10 questions: Christopher Sickels went from teacher to developer

A native San Diegan, Christopher Sickels was born at Mercy Hospital in 1938. He graduated from Hoover High in 1956 and from San Diego State University in 1960 with a bachelor's degree in education. He taught for three years at the Alice Birney Elementary School in San Diego and then moved on to real estate development for the next 45 years. He has also invested in a variety of other enterprises - some were successful, some were not. He and his wife Karen have lived in La Jolla for more than 25 years.

What brought you to La Jolla?

Having been born in San Diego, I always knew La Jolla was a wonderful place to live - no doubt, the best in the world. I was particularly attracted to the village atmosphere in the 1960s and 1970s.

What makes La Jolla special to you?

The proximity to the ocean, the weather and the people.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in La Jolla?

It is a shame Edward Muzzy's plan conceived in the 1970s for growth in La Jolla was ignored. The plan allowed a few high-rises on the waterfront, but the trade-off was lots of open space so we all would have unobstructed views of the coastline. California's height limitation has created a barrier blocking the view of the ocean. We need to accelerate the under-grounding of the power lines and we must reach a consensus on how to resolve the homeless situation. We also have a wealth of merchants in the Village who need to be patronized.

Who or what inspires you?

Great writers.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Edward Abbey, Ted Geisel, Peter Newell, Ayn Rand, Henry David Thoreau, my wife Karen and Todd Figi.

What are you currently reading?

"Supreme Courtship" by Christopher Buckley and "A Gentle Madness" by Nicholas Basbanes.

What is your most prized possession?

Milagro Vineyard & Winery (my winery east of Ramona) and my antiquarian book collection.

What do you do for fun?

Grow grapes, produce wine, hike, read and travel.

Describe your greatest accomplishment.

Convincing my wife Karen to stay married to me for 33 years.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Carpe diem.

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