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Thirty Years Ago
Real estate has been very high for the past 28 months, but if you had bought on the coastline early this year, you would have an irreplaceable resource. Also, getting into an apartment for condo conversion early this year would have been a good deal for three reasons: lower interest rates, the county’s new guidelines for apartment conversions, and no rent control.
“BEST DEALS DURING INFLATION,” Denise Carabet, December 21, 1978

Twenty-Five Years Ago
“Ventura Place has the vitality of Venice Beach but it’s all compressed into one street,” says airbrush artist Paul Vauchelet, who now works as business director for Hamel’s Cyclery and Surf Shop and who’s lived in the area for nine years. “It’s not unusual here to see a kid on a bicycle leap over the hood of a taxi. It happened just the other day,” he says.
“A SHORT STREET WITH A LONG LIFE,” Sue Garson, December 22, 1983

Twenty Years Ago
Bill Richardson, whose name was synonymous with Landmark Theatres in San Diego for the past decade, isn’t impaling his bosses on a sword of nasty words. Instead, he says his boss “had every right” to fire him from his job overseeing the Ken, Guild, Cove, and Park theaters because he didn’t keep up with the paperwork that was part of his job. In fact, he says he will one day apologize to his immediate supervisor for having been an embarrassment to him.
CITY LIGHTS: “FILM FREAK CANNED,” Jackie McGrath, December 22, 1988

Fifteen Years Ago
And for the first time as a member in good standing — from out of the shadows! — now that my dear wife Cora has gone to her, ahem, reward: my longtime mistress Actress Irene Forrest. (Had to sneak her in — as “maid” — until this year.)

Not present: grandson Upto, whose dad last month shot my least favorite daughter, Eff, along with siblings Wug, Seabase, Buzzbo and Floonce. Upto, off at med school (the Univ. of Oslo), is to be excused for “avoiding family” this yuletide, but he did send his best: “Have one on me.”
“MELTZER FAMILY CHRISTMAS BEER BUST,” Richard Meltzer, December 23, 1993

Ten Years Ago
It has happened to all of us that at some point in a particular friendship we feel that our friend has betrayed us. “Oh,” we might say, “she and I have quarreled several times about politics.” From the moment that we learn of the betrayal, however, all that was harmonious between us turns discordant and ugly.

I don’t doubt that Naipaul said and did most of what Theroux writes that he said and did. I don’t doubt the accuracy of Theroux’s recounting of Naipaul’s cutting remarks or chilly assessments of fellow writers. I don’t doubt that Naipaul has made remarks easily interpreted as racist or sexist, or that he’s shown himself on occasion as penny-pinching, hypochondriacal, self-serving, and cruel to his first wife. Yet I can’t help but believe that the Naipaul whom we meet in Sir Vidia’s Shadow is not what Theroux has written but what Theroux didn’t write.
READING: “SIR VIDIA’S SHADOW,” Judith Moore, December 23, 1998

Five Years Ago
Since October 11, 2003, union employees of Albertsons, Ralphs, and Vons have been on strike. Approximately 70,000 people are out in front of the grocery stores with picket signs in their hands. My dad is the manager of a grocery store in the South Bay and I, along with other members of my family, have been working at the store during the labor dispute.

One night, after my dad had left the store, the picketers began shouting at me through the doors as I was bagging groceries. A group of about ten people began calling me a “scab” and taunting me, “Oh, are you going to tell your daddy?”
“STINK BOMB,” Anonymous, December 18, 2003

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