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Twenty-Five Years Ago There is a bulletin board, after a fashion, on the front door to Ashley's Market on Paseo Delicias, the main street in Rancho Santa Fe. Next to the five-by-seven-inch card advertising the sale of a half-Welsh, half-Shetland pony is an ad for the sale of a used pair of black field boots made by the Dehner company. The used boots are selling for $225. Interested parties can contact Bob or Jan in the market. This is not your common community bulletin board, but neither is Rancho Santa Fe your common residential community.

-- CITY LIGHTS: "ROBERT YOUNG HEAVES SANKA JARS AT TRESPASSERS," Mark Orwoll, March 27, 1980

Twenty Years Ago Sunny Saturday at the Pannikin in La Jolla. It's international cosmopolitan chic as always, men and ladies with Iacocca genes, who each morning step into clothes that make them look like they've stepped out of a full-page glossy advertisement in Vanity Fair magazine.

Harley Gaber, seated in a corner sipping apple juice, is interested in seeing. "Look at that girl in the white sitting underneath the tree," says Gaber, a La Jolla artist. "Observe the shadows on her back and face," he says, "the mole on her cheek, the dark brown hair, the lipstick blending into rouge on her cheeks, the shape of the eyes, the curve of the nose."

-- "THE CHALLENGE OF HARLEY GABER," Stephen Meyer, March 28, 1985

Fifteen Years Ago Hi, Danny Bro.

Bet you thought I was dead, huh? Haw haw. Fooled you all. You can tell Pa his oldest boy is still a hobo and enjoying every minute of it. The Japs and Germans couldn't sock me down, and they haven't yet made the yard bull that can, neither.

I'm right outside of Bagtown -- that's San Diego to you, bub. Got here last night, along with a load of winter lettuce from the Imperial Valley. The ride was free, and why shouldn't it be? Hell, I probably helped picked the stuff!

I guess you want to hear about my trip on this here luxury train. The line is the San Diego & Arizona Railway -- SD&A. The other hobos say it stands for "Slow, Dirty, & Aggravating."

-- "RAILS," Joe Daley, March 29, 1990

Ten Years Ago San Diego city officials, and especially Mayor Susan Golding, were so eager to get the Republicans to hold their 1996 convention here that they anted up a king's ransom, offering more than $20 million in cash and in-kind services.

When Golding signed the contract last month, she promised taxpayers wouldn't be left on the hook.

Because the council has never reviewed the deal at a public hearing, and no comprehensive budget for the event has ever been made public, taxpayers have been left to guess its actual cost. Newspaper stories have set the cost at between $21 million and $23 million.

-- CITY LIGHTS: "G.O.P.'S TAXING CONTRACT WITH SAN DIEGO," Thomas K. Arnold, March 23, 1995

Five Years Ago I am pregnant with my fifth child.

In the weeks after that Saturday, the idea of another baby started to tug at me. I'd find myself paging through our photo albums looking for the pictures of my children's births. Before Christmas, we had a family portrait taken for our parish directory.... As I stared at the photo, I saw, in the way the children were arranged, a space on the floor between Johnny and Angela. "Room for another baby" came into my head like someone whispering over my shoulder.

When I found out I was pregnant in mid-January, I told Jack. We were standing in the entryway of our house after a Saturday trip to Costco. I'd bought a home pregnancy test and used it as soon as I'd gotten home. "Remember your birthday?" I asked Jack.

He nodded absentmindedly.

"You got a much bigger present than you thought."

Jack looked perplexed for a moment. When I pointed to my belly, tears came to Jack's eyes. "You're kidding," he said.

"Nope." While the girls danced around us asking, "What? What?" Jack held me tight and twirled me around the living room.

-- KID STUFF: "JACK GOT A MUCH BIGGER PRESENT THAN HE THOUGHT," Anne Albright, March 23, 2000

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