Thirty Years Ago
FREDDIE FREAK. Didn’t you believe me when I said I met Eddie at Parkway Plaza? If I didn’t I got the next best thing. Eddie Freak.
HECKLE JECKLE: Love to. Meet me at Tower Records, Friday at 6:30. If you don’t show, I’ll assume that you couldn’t handle me after all. Zoomed.
JOHN STEPHENSON: In order to develop a secret romance through the Reader, there is the requirement that you read it. Miner details. Disgustedly yours, Anne.
— CLASSIFIEDS, September 14, 1978
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Just about everything this city knows about suburban living has gone into the making of the southern end of University City, ten miles north of downtown and a few miles inland of La Jolla.
A neighborhood without billboards, without the white schoolroom trailers that betoken overcrowding, with the right number of grocery stores and service stations, a post office and an extra spacious library, in just the right locations so that one may walk or bike or drive to do one’s errands.
— “THE GROWL OF BULLDOZERS IS THE SOUND OF MONEY,” Joe Applegate, September 15, 1983
Twenty Years Ago
Chipmunk-cheeked Mayor O’Connor and her moral shill, Tribuneer DaRosa, achieved a landmark of sorts with their burlesque of human suffering in a richly front-page story in the paper’s Labor Day edition — “Mayor samples lifestyle of the homeless”[!!]. See the shameless millionairess schlep bottles of Evian and tubes of heavy-gauge sunscreen through this, the City without Pity. See her sycophantic cohort DaRosa prostitute sacred journalistic values to record the mayor’s horror slavishly.
— “A SUMMER NIGHT’S FEVER DREAM,” Arturo Cardenas-Ruiz, September 15, 1988
Fifteen Years Ago
The first time I went to La Jolla was the summer of 1957. I was 15. Mama had remarried that spring to a man we all thought was beneath her. My brother Jimmy had left home shortly afterward, calling her an adulteress for remarrying. He had become a holy roller not long before that out of sexual guilt and fear of burning in hell.
— “WHERE THE SURF WAS ROUGHEST,” Mary Kathryn Vernon, La Mesa, September 9, 1993
Ten Years Ago
A woman, whose name tag I couldn’t see, stood to speak. While gazing at the floor, she talked about how angry she’d been with President Clinton. She explained how she’d been struggling not to judge him, but found the struggle very difficult. She said that while thinking upon these things in the meeting, she’d realized that God resided in the president, too.
“It suddenly came to me, that reaching-out spirit. I felt humbled in my shadowed ability to see God in President Clinton.”
— SHEEP AND GOATS: “RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF FRIENDS (QUAKERS),” Abe Opincar, September 17, 1998
Five Years Ago
“I find that writers don’t talk much about books with each other, but then, some people I know do talk a great deal about books. For example, Toby [Wolff’s younger brother, Tobias Wolff], Ward Just, Richard Ford. Richard and I talk about fiction. With Toby usually I talk about history. So Toby will be up to speed on Peter the Great as a ghastly houseguest in England. He will have read something about the missionaries in Quebec in the 18th Century. With Ward, it’ll be the latest book on Churchill or Stalingrad. But with Richard, we talk about novels and stories.”
Where everyone talked about books, Mr. Wolff said, was that time when everybody was gathered at Goddard College in Vermont. “That’s where I met Richard Ford, that’s where I met Michael Ryan, that’s where I met Tom Lux, that’s where I met Stephen Dobyns, where I met Ray Carver, Louise Glück, Donald Hall. Frank Conroy, I already knew. He was there. Bob Hass was there. Craig Nova, John Irving, Philip Levine.
— READING: “GEOFFREY WOLFF: THE ART OF BURNING BRIDGES,” Judith Moore, September 11, 2003