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Thirty Years Ago
Eleanor Widmer’s article about Michael Copley was the most compelling reading to be seen in the Reader in many long months. My congratulations to her for taking a surprising (and apparently long overdue) break from the dining circuit. My only criticism of the story has to do with Ms. Widmer’s evident love affair with Freudian analysis. Perhaps she’d have more luck dissecting the neurotic dreams of a badly prepared bouillabaisse.

LETTERS: “FREUD EGGS,” Richard Steele, La Jolla, July 20, 1978

Twenty-Five Years Ago
How do you like your painters? Steady and straight like Norman Rockwell? Pretty and practical like Winslow Homer? Rich and reliable like LeRoy Neiman?

Or do you prefer them wig-flipped? Wacky? Helplessly and happily off-center? Van Gogh the ear butcher. Picasso and the cubes without clothes. Dali melting reality all over the canvas. Warhol. Pollack. Hockney.

“THROUGH THE FUN HOUSE,” Stephen Heffner, July 21, 1983

Twenty Years Ago
On July 12, the San Diego Daily Transcript published a front-page article about M. Larry Lawrence’s unsuccessful attempt to purchase the Copley Press for $1.2 billion. The article quoted the outspoken owner of the Hotel del Coronado as saying that had his bid been accepted and the deal gone through, the only change he would have made would have been to “get rid of the gossip columnists.”

He was referring to Tom Blair of the San Diego Union and Neil Morgan of the Tribune, both of whom he accuses of maligning him in their respective city columns. “Any shot they can get, they will take, even if it means going out of their way to take it,” says Lawrence.

CITY LIGHTS: “ITEM BY ITEM,” Thomas K. Arnold, July 21, 1988

Fifteen Years Ago
I wrote a book about Tijuana, about the garbage-dump dwellers and the street kids. Incredibly, it was published by Anchor/Doubleday. In three months, my little book will go into three printings, shocking everybody at Doubleday, but mostly shocking me.

I’m on a book tour, and one of the stops on the journey is KMEX. I have just returned from Boulder, Miami, Chicago, San Antonio, San Francisco. I am about to go off to Denver, Tucson, D.C., Boston. Miami again, San Antonio again. Lafayette, El Paso, upstate New York. In San Francisco, I’m bunked in the Four Seasons; my room has a small office attached in case I need to write, and the bathroom is appointed in gray and rose marble, with a phone beside the toilet. All of this on Doubleday’s tab.

“A LIVING CLOUD,” Luis Urrea, July 22, 1993

Ten Years Ago
[T]he so-called “Friendly Village” also houses the dangerous White Aryan Resistance, or WAR. Founded in 1983 by Tim Metzger, a former California Ku Klux Klan leader, WAR is a leading organization in the neo-Nazi skinhead movement in the United States.

The White Aryan Resistance’s home page hails browsers with a cartoon drawing of a Mexican man surrounded by buzzing flies and holding a check from the United States Treasury; a caption above reads “Current U.S. immigration policy: ‘Cross the border…Get a check.’”

SIGHTSEER: “MEAN BYTES,” Justin Wolff, July 23, 1998

Five Years Ago
Last Wednesday evening I visited Praise Tabernacle in Sherman Heights. If I were to rank religions on a loudness scale, I’d place Quakers and Zen Buddhists and Roman Catholics at the bottom. At the very top, Mexican Pentecostals. No one else comes close. Not even white or African-American Pentecostals.

Praise Tabernacle sits atop a hill with a broad view of the Coronado bridge. The church is so simple that you’d never guess that since it was founded in 1950, it’s generated 40 other Asamblea Apostolica congregations around the county, the largest of which, according to Reverend Santos, is in National City with 600 members.

SHEEP AND GOATS, Abe Opincar, July 17, 2003

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