Thirty Years Ago
I was astounded (but somehow, not surprised) to read of the $3 million suit being filed against your paper by Ted Giannoulas, the KGB Chicken, over a personal ad that appeared a year ago.
If Giannoulas is concerned about embarrassment and shame, he might stop for a moment to consider his own actions. I very distinctly recall the embarrassment and shame caused me by his obscene, vulgar gestures toward me during a public concert at the Sports Arena.
— LETTERS: “CHICKEN BELITTLE,” Gail Eileen Wesely, San Diego, December 7, 1978
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Recently I spent an entire endless afternoon in a delicatessen while the man in my life, whom we’ll call Henry, backed away from a previous urgency to marry me. I drank stone-cold tea and tried to paste the remains of some bleu cheese onto croissant pieces I’d practically fidgeted into crumbs.
And so I told him — gently, I hoped — that I was overwhelmed by the responsibilities falling to me in our union: those of principal breadwinner, head of the entertainment committee, business manager, and mother of souls.… At which point he said calmly, “Yes, I think you’re right. I’m just not a suitable choice for you.”
— “A WORLD FULL OF WORMBOYS,” Deborah Laake, December 8, 1983
Twenty Years Ago
Counting the number of skinheads in San Diego is not simple, because there are different types. They can be divided, roughly, into three camps: the WAR skins, the Boot Boys, and the imitators (known derisively as “baldies”). They differ in degrees of racism, violence, and articulation. Of the three groups, the WAR skins are the most organized, the most political, the most strident. They consider themselves as the front-line soldiers for the White Aryan Resistance (WAR), Tom Metzger’s reincarnation of the Ku Klux Klan. In San Diego County, they claim to have 72 members. Five of the local WAR skins are incarcerated, mostly on assault charges.
— “YOUNG MEN WITH OLD IDEAS,” Brae Canlen, December 8, 1988
Fifteen Years Ago
As she lay dying, a friend told me that the worst part of cancer was television.
“It’s the canned laughter,” she said. “It goes on all day long: ha, ha, ha!”
My friend’s roommate, the woman sharing her hospital room, spent her time screaming half-heartedly for nurses to bring her a cigarette. When my friend asked to have the television turned off, the nicotine fiend really got out of hand. The television stayed on almost 24 hours a day.
“Ha, ha ha! said my dying friend. “It’s like the television’s mocking me. I think it’s going to kill me.”
Perhaps it did.
— AS SEEN ON TV: “SICK TV,” Abe Opincar, December 9, 1993
Ten Years Ago
I do not understand what Jangchup Phelgyal’s obsession is with obese persons (“I’m Sorry,” December 3). It seems almost voyeuristic and cruel, but he sounds like your average chubby-chaser. I find the fact that Mr. Phelgyal chooses to write about this subject offensive and sad. Your standards are lowering to the National Inquirer level, where the peanut-crunching crowd wants to know everything albeit freakish about everyone.
Also, Anne Albright, I am sick of hearing about your mewling, pooping progeny. Get your tubes tied and stop torturing us with your Gerber-spewing brood.
— LETTERS: “GET YOUR TUBES TIED, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE,” Rachel Smith, Kensington, December 10, 1998
Five Years Ago
The Union-Tribune’s Bob Kittle fired the first volley last week in what is widely expected to be the paper’s rough treatment of city attorney candidate Michael Aguirre. Kittle used his position as perennial member of the SDSU-run KPBS’s Editor’s Roundtable to blast Democrat Aguirre — who represented plaintiffs in an unsuccessful legal battle against the U-T-favored Chargers ticket guarantee — as a “loose cannon.”
— CITY LIGHTS: “SHOWING THEIR HAND,” Matt Potter, December 11, 2003