Thirty Years Ago
It’s 1:30 a.m. Standing beside a pair of pay phones and a silver train of piggybacked carts, you figure you’re ready for Mayfair Market’s morning crowd. The store lights up a quiet section of Hillcrest at night. It sits just northwest of Balboa Park, in the grid formed by Fifth, Robinson, Sixth, and Pennsylvania avenues. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it is the last remaining all-night Mayfair in San Diego.
— “MAYFAIR AFTER MIDNIGHT,” Bill Owens, February 23, 1978
Twenty-Five Years Ago
I have only one serious question to ask Paul Krueger about his article on the Maureen O’Connor for Mayor campaign (“The Inside Story,” February 10). How could he write an entire story on the organization and/or lack of it without once visiting our campaign headquarters or talking to our volunteers and staff? No one can convince me that any campaign has the caliber of dedicated and competent volunteers that we do.
— LETTERS: “AND ONE EQUALLY SERIOUS ANSWER,” Colleen O’Connor, O’Connor for Mayor Committee, February 24, 1983
Twenty Years Ago
You may speak a handful of languages. For a time, each one will possess you. Stay with you forever. On your deathbed, you may moan or cry out in several. People at your side will ask in vain for others to translate.
However proficient you have been with its verbs, genders, and tenses, a language knows you even more intimately. It has held your lips, teeth, palate, and tongue to its roof. It has breathed with you from your throat; deserted you in anger, left you sputtering, mute; embarrassed you before those you have sought to impress; returned fluidly in romance to lasso and draw a disgruntled lover back from the doorway to sit again at the edge of the bed.
— “TIJUANA, MI AMOR,” Abe Opincar, February 25, 1988
Fifteen Years Ago
First off, I remain impressed by the post-punk invective of the ever-sensitive and musically eclectic Gina Arnold, whose broad-minded reviews continue to be as garish, bitchy, personal, and beside the point as those of her critical father, Rex Reed. The funny part, to me, is that there was very little mention of music in her review. We learn that the Gine-ster has a fetishlike yen for knobby knees. We discover that she does not care for headbands.
— LETTERS: “GINA’S WEIRD PATERNITY BATTLE CONTINUES,” February 25, 1993
Ten Years Ago
The late Larry Lawrence’s reputation may be in tatters, but that of his beloved Hotel del Coronado is barely dented from its encounter with President Bill Clinton. In fact, the Del’s new owner, a pension-fund manager from L.A., is hyping the hotel’s connection to the “Big Creep,” as Monica Lewinsky reportedly called him, on its “new and improved” website. Actually, Clinton spent most of his time at Lawrence’s beachside mansion, Crown Manor, down the street from the hotel.
— CITY LIGHTS: “CASH VACUUM,” Matt Potter, February 26, 1998
Five Years Ago
When Judge William Mudd sentenced David Westerfield to death on January 3 of this year, Westerfield joined a special subset of San Diegans. Of the 616 inmates on California’s death row, 21, including Westerfield, were convicted and sentenced in America’s Finest City. A Linda Vista man murdered the pretty young mother of two tiny boys, cut off her head and hands, and dumped her body near Pine Valley in 1979. A Chula Vista couple, the only husband and wife currently on death row, tortured their four-year-old niece in 1995, then burned her to death in a bathtub full of scalding water. A North County woman, angry about the men in her life, shot her four sons point-blank in the head in 1997, stopping once to reload. Who are these people in Mr. Westerfield’s new neighborhood?
— “WHAT MADE THEM KILL,” Leslie Ryland, February 20, 2003