Back When Richard Meltzer [didn't heart] NY

Thirty Years Ago
Ballard Smith, executive vice president of the San Diego Padres, had a terrible day at city hall last week. Councilman Larry Stirling called him “Mr. Ballard,” Bill Mitchell forgot Smith’s name altogether, and Maureen O’Connor nearly provoked a swinging match. “He came in obnoxious and tried to stay obnoxious,” Councilwoman O’Connor said of Smith.…
CITY LIGHTS: “FOUL BALLARD?” Paul Krueger, January 19, 1978

Twenty-Five Years Ago
When mechanic Eugene Dahlstrom learned last week that Greyhound was trying to cancel its bus service to Jacumba, he flat couldn’t believe it.

“Hardly a day goes by when somebody don’t break down and we send ’em to Jacumba to catch the bus. See that hill?” His cactus-stubbled leather face gestures down the Mountain Springs grade toward El Centro. “That hill eats transmissions. That’s killer hill. If you make it up without trouble, you got a damn good car.”
CITY LIGHTS: “BUS STOPS STOP,” Neal Matthews, January 20, 1983

Twenty Years Ago
Hi. You know me. I’m the guy who hates this place. No, no change, I still hate it, but I just got back from that “other” place and would like to share with you how loathsome it’s become. It’s the North American Calcutta.

’scuse me, I don’t mean to besmirch the Third World — but it’s getting there. It’s gotten so you can’t walk half a block without facing the face of misery. And by half-block, I mean “good” neighborhoods: Upper East Side, Gramercy Park. At Sixth Ave. between West Third St. and West Fourth, it’s more like every half-step.
“I [DON’T HEART] NY,” Richard Meltzer, January 21, 1988

Fifteen Years Ago
Many years ago, when I was a youngster growing up in a rough section of the La Jolla Muirlands, I wanted to be a criminal.

This was not unusual. Most people of my generation wanted to be criminals. And in those golden days of my misspent youth, there was one heroic name that the kids in my cul-de-sac all regarded with awe. That was Mr. A — John Alessio!

I said to my old man once, when he came home one Saturday after a hard day at the links, “Paw, why’s Mr. A so powerful?”

Paw popped a Pabst Blue Ribbon and said, “Gambling. Race track. Now shaddup.”

Ten Years Ago
“I don’t have the heterosexual figures. In lesbian relationships it’s estimated that interpartner violence occurs 17 to 26 percent of the time. In gay male relationships, 11 to 20 percent.”

Okay, sports fans, there you have it. Fellas, don’t beat your women during the game, or afterwards either. Lesbians, take a day off. Gay males, keep those hands on the table.

Go Denver.

Five Years Ago
Jarrod Boswell is the starting center for Lakeside’s El Capitan High School varsity basketball team. He is seven feet tall and, according to one area sportswriter, only the third legitimate seven-footer to ever play high school basketball in San Diego County.

Boswell racked up 141 blocked shots during the 2001–2002 season, a Grossmont North League record, and 65 more blocked shots than the runner-up. Bill Walton is the previous Grossmont league record holder.

Although a senior now, Jarrod is 17 years old. He won’t turn 18 until July, which makes him one year younger than the boys he competes against. When I first met him, in February of 2002, he was 16 and had already received more than 500 letters from universities and colleges. They were kept in a cardboard box. The box was in the kitchen of his parents’ 32-year-old three-bedroom Lakeside home.
“LAKESIDE’S BIG MAN,” Patrick Daugherty, January 16, 2003

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