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Thirty Years Ago I want to get back at my parents for force-feeding me Gerber's and making me clean my plate at butter-knife--point. "Eat it all and become strong like Mad Dog Vachon." (Mad Dog was a wrestler in Quebec who weighed about 300 pounds.)... Since I'm squeamish when it comes to wrestling, society has not left me with much. My only chance is this Christmas when I can don the Santa Claus outfit and act jolly for the Chamber of Commerce. -- "WE THE FAT PEOPLE," Miles J. Watson, September 18, 1975

Twenty-Five Years Ago But Jim Crawford is likely one of the best recognized models in San Diego because of his work with the Highlander clothes stores. For more than six years, he had been the "image man" for Highlander, a man whose face was synonymous with the company. Crawford, though, no longer works for Highlander and has been unemployed for the past two months -- a possibly terminal condition for a 33-year-old male model in San Diego. -- "STRIKE A WORRIED POSE," Mark Orwoll, September 18, 1980

Twenty Years Ago "You're like my opponents. Inquisitive. But they are not to touch me." -- Archie Moore

Archie Moore was true to his words. I never really touched him. You don't touch the Mongoose, by consensus the greatest light heavyweight boxing champion of all time; Archie Moore touches you. In 228 professional bouts between 1936 and 1963, he touched 140 men unconscious, a knockout record that many boxing experts believe will never be broken. He won 193 fights and lost 26. A San Diego resident since 1938, Moore is now probably 72 -- he has never revealed his true age -- but he belies the image of the old boxer as punch-drunk palooka. -- "A FEW ROUNDS WITH THE MONGOOSE," Neal Matthews, September 19, 1985

Fifteen Years Ago Many paths end in San Diego. But none, perhaps, as twisted as the path that brought civil rights pioneer James Meredith to Mission Hills.Meredith in 1962 became the first black man to enroll at the University of Mississippi.

"Pretty soon liberals are going to get knocked out of the saddle somewhere in this country. I think San Diego is that place, mainly because it's so controlled. No city in America is as controlled as San Diego. A very small network of people -- fewer than 50 -- run San Diego. When they see the liberal solutions are not working, my solutions will be listened to in San Diego like no other city in America." -- CITY LIGHTS: "MEREDITH OF MISSION HILLS," Colin Flaherty, September 20, 1990

Ten Years Ago Three survivors of the '90s grunge takeover recline around a patio table. Four-button suits and skinny ties. The most vocal of the three, Bart, says, "There're just not enough Mods to form a scene here anymore." The San Diego Mod scene may be in disarray, but Bart's in the Shambles. And the Shambles, a local, '60s-influenced power-pop band, may be just the thing for beleaguered audiences seeking to escape the clutches of the "alternative" empire. -- LOCALS: "JUST NOT ENOUGH MODS," Cody Petterson, September 14, 1995

Five Years Ago Dear Matthew Alice:

My husband and I enjoy the savory, thick bacon that we get with breakfast at the Original Pancake House and at Mission Café. Is it available to "ordinary" folks? The lovable Mission Café treat is called smoked apple bacon. The best I can tell, it's wholesale only. The Original Pancake House restaurants (Poway and Kearny Mesa) serve Hormel's Old Smoke House bacon, but not the kind you find in the supermarket. Theirs is a wholesale-only 9/13 bacon -- 9 to 13 slices to the pound. Common supermarket bacon is a flimsy 14/16. -- STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, September 14, 2000

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