Thirty Years Ago
In ironic contrast, I find the embarrassing effort at achieving intellectualism exhibited by Duncan Shepherd in his film reviews distasteful and a real turn-off. Now, I’m not putting down intellectuals.
— LETTERS: “MUNDANE MOURNING,” Katie Dunigan, San Diego, July 27, 1978
Twenty-Five Years Ago
“The typical San Diego guy this summer is likely to be wearing a muscle shirt with checks on it, low-cut tennis shoes, a legionnaire’s hat, and the Vuarnet or Phonet sunglasses,” declares Bob, the proprietor of Paradise Beach Rentals in north Mission Beach.
— CITY LIGHTS: “HOT COUTURE,” Jeannette De Wyze, July 28, 1983
Twenty Years Ago
Dear Matthew Alice:
San Diego is the only city I know of to have four deep grooves at most intersections. They are hell on my car’s suspension and shocks. Why were they put there in the first place? An example of the “obstacle course” is along North Park Way through intersections at Thirty-Second Street, Herman Avenue, and Thirty-First Street.
In cities that get a lot of precipitation, you’ll generally have an extensive system of storm sewers and drainage inlets to handle the runoff. San Diego doesn’t because we have only a few big rains a year. The most cost-effective way of directing water out of road intersections are those infernal cross gutters.
— STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, July 28, 1988
Fifteen Years Ago
Charles T. DeWoody has been held on $1 million bail since his arrest at Lindbergh Field in September of last year and his subsequent confession to the killing of his father, Charles O. DeWoody. The son beat the older man into a coma with ceramic pots containing orchids — “at least two of them,” the discovery evidence states and deputy district attorney James Valliant underscores at every opportunity. Valliant also misses few chances to state that the victim’s mouth and nose were “stuffed full of potting soil.” Enough, according to paramedics, to make up a ball the size of “a standard orange in volume of dirt.”
— “DREAMHOUSE MURDER,” John Brizzolara, July 29, 1993
Ten Years Ago
Jamaica Kincaid, who worked for many years at The New Yorker and later became Shawn’s daughter-in-law, once told me in an interview that Shawn was her ideal reader. “I really didn’t care,” Kincaid said, “who liked my writing as long as he read it. And if he liked it, it was great. But just as long as he read it.”
On the morning that we talked, I asked Mr. Mehta about the notion of the editor as ideal reader.
“The remarkable thing about Mr. Shawn was that he became almost your Siamese twin. He responded to a piece of writing as if he could see into your brain, see what your intent was, see what you hoped the piece would be — and in its best possible aspect. So that was just one kind of invisible ghostlike presence that was always with me when I was writing. That was an invisible aspect.”
— READING: “REMEMBERING MR. SHAWN’S NEW YORKER,” Judith Moore, July 30, 1998
Five Years Ago
A wealthy San Diego developer wants to construct what appears to be a first in American history: a private family cemetery on a public golf course, specifically designed as the final resting place for a golf fanatic.
On July 8, Manchester Resorts applied to the City of San Diego for permission to build a private five-plot cemetery on the company’s super-upscale Meadows Del Mar Golf Club, just off the 15th tee, on the highest spot on the property, so that company owner and golf lover Doug Manchester and his family members can R.I.P. above a V.I.P. course.
— CITY LIGHTS: “BURY ME NEAR THE 15TH TEE,” Don Bauder, July 24, 2003