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Thirty Years Ago Dear Matthew Alice:

Is it the Matthew in your name or is it the Alice that describes who you are?

A. Samuels, Point Loma

It is not my name, dear reader, that best describes me. I would not be the first to observe that a rose by any other... Since we are but helpless, and ofttimes hapless, recipients of the whims of others who have the power to brand us before we see the light of day, must we forever answer for their excesses? I refuse. My advice to you, dear sir, is to curb your curiosity and refrain from wagers.

-- STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, March 6, 1975

Twenty-Five Years Ago It was Yippies and commies and revolutionary mime troupes. It was antiwar activist David Harris inciting a crowd of thousands. It was the first major antidraft demonstration of the decade. It began with a handbill. There was a picture of a blood-red-machine-gunner and a caption, "Say No to the Draft." Jorj Matiasz, a 27-year-old history student at UCSD, began posting the handbills around campus in January.... The students agreed to support a day of resistance to President Carter's call for draft registration.

-- CITY LIGHTS: "DON'T ASK ME I DON'T GIVE A DAMN, NEXT STOP AFGHANISTAN," Mark Orwoll, March 6, 1980

Twenty Years Ago "Okay, here's the deal. I need 40 ordinary animals for a theatrical gig in La Jolla Saturday. No costumes, no tricks, no gimmicks.

"Who? "No, not Noah, wiseguy. Rosenthal. Rachel Rosenthal. Performance artist from L.A. Real famous. Been doing this stuff for years.

"Now listen, Mel. All these animals gotta do is stand in the wings and walk across the stage. Rosenthal provides the monologue, the film, and music. The show is about animal rights. It might make us better people and the world a better place.

"Okay, Mel, sure. I should have expected smart remarks from a guy who makes a living off chimps in dresses and chickens in sunglasses."

-- "ANIMAL ATTRACTION," Linda Nevin, March 7, 1985

Fifteen Years Ago Is there a trend toward self-memorialization among San Diego philanthropists? Here's a map of recently purchased commemorations by living benefactors:

1. St. Vincent de Paul Joan Kroc Center

1501 Imperial Avenue, downtown

Cost to Kroc: $3 million (1985)

2. Sefton Plaza

El Prado entrance, Balboa Park

Cost to San Diego Trust and Savings Bank, of which Tom Sefton is president: $150,000 (1989)

3. John M. and Sally B. Thornton Rotunda

San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park

Cost to the Thorntons: (venture capitalists with ownership in seven companies): $1 million (1988)

4--5. David C. Copley Bookstore, David C. Copley Gallery

Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park

Cost to Copley (son of Helen Copley): not made public (1983)

-- CITY LIGHTS: "PLACING THE NAME," Thomas K. Arnold, March 8,1990

Ten Years Ago As my father lies dying, he watches the Weather Channel. He reclines in a blue, overstuffed easy chair in the living room. He wears his natty black-and-gray plaid pajamas -- his favorites. I rub bay rum into his shoulders and neck: he is, he says, afraid of "smelling like a patient." When his breathing is not labored and he is lucid, my father likes to talk. I let my eyes drift to the Weather Channel. I consider the weather map: the light showers over Louisiana, the snow flurries over Montana. My father is adamant about this. "There's no bullshit," he says about the endless screens of daily highs and lows.

"Look," he says, waving a speckled finger at the TV. "Cleveland 34/48."

-- AS SEEN ON TV: "CEILING UNLIMITED," Abe Opincar, March 2, 1995

Five Years Ago When I was a kid, my mom said, "Go outside and play." We lived in Pine Valley in East County. Three hundred people lived in the valley. We knew them all. Our houses clustered along asphalt lanes and dirt roads that headed up into the Laguna Mountains. Creeks flowed out of the mountains and converged in a great meadow in the valley's center. When my mom said, "Go out and play," she didn't mean, "Stay in the yard where I can see you." She meant, "Be home before it gets dark.

-- KID STUFF: "MY YEAR 2000 PARANOID MOM VERSION OF WANDERING," Anne Albright, March 2, 2000

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