Roger Revisited

Thirty Years Ago
A former alcoholic, Sister Winnie first immersed herself in rescue work 28 years ago when she took over the city’s oldest such haven (then 25 years old) and rechristened it God’s Extended Hand. She operated it on its original site, 441 Fifth Avenue, until escalating rent payments drove her last May to a large hall (at 429 Fifth Avenue), which she had been operating as a coffeehouse. Last month, however, fire regulations forced her out of it.
CITY LIGHTS: “MISSION IMPROBABLE,” Jeannette De Wyze, March 30, 1978

Twenty-Five Years Ago
Forget those clean new six-plex cinemas with their computerized projectors and convenient parking lots. Give Vince Miranda a beat-up, south-of-Broadway movie house marred with graffiti and littered with empty wine bottles. He’ll spend $180,000 to renovate the building inside and out, and if you give him a ten-year lease, he’ll even promise not to show a single X-rated film. (He did this last year at the Bijou on lower Fifth.)
“CITY LIGHTS: “CHAIN OF MIRANDA,” Paul Krueger, April 1, 1983

Twenty Years Ago
Meltzer: Today you seem to be perceived as having become more exclusively rightwing since doing the show.

Hedgecock: Oh, a couple of things contribute to that. First of all, I can be more real with people in this sense, and let me back up to say that part of the liberal reputation also came from the environmentalism, which was viewed as an attack on private property by many Republican leaders in the early ’70s. I haven’t changed my views. The thing is, I feel a little freer to be tough with people, particularly the ones I like the best. I’m being very tough right now on gay people because I think they cannot continue to be as irresponsible as they’re being.

Meltzer: Yeah, yeah, but c’mon, they’re such an easy target.

Hedgecock: I don’t look at it that way anymore, I mean I’m not looking at targets. In a sense, you can say it’s easy to attack the bathhouses or be down on the Gay Pride parade and say, “Why don’t you have an AIDS Awareness parade and get a little more responsible and stop flaunting a lifestyle that’s causing you to fucking kill yourselves and everybody around you, let’s get a little more...”
ROGER REVISITED,” Richard Meltzer, March 31, 1988

Fifteen Years Ago
Crips and Bloods are publicly promising a better-organized riot this time around. Rather than burning down the ghetto, their aim is to invade nearby Wilshire District and Beverly Hills, spraying their semiautomatics at the classist, racist heads of well-heeled honkies. Cops that get in the way will be blown away, gang leaders boast.
HELL.A., Adam Parfrey, April 1, 1993

Ten Years Ago
Mayor Susan Golding’s race for the United States Senate seat held by Barbara Boxer is over.

According to inside sources, Golding fund-raisers decided early in the campaign to target Chargers owner Alex Spanos and his associates to form the backbone of the Golding fund-raising machine. “It was hard to get anybody to give money. They hoped and expected that Spanos would pave the way for the big money to come in.”
CITY LIGHTS: “GOLDING’S TAINTED MONEY,” Matt Potter, April 2, 1998

Five Years Ago
Young men in the tailored insignia-less fatigues I’d come to associate with Lebanese Forces worked the corridor with the smooth precision of a well-drilled basketball team. There were three fire teams of three men each and a squad leader. The squad leader stayed in the corridor, directing traffic. The fire teams leapfrogged from room to room. The first man tossed in a grenade and, right after the explosion, the other two went in side by side, one sweeping left, the other right, firing a long burst as they entered.
CITY LIGHTS: “DOOR-TO-DOOR DEATH,” Jim Morris, March 27, 2003

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