Thirty Years Ago
“Jacumba Hotel, Ida here.”
“Hello, I’d like a reservation for this weekend.”
“Sorry, honey, we’re filled up. We’ve got two groups coming in — the glider club and the A.A. — plus all the regulars.”
“Not even room for one?”
(Fumbling of the receiver, thrashing of papers.) “Well, maybe I can make room for you, honey. Rates are 12 dollars a night, including three meals a day. If you can’t be at the table at meal time, you better plan on eating someplace else.”
“I’ll be there.”
— “A QUIET STREET AND AN OLD HOTEL,” Steve Sorensen, March 16, 1978
Twenty-Five Years Ago
A.W. Coggeshall came here when the city was young, just 42 years after Alonzo E. Horton founded New San Diego. That was in 1909, the same year that Horton died. Like Horton, Coggeshall as a young man clerked in a grocery store and was an outstanding athlete; like Horton, as soon as he could he started buying land, in what by then was downtown San Diego. Unlike Horton, Coggeshall has given no land away, has built no grand buildings, doesn’t live in a mansion, and has never run for public office.
— “CAN YOU SPOT THE MILLIONAIRE IN THIS PICTURE?” Amy Chu, March 17, 1983
Twenty Years Ago
After reading “Coyote: Confessions of an Illegal Alien Smuggler” (February 25), I would like to comment. The illegal-alien problem cannot be ignored any longer by the residents of San Diego, the South Bay, and the communities closer to the border, like Imperial Beach, Otay, and San Ysidro.
My personal solution to control the illegal invasion here is a big wall along the borders of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. I would like to suggest a name for it — “The Enchilada Wall.”
— LETTERS: “THE WALL,” Jose A. Puentes, Chula Vista, March 17, 1988
Fifteen Years Ago
The state senate is set to vote today on whether to confirm San Diego attorney John Davies as a member of the University of California’s Board of Regents. Davies was nominated to the post by his old friend, Governor Pete Wilson. Critics say Davies is a poor choice in a culturally diverse university system.
One example they site is his ownership stake in San Diego radio station KIFM, which is being investigated by the Federal Communications Commission for not meeting minority hiring standards.
— CITY LIGHTS: “WILSON BUD SNAGGED IN RACIAL JAZZ CASE,” Dirk Sutro, March 18, 1993
Ten Years Ago
Larry Lawrence, the late owner of the Hotel del Coronado and Bill Clinton’s onetime ambassador to Switzerland, achieved posthumous ignominy when it was revealed that his wartime service in the Merchant Marine was a hoax, and his body was exhumed from Arlington National Cemetery.
A major player in the “Gravegate” scandal was Lawrence’s ex-aide, Norma Nicolls, who came forward to testify that Lawrence had asked her to conduct research on Merchant Marine ships of the World War II–era, apparently in an effort to place himself in the midst of a North Atlantic battle.
Nicolls also became a confidante to columnist Arianna Huffington, who has used Nicolls as a key source in her in her ongoing coverage of the Lawrence scandals.
— CITY LIGHTS: “LARRY’S BEST GAL,” Bill Manson, March 19, 1998
Five Years Ago
In March of 1964 I was the Senior Advisor of a patrol of four Americans and a platoon of Jarai Montagnard tribesmen. We were out hunting for the population of a Jarai village that the Viet Cong had kidnapped to use as slave labor in the jungle.
“No g’pow! No g’pow!” g’pow being Jarai for gun. Probably the only thing that saved two of them was that my troops had to shoot wide to avoid hitting me. But they hit one of them and blood ran down his back as he ran.
— CITY LIGHTS: “CHIMPS WITH NUKES,” Jim Morris, March 13, 2003