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Thirty Years Ago All I wanted to do was see Taj Mahal in concert again, and I figured at a college campus it would be a pretty easygoing experience. Outside the gym at San Diego State on Friday night was a large, amorphous mass huddling together to keep out of the biting wind. And shoulder to shoulder, chest to chest, we inched our way toward the turnstiles, where the management was selling as well as taking tickets, possibly one of the most inefficient ways of running a concert. A brown-bearded young promoter-type on stage kept saying, "Come on, people, we've got to get you seated. It's already 8:30 and the show was supposed to start at 8:00." There's a fellow who likes to live dangerously.

-- "TOWER OF BABEL," Anne Hutchison, February 20, 1975

Twenty-Five Years Ago ATTENTION BAJA TRADEWINDS' surfers. Many of us residents miss you for you add color to our lives. Do not let the bald-headed man con you. The beaches in Mexico are public and landowners, etc. must provide free access to them. The bald-headed man has committed irrational acts. And he may have a few officials in his pocket under good-old-buddyism. Pass the word. A friend.

-- CLASSIFIEDS: PERSONALS, February 21, 1980

Twenty Years Ago Faye left San Diego almost two years ago to join the Scientology organization in Los Angeles. We exchange letters now and then, and I can call or visit her in Los Angeles. But I rarely do. It's not the military uniform she wears or the small, abysmal dormitory room she lives in that stops me. It was my initial reaction to her leaving, my inability to dilute or delay the real meaning of losing a best friend, that made saying good-bye such an unexpected devastation.

-- "WHEN FRIENDS SAY GOOD-BYE," Brae Canlen, February 21, 1985

Fifteen Years Ago Hey, how ya doin'? You're new around here, aren't you? Well, you picked a choice spot. Right up here next to the blowhole. Yeah, I know; most of the other barnacles prefer the flukes, or the flippers.What's that? Jeez, kid, you are green, aren't you! I'm a Cryptolepas rhachianecti barnacle; so are you. Host-specific to the California gray whale.

Didn't they teach you nuthin' down in San Ignacio? Bubba here's a yearling; he likes to breach at the darnedest times. Probably trying to get rid of those damn lice.

Hang on. He's going up for a breath now. WHOOOOEEEE! I got a cousin lives on a piling under Scripps Pier. The stories that guy can tell!

-- "FAR FROM SHORE," Joe Daley, February 22, 1990

Ten Years Ago "I am not an asshole!!" Lee Swanson, KGTV's executive news producer, yodeled at me over the phone. He then added, somewhat self-defeatingly, "Come on over sometime. I'll be happy to piss in your ear!"

Mr. Swanson was referring, of course, to my column of two weeks ago in which I discussed my difficulty reaching him at Channel 10. I had suggested KGTV made a policy of not speaking to the San Diego Reader. Mr. Swanson was calling to tell me that I had "vilified" him in print. I offered that "vilified" was perhaps too strong a word. (And there you basically have conflict in a nutshell: Mr. Swanson, as a high-strung television person, was concerned with appearances; whereas I, as a print-media person, was more worried about semantics.)

-- AS SEEN ON TV: "RAGE YODEL," Abe Opincar, February 16, 1995

Five Years Ago After last week's item about San Diego Union-Tribune honcho Herb Klein being told by city clerk Chuck Abdelnour he might have to register as a lobbyist because of Klein's activities on behalf of the proposed downtown baseball stadium, U-T staffers were in an uproar. Klein is not just editor-in-chief of the Union-Tribune, they say; he is editor-in-chief of all the Copley newspapers in America. He has virtually nothing to do with the day-to-day running of the U-T, the chain's flagship, they told a media watchdog website that picked up the item. That, supposedly, is editor Karin Winner's job.

-- CITY LIGHTS: "HERB WHO?" Matt Potter, February 17, 2000

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