Back When

Thirty Years Ago Five years ago, with the depot looking more like a white elephant, talk began about what to do with it. The Santa Fe Railroad unveiled plans for twin office towers on the site. The depot would be demolished to make way for the new $46 million project. That was when San Diego began to realize it didn't want to lose another landmark. Who doesn't feel regret that the Coronado ferry is a rapidly fading memory? So, the Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) began working to prevent the demise of the depot. -- "GREAT EXPECTATIONS," Rich Donnelly, March 18, 1976

Twenty-Five Years Ago WE, LEMURIANS, claim California as a backwoods outpost of our civilization. That is why Ogygia sends messages to those minds ready for more awakening. Ogygia.

MISSION HILLS, I'm not a dancer in the dark or the diamond in your eyes. Let it come as no surprise; I am with you. I am real, but on my own. Jenta.

FOAM-FLOWER, don't you think I have given care, I guess, to the wrong girls. I am attractive, yet my tears keep hurting more. Unloved.

MY BABY is a cry, cry baby. She sits on my lap and bawls. Cougar. -- CLASSIFIEDS, March 19, 1981

Twenty Years Ago Tanya was beautiful, intelligent, and had a great sense of humor, but on my first visit to her apartment I found myself face to face with a prehistoric monster. No, not Tanya's mother -- a real live iguana in a glass container roughly the size of a modest aquarium. I felt better when Tanya explained that the lizard had belonged to her former husband and that she didn't know what to do with it. But my romantic ardor was cooling fast as I stared back at the scaly creature, which looked like a miniature from a cheap Japanese horror film. There was an odor coming from the container. "Make yourself comfortable and I'll start some dinner," Tanya said as she disappeared into the kitchen. I really didn't want her to leave the room. -- "WHERE LIZARDS LOUNGE," John D'Agostino, March 20, 1986

Fifteen Years Ago Since 1987, over 100 Mexican migrants have been run down and killed trying to cross San Diego County freeways. Every night, hundreds wait, huddled in the bushes and gullies that line the freeways. They wait as the stampede of automobiles unfolds. For Californians in their cars, the freeway voyage is routine, a journey from work to home or to the nearby shopping mall. For the Mexican workers, the speeding cars stand between them and safe passage to employment. The cars are killing machines. -- "LOST IN THE GLARE," Lawrence A. Herzog, March 21, 1991

Ten Years Ago Grasshopper egg pods are crunchy like tiny Chee-tos. But they have a very distinct, resinous, planty taste. The waiter watches me chew. He says, "They're very clean. They eat only plants."

My hands tremble beneath my napkin. For an American who has sampled a great many things in many nations, grasshopper egg pods are, admittedly, a stretch. But I eat my grasshopper egg pod taco. And I eat another. At one devastating moment, Roberto suggests that I try a few plain, just pop them into my mouth, to see how they really taste. And I do. -- RESTAURANTS: "DINNER TIME," Max Nash, March 14, 1996

Five Years Ago What purpose does "gleeking" serve? Where is the word derived from? And do you even know what I'm talking about?

-- Brian, Clairemont

For anyone not up on weird, gross schoolkid pranks, gleeking is an advanced form of spitting. It's popular coast to coast, I'm told. Gleeking is spraying saliva from under your tongue. It comes out in a mist, not the traditional, unimaginative glob. -- STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, March 15, 2001

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