Tales of Real Men

Thirty-Five Years Ago
In reference to Matthew Alice’s history of Alonzo Horton: The mainstay of Horton Plaza, the pseudo-classic, algae covered, pigeon fertilized eyesore known as the Fountain, had nothing whatsoever to do with Alonzo Horton. Louis Wilde (San Diego mayor, 1917–1921) presented the Fountain to the city on October 15, 1910, coinciding with the grand opening of the U.S. Grant Hotel, conceived and promoted by U.S. Grant, Jr., and half-owned by Wilde. The Fountain was designed by Irving J. Gill. The only connection Horton could claim was the knowledge that he formerly owned all of the said land and had constructed an earlier hotel on the site in 1870, along with a bandstand where the Fountain presently stands.
LETTERS, Uldis Ports, Julian, April 1, 1976

Thirty Years Ago
People not affiliated with the SEALs, or with their colleagues in the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team, didn’t go into the Tradewinds.

After a few kegs had been drained, the fights would usually begin. The SEALs had been trained to fight and most of them were pretty good at it. Furthermore, almost all the SEALs in Coronado would be going back to the jungle again, so what did they really have to lose by getting into a bar fight?
“TALES OF REAL MEN,” R.W. Bell, Jr., April 2, 1981

Twenty-Five Years Ago
Little did you know that a campaign against cool has been under way in San Diego for some time. Police statistics show that in the last six months, 67 people have been cited for driving while wearing glacier glasses. Cop watchers say this number could represent the efforts of a single officer who either worked an accident caused by that type of eye wear or who simply has a thing about humiliating cool dudes. “We have no program to be on the lookout for those sunglasses,” says traffic sergeant Dick Hoot. “But they’re illegal on the road.”
CITY LIGHTS: “LITTLE BIT ON THE SIDE,” Neal Matthews, April 3, 1986

Twenty Years Ago
The big disappointment on Oscar night was the failure of Kim Basinger, having been forgivingly invited back as a presenter, to take the opportunity to tell us whether she was as teed off this year at the Academy’s neglect of Mo’ Better Blues as she was last year at its neglect of Do the Right Thing. How are we to know what was really the Best Picture?
MOVIE REVIEW: “AFTER THE BALL,” Duncan Shepherd, April 4, 1991

Fifteen Years Ago
When Buffalo Joe’s opened in 1992, one of the stipulations of their liquor license to sell alcoholic beverages was that live entertainment be restricted to country music. This was the height of the line-dancing craze, and four years later, the new owners are feeling a financial pinch.

What made the ABC’s enforcement of the regulation bizarre is that the song Smak Dab (a country-rock band) was performing was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”
BLURT, Larry Harmon, April 4, 1996

Ten Years Ago
I planted basil in a new raised bed when the radio announced cheese would kill me. A nutritionist, her voice tinny and nasal on my cheap radio, explained how cheese lined arteries with “gluelike” cholesterol, leading to “premature aging and death.” She talked about “growth hormones.” She talked about insecticides in cattle feed. She said Americans had to pay attention to what they ate or face the consequences.” I turned off the radio and watered my basil.
TIP OF MY TONGUE: “BASIL,” Max Nash, March 29, 2001

Five Years Ago
I figure I can wait around for a werewolf to bite me or I can take the lead and work toward a goal. My fingernails have grown into protective claws, and I’ve sharpened my teeth. I’m encouraging the growth of body hair. My hunting grounds range from City Heights to North Park. By next week I’ll be a true “child of the moon,” and I’ll do my night-roaming pantsless. If the police interfere, I’ll “turn” them. I doubt silver bullets are standard issue.
REMOTE CONTROL KING, Ollie, March 30, 2006

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