back when

Thirty Years Ago From deep within a mountain tunnel a light is visible. Suddenly the tunnel is filled with a fierce metal beast, charging at breakneck speed toward the station. It careens around a corner and disappears down the tracks, a string of cars following. Lindsay is treasurer of the Pacific Beach Model Railroad Club. In this pristine land, he is a giant who makes the trains run on time. Fifty years ago, Italians paid for such punctuality with Mussolini. For model railroaders at the Pacific Beach club, the price can also be substantial. -- "THERE'S NO CRIME, NO POVERTY, NO POLLUTION, AND THE TRAINS ALWAYS RUN ON TIME,"

Tom Elrod, September 9, 1976

Twenty-Five Years Ago Pot-head Charger fans beware! Police agents dressed in typical fan garb are nabbing dope smokers and escorting them out of the stadium during home games. "San Diego Supernarcs!" exclaims Rita Chinneck, a fan who witnessed a bust at the Chargers-Rams game a few weeks back. "Here there were a bunch of drunks saying things and being rowdy, and the dope smokers were the calmest people in the stadium." -- CITY LIGHTS: "ROACH CLIPPING PENALTY," Neal Matthews, September 10, 1981

Twenty Years Ago Had the time been different, and the place, no doubt Marcuse would have continued on through his three-year appointment at UCSD. He met his classes regularly and, during summers and academic breaks, traveled abroad. He read continually, and although he was partial to classical music, he bowed to student enthusiasm and bought Bob Dylan and Joan Baez albums. He described himself as a romantic. He wept when he saw Love Story. A lover of animals, Marcuse kept small stuffed toy animals arranged around his bedroom and pictures of animals on his kitchen walls! He walked every day along the beach at La Jolla Shores. And until 1968, San Diego County citizens took little notice of Marcuse and the students associated with him. -- "ANGEL OF THE APOCALYPSE," Judith Moore, September 11, 1986

Fifteen Years Ago I fancied at the time that my English teacher looked a little like Natalie Wood, an actress who did more than her share to point me down the heterosexual path. (This connection unfortunately ensures that she looks more like Natalie Wood in memory than she ever could have done in fact.) And her characteristic stance, one foot angled sideways, balanced on the high heel, toe in the air, was made to seem more remarkable than time and experience have proven it to be. More ineffaceably remarkable, however, was the quantity of personal revelation that seeped through the crevices in the daily chunks of English grammar. -- "TO NATALIE (SUBJECT) WITH LOVE (PREDICATE)," Duncan Shepherd, September 12, 1991

Ten Years Ago A few decades ago, during the era when my friend Henry and I devoted many hours to exploring Tijuana, we found a saloon that I later learned was around the corner and up a block from where the old customs house used to stand, the site where the insurectos of 1911 overpowered Mexican federal soldiers and claimed the town in the name of the Partido Liberal of the Mexican revolution. -- "SOCIALISTS ANARCHISTS HOBOS CHICKEN THIEVES OUTLAWS," Ken Kuhlken, September 5, 1996

Five Years Ago When I was 27, Steve seemed like the most perfect man I'd ever met. Smart, funny, warm, affectionate, handsome. Steve taught English and history and coached volleyball at a private school in L.A. Like his entire family, Steve had graduated from Stanford. Because I was living and working in San Diego, Steve and I saw each other on weekends and talked every night on the phone. We went to Catalina in the summer and spent Christmas vacation in Mammoth. About a month before my 28th birthday, Steve committed suicide, near his parents' home in South Pasadena. -- KID STUFF: "MOMMY'S TIME AWAY," Anne Albright, September 6, 2001

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