Back when it was okay to pee at the beach

Thirty Years Ago For less than most athletic clubs (the Rowing Club is only S10 a month for students and military), one can use the club's boats (7 single wherries, 2 doubles, 2 four-oared; 3 single shells, 1 double; 2 four-oared). The most crowded times are Saturday and Sunday mornings when 10 or so rowers (out of 210 members) come down for exercise. There are parallel bars, rowing machines, a few rusty barbells and dumbbells. There are a couple of wooden handball courts, a swimming pier, a sundeck, a sauna, a bar, and a Las Vegas Room.

"THE POOR MAN'S COUNTRY CLUB," John Martin, May 8, 1975

Twenty-Five Years Ago "Some American students were opposed to the showing of a political movie. There's a very tense anti-Iranian feeling. The American students and the administration should let the Iranian students see what they want to see. The whole situation has been escalated by the display of the American bodies in Iran."

— Gitata, Business Student, Kenya


Twenty Years Ago Today my wife watched three beach "visitors" as they stood on Strand Way and urinated. This was during the afternoon. I drove home one night and there was some idiot urinating on my garage door. I have asked people doing this what they would say if I went to their house in the suburbs and urinated on their garage door. They couldn't come up with an answer. Just some comment like, "Hey, this is the beach, man."

— LETTERS: "STARTS AT YOUR DOOR," Carl Sundstrom, May 9, 1985

Fifteen Years Ago HORTON PLAZA. A dizzy, busy weekday noon. The perfect place and time to sneak a peek at San Diego fashion fundamentals. EXECU-FEMMES wearing sharply lined suits in this season's hot parrot's plumage tones make a beeline for NORDIE'S, their padded shoulders the perfect defensive tool with which to brush MERVYN'S-bound suburban MATRONS in polyester flower print blouses out of their paths.

LIZ LANG'S ON THE TOWN, Liz Lang, May 10, 1990

Ten Years Ago THE USES AND ABUSES OF BUKOWSKI. In 1987, spending a week with Roger Hedgecock on a dumb piece for this sheet, I decided to spring some Bukowski on him. Like here was this guy ranting about American illiteracy and how we gotta keep current with our arts and such B.S., a public figure, one of whose frigging poses was I-read-therefore-I-am, and he hadn't read Bukowski, hadn't even heard of him. This American author translated into 17 languages -- right up Roger's alley.

"BARFLY," Richard Meltzer, May 4, 1995

Five Years Ago I baked a chicken the night I left my wife. It was a chubby-thighed roasting hen I rubbed with olive oil and salt and hefted into a 500-degree oven where I left it to sizzle for about an hour. The hen's buttery smell filled the kitchen. Soup I'd made with the hen's neck, giblets, and feet simmered on the stove. Out in the dining room, my wife, my stepson and his wife, and two guests, chattered and laughed and complained they were hungry. Our Sabbath candles shone in their silver holders. The challah waited beneath its embroidered velvet cover to be blessed. "He monopolized my time on my honeymoon," is what my wife told Star and Bob, our marriage counselors, by way of expressing her past and present dissatisfactions. I sat there and wondered about my wife's use of the possessive, "my honeymoon." But what did I know? I wasn't sure of much. The only thing I knew for certain was that I was paying $185 an hour to a husband-and-wife team named Star and Bob to listen to my wife complain that I'd monopolized her time on her honeymoon.

"Interesting," murmured Star, toying with her chunky ethnic necklace. Bob picked imaginary lint off his taupe corduroys. Star, eyes wide with bland compassion, turned to me, "What are you feeling?"

"I'm feeling," I said, "that I have to go home and bake a chicken."

— TIP OF MY TONGUE: "CHICKEN," Max Nash, May 4, 2000

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