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Thirty Years Ago When Winchell's Donuts first cast its corporate eye on the intersection of Sunset Cliffs and West Point Loma Boulevard, company officials doubtless never expected such sticky questions. Winchell's tried to sweeten the board's disposition with an unusual package of compromise. Not only would the company modify its standard sign and lettering, officials promised, but the company representatives tried to entice board members with plans for a forthcoming "healthy" (whole wheat and honey) doughnut. -- CITY LIGHTS: "GIMME ONE JELLY, TWO GLAZED, AND THREE ALFAFA SPROUT," Jeannette De Wyze, September 8, 1977

Twenty-Five Years Ago Sissy McGill is afraid to have this story told, afraid that it may anger agents of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They've already taken the deed to McGill's house in La Mesa, and McGill now fears they may force her to close her seven-year-old business in which she sells healthful dog food and other "natural" pet products. No one -- including the FDA -- has charged that her products aren't safe for pets. At the very mention of that possibility, McGill stiffens. "My dog food is so pure that I've had two ladies stuff their turkeys with it. I taste everything I make! My dogs are my babies." -- CITY LIGHTS: "AGENCY HOUNDS DOG WOMAN,"Jeannette De Wyze, September 9, 1982

Twenty Years Ago I found this woman dead on the floor of her house. She died next to a space heater and laid there for ten days. I vomited, the coroner vomited, and the guys in the meat wagon vomited. I thought those guys had seen it all, but I guess even the body snatchers feel it now and then. -- "COP TALK," Steve Albrecht and Roy Huntington, September 10, 1987

Fifteen Years Ago But the Aventine is nevertheless something of a colossus that stands out even from the jumbled semiurban landscape of this crowded junction. If approached on foot from the back, that is to say, via the Roman rotunda of the Sporting Club, the mix of quasi-Mussolinian façades and small cypresses seems like a desire on the part of the architect to reflect on his own roots: Rome as the root of all Western architecture. And only in a place where those roots seem more distant than immediate could this pedagogic indulgence be possible. In California. -- "GRUNTING, SCREAMING NYMPHS," Lawrence Osborne, September 10, 1992

Ten Years Ago Don't get me wrong. I heard some good rock and roll and R&B. I loved the beat on "Jailhouse Rock" and "Hound Dog," and also on Chuck Berry's records (though his name didn't mean anything to me at the time; I was 12), but the guitars I was hearing didn't quite measure up to whoever that guy was on "Car Hop!" I was an idiot and in love. -- "SOULFUL MACHINE GUN," John Brizzolara, September 11, 1997

Five Years Ago Pat Runsbold, 63, is a teacher from Carlsbad. "I was getting up to go to school and my husband called me in to the television and said, 'Look at what's going on!' I couldn't believe my eyes. I saw the second plane hit the tower, and it was just unbelievable. I couldn't believe this was happening in America, but at the same time, I felt the panic for those people there." Sheila Sample, 44, is a licensed nurse who lives in Shelter Valley. "I was standing in my living room. My husband had the TV news on. It was a total horror...I cried and just watched. When the airplane hit the second building, you knew that this wasn't an accident.... No words can describe it. I was zoned out all day, glued to the news, trying to get through back East to find out if everybody was okay." -- "I COULDN'T BELIEVE THIS WAS HAPPENING IN AMERICA," Robert Kumpel, September 5, 2002

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