Dennis Rockstroh, who has been writing for the Mercury News since 1973 and most recently was its Action Line consumer reporter, has retired. His last column appeared today.

    So there had to be a favorite column, right? There was.
    One day, my editor walked over and asked, “Whatever happened to the Carol Doda sign?” That famous or infamous sign of the legendary beauty hung larger than life in front of the Condor Club in San Francisco’s North Beach. Most noteworthy were the two blinking red lights on her chest. So I headed for San Francisco’s striptease neighborhood and carefully began my investigation.

    It turned out that the sign had been removed in two parts. A man from Sausalito bought the blinking top part. But Carol Doda’s bottom was missing. I called her up and told her what I was doing. “I can’t find your bottom,” I informed her. And she replied without hesitation, “Well honey, I’ve been working out.” 

    So I’m done here, 70 years old and time to fade away.

    Action Line will go on hiatus while the editors consider its future.

    For me, every day becomes a Saturday. 

    As Bob Hope used to say: Thanks for the memories.

The photo below was posted by the Merc today with Rockstroh’s final column.

Dennis Rockstroh, far left, poses with Mercury News staff members who were working on Christmas Eve 1973. Also shown are: Jack Calhoun, assistant city editor (seated), and from left: Connie Skipitares, reporter; Eric Kammersgard, copy clerk; Bob Weaver, reporter, assistant city editor; Stan Moreillon, reporter; Judy Telfer, reporter; Ron Burda, photographer; Willys Peck, assistant city editor; Carolyn Foley, reporter; and Frank Sweeney, reporter/assistant city editor. (Photo by Dick Wisdom).

Bay Area Media News


  1. Dear Dennis, My husband and I have always looked forward to reading your column. You found real solutions for vexing problems your readers experienced. We applauded your effective advocacy for so many frustrated consumers.
    In addition to these successes, you knew how to engage readers with your easy , entertaining writing style which reflected your intelligence, wit and general good nature. We wish you a happy retirement but are missing your "good works" and good writing very, very much. B & G Agee

  2. Dennis, I recently returned from vacation to discover you gone. My loss, along with countless others. Your "Action Line" is one of the main reasons I continued to subscribe to the S.J. Merc. I had my coffee with you five days a week and now you are very much missed. May you continue to enjoy your every-day Saturdays. — VEJH

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