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Thirty Years Ago "I don't believe in the cult of personality, having my portrait hung all over the place like Ronald Reagan or Mao Tse Tung" is a quote from the little red book of Governor Jerry Brown. "We're moving both to the left and to the right." (At a Brown gathering last November in the U.S. Grant Hotel there were so many Republicans present that I couldn't believe it was in San Diego.)

"I'm going to starve the schools financially until we get some educational reform." What kind of reform? "I don't know yet." -- CITY LIGHTS: "THE LITTLE RED BROWN BOOK," Jacquelynne Garner, May 27, 1976

Twenty-Five Years Ago Five hundred and twenty-six Marines are packed into a dozen buses barreling toward the Salton Sea, where they will begin a five-day walk back to Camp Pendleton. The private sitting next to me in the lead bus is trying to describe the real Marine Corps. "All the Corps is, is an egotistical Army." -- "THE LONG GREEN LINE," Neal Matthews, May 28, 1981

Twenty Years Ago There's no denying it: mostly, I'm a pretty dull fellow. "Dull as lead gray primer," according to one of my least kind detractors. I don't know when or why it happened. My parents remember me as a bright and perky child, curious and talkative, with many interests and a sparkling future. But as I grew, something changed, and whatever of me that had been outgoing went out and didn't come back. I found myself with no hobbies, with no creative pastimes. Television became too exciting for me to bear. I wasn't even interested in money. -- "DRIP-GRIND LEGACY," Stephen Heffner, May 29, 1986

Fifteen Years Ago Memorial Day is the anniversary of a gold fields shootout [in 1989] known in the Julian back country as "The Chariot Canyon Massacre." Five men opened fire with assault rifle, shotgun, machine pistol, hunting rifle, and target rifle in a dispute over a gold claim in the Chariot Canyon gold field. When the gunfire died away in the boulder-strewn canyon, one Julian man lay dead and another lay dying of gunshot wounds. More than 40 shots had been fired at the two men. It was country where prospectors have roamed in search of gold for more than 100 years. -- "AMERICAN PRIMITIVE," Hugh Crumpler, May 30, 1991

Ten Years Ago In the May 13 issue of The New Republic, writer Margaret Talbot explains how Martha Stewart has created a sinister cult of "good taste." What pisses Talbot off isn't Stewart's fussy hors d'oeuvres recipes or Stewart's cooing adoration of English-style gardens. What shoves a big, black, itchy bug up Margaret Talbot's butt is what she perceives as Stewart's pretensions.

"You may even know the outlines of her story," Talbot writes of Stewart. "Middle-class girl from a Polish-American family in Nutley, New Jersey, works her way through Barnard in the early '60s, modeling on the side."

The key words in that sentence are "middle-class," "Polish American," "Nutley, New Jersey," and "works her way through Barnard." -- AS SEEN ON TV: "TASTE TV," Abe Opincar, May 23, 1996

Five Years Ago I'd been up until 12:30 a.m. folding laundry. I start the laundry on Thursday. I do a couple of loads of darks and a load of brights in between driving Rebecca, Angela, and Lucy to school, running errands, or meeting a girlfriend and her kids at a park for lunch. When I remove each load from the dryer, I lay the clothes flat and smooth out the wrinkles. I carry the piles of unfolded laundry into the living room and lay them on the couch. Friday, I finish the brights and wash the mediums. Saturday morning, I wash the whites. -- KID STUFF: "I'M NOT GOING TO FOLD LAUNDRY ON MOTHER'S DAY," Anne Albright, May 24, 2001

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