Journalist Carol Olten becomes La Jolla’s resident historian

Carol Olten was born in the Midwest and decided early on to be a journalist. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism with extensive studies also in art and architecture. A reporting and writing job with

The San Diego Union

newspaper brought her to California in the 1960s. She served as the newspaper’s film critic for 10 years and also wrote extensively about art and architecture. Olten currently is the historian for the La Jolla Historical Society and has written two books on La Jolla history. She resides in an historic home on Park Row originally built in 1908 by playwright H. Austin Adams, which is known as The Dreamery.

What brought you to La Jolla?

A 1965 VW bug. It was my first car. I drove it to La Jolla on Easter Sunday, 1965, and decided I had to live here. I had moved to San Diego only a year earlier to work for the San Diego Union newspaper and had been living in Ocean Beach. But when I saw La Jolla it was love at first sight.

What makes this area special to you?

Its unique history, the topography of the ocean cliffs, the architectural diversity of the residential areas.

What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

I’d create more open space, clean up the streets and sidewalks, and get rid of some of the crow and seagull population that seems to be getting out of hand.

Who or what inspires you?

Mozart, Manet and the fresh ocean air after storms in February.

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

My list would include Orson Wells, Frank Baum, A.S. Byatt, Nijinsky, Shakespeare, Virginia Wolfe, Frank Lloyd Wright and Ellen Browning Scripps.

What are your five favorite movies of all time?

Those are “Citizen Kane,” “Orlando,” “The Artist,” “Gone With the Wind,” and “Cinema Paradiso.”

What is your most-prized possession?

Currently: Jingles, my Samoyed dog; prior, Beau, my Samoyed dog deceased.

What do you do for fun?

Read; toss balls for Jingles.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My clothes! Every day’s an outfit du jour.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Laugh whenever possible.