Thirty Years Ago
While I have permitted myself, the last week or two, to become hopelessly tangled up in writing about, or trying to, Wim Wenders’s The American Friend, a near traffic jam of other important movies has materialized behind it. The pileup — Luis Bunuel’s That Obscure Object of Desire, Barbara Kopple’s Harlan County, U.S.A., Werner Herzog’s The Great Ecstasy of the Sculptor Steiner, and coming next week, his Stroszek — has reached such a point that I’ve given up any silly notion of dealing with each.
— “SEX AND THE DOUBLE GIRL,” Duncan Shepherd, March 2, 1978
Twenty-Five Years Ago
I’m worried about something. I’ve seen the city workers pushing those carts with the long steel necks that drain the money from the parking meters. What’s to prevent them from going around on their off hours and collecting pocket change?
Only once in San Diego’s 45-year use of parking meters has someone circumvented the collecting procedure (and been caught): in 1976 a La Mesa money collector was seen by a citizen as he put coins taken from meters into a paper bag (he got 30 days for his $41.05, and lost his job).
— STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, March 3, 1983
Twenty Years Ago
Let’s start with the question of whether Tanja Winter is a Communist. “Communism is not even relevant!” she protests. “It’s not an issue.” But it’s not as if no one else has ever brought this up before. People write letters to local newspaper editors stating that this 61-year-old La Jolla matron is a Communist. Even Winter admits, “I’ve become notorious in San Diego because [KSDO talk show host] Stacy Taylor red-baits me and calls me a Communist.”
— “WINTER STORM,” Jeannette De Wyze, March 3, 1988
Fifteen Years Ago
Here we are at ground level, under the freeway span in the very crotch of the so-called 5-805 merge. Eidelweis Street, or Edelweiss Street, is the road that crosses the railroad tracks in Sorrento Valley. On the north side of the tracks it turns into Sorrento Valley Boulevard.
Eidelweis Street has appeared on local maps for 70 years. It’s still shown (Edelweiss spelling) in the Thomas Bros. guide. But there isn’t a single street sign for it. And passersby and businesspeople in the area say they’ve never heard of it.
— “LOST ROADS OF SAN DIEGO,” Margot Sheehan, March 4, 1993
Ten Years Ago
On Wednesday, February 4, 1998, José Tovar Serrano, 35, and his brother Ruben, 33, were killed in the torrential El Niño storm that began on the night of February 3.
Ramón agrees to take me to the brothers’ house, and as we drive to Lomas del Rubi, Ramón explains how the tragedy occurred. There had been, he says, a concrete retaining wall protecting a house 30 feet up the hill from the brothers’ house. This wall did not have sluice holes cut into its base that would have allowed mud and water to come through. “Without those holes,” Ramón says, “the pressure built up, and the wall and the mud collapsed on the men while they slept.”
— “TIJUANA: THE FLOOD OF 1998,” Bob Owens, March 5, 1998
Five Years Ago
“Fly, lonely angel/high above these streets of fire.”
Those are lyrics from “The Angel Song,” by Great White, the band that set a Rhode Island nightclub on fire February 20, killing nearly 100 fans and one band member, guitarist Ty Longley.
I talked to Ed Tate, the sound technician at 4th&B, where Great White played January 12 (37 days prior). He told me, “During the sound check in the afternoon, the guitar techs attached some firework things to the guitar. They shot way up high, and smoke was everywhere.”
— BLURT: “FLY, LONELY ANGEL/HIGH ABOVE THESE STREETS OF FIRE,”Josh Board, February 27, 2003