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Thirty Years Ago Since a large proportion of our high school students graduate unable to speak or write correct English and with no effective knowledge of history, it may sound like nit-picking to complain that almost all of these students graduate as musical illiterates. -- "WHY NO ONE DON'T KNOW NOTHIN' ABOUT MUSIC AROUND HERE," Jonathan Saville, December 23, 1976

Twenty-Five Years Ago I love parties. I love standing in the kitchen of a friend or stranger and scarfing on the potato chips and being on hand when someone comes back from the store with a six-pack of imported beer. Even more, I love telling people who I am and what I do. Especially when those people possess the hard young bodies one sees so often at informal social events.Why, here comes a Hard Young Body now.

Hard Young Body: Hi!

Matthew Alice: Hi right back at you.

H.Y.B.: Know what? Somebody in the living room told me that you're really Matthew Alice. -- STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice,December 17, 1981

Twenty Years Ago Last May, when the National Weather Service predicted a tsunami as the result of an earthquake in Alaska, thousands of Californians crowded the beaches in hopes of seeing a tidal wave. A friend who maintains a second-floor apartment in Pacific Beach described how he stared from his balcony, his mouth agape at the crowd of El Cajonians and Powayites on the beachfront awaiting this one-time-only spectacle. -- "FIT TO BE TIDE," Orlando Ramirez, December 18, 1986

Fifteen Years Ago The widow of an Episcopal bishop who died in the Anza-Borrego Desert last summer is suing the Thomas Bros. Map Company for printing false information in their Street Guide and Directory for San Diego County. Nola Peek, who was married to noted theologian and author Bishop James Peek, says that her husband expired from dehydration after his 1973 Volkswagen Thing ran out of gas in the middle of the desert. Mrs. Peek, who accompanied her husband, explains that they were trying to find their way back to Interstate 8 but got lost when they couldn't find Cucamonga Valley Road.

"It's listed right there on map 409 in the Thomas Guide, but it doesn't really exist," said Mrs. Peek. -- SAN DIEGO CONFIDENTIAL: "THOMAS BROS. MAP CO. SUED IN BISHOP'S DEATH " Margot Sheehan, December 19, 1991

Ten Years Ago About the "hood," or Mafia, connections in downtown bars, retired San Diego policeman Bill Heritage offered, "We knew that this downtown area was loaded with Mafia. I don't know if these sailor boys knew it, but the townspeople knew about it. Mirabile was just part of that whole Damon Runyon crowd down there that you put up with. But they were real interesting people." Mr. Heritage laughed, "There's always been bad guys in the world." Mr. Owen wasn't as sanguine. "Tony always allowed whores to work out of his places. He ran a bad joint. All of the hoods ran bad joints, not a clean bar." -- "I DO NOT KNOW NOTHING ABOUT MAFIA," Judith Moore, December 12, 1996

Five Years Ago So I asked the woman in the ticket booth with the bow tie, black bowler hat, and name tag reading "Mel" if she could explain to me why last night's movie was good. "I liked it. I thought it was delightful! I love the way Goddard plays with sound in his films. He had a minute of silence in the movie and I thought that was very clever."

"Nothing happened," I said. "Three people sitting at a table over drinks, no action, no dialogue, no sound."

"He sort of pokes fun at the genres of film within his films," Mel tells me. -- T.G.I.F.: "ALL ART ASPIRES TOWARD THE CONDITION OF MUZAK," John Brizzolara, December 13, 2001

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