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Thirty Years Ago I saw the miracle today, the one at the Israelite Church of God in Christ on 32nd and L Street.... When the newscasters explained that the miracle on 32nd Street, the image of a cross through a bathroom window, would disappear with the flick of a light switch, my mind was put to ease. That is, until I realized this thing has been in the news for three days, people are still streaming to see it, the sidewalks of a typically avoided neighborhood are overflowing, and four cops have been sent in not to stop the riots but to control the traffic.

-- "MIRACLE ON 32ND STREET," Judith Lin, March 20, 1975

Twenty-Five Years Ago There was Dave Vandenberg, jogging along the Rose Canyon bike path, when out of the brush came the scream of a chainsaw. Vandenberg turned down a dirt path to investigate. There he found a middle-aged man and two teenagers slicing off limbs of an oak tree; the lumberjacks had loaded two cords of oak wood into their pickup truck."What do you think you're doing?" Vandenberg asked the older man. "You know this is city land, don't you?"

The man shrugged. "Heck, everyone does it," he answered.

Seven concrete posts once guarded the canyon bike path's main entrance at the northern end of Santa Fe Street. But someone knocked them down and car drivers began to invade.

-- CITY LIGHTS: "THE ROSE CANYON CHAINSAW MASSACRE," Jeannette De Wyze, March 20, 1980

Twenty Years Ago Take the sign west of El Centro near the intersection of Interstate 8 and State Highway 98. According to the sign, the downtown post office on E Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues -- the common point from which Caltrans measures distances to and from San Diego -- is 93 miles away; the actual distance, though, is 97 and a half miles. The eight distance signs between Los Angeles and San Diego are each inaccurate by between one and four miles, and two signs near the San Diego--Orange County line are contradictory. One claims San Diego is 57 miles away; the next, less than two miles down the road, alleges the distance to be 53 miles.

-- CITY LIGHTS: "HOW FAR TO THE NEXT SIGN?" Thomas K. Arnold, March 21, 1985

Fifteen Years Ago "It was before the war. San Diego had a grand population of 180,000 people. I was an investigator for a lawyer, and Judge Ed Luce -- 'course, he wasn't a judge anymore, but they called him 'Judge' -- Judge Luce calls me up and says, 'Kent, I got a toughie.' This fella had been ducking the sheriffs for days; they used to serve all the process in San Diego. Well, I got it served right away, and Luce asked me how I'd like the job permanent. Pretty soon I was in bidness!"

-- CITY LIGHTS: "HE WHO SERVES," Joe Daley, March 22, 1990

Ten Years Ago Before you think there's no San Diego in this piece, let me lay something on you. The first performance of Schoenberg's arrangement for orchestra of Brahm's Piano Quartet in G Minor took place in L.A. in May 1938, conducted by that other escapee from National Socialism (and father of the man who would play "funny Nazi" Colonel Klink on Hogan's Heroes), Otto Klemperer. Shortly thereafter, the composer himself conducted it in SAN DIEGO.

-- "ARNOLD, O.J., AND THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS," Richard Meltzer, March 16, 1995

Five Years Ago How interesting that dead catfish were delivered to the Reader offices -- along with business cards from Larry Lucchino and John Moores -- the day after you published "Are the Padres Married to the Mob?" ("City Lights," March 9). Obviously, somebody is trying to smear Lucchino and Moores. Those two fine gentlemen would never use such mob-style tactics. Making veiled threats by sending dead creatures or parts of dead creatures to enemies is as trite as it is reminiscent of the Mafia. I'm surprised neither Lucchino nor Moores returned phone calls from the Reader. They both must be out of town.

-- LETTERS: "TRITE MAFIA TACTICS," Helen McKenna, March 16, 2000

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