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Thirty Years Ago If you witnessed this year's ordeal, you will remember -- you will not easily forget -- Danny Thomas's stricken expression, his beloved nose drooping an inch lower, when he retook the podium after Bert Schneider had read the thank-you telegram from the Viet Cong; and you will remember Frank Sinatra's traffic-cop brusqueness when he returned on stage to lead the sing-along finale after Warren Beatty had whipped a line of his ready wit, such as it is, at Sinatra's back ("You old Republican, you," Beatty said, cutting deep).

-- "THE NEW HOLLYWOOD," Duncan Shepherd, April 24, 1975

Twenty-Five Years Ago If you're looking around the San Diego area for a camper shell for a pickup truck, it's hard to avoid going to El Cajon. The city of El Cajon has the greatest concentration of camper-shell dealers in the county -- four -- not to mention several RV dealers who occasionally sell camper shells on the side. Why this should be -- whether El Cajonians have an affinity for camper shells the way woodpeckers favor certain trees -- I couldn't say.

-- "WINDING THROUGH SUBURBIA," Gordon Smith, April 24, 1980

Twenty Years Ago For your greatest listening pleasure, please sing the following to the tune of "The Model of a Modern Major General."

The waspish William Gilbert,

writer witty and ironical,

Met charming Arthur Sullivan,

composer most symphonical.

They hardly guessed their meeting would make operetta history.

Their odd collaboration would proceed antagonistically.

A dilettantish barrister who lost

more cases than he won,

Will Gilbert much preferred to

satirize all things Victorian,

His specialties -- burlesque and

farce and pointed, rather clever prose.

While Arthur S. was knighted

for his hymns and oratorios.

-- "BY GILBERT & BY SULLIVAN," Lydia McRae, April 25, 1985

Fifteen Years Ago Hundreds, if not thousands, of San Diego businesses bear the first names of their owners. Top honors go to Bob with 50 local businesses (and we didn't even mention all the Bob's Big Boy restaurants)

Bob's Auto Sales (National City)

Bob's Auto Transport (Santee)

Bob's Backhoe (Alpine)

Bob's Bait and Tackle (Spring Valley)

Bob's Barber Shop (Solana Beach)

Bob's Birds (two: one in Spring

Valley and the other in Santee)

Bob's Bottle Shop (El Cajon)

Bob's Crane Service (Lakeside)

Bob's Deli (Kearny Mesa)

Bob's Firewood (Chula Vista)

Bob's Glass and Screen Company (Miramar)

Bob's Key Shop (Ocean Beach)

Bob's Law Printing (East San Diego)

Bob's Market (La Mesa)

Bob's Mobile Auto Repair (El Cajon)

-- CITY LIGHTS: "A TOWN CALLED BOB," Thomas K. Arnold, April 26, 1990

Ten Years Ago There was Roger Hedgecock on the radio with nemesis Neil Morgan, along with Morgan's wife, Judith, gushing over the couple's pop-bio of the late Dr. Seuss, a.k.a. Ted Geisel. When Neil and Judith talked about the joys of collaboration, Roger could barely contain himself. "You two are like having a couple that goes through a remodel. There's obviously been a lot of communication.... I love that." It was a far cry from the days of the J. David scandal, when Morgan and other Union-Tribune scribes declared Hedgecock a free-fire zone, and the then-mayor returned the favor in kind.

-- CITY LIGHTS: "STRANGEST LOVEFEST SINCE NIXON & MAO," Matt Potter, April 20, 1995

Five Years Ago Buddy Blue is bi-townal. He lives in La Mesa, but he works for Orange County's OC Weekly. He's part of San Diego's past as a guitarist/singer/songwriter for the Beat Farmers.... "Sometimes San Diego's provincialism is a drawback to OC's much more active and eclectic selection of clubs. San Diego's downtown scene is thriving as far as the clubs go -- though the downtown clubs treat musicians like Nubian manservants."

-- MUSIC SCENE: "DADDY NEEDS A WHISKEY," Matt Coker, April 20, 2000

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