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Thirty Years Ago Las Hermanas was opened last December. It is owned by two women, who are no longer San Diego residents.... I was left with an unclear idea of the coffeehouse's legal status. Partnership attempting to become nonprofit corporation? Nonprofit corporation attempting to become something else? Debra concluded her description by saying, "Corporately that's how we are, but we really don't run that way." -- "FOR WOMEN ONLY," Rachel Flick, September 25, 1975

Twenty-Five Years Ago Each instrument looks more like a piece of sculpture, yet each is capable of producing the sounds inside of a normal musical sound. They are made from Pyrex containers lopped in half, eucalyptus boughs, artillery shell casings, and empty bottles of Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry. And they have names like Zymo-Xyl, Quadrangularis Reversum, Mazda Marimba, and New Boo. They are part of the legacy left behind by Harry Partch, a visionary musical composer, when he died in San Diego six years ago. -- "THE PARTCH REVERBERATIONS," Jeff Smith, September 25, 1980

Twenty Years Ago Mother (pianissimo): "What kind of life is this, to try to be an opera star? Studying, practicing, performing. Even if you're successful, you'll go from one strange city to another, from one concert hall to another. And after the performance what do you face? Silence and a hotel room. When will you have the time to get married, to raise a family? Father (forte): "Musical comedy is the answer. Make people happy. Did you ever see an opera with a happy ending? They all go mad or die in pain. What I say is, give me a good musical comedy any time. -- "TO BE A DIVA," E.J. Rackow, September 26, 1985

Fifteen Years Ago The Mexican and American Foundation's annual awards fest, "An Evening with the Stars," honored its usual collection of business people, political appointees, and public relations flacks last Saturday night. But its "Man of the Decade," Michael Milken, was missing. The former junk bond whiz who precipitated the biggest Wall Street scandal of the 1980s, had backed out of the honor in May, just before he pleaded guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud, mail fraud, and filing false tax returns. -- CITY LIGHTS: "THE HONOR SYSTEM," Neal Matthews, September 27, 1990

Ten Years Ago If I can be seen as heir to the Beats, why not to Cèline? My units of gasp are as oxygen-perfect as those in Journey to the End of the Night, my stutters and meanderings as fraught with mammal surprise, as shot-in-the-dark on, as those in Death on the Installment Plan. I'm twice as bleak as Louis-F. and umpteen times as cheerful. Ulysses? Moby Dick? Well, sure, why not? The Night (Alone) is in their league, geez, you bet: as hell-and-gone to the goddam Adventure, as up to its nose in high-risk language booty -- the search for a means of writing your way out of any and all proverbial (real!) paper bags -- but more compact than either. (If Joyce here is a .380 hitter and Melville .330, I'd put myself at a solid .358.) -- "SOUNDTRACK FOR READING MY NOVEL," Richard Meltzer, September 21, 1995

Five Years Ago "In late 1985, we fled Kabul and crossed from Afghanistan into Pakistan in the dead of winter. We walked ten days and nine nights. There were about 60 people. We walked through mountains, going from village to village. I have nightmares about that trip, about the cold. It's funny how something that happened so long ago can give you bad dreams." Driving west on Adams Avenue near the Texas Street bridge, Hamed Alemi stares straight ahead. He clears his throat and points downward at the driver's seat of his blue San Diego Cab. -- CITY LIGHTS: "WHEN THERE'S TROUBLE IN THE WORLD," Abe Opincar, September 21, 2000

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