While reporting on conventional news and feature stories, the La Jolla Light every once in a while stumbles upon an outlier — an unrelated story so bizarre, it’s barely believable, yet holds up to scrutiny. We decided to gather these stories for a new occasional feature called “La Jolla Lore.”

When Bob Gu, owner of China Chef, 623 Pearl St., received the sad news in 1974 that his grandfather had died, he and his father rode a train eight hours to his grandfather’s province. (Both lived in China at the time.)

Chinese tradition dictates that the son of a recently deceased male sit with the body for three days. So Gu’s father sat. On the second day, the body woke up. “He climbed right out of the coffin!” Gu said.

According to Gu, their family doctor had pronounced ShanZhuang Gu dead three days earlier.

“There was no breath, no heartbeat,” Gu said, “nothing!”

When the doctor was summoned again, he pronounced him “in perfect health.”

The doctor’s theory, Gu said, was that the rice wine his grandfather drank every day placed him in a reversible coma that apparently reversed. “It also probably preserved him a little,” Gu added.

Three months later, Gu once again received the sad news that his grandfather had passed away. Gu said he and his father “didn’t make train reservations as quickly as the first time.”

If you live or work in La Jolla and have a truly bizarre story you would like considered for “Local Lore,” e-mail