Skip to main content

San Clemente Journal

20 Fulfilling Years

Sep 29, 2015 08:52AM ● By Greg Niemann

Greg Niemann

by Greg Niemann

Congratulations to Don and Shelly Kindred and the San Clemente Journal 
for 20 years of enlightening the residents of California’s best beach town. 

My affiliation is personal as I’ve watch the SCJ grow. I had just retired from a 35-year business career and was seeking projects to keep busy. One gratifying experience was serving on the Board of the San Clemente Ocean Festival. That’s where I heard about Don Kindred who was embarking on a long-time dream of his, a San Clemente magazine! 

A member told me he was seeking correspondents and had noticed my publicity work for the festival. We met and the rest is history. We discussed a Baja column and kicked around some potential areas to cover. 
To debut the San Clemente Journal that summer of 1995 he hosted a reception at the restaurant then occupying the Old Town San Clemente Jail. At that first meeting to a nucleus of staff members and others, Don shared his vision. “I love San Clemente,” he said with a deep sincerity that has never wavered. 

The early days of his enterprise were filled with a lot of trial and error. He started it as a monthly publication, and then it became a bi-monthly. There were problems on several fronts, content, advertising, staff, but Don’s vision weathered them all and the publication not only became stronger but more widely read. It’s fun to a writer to receive comments about a story, some from people who don’t even live in San Clemente. 

Once Don shifted to a more comprehensive and doable quarterly magazine, he’s never looked back. The Talega development of the late ‘90s with the attendant advertising and businesses helped put the SCJ on firm footing. 

I wrote for that first issue – and every issue since. Along with my Baja stories, for a while I also covered businesses and interesting people in San Clemente, sometimes having three or even four articles per issue. Even though I have since moved to Palm Springs, I still have contributed at least one article per issue. 

Editor Anne Batty e-mails me with ideas or themes hashed out at staff meetings, so I’ve been there at least in spirit. 

Don’s vision has become not only a reality, but an integral part of the San Clemente culture. And I’m proud to have been a part of it.