onto the landing field. I remember being struck immediately about the air. And felt very warm and a little bit of wind. I remember the palm trees and I remember seeing palm trees for the first time. There was a feeling as much as it was visually looking at this new place that had just arrived. Is sort of captured me for that moment and the fact that I can remember it so clearly shows what sort of impact it had on me. We came here in my brother and I and we lived in Pennsylvania, which is where I was growing up and a little time in Boston. When we came here, my mother was going to a divorce and she got my brother and I decided to come to California. In the 50s, that was pretty gutsy for a single woman to do. So just coming from a place that had very hot summers and very cold winters -- the air felt different. It felt right. Felt like a place that I should be. Even at five it felt comfortable. My best recollection seemed like it was -- it wasn't dark out but it was afternoon. For some reason I think it was closer to the evening time. It was just walking down those stairs and looking around and standing up on the steps and looking out and seeing the new place it just fell right in it felt like home. From that day on she developed a natural development. For a while I remember we lived at Pacific Beach in an apartment because I remember my mother not liking it there because there was a lot of drunk people. [ Laughter ] there was a lot of racket and commotion going on. I remember that. Then we moved somewhere else which I can't remember but then we moved to a house in Claremont. It was off -- it was a house on the corner. It was beautiful. It had this sort of around based fireplace. Very modern and it had a giant picture window, which looked out over Mission Bay. At that time Mission Bay they were doing a lot of dredging for the bay and turning it into Mission Bay park. You can see Belmont park, which was very cool. Down below the house it was all canyons all the way to the bay. There was no housing there like there is now. So it was a really remarkable place to grow up. My brother and I are most favorite thing to do was to play in the canyon. That is where we lived and we grew up was in the canyon. So we go down into the canyon and catch lizards. We would bring them home and release them in the yard. We also had [ Indiscernible ] those were the most beautiful lizards. They had all the different colors of blues and then the tales with the red tails and so we would catch those and bring them home and put them in the yard. Growing up there and spending so much time and being allowed to do that -- my mother was concerned because will come back and she would worry if we were going to be okay because we would get into a lot of misadventures. She did not like will bring snakes home but we thought that was the best ever. By having those experiences and being allowed to explore and fall down and being my knees up or fall of my bicycle and get cactus needles or cut my -- bring home snakes whatever it was by being allowed to do that, you appreciate it and make sure that it stays that way for everybody. Everybody gets to have the cool experiences that we did when we were growing up. That is probably would not be part of who I am or what matters to me if I hadn't been able to experience that when I was very young. That was city councilmember Donna Frye speaking on the new KPBS podcast my first day. It is produced and hosted by Andrew Bracken. To listen to the entire episode go to KPBS.org.

San Diegans share the story of their first day in the city in a new podcast.

My First Day is a podcast produced through the KPBS Explore project, an initiative to bring original content from and about the San Diego community. Andrew Bracken produces and hosts the podcast.

The second episode of the podcast brings us the story of former city councilwoman Donna Frye's first day in San Diego after she arrived from Pennsylvania.

New episodes of the podcast will be released each week, and excerpts will be played on KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesdays.