Thirty Years Ago Next to the donkey show, Agua Caliente Race Track is probably Tijuana's most world famous attraction. Purists contend Agua is to Del Mar what marijuana is to hashish, but the play is the same.... My father always told me a racetrack was the kindest, most decent place in the world, and that racegoers were too busy visualizing a better way to be anything but compassionate and fair. -- "FAIR PLAY FOR TIJUANA," Robert M. Cook, Jr., October 23, 1975
Twenty-Five Years Ago Time once again for me to get into my barker's costume, as one of the codirectors of the San Diego Film Festival.... Three years ago, when the festival was just a gleam in the collective eye of its directors, there was only the Unicorn working at filling this void, and only working at it part-time, and also on occasion the Ken. Since then, the Fine Arts and Guild have gotten into the act, but their sister theater, the Ken, has bowed out in deference, and the Unicorn until recently, and for more than a year before that, has abdicated its leadership role in this cause. -- "NOT NOW, I'M BUSY," Duncan Shepherd, October 23, 1980
Twenty Years Ago The eternal moment at Tug's Tavern in Pacific Beach: the Grateful Dead are plinking loudly from corner speakers, but the ball game on the television sets behind the bar is louder. A group of young hodaddies divide their attention between the game, their beer glasses, and the blonde sauntering down Emerald Street. Two biker chicks are playing pool, their faded back pockets providing points of interest to three scraggly-bearded dudes sharing a pitcher.... In a month, when Tug's closes after 17 years, everybody's favorite neighborhood, biker, cowboy, jock, family, and singles bar will be just another fallen icon. -- CITY LIGHTS: "WHERE WE USED TO RAISE A GLASS OR TWO," Neal Matthews, October 24, 1985
Fifteen Years Ago "There's worse things you could do than be an Elvis impersonator all your life," he says. One of them, apparently, is being a county marshal. Dishong's dream is to give up his day job and devote himself to a singing career. He performs songs that Elvis might have sung (like Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely") as well as songs that Elvis recorded. "I just use my natural voice, which happens to sound like Elvis," he explains. -- "THANKOOLAYDUZNGEMMIN, THANKOOVER MUCH...," Brae Canlen, October 25, 1990
Ten Years Ago David Casey wakes up suddenly. He points his finger at his son. "I'm going to sue you. I'm being held here against my will. Call 911. I want my son!" David Casey, Jr., brings out his driver's license. He shows him the picture I.D. "It's me, Dad...."
David, Jr., had thought he was losing him this time. His dad, David Casey, Sr. The guy who'd inspired him to become a lawyer; this hero of the underrepresented -- victims of accidents and corporate carelessness. The guy who'd started it all and went on to become president of the California bar was lying in a San Diego hospital in a state of delirium. -- "A LAWYER'S JOHN WAYNE," Bill Manson, October 19, 1995
Five Years Ago When word broke two weeks ago that a group of local fat cats was paying for more than half a million dollars' worth of TV ads against San Diego Unified School District board member Frances O'Neill Zimmerman, the business lobby went into damage control. Tyler Cramer, a lawyer and chamber of commerce functionary, declared that the anti-Zimmerman donors -- including Padres owner and high-tech venture capitalist John Moores ($100,000), Wal-Mart heir John T. Walton ($100,000), Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs ($100,000), and downtown real estate mogul Malin Burnham ($50,000) -- were simply worried that Zimmerman was bad for business. -- CITY LIGHTS: "ODD BEDFELLOWS," Matt Potter, October 19, 2000