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Thirty Years Ago BARRY, Work, Work, Work...How many days 'til we can play? I miss you. Love & Kisses, Mary.

TO THE QUEEN of Cups from the Jack of Hearts: Happy Valentine's Day to the finest lady I ever saw.

DEANNDRA -- so only weird people send messages in the Reader personals. Now you're included. Tell swampwoman I want her. Suspenders. -- CLASSIFIEDS, February 10, 1977

Twenty-Five Years Ago One of the more popular ploys, in the continued escalation of critical rhetoric -- as can be judged by the fact that that prominent saber-rattler, Pauline Kael, has used it twice within the space of a month -- is the critic's contention that a movie has held him or her in a state of entrancement the like of which you might have thought unattainable by anyone with a free and fully conscious mind. Of Pennies from Heaven, first off, she wrote: "There was never a second when I wasn't fascinated by what was happening on the screen" -- a statement that pressed especially hard on my mind during those long and numerous seconds when Jessica Harper, under police interrogation, choked out a confession about her husband's fetish for lipsticked nipples, and I felt my own fascination slump to the floor in a lifeless heap. -- "WHEN ALL THE WORLD WAS YOUNG,"Duncan Shepherd, February 11, 1982

Twenty Years Ago When local Republicans learned that Demo-cratic attorney Mike Aguirre had committed his boundless energy and sizable bank account to winning a seat on the city council, they went searching for a more palatable candidate of their own. -- THE INSIDE STORY, Paul Krueger, February 12, 1987

Fifteen Years Ago Greil Marcus: There was a lot of that [class consciousness] in being a fan of Elvis, when I was 10 or 11 years old and living in Palo Alto and Menlo Park.... And it came through for me, anyway, as fear. In other words, this guy isn't like me. He's strange, he's alien, he's everything I was raised to denigrate. I mean, I grew up in a very liberal household, where no degrading word said about black people would ever be tolerated, a household very sensitive to bigotry. But there was one group that I somehow got the message that it was okay to be bigoted about, and those were backward, white Southerners. White trash. -- "DEAD ELVIS AND THE HOLY GRAIL," Gina Arnold, February 13, 1992

Ten Years Ago "Beef stroganoff for breakfast," my seven-year-old son Jonah would say on Friday night, "and a hot coffee cake." Early the next morning I would be whipping up the sour cream coffee cake with lots of cinnamon and sugar. I would apply a whisk or a broken fork to the batter, and because I cook very quickly, the cake would be in the oven before 8:00 a.m. Then I would wash, dry, and sauté fresh mushrooms and add them to thinly sliced filet of beef. A dash of freshly ground nutmeg and coarse kosher salt were the only seasonings. Just before serving, the sour cream was added to the mixture. -- "WHY AM I WRITING THIS?" Eleanor Widmer, February 6, 1997

Five Years Ago Add another local big shot to the growing list of those who got in on a sweet stock deal with Padres owner John Moores. San Diego State University president Stephen Weber lists an investment in Neon Systems stock, which he values between $1000 and $10,000 on his conflict-of-interest filing for 2000 as well as 1999. But Weber doesn't list the specific date of acquisition, which may ultimately prove troublesome for the educator, who last year moved into the university's multimillion-dollar official presidential residence, purchased from none other than Malin Burnham, the downtown real estate mogul and business partner of Moores. -- CITY LIGHTS: "MOORES AND MORE," Matt Potter, February 7, 2002

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