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Thirty Years Ago Writer Jane Stein will tell you that Golden Hills is the first place where she has ever wanted to live permanently. "I grew up in housing developments and shopping centers. This is the first time since I was a child that I have a sense of community. This is the first time I can go to the grocery and someone knows who I am." Freda, the barmaid, who is much older than Jane Stein, takes a cab every night four and a half blocks to her apartment because she is scared of the young blacks who yell, "Look at the white bitch in the short skirt." -- "GOLD IN THEM HILLS," Richard Louv, July 8, 1976

Twenty-Five Years Ago The idlers who guzzle beer beside Sam's Market in Mission Beach aren't sure whether they should still hang out with Max Manning. Since Manning testified a couple of weeks ago before the federal board considering licensing at San Onofre nuclear power plant, the guys in the alley have wondered if some hit man will come looking for their buddy. "I'm scared, sure," said Manning. Manning gave testimony about working as a "jumper" repairing steam generators last May in San Onofre's power plant. -- CITY LIGHTS: "FRIENDS SAY THEY HAVE THAT CERTAIN GLOW," Neal Matthews, July 9, 1981

Twenty Years Ago -- Somewhere down the line, in an unguarded moment, Papa Meltz spills it. No, he didn't exactly enlist to save England from the blitz. It was more like, well, to get away from his own grouchy pop. And no, he didn't quite battle the nazzies. Slipped on the ice, tore cartilage in his knee 10--11 months before Pearl. On the grounds of -- where was that again? -- Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont. Medically discharged, the cocksucker; and here I've been haunted by bloodlines, shedding my own psychic blood since close to the crib. -- "RICHARD MELTZER'S NAVY," Richard Meltzer, July 10, 1986

Fifteen Years Ago "I screen lifeguards in San Diego and Solana Beach," said Mitchell Goldman, M.D., a La Jolla dermatologist. "And of the 150 I saw last year, about 50 -- a full one-third -- have precancerous lesions. These are areas of the skin that will turn cancerous in the future. We're talking about kids between the ages of 20 and 30. And to have 30 percent of a population that age with precancerous lesions is horrible and very frightening." -- CITY LIGHTS: "BY THE SHORES OF MELANOMA," Colin Flaherty, July 11, 1991

Ten Years Ago Personally, I want a lunch-counter cheeseburger, good meat with fried onions, weighty, cooked flat, solid to the grip, with a dense, unaerated bun, sweet as a kiss and solid as a high school girl's femur. It should be dripping moist, undoctored by garlic powder, cream, or Worcestershire sauce, and crowned for graduation with a mortarboard of yellow American cheese. -- "QUICK TO BUY, EASY TO HOLD, CHEAP AND DELICIOUS," Alexander Theroux, July 3, 1996

Five Years Ago I wrote a crossword puzzle when I was 19 years old, and the New York Times published it. The event wasn't exactly the second coming of a young Mozart (and Little Stevie Wonder was littler), but I had Lord Byron beat (he published "Childe Harold" at the ancient age of 24), and I felt ready to answer to triumphant pats-on-the-back and general remarks about my youthful intellect and precociousness. It was interesting, then, to see people's real reactions when I give them the news of my crossword debut. They only had two. If you weren't a crossword solver, you put forth some expression of benign confusion, such as "Huh! How much does something like that pay?" or "Neat -- you must be good at math." -- CITY LIGHTS: "I BECAME A NUT JOB," David Levinson Wilk, July 5, 2001

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