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Thirty Years Ago By the movie's fade-out, Huyck and Katz settle down to wrenching squirms from the audience (the actors begin to weep tears of blood and to vomit live insects).... A cross-eyed Negro albino materializes beside the gas pumps to demand, "Two dollars, no-knock." In the back of the albino's pickup truck, under a tarp, is a row of corpses with slit throats.

-- "SPEAKING OF B MOVIES," Duncan Shepherd, May 22, 1975

Twenty-Five Years Ago Perhaps it did border on bad taste, this political cartoon. It was based on President Carter's pledge not to make the drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne an issue in the race against Kennedy for the Democratic nomination. The cartoon showed Mr. Carter, shovel in hand, standing over Kopechne's grave, with the caption, "I think I've found a running mate." The artist who drew that cartoon for the San Diego Union, Lee Judge, did not realize it would be one more shovelful of dirt on his own political grave. The 27-year-old cartoonist was fired last month.


Twenty Years Ago The janitor at the Ken Cinema is tired of sweeping up rice, toast, and vomit. The theater's management has grown irritated with the audience. And the young people who flock to the theater on Friday and Saturday nights for the midnight showings of their favorite flick, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, are impatient with the quality of the Ken's print of the film.

Riding the crest of this displeasure are the 20 or so members of the cast, which acts out the movie on the theater's floor as the film plays on the screen behind them. They were informed on the night of Friday, May 10, by the theater's assistant manager, Mary Lang, that they would no longer be allowed in the theater for free, and that the general admission for the movie had been raised from $3.50 to four dollars.


Fifteen Years Ago I recommend watching The New Tijuana -- .

Some of the old footage: Rita Hayworth singing and dancing at the Agua Caliente casino; William Powell and Carole Lombard gambling at the racetrack; Jean Harlow on the golf course. The program explains how Mexican officials in 1980 cleared the river zone of squatters by opening the city's dam and flooding out the shanty communities that had sprung up on the prime real estate. Some 90 people perished.

-- "TIJUANA ON TV," Jeannette De Wyze, May 24, 1990

Ten Years Ago Erik explains that although he lives in Long Beach, an area known for its concentration of Cambodians and Hispanics, the "melting pot" reality hasn't affected him. "I'm not a physics major," says Erik, "but I know enough that some things won't melt." I asked Erik if he had problems standing out in the crowd. "No," he says. "I've got what you call a fifth column--type operation. Me and my girlfriend, we look like your stereotypical Fred and Ethel on the outside, but on the inside, we're more like Dr. Mengele."

-- HELL.A., Adam Parfrey, May 18, 1995

Five Years Ago The intrigue surrounding city councilwoman Valerie Stallings and the Padres grew last week with the release of telephone records. Stallings or members of her staff used city phones to make 11 calls to Padres owner John Moores or Moores-related entities between September 28, 1998, and March 21 of this year. The first call was to a hotel in Houston. The next calls, two on February 23, 1999, and another on March 1, 1999, went to Neon Systems in Sugarland, Texas. Neon Systems is the company, controlled by Moores, in which Stallings reported buying shares on March 5, 1999, the day of the company's initial public offering. Stallings has refused to disclose the circumstances surrounding her purchase of the stock, the market value of which shot from $15 a share to almost $27 three weeks later, when Stallings sold her holdings; she pocketed a reported 267-percent profit.

-- CITY LIGHTS: "WIRED," Matt Potter, May 18, 2000

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