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Thirty Years Ago BABY: Let's live once more in velvet and winding staircases. We'll get our diamonds somehow. Tequilla.... P.S. Not you, Tony.

RETIRED CHIEF executive of international banking cartel, bored with women and yachting, will help you with your problems. Ambrose...after 10:30 a.m. Welcome aboard.

TO: membership number 01368. I'm sorry but it still won't work between us.

FROM: membership number 03597.

-- PERSONALS, April 10, 1975

Twenty-Five Years Ago I had to slip in regularly something like, "Hi, I'm Bob Dorn on 13K and I'm sitting in for John Lander, who's having his voice overhauled." Even if I managed to think of something to say while I counted down the seconds of the Dr. Pepper commercial ("I'm a pepper, he's a pepper, and if you drink Dr. Pepper, youwillfindthatyou'reapeppertoo"), or while I was stricken with anxiety over my failure to remember whether another commercial or a music cartridge was to follow, or while I was trying to make sense of what the sixth graders on the telephone were requesting I play, I had about six seconds to say it before stuffing another cartridge into the tape player and hitting the volume switches. There are reasons pop radio announcers are called jockeys. The race is to the swift, not the witty.

-- "RIGHT BETWEEN THE HITS," Bob Dorn, April 10, 1980

Twenty Years Ago The Del Mar City Council passed a law to discourage cameramen from using that coastal village as a backdrop. Photographer Roscoe Smith got tangled in the law last week when a Del Mar lifeguard lieutenant ordered him off the city beach, where Smith was shooting pictures of a model. The lifeguard told Smith the city now "prohibits cameras on the beach," and rather than argue, Smith and his client drove to Cardiff to finish the photo session.

The Del Mar law requires that any commercial photographer obtain a 25-dollar city permit before shooting pictures on public property where traffic flow would be hindered or more than five onlookers might gather.

-- CITY LIGHTS: "TEN DEL MAR LIFEGUARDS POUNCE ON RICHARD AVEDON," Paul Krueger, April 11, 1985

Fifteen Years Ago Regarding the clamor over "Housepets I've in All Likelihood Killed or Maimed" (March 15), the Reader should be applauded for printing an article which derided America's humanization of animals.

I would be the last to defend abusive treatment of animals, but ask any Third Worlder about Americans and their pets -- they think it's mental sickness, and I agree.

In a nation where Spot and Muffy are getting two more daily squares than the majority of our neighbors to the south, it is nothing but escapist anesthetizing of the conscience to tirade in front of furriers, cruel as they may be, or waste print in the Reader over an article which was not meant to be taken seriously anyways.

-- LETTERS: "SQUARES FOR SPOT AND MUFFY," Jauhn Hinkle, April 12, 1990

Ten Years Ago Long before the printed word and stuffy ideas about literature turned up in my life, and long before I became the willing ward of schoolteachers, I was sleeping with words. I fondled and sniffed and placed my ear to their secret meanings. I soaked up the silences between syllables, tested them, tasted the saltiness or sweetness of them, and stared off into their bottomless eyes and down their dark, rosy throats.

-- "SOMEBODY DONE HOODOO'D THE HOODOO MAN," Al Young, April 6, 1995

Five Years Ago The day Neon Systems, a Houston-based software maker, went public on March 5, 1999, its price shot from $15 to almost $27 a share. And San Diego City Councilwoman Valerie Stallings was along for the ride, to the tune of between $10,000 and $100,000, according to the 1999 financial-disclosure statement she's filed. Stallings reported she sold off the stock three weeks later, on March 31, 1999, right around the time the price spiked at about $50 a share. The man behind Neon? None other than Padres owner John Moores, whose JMI Equity fund was a founding investor in Neon. Stallings is one of Moores's biggest supporters in his effort to build a taxpayer-subsidized baseball stadium downtown.

-- CITY LIGHTS: "FEATHERING THE NEST," Matt Potter, April 6, 2000

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