Posts Tagged ‘Jim Gillan’

Groundskeepers, maintenance spring clean

Martin Hipwell replaces a busted sprinkler-head.

Russell Lindquist

Story and photos by Russell Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–While the students are away, maintenance workers will … work, work, work! They will be on campus throughout Spring break. For them, it is business-as-usual.

Plenty of the work is typical: window washing, mopping, lawn mowing. Yet, with students temporarily missing from the campus (except for a few, here and there) maintenance workers and construction crews are freed to do some of the work that is too intrusive during Grossmont’s normal hours-of-operation.

Among the exceptional work is to pour new concrete in the Arts area so that the ground will be smoother thus less likely to cause students to trip.

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Meet Jim Gillan, groundskeeper

Jim Gillan

By Russell Lindquist

Russell Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–These days, the world can be quite fast-paced. Sometimes, it seems that there is just too much to do in a day. The solution? Well, here is an option: now and then, stop to smell the roses…and then meet the groundskeepers who keep those roses looking nice.

Born in Fountain Valley near Huntington Beach, groundskeeper Jim Gillan recalls his days of surfing in the mid ’70s: “I got a couple injuries…we used to go to the ledges and off the [water]falls, but after a couple of years grew out of that.”

Gillan’s mother’s family immigrated from Germany to Russia, then to Kansas and Mexico, in the early 1900s; his father’s side is Irish. His parents divorced when he was 14-years-old.  Gillan moved from Fountain Valley to San Diego in 1977.

“I wandered into San Diego without expectations…just in time to witness the crash of PSA flight 182 over North Park. I didn’t see it; I saw the smoke,”  Gillan recalled of the midair collision that killed 144 persons.

“Then there was the Brenda Spencer shootings,” in which a San Diego teenager who lived near Cleveland Elementary School killed two children and wounded nine others, explaining to the police: “I don’t like Mondays.” 

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