Thirty-Five Years Ago
Just as the people who live along the ocean shore are affected by the tides and the pull of the moon, the children of the street in inner territories like Shell Town and Logan Heights must be charged with energy when the heat, smog, fumes, and noise drive them into the cool night, seeking rifamo — a ghetto communion.
Violence and fear are as integral to their lives as Donny Osmond and slumber parties are to suburban children.
— “WHERE THE BAD BOYS ARE,” August 5, 1976
Thirty Years Ago
Hunting. You’ve probably heard of buck fever. It happens the first time you hunt. You might be about ten feet away. You’re so excited you can’t shoot, or you do and you miss. That happened to my brother, a Vietnam veteran. He couldn’t believe it. It’s like in baseball — you practice all week and then you finally go to bat and you can’t hit the ball.
— OFF THE CUFF: “What gets you excited?” August 6, 1981
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Long before even the forerunners of Dr. Ruth Westheimer came along and started spouting off, I’d thought that only one kind of “size” figured in the sexual equation: the size of the fins on a man’s car. Although that puerile miscalculation had the potential to toss into disarray what later would become my love life, to a seven-year-old kid eavesdropping on the world from an elevated bay window, it was the only available conclusion.
— “THE FIN MAN,” John D’Agostino, August 5, 1986
Twenty Years Ago
In the ladies’ restroom of the Orange County bureau of the Los Angeles Times, there’s a vending machine that sells five shades of beige pantyhose. For a long time I’ve felt that the concentrated forces of female oppression were centered in that vending machine. The idea that a run in a woman’s pantyhose would merit an entire vending machine makes me nauseous.
I bought a pair at 7-Eleven the other night — mushroom, the shade was called — to wear to the Christian Fellowship Harvest Crusade.... I knew the hose would help me fit right in — even worn with a black Spandex miniskirt. A dollar and 99 cents for a force field of protective armor. What a bargain.
— “YOU CAN’T BUY LOVE — BUT THEY TRIED,” Gina Arnold, August 8, 1991
Fifteen Years Ago
Pete Wilson hatched his political career in San Diego, and it’s here that it’s likely to die. The rise of the city’s dull ex-mayor to presidential candidate (“dour,” “a great campaigner,” “not interested in governing”) was stalled last year by San Diego characters and circumstances that gained national notoriety. It’s ironic that Wilson, who fancies three-piece suits, imported silk ties, Italian shoes, expensive cigars, and wealthy friends, would be brought down by a pair of Mexican maids and their La Jolla employers.
— “WELCOME, GOP CONVENTION DELEGATES, TO SAN DIEGO, CITY OF SHAME,” Matt Potter, August 8, 1996
Ten Years Ago
“There’s no more Aztec Bowl. It’s over,” said lead singer Adam Hay of Watch It Burn.
Watch It Burn played at “The Final Frame — a predemolition party” July 22, celebrating the end of the North Park bowling alley. It closed down forever last Thursday.
“It’s ripping a piece of San Diego history out of our fingers,” said Ryanne, who has been coming to live punk shows at the bowling alley for two years. “They are tearing it down to put in fucking condos. Who’s going to buy condos off 30th and Adams?”
— BLURT: "CHANGE NOT ACCEPTED AT NORTH PARK'S AZTEC BOWL," Ken Leighton, August 2, 2001
Five Years Ago
You might think, after you read what I’m about to share, that I am a horrible person. But we cannot live our lives in fear of judgment and, however terrible the truth may be, it’s the truth, and all truth is indifferent. So I reserve even my own opinion of myself as I admit that, at 7:30 p.m. on a warm Thursday evening three weeks ago, it took nearly five full seconds for me to remember that my grandfather was alive.
— DIARY OF A DIVA: “ONE LIFE TO LEAD,”Barbarella, August 3, 2006