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Thirty Years Ago "I'll give you a dolla for the coat." My sidewalk saleswoman instinct is aroused and practically swallowing the stem from the grapes in outrage, I intone, "Look, lady, feel the material. Genuine London gabardine. It cost my brother-in-law $125 and he wore it just a few times. I couldn't let that coat go for less than...five dollars!" -- "SO YOU'VE BEEN TO ALL THE THRIFT SHOPS..." Barbara Rand, August 21, 1975

Twenty-Five Years Ago "When I first came to the station, I was ahead of Ted in terms of salary," said News 8 anchorman Michael Tuck, who, at 34, is one year older than Leitner. "My base salary is ahead of his, but he derives income from other jobs, and now I'd say we're about even. He calls me 'Bags.' He stops by my office and says, 'Hey, Bags, how's it going?' But lately I've been calling him 'Bucks.' We don't call each other by our names anymore -- it's either 'Bags' or 'Bucks.'" -- "THE SCORE ON TED LEITNER," Greg Kahn and Joe Applegate, August 21, 1980

Twenty Years Ago Ten years ago, when Buzz Johnson moved from Colorado to the 650 acres he owns on Angel Mountain, ten miles south of Mount Palomar, the property was so thick with manzanita and chamise that a person couldn't walk through it. So he bought a few dozen goats to eat the brush, and by the time they had eaten their way through 120 acres, the goats had increased in number to 580. Then about two years ago the goats began disappearing -- sometimes two or three per night. The 73-year-old Johnson buttonholed the local game warden, Carl Baumgarner, and said, "The goddamn lions are eatin' all my goats up! They go killin' my stock, that's when I'm gonna go killin' them!" -- "RETURN OF THE MOUNTAIN LION," Steve Sorensen, August 22, 1985

Fifteen Years Ago The place should be a welfare hotel with a stuttering indigo neon sign outside the window. There should be a bottle of cheap bourbon on the nightstand and a .38 lying on the once-gaudy, now-faded bedspread. This isn't. There isn't. It's my apartment in Kensington, and while there is no gun, bourbon, neon, or even a bedspread, the place is filled with diabolical instruments of torture -- chief among them, the stereo. -- "SET A NEEDLE ON MY HEART AND PLAY THOSE SONGS OF LOVE AND PAIN," John Brizzolara, August 23, 1990

Ten Years Ago Here is a story of tragic disillusionment. As with most American women, the chief influence on my character was Nancy Drew. I have so internalized the heroine of books for 8- to 14-year-old girls that I can't tell where Nancy Drew ends and Violet Rosenbloom begins. Every time I am locked in an airless closet or thrown into a dank cellar, I ask myself, "What would Nancy do?"

Like Nancy, I have been a self-reliant woman. When the distributor gets wet, Nancy and I pop up the hood and fix it. When necessity required it, I have piloted a plane, shot big game, deciphered codes, and tap-danced in Morse code. -- CALENDAR: "DEEP IN MY HEART, I AM NANCY," Violet Rosenbloom, August 17, 1995

Five Years Ago Gregory at Whole Foods Market in Hillcrest...let me in on three traits of a ripe watermelon. "Bee stings. You'll find little bumps on the melon. Not all the time, but if you see some, that's a good sign that the melon is sweet. Another thing to look at are the lines on the watermelon. Make sure the stripes are solid and not broken. The last test is the tom-tom test. You want the melon to have a hollow sound, as opposed to a dull thump. The dull thump means the water is starting to break down inside it." -- BEST BUYS, Eve Kelly, August 17, 2000

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