The beginning of tourist season

Thirty Years Ago When we reached Interstate 30's exit 104, just east of Dallas, Blue Diamond pulled off and minutes later the King's Kid pulled up. Blue Diamond went on into Dallas and I had another ride towards San Diego. Hitchhiking the CB way certainly made things a lot easier. When I first left Virginia, the prospects of another week-long crosscountry hitchhiking trek -- the interminable waits on lonely interstate on-ramps, the short hops, the hassles with police -- filled me with serious misgivings about hitchhiking to Ocean Beach. -- "JUST PASSIN' THROUGH, GOOD BUDDY,"Manny Ramos, June 9, 1977

Twenty-Five Years Ago There was no liquor on the old reservation, says Margaret Largo, but as soon as the tribe was moved to Viejas, in 1931, "there was plenty of it -- everywhere." She started drinking when her first husband came back from the service. He couldn't sleep unless he drank. Right away she liked the effects of alcohol. She liked wine, drank it even when she was alone at home. She began in the morning and drank until late at night, but she always took care of the kids. -- "THE SLOW MASSACRE," Amy Chu, June 10, 1982

Twenty Years Ago DATELINE SQUARESVILLE -- It's around Xmas, and parties, well, parties are not what I'm after. I'd rather watch mold grow, I'd rather do the frigging laundry, but I've got this gal, see, who drags me to a screaming mother humper of a gathering at which nonretarded children -- and interested adults -- are induced to sing happy birthday to Jesus. I'm thoroughly revolted -- what's this earth coming to? -- "THE MIND'S ROAD TO GOLF," Richard Meltzer, June 11, 1987

Fifteen Years Ago San Diego, having only the merest suggestion of a downtown, is a place that embraces the oppression of night with open arms. Its dark, palm-lined residential avenues resound only with the surreally amplified warbling of mockingbirds and the whirring of cicadas. At midnight, when the coffeehouses shut, only the desolate figures padding silently around the dangerous fringes of Balboa Park or the gaily uniformed packagers in the all-night supermarkets keep the streets from being void. They, and the lonely prostitutes strung out along El Cajon Boulevard and Midway, or the fat white men behind the cash tills of the all-night sex shops. -- "YOU WANT THE NIGHT STAFF," Lawrence Osborne, June 11, 1992

Ten Years Ago Despite the current heat wave, it's difficult right now to feel pessimistic about Los Angeles. Air quality is good, jacaranda are blooming, families throng to Home Depot on the weekend for garden supplies. It's the beginning of tourist season too, and local TV is giddy with commercials squealing about the newest attractions at Disneyland, Magic Mountain, and Knott's Berry Farm. It's hot and sunny, and the trend would seem to be up. You wouldn't know this, however, from the literature the city has been reading about itself. Four grim L.A.-related books were released last month, each inspecting a dark corner of this city pervaded by light. -- LOST ANGELENO: "SHE DIDN'T ASK THE HARD QUESTIONS," Abe Opincar, June 5, 1997

Five Years Ago San Diego city councilman Jim Madaffer has posted an explanation on his website about his January run-in with a median sign near University Towne Centre. Instead of reporting the incident to cops, he waited 36 hours and called the city street division. Cops traced him by the license plate that had been knocked off his car during the encounter. According to the website: "Evidence of other vehicles impacting the same median is clear indicating this is not an isolated incident" and "Councilmember Scott Peters (the intersection is in his district) has referred the intersection to the City Manager for review and to correct the defects that presently exist with the intersection." -- CITY LIGHTS: "EXCUSES, EXCUSES," Matt Potter, June 6, 2002

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