Thirty Years Ago
Sunday morning in the little desert pit stop of Burro Bend. Everything’s quiet. The sun has just risen over the Salton Sea; in the light, it looks like a vast oil slick. The gas station’s closed; the cafe’s locked up. Suddenly there’s a tumbling in the distance like an army of tanks, and on all sides a mushroom cloud of dust boils up on the horizon and converges toward the cross. The noise grows louder and louder, and wheels of all shapes and sizes emerge from the cloud, bouncing and wobbling across the rugged terrain.
— “DON’T FENCE ME IN,” Steve Sorensen, April 13, 1978
Twenty-Five Years Ago
If a surfer wants a medium-short board of six to seven feet, or an old-fashioned board of eight feet or longer, and he wants Skip Frye to shape it for him, Frye will take a Clark foam blank some morning at the Gordon & Smith surfboard factory on Raines Street in Morena and get to work in his stall.
Frye’s favorite is the kind of board that he likes to surf on himself.
His is a style of surfing that he helped to create in the 1960s. He goes for grace and smoothness and distance. Corky Carroll, one of the top-rated surfers in Frye’s heyday, said Frye was always a gentleman in the water, not aggressively territorial as some surfers are.
— “SKIP FRYE IS STILL STOKED,” Joe Applegate, April 14, 1983
Twenty Years Ago
It was amusing to read Nicole Murray’s accusation that gay activists Rick Moore and Doug Scott represent the “conservative” gay viewpoint (“The Inside Story,” April 7). What’s most amusing is Murray’s credentials: he may be anti-Reagan, but he’s still a card-carrying Republican, supported Bill Cleator for mayor, and is a fan of Barry Goldwater.…
— LETTERS: “PITY,” Brad Jacobsen, Hillcrest, April 14, 1988
Fifteen Years Ago
“School had just let out for the year, and we planned a weekend in Rosarito. Six of us, three couples.... My girlfriend said that we should do the Ecstasy. I said I wasn’t sure because I had never done it before.
“I started to come on to the X, and the sand felt weird beneath me. It’s like I could feel every grain of sand shift under my weight when I moved.”
— “LOVE IS THE DRUG,” Abe Opincar, April 15, 1993
Ten Years Ago
M.A.: Greetings from Poway, the land of many crows. It seems that over the past few years, the crow population in the county has grown dramatically. What would account for this, and could this become a problem?
Crows are tough suckers and will eat just about anything, making adaptation simple. If the least Bell’s vireo or California gnatcatcher could eat discarded tacos, they probably wouldn’t be endangered either. Oddly enough, tall trees in the expanding suburban landscape may provide more crow nesting sites than in the past.
— STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, April 16, 1998
Five Years Ago
Baseball fans assumed Darryl Strawberry was quietly decomposing in a pauper’s grave, but no; turns out, Strawberry, 41, has been hiding out in the Gainesville Correctional Institution for the past 11 months.
Strawberry will be living with his wife and three children in Lutz, Florida. I can hear the old lawn mower humming.
Before being sent to prison, for, I might add, the first time, Strawberry had been convicted of violating his probation six times.
Here we are, in these send-everybody-to-prison times, when 60-year-old men who steal $50 worth of videos are having that crime counted as a third strike and sent to prison for life because of it. All the while, Darryl Strawberry is living in another age, master of his universe.
— SPORTING BOX, Patrick Daugherty, April 10, 2003