Thirty Years Ago
So why does a glance at the front page of the San Diego Union’s Flight 182 “memorial edition” elicit a shiver? “If my daughter got killed in that crash and some jerk newspaper started smearing it all over town like this, I’d feel pretty bad,” said one Union reporter.
Copies of the memorial edition were sent to 371 editors across the country — those with papers of more than 50,000 circulation — and the word was the Union is bucking for a Pulitzer Prize.
— CITY LIGHTS: “PRIZE PACKAGE,” Neal Matthews, November 9, 1978
Twenty-Five Years Ago
The city council and city attorney keep trying to make it impossible for Vince Miranda to show X-rated films at his Strand Theater in Ocean Beach, but Miranda continues. Miranda bought the Newport Avenue movie house in 1982 and changed its repertory/art film line-up to the adult-movie fare offered at his four local Pussycat theaters.
— CITY LIGHTS: “PORN UNDER A BAD SIGN,” Paul Krueger, November 10, 1983
Twenty Years Ago
John Metzger: “I learned about the Klan by being at a lot of the socials and meetings. And when you see all your friends, and everybody having a real good time — when I saw the burning cross, it was neat. It would bring tears out of my eyes. It happens even now when I go to a cross lighting — it’s not tears of crying. It’s just so neat.”
— “WHITE ON WHITE,” Abe Opincar, November 10, 1988
Fifteen Years Ago
F. Scott Fitzgerald was his classmate at Princeton; he lost his virginity to Edna St. Vincent Millay; he drank at the Algonquin with Dorothy Parker; Mary McCarthy was his third wife (he beat her and locked her in a room and made her write fiction); a member of the Mumm champagne family was his fourth and last wife. All this (and much more) aside, when Edmund Wilson died in 1972 at the age of 77, obituaries described him as “America’s greatest man of letters” and “America’s last man of letters.”
— “DETERMINED TO DIE WRITING,” Judith Moore, November 11, 1993
Ten Years Ago
The anticipated crash at midnight on December 31, 1999, has been hyped by repressed geeks seeking to displace legitimate fears about the state of the world. Scott Olmsted’s Y2K Web site (prepare4y2k.com) suppresses fears in just this manner.
“Y2K at best will cause intermittent interruptions of goods and services followed by a recession, and at worst will bring much of the world economy to a virtual halt.”
— SIGHTSEER: “HOW MANY ROUNDS DOES YOUR CLIP HAVE?” Justin Wolff, November 12, 1998
Five Years Ago
San Diego has never banned bathhouses in the 22 years since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first issued a warning about a type of pneumonia — dubbed GRID for gay-related immune deficiency — occurring in the Los Angeles gay community. GRID later came to be called AIDS for acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
“I was in those San Francisco bathhouses in the late 1970s,” says James Hartline, an HIV-positive Hillcrest man who is campaigning to get San Diego’s three bathhouses shut down.… His opposition to bathhouses is fueled by his Christian faith and by his belief that he was infected with HIV in a local bathhouse in 1997, a claim he says he can document. “I was having weekly blood tests at the time,” he explains.
For more than 20 years, beginning as a 17-year-old in Reno, Nevada, Hartline was a frequent patron of bathhouses. As a youth, the State of Nevada had removed him from an abusive home and placed him in a halfway house. At night, Hartline says, “I was going to this park and these older men would cruise me…pick me up.”
— CITY LIGHTS: “BATHHOUSE QUAGMIRE,” Ernie Grimm, November 6, 2003