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Thirty Years Ago How do 13 parking controllers cover the entire city? "It isn't easy," said Sammons, sitting in his Traffic Department office near 6th and Market Street. Complaints of underenforcement are regularly received from shopkeepers downtown and residents in Southeast San Diego. "In La Jolla," Sammons continued, "we receive complaints for both underenforcement and overenforcement." La Jolla residents and businesspeople want more tickets issued, while people who drive to work there find themselves receiving tickets repeatedly. "You're always going to have complaints," Sammons intoned wearily. -- "SISTER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME?" Judith Lin, February 12, 1976

Twenty-Five Years Ago Hedda was wild about the new Redhead in the marsh but he didn't seem to know that she existed. There was definitely something special about his large, round, absolutely chestnut-red head. Never before had she seen a Redhead with such a proud, black breast. She could see the black area under his tail, and her breath caught. She would make him notice her. Smoothing the soft brown feathers that she wore around her throat, she glided gracefully, nay, seductively, over to him. He didn't bat an eye. She circled him soundlessly, round and round. Oh heartless Redhead! -- "DUCKS & OTHERS," Amy Chu, February 19, 1981

Twenty Years Ago It wouldn't be as tall as Godzilla, but the colossal statue would loom above the power lines in Leucadia, seizing the attention of motorists on the nearby freeway. Which is the reason the Fares family says it wants to erect a 32-foot bronze figure of the Madonna on land they own next to Interstate 5, at Plato Place and Piraeus Street: They want people to drive up to the statue, look at the surrounding garden, and think spiritual thoughts. -- CITY LIGHTS: "THIRTY-TWO FEET WORTH OF FAITH," Brae Canlen, February 20, 1986

Fifteen Years Ago The very first letter I received as a columnist for the Gay and Lesbian Nation, from a woman named Christine, was so offensive and so appalled and frustrated me that my immediate reaction to it was Uzi Time. No more trying to make people understand anything about racism. Bring out the uzi and let the uzi do the talking. But it's madness to think like this, isn't it -- to bring out the uzi, lean out of my window, and start blasting away? Perhaps. Yet considering the problem of racism and of racists like Christine and others (so many others!), the one thing that stands out is how, over the years, so little has changed. The uzi, real and symbolic, is a way of eradicating from my mind and spirit the effects of their illness. -- "WHITE NOISE," M. Corinne Mackey, February 21, 1991

Ten Years Ago Rosmarie Trapp speaks by phone from Vermont, a hint of German in her voice. Her mother, Maria von Trapp, wrote The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (1949), from which was adapted The Sound of Music. "Then the Lord brought me to Homestead, Pennsylvania, where I joined our nondenominational church, the Community of the Crucified One.... I have slides; I show them photographs from our real life. I wear Austrian clothes. And we sing The Sound of Music songs -- 'Edelweiss,' 'My Favorite Things,' 'Do-Re-Mi,' 'Climb Ev'ry Mountain.'"

Are other von Trapps members of her church?

"There's only myself and my niece Barbara, who lives in San Diego. She's married to the reverend there." -- CALENDAR: "I WEAR AUSTRIAN CLOTHES," Mani Mir, February 15, 1996

Five Years Ago My mother parked the truck on my foot three hours after my father told me that he loved me. It was March 1965, I was 20 years old, and that was the first time my father ever said anything like that to me. The half-ton pickup truck parked on my foot was also a first. -- "GENERATIONS," Hawkins Mitchell, February 15, 2001

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