Thirty Years Ago
I’m not sure why the birds on the north island of the Coronados are making such a racket. They’re screaming so loudly, it seems like the noise should carry to Point Loma, 15 miles away. From a boat, even just a few hundred feet offshore, the birds blend into the mottled cliff side of the island. Sections of the cliff are virtually covered with fuzzy baby pelicans, snow white, ungainly creatures which have broken out of their shells only days and weeks before.
— “FUTURE FLOCK,” Jeannette De Wyze, April 19, 1979
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Aguirre shows up on time, ready to jog in blue gym shorts and a blue sweat top with hood. He wants to run up Sixth Avenue, so we ride in his late-model BMW, a suitable lawyer’s car, down Florida Canyon and briefly onto the northbound I-5 chute to Sixth Avenue, where we park at Elm Street.
Immediately he starts in on virtually everybody and anything. This town, he says, tolerates mediocre and compromised politicians, is a haven for three-piece-suited frauds who wouldn’t get away with their chicanery elsewhere.
— “CRIME & POLITICS,” Bob Dorn, April 19, 1984
Twenty Years Ago
I know, I pick up the Reader myself. However — I’m sick of reading stories about abortion (“Dutiful Daughter,” April 6). Don’t you realize that probably more than half of your readers have experienced it in one way or another, and I personally don’t care to be reminded when I’m checking the entertainment news. I’m not for or against it, but I have experienced it, and it’s something I have to live with, but I DON’T WANT IT IN THE READER! It’s like my parents or something. IT PISSES ME OFF!
— LETTERS: “NOT COPLEY OR NEW YORK,” Name Withheld by Request, San Diego, April 20, 1989
Fifteen Years Ago
Cruising down Broadway in San Diego. It’s Monday morning, the day after Christmas, and the streets are nearly empty.
A rap beat suddenly cracks the air. As I pull up to the red light, a sleek black Acura with dark, one-way windows eases up beside me, and the rap music gets louder.
As the driver comes into view, I see he has his window down. I look over at this brother. He is in his late 20s. Gold glistens off his wrist and pinkie finger. But it is his hairstyle that catches my attention: it is faded around the ears — cut very close, that is — and rises to an inch above his head, where it is topped off with glossy curls. Dark brown, leaning forward, he is driving pimp style.
— “MY HAIR ISN’T JUST WOOLLY, IT’S NAPPY TOO AND THICK AND WIRY AND STUBBORN,” Cecil Brown, April 14, 1994
Ten Years Ago
She’d be in lines and buses half the morning, making the circuit of ID checks and searches, and then she’d have to wait an hour while they called him down from his room. She’d told him she was coming, she said, but he would not be waiting for her.
“When he’d come down, I’d cry and ask him, ‘What did I come all the way up here for? Give me a reason!’ There were other men who looked forward to a visit, who held their wives’ hands and let them lay their heads on their shoulder. Jerome would come out with an attitude, right off. He offered nothing.”
— “IF HE’S SO SMART WHAT’S HE DOING BEHIND BARS?” Jangchup Phelgyal, April 15, 1999
Five Years Ago
The Union-Tribune cult of hate, under the direction of editor in chief Karin Winner and editor of the editorial page Robert Kittle, is now most notoriously exemplified by the firing of San Diego’s most famous and best journalist, Neil Morgan.
— LETTERS: “HATE CULT,” Anthony St. Jude, via email, April 15, 2004