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Thirty Years Ago Billboard advertising used to describe Greenwood as the "biggest Bible mausoleum in the world." When Merle Hamilton became a general manager a year ago, he was skeptical. "I knew that Franco had built one that was bigger after the Spanish Civil War," he said, "and there is a multi-story mausoleum in Memphis, so I told the advertising agency to change our claim." -- CITY LIGHTS: "HONESTY ISN'T DEAD," Richard Louv, October 21, 1976

Twenty-Five Years Ago No one knows how long Brian Berlau has been a student at San Diego State University except Berlau himself, and all he'll tell you is that he enrolled as a transfer student sometime during the tenure of former university president Malcolm Love, who took office in 1952 and left in 1971. Berlau is evasive about his age, insisting, "I'm eighteen," when you know he's got to be nearly twice that. Berlau earned bachelor's degrees in political science and in accounting, and is nearing completion of two more majors: psychology and public administration. -- CITY LIGHTS: "IVY-COVERED CHEEKS," Thomas K. Arnold, October 15, 1981

Twenty Years Ago Penn had been attending Point Loma Nazarene since the beginning of the fall semester, on September 25. But Penn, who is awaiting retrial on manslaughter and attempted murder charges for the March 1985 shooting of two San Diego police officers and their civilian ride-along, dropped out of school last Friday "because he was feeling the stress," according to Ken Hills, dean of students. -- CITY LIGHTS: "THE SHORT SEMESTER OF SAGON PENN," Brae Canlen, October 16, 1986

Fifteen Years Ago Hi, Matt:

Here's a blue-light special for you. What does the K in Kmart stand for?

-- Sandy W., El Cajon

Kafka, maybe? Knackwurst? Kinky? Kayak? Knucklehead? Kudzu? Was the emporium founded by a Swede and originally called Knute-Mart...or a Scot, Kilt-Mart...a Hawaiian king, Kamehameha-Mart? Stop me if you hear one you like. Personally, I like all those better than the real answer. The Mart's K stands for Kresge (Sebastian S.), the Detroit entrepreneur who founded the now-ubiquitous shopateriums in 1897. -- "STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP," Matthew Alice, October 17, 1991

Ten Years Ago I hadn't gone to Long Beach hoping to fall in love. When we met in the bookstore parking lot, what my wife-to-be had on her hands was a sweat-stained, disheveled, no-longer-young man whose pants were too tight at the waist. I was certain of only one thing: I was aroused by the sound of her voice. But when I first saw her, watched her hop from her car rosy-cheeked and merry, I thought to myself, "You might very possibly be able to love this woman forever."

And then she started to make me laugh. Laugh hard. Dry quips, witty asides, wry anecdotes about life's little horrors. While we prowled the bookstore, so much humor poured out of her -- not all of it gentle, some of it sharp -- my heart began to beat differently. I felt a kind of excitement I hadn't known before." -- "THE BRIDE WORE BLACK LINEN," Abe Opincar and Cynthia Heimel, October 10, 1996

Five Years Ago At Ralph's Hair Place, Sean Higby, 19, has just finished having his hair styled. Although he would not rule out fighting in a war, his prosperity at home finds him less than willing to go. "I would try as hard as I could to not do it. I would write a letter saying that it would be a financial hardship or something like that. The Internet economy has brought a lot of good things to me, and it would be really hard for me to trade. It would be hard for me to get up and leave that." -- CITY LIGHTS: "WHO WILL AND WON'T FIGHT AND WHY," Robert Kumpel, October 11, 2001

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