10 QUESTIONS: Michael Mishler could write a book about old La Jolla


Michael Mishler has been the Archivist/Curator at the La Jolla Historical Society since 2008. He has a B.A in history from San Diego State University and a Masters in Library & Information Science from San Jose State. Raised in San Diego, he is a lifelong learner (self-proclaimed slow reader) and lives in Point Loma with his wife, Cindy.

What brought you to La Jolla?

At first, the beach. I started hanging out in La Jolla as soon as I could drive here on my own. Years later, I came to work at the Historical Society. What brings me here now is the chance to preserve and share the stories and history of this community.

What might you improve in the area?

It’s boring, but I’d fix the roads.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom would you invite?

I’m going to cheat and have my wife, along with La Jolla historian Carol Olten, host the party while I’m in the kitchen; they’re both good at drawing people into conversations. As the archivist, I would invite early La Jollans so I could get some answers to questions.

I’d invite Ellen and Virginia Scripps; shopkeeper and photographer Leopold Hugo, who left La Jolla and moved to Santa Cruz after being picked on for being German during the First World War; Anson and Nellie Mills, because they knew everyone and everything that happened in La Jolla; Green Dragon Colony founder Anna Held; and architect Herbert Palmer, who claimed to be the illegitimate son of the rather randy King Edward VII. I would invite Mr. Palmer just so we could convince him to take a DNA test. Finally, I would invite a certain Dr. Perkins, a gentleman who lived in La Jolla for a number of years and who, upon his death, was discovered to be a woman.

What do you do for fun?

I work here at the Historical Society. For more fun, I like to read too much, travel anywhere with my wife, and watch any movie, anytime, anywhere, especially with the San Diego Cinema Society.

What are you currently reading?

Oh man, I read according to my mood, so I have about four books going right now. They are “The Memoirs of the Conquistador Bernal Diaz del Castillo,” “The Best American Essays of 2014,” “Leave it to Jeeves” by P.G. Wodehouse and “Zen Guitar” by Philip Toshio Sudo.

What is it you most dislike?

As an archivist, I dislike finding documents or photos without dates or names. As the eternal 13-year-old, I dislike Brussels sprouts, eggplant, and the statement “Oh, that’s because you haven’t had them the way I make them.”

What would be your dream vacation?

It would start in Greece, and from there we’d see what looks like fun.

What clothing item article in your closet would you never part with?

The tie I wore at my wedding ... even though jewel tones are no longer all the rage.

What are your favorite comfort foods?

Pineapple Upside Down Cake, but only on my birthday; California Mexican food; and anything with rice.

What is your motto?

When I was younger, it was, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Now, I subscribe to, “Everything in life is worth it, if you get a good story out of it.”