La Jolla has the La Jolla Cove, the La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla Shores, the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club …
That's all pretty sweet. However, what it won't soon have is a submarine.
The USS La Jolla is going out of commission. And that's Good and Bad.
It's Good because the submarine — a Los Angeles-class fast-attack sub — had quite the 34-year-long distinguished career. It's Bad because, well, La Jolla won't have a submarine bearing its name any longer.
Will La Jolla stay on the map? Will it still be relevant?
Um, we think so.
Still, it had to be pretty cool to have a navy ship named after your community. There's no such thing as the USS Ocean Beach. It would have to be hemp-powered.
There's no such thing as the USS Pacific Beach. Beer-powered.
The USS Hillcrest? Paint it in rainbow colors, please.
The USS La Jolla was supposed to be called the USS San Diego, but it turned out another ship already had that name. Apparently, you can't have two ships with the same name. So a San Diego Congressman at the time, the late Bob Wilson, told the Navy he wanted the sub to be named the USS La Jolla.
And that was the case even though this class of subs were named after cities, not wealthy, beach-side enclaves. For instance, some of the names for the subs were Boston, Baltimore, Dallas, New York City, Houston, Buffalo ...
Not, say, Beverly Hills.
But, according to the U-T San Diego, Wilson had some clout and he wanted the name La Jolla.
La Jolla is where his wife, Shirley, lived before they married. She owned a restaurant and several beauty salons, according to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. She christened the submarine when the sub was launched in 1979. And this is kind of cool. When the sub came home from duty, she would help host welcoming-home events, such as treating the sailors to lunch. She passed away in March.
The submarine was homeported for many years in San Diego. Its most recent home was Pearl Harbor. It left October 15 on its final journey, stopping at San Diego recently — for one last time, sniff sniff — before going to Norfolk, Va.
It will ultimately serve as a training platform in Naval Support Activity, in Charleston, S.C.
We never thought we'd say this, but …
Poor La Jolla.