Thirty Years Ago
It grieves me that my first letter to the Reader should be in criticism of my favorite columnist, Eleanor Widmer. In writing about Sheldon’s Restaurant, her comment about “aging waitresses in orthopedic white shoes and faces out of proletarian novels” was unkind and irrelevant. Perhaps if Widmer had to trade in her Halston Basic and Pucci slip to work in, rather than dine in restaurants, she too might soon be wearing orthopedic shoes and displaying an aging face out of proletarian novels!
— LETTERS: “BABY, LOOK AT YOU NOW,” Robert Raymond Shanks, San Diego, June 15, 1978
Twenty-Five Years Ago
If the council does as it’s expected to do and votes in favor of a proposal to expand San Diego Stadium — 44 new “skyboxes” and about 7800 additional public seats — Klein will be provided with a couple of million dollars extra per year for the next 20 years. Those millions will be in addition to the money you and I now give him every time we fight the stadium parking-lot mess, or when we buy the cap or T-shirt or the hot dog once we finally get inside his stadium.
— “A FEW MORE SEATS A LOT MORE MONEY,” Vincent Roberts, June 16, 1983
Twenty Years Ago
Circus performances and zoo cage exhibits, cartoons and children’s books have led us to think of exotic animals in anthropomorphized, benign images. To say “elephant” is to conjure the animal in fringed parade dress marching to strains of John Philip Sousa; it is to remember plump Dumbo or the Gallic cosmopolite, the green-suited, gold-crowned Babar.
But life isn’t literature for an elephant.
— CITY LIGHTS: “THE WHOLE DUNDA EPISODE,” Judith Moore, June 16, 1988
Fifteen Years Ago
Shortly before Christmas 1990, a literary agent asked if I wanted to write a book about Betty Broderick. I had spent hours talking to Betty in the spring and summer of 1988, back when she was merely a wrathful divorcée. With reporter Paul Krueger, I had interviewed Dan Broderick and others involved in the Broderick melodrama. Eventually Krueger and I wrote an 8500-word chronicle of the Brodericks’ divorce. Then, shortly before the piece was scheduled to run, Dan Broderick informed us he would sue for invasion of privacy if the story were printed, his earlier cooperation notwithstanding. So we didn’t publish the article until after the morning Betty killed Dan and his second wife Linda.
— “WRITTEN TO DEATH,” Jeannette De Wyze, June 17, 1993
Ten Years Ago
Deirdre and I went out alone for her birthday. Fin was left in the care of Danielle. Danielle was washing up after dinner when she heard the frightening silence of a baby about to do something bad. Then — clink, clink, CRASH. tinkle, tinkle. Unless one of us had forgotten to close it, Fin had forced the latch on the liquor cabinet, extracted two red wine glasses, tested them for tone, and then brought them together, cymbal-like, with spectacular results. She rushed into the room; Fin was holding the stems, happy, surrounded by shards of broken glass. He was unhurt. Danielle didn’t mention the event when I called from Rainwater’s to see how things were going.
— “DA ALWAYS WINS,” Matthew Lickona, June 18, 1998
Five Years Ago
Blender magazine reports that Jewel, the “horse-riding poetess, has disappeared” and that she has been replaced by a corset-wearing “diva whose interests include cleavage, sweating, and ‘being served.’”
Jewel told Blender about her chronic kidney infection, recurring bouts of depression, and her famous snaggle tooth, which she blames on not being able to afford good dentistry as a child.
Jewel’s new saucy look coincides with the techno sound of her new CD, 0304 . Gone is the yodeling Jewel that helped her move 11 million copies of her first CD, Pieces of You.
— BLURT, Ken Leighton, June 12, 2003