Classifeds to Christmas Tree Fires

Photo Credit: San Diego Historical Society
  • Photo Credit: San Diego Historical Society

Thirty Years Ago DENISE: How about going cruising sometime on ATCs?! We can go pick up Mike & Scott. I can dig it!! (Crown Point) Sue.

GIRL ON BICYCLE: We shared a smile on 42nd & El Cajon Thursday, Dec. 8. How about sharing some more? Reply through Reader. Off-blue pickup.

VIGI: When Jackson Browne was on the late show he was wearing my shoes. Tony.

BEETHOVEN'S FIFTH was based upon the scent of fresh garlic. SFS. --CLASSIFIEDS, December 22, 1977

Twenty-Five Years Ago Dear Matthew Alice: I recently went to a Chinese restaurant in Hillcrest which specializes in Mandarin and Szechwan cuisine. I ordered Kung Pao shrimp to go. When I got home I discovered nothing similar to Kung Pao shrimp in the carton. Laws govern substitution (abalone must be abalone, not squid or octopus), size of portions, method of preparation (baked ham must be baked), graphics (your burger must look like its picture on the menu), and so on. But as Jim Waddell of the state department of health services says, as long as your dish had shrimp in it, it was legally Kung Pao shrimp. -- STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, December 23, 1982

Twenty Years Ago Mayor Maureen O'Connor loves taking credit for the San Diego Trolley's success. "On time and under budget!" she brags when telling voters how she helped get the red cars rolling. And O'Connor soaked up national publicity this month when CBS's 60 Minutes let her gush about the Little Trolley That Could. But when important, often tedious meetings are held to discuss the trolley's finances, its present performance, and future expansion, O'Connor is usually missing. -- THE INSIDE STORY, Paul Krueger, December 23, 1987

Fifteen Years Ago It was almost a year ago exactly that I was sharing an apartment in North Park with a cherubic-looking yet ferretlike little man I didn't know very well. Around the first of October, after being roommates for four months and lending him money almost daily, he took my rent money and my half of the security deposit -- 750 of my favorite dollars all told -- and disappeared. He chose to take a powder on the day after the body of nine-year-old Amanda Gaeke was found in a canyon some 50 yards from our address. He had also left behind blood-soaked towels, Levis, and T-shirts, which were later determined to be his own blood, but meantime he had become a suspect in the girl's killing. --"LOSS OF CONTROL," John Brizzolara, December 23, 1992

Ten Years Ago Of course, we've heard all this before. We've seen the "Jesus is the reason for the season" billboards, heard the reminders that the poor are with us always, not just for the holidays, to the point where we enjoy the prick of guilt. We feel better if we can admit that it's all a sham, albeit a fun sham, and go on our merry way. As if the mere acknowledgment of the humbug made it okay. "Ouch, we're spiritually bankrupt, selfish, and materialistic. Whatever. Isn't this a darling sweater?" -- "WHY WE WROTE STORIES," Matt Lickona and Ernie Grimm, December 24, 1997

Five Years Ago I told myself it wouldn't happen to me. I would never become like the worrywart-old gals in my family, the kind who think of deadly falls whenever a kid climbs a tree or pneumonia whenever someone coughs. But now, a few shades past 30, I found myself in a panic over Christmas-tree fires. I started looking into home extinguishers. On that score, my meeting with David Burk, division chief fire marshal for La Mesa, didn't help much. Burk showed me a video of a Christmas-tree fire; the entire tree was engulfed in flames within four to five seconds. -- BEST BUYS, Eve Kelly, December 19, 2002

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