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Thirty Years Ago Some 15 years ago, I appeared in a San Diego courtroom as witness for Lawrence and Geraldine McGilvery, on trial for selling obscene material, Miller's Tropic of Cancer. Prior to my appearance, the entire book had been read aloud to the jurors, who submitted to a rather ingenious test of their objectivity by the prosecuting attorney, Martin Gutfleisch.

In May of 1975, as restaurant reviewer for the Reader, I received a phone call from a public relations man, who asked me to visit a Mexican restaurant, Si Señor, in La Mesa. I softened when he told me that the restaurant was owned by an attorney, Martin Gutfleisch. Could this be the same man who had taunted and goaded me and done his best to unnerve me in the Tropic trial? -- "ANOTHER MILLER'S TALE," Eleanor Widmer, March 3, 1977

Twenty-Five Years Ago Some places up on University Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard get hit a lot. Usually places set back from the street a little, and with an alley in back. Robbers love a nice alley where they can hide the car. -- "NOBODY DISTURBS MY PEACE," Joe Applegate, March 4, 1982

Twenty Years Ago The America's Cup has something for everyone: a book contract for Dennis Conner; an Australian junket for San Diego politicians; a million dollars' worth of free publicity for Cup sponsor Home Federal Savings and Loan. And KGTV Channel 10 commentator Michael Tuck may score a five-point Nielsen ratings bonus. Tuck laid into Conner with a February 10 "Perspective" segment that branded the yachtsman as "rude, arrogant, and boorish." The following night, Tuck explained his refusal to apologize for those critical comments. -- THE INSIDE STORY, Paul Krueger, March 5, 1987

Fifteen Years Ago I robbed my first bank out of fear. But once I walked in with my gun, the fear was gone, and I knew who I was. It started in the Encinitas drug scene, where I was a local. Moved out there from the Chicago drug scene after high school. I was fully involved. I'd been buying eightballs and quarter ounces of coke from this loser and going out to La Costa to purchase from this mobster guy I'll call Carlo. And the loser was duffing my shit up, which I wanted stopped. -- "AUNT PUDGE AND THE BANK ROBBER," Richard Mitchell and Linton Robinson, March 5, 1992

Ten Years Ago Anybody who's had a book published and isn't famous and isn't rich and isn't a name known worldwide for supple, exciting prose will know how I feel these days. My book Never Eat Your Heart Out, with its pretty pink cover, started showing up in bookstores in late January. I was excited and happy when Elisabeth Sifton at Farrar, Straus & Giroux called me up 18 months ago and said to my answering machine, "We'd like to make you an offer." I lay on the living room carpet and hugged the dachshund and played Mrs. Sifton's message, again and again. I even rolled a bit on the carpet. I called everybody I knew. I crowed. -- READING: "NEVER EAT YOUR HEART OUT," Judith Moore, February 27, 1997

Five Years Ago Hey, Matt:

Even though I know it is not safe to ingest bleach, I was wondering if pure bleach would harm your teeth. We went straight to the American Dental Association with this one and apparently struck a nerve -- like a collective root canal, I guess. They freaked. The party line: DO NOT PUT BLEACH IN YOUR MOUTH! Their science guys refused to tell us if bleach will whiten your teeth or if it will damage tooth enamel, melt your molars, or anything else. They won't even consider the question because YOU SHOULDN'T PUT BLEACH IN YOUR MOUTH! -- STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, February 28, 2002

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