Thirty Years Ago
Easter at the Colorado River is like a holy pilgrimage for those who believe. They pour out of the hot cities of Southern California in endless caravans, crossing the mountains and deserts, enduring the merciless heat, suffering robbery at the hands of the Bedouin gas merchants, forging onward through the savage regions of Brawley, Indio, and Blythe.
Day and night the campgrounds that dot the riverbank are a throbbing bazaar of dusty cars, lawn chairs, picnic tables, boat trailers, ice chests, wet dogs, and unconscious bodies. Rock and roll blares out from every direction in a howling symphony of confusion.
— “PILGRIMS BY THE SHORE,” Steve Sorensen, May 3, 1979
Twenty-Five Years Ago
BLM rangers’ job is to see more than the rest of us, to know things about people that most of us don’t care to know, and then somehow try to go on believing that the whole world isn’t made up of the human trash they call “dirtbags.” You might think the desert would be a place where you could get away from people like that, the rangers say, and maybe it was, once; but not anymore.
— “WHERE DEMONS THRIVE,” Steve Sorensen, May 3, 1984
Twenty Years Ago
Rollie Fingers is flat broke. The one-time Cy Young Award–winning pitcher, the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 1981, the million-dollar-plus-a-year man with the most saves in major league history at the time of his retirement from baseball in October 1985, is presently out a job as well as funds, according to bankruptcy filings. A Mercedes, along with his $200,000 deferred salary from the Milwaukee Brewers, the last team he played for, went to ex-wife Danielle back in ’85. He lost his house and now lives in a rented condominium in Rancho Bernardo.
— CITY LIGHTS: “FINGERS BROKE,” Matt Potter, May 4, 1989
Fifteen Years Ago
A beach is a good place for not thinking. There’s no work at a beach. Everyone’s there to hang out. Normal rules of life are suspended. That makes the beach safe, in a weird way. Especially for growing girls. When I was a growing girl, I spent a lot of time at the beach. That was in the ’70s. The ’70s were good years for not thinking.
I took the bus there faithfully every day, ignoring the weather. Days when the marine layer didn’t burn off were sad. Colder. Barren. Fetid ocean wind spilled down the east-west running streets. I wore beach clothes, stuck to the north-south streets to stay out of the wind. They were side streets, so there was less traffic.
— “SEASIDE TUTORIALS,” Anonymous, April 28, 1994
Ten Years Ago
I am a solitary pedestrian, migrating over vast asphalt plains adjacent to the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Ron Willis, 54, is an Encinitas farrier.
“I’m at it 30 years and I still don’t think I know what I’m doing. It’s not like changing the plugs on a car. Horses are living things and they are all different, their confirmations are all different. I use a hoof gauge. I’ll look at their confirmation and determine what angle I want the hoof to be and I’ll cut to get that angle. Usually, it’s between 55 and 58 degrees. You want to stand them up a little in order to take the strain off their tendons.”
— SPORTING BOX: “NIGHT WORK,” Patrick Daugherty, April 29, 1999
Five Years Ago
Barbarella began keeping a blog, or Web log, in 2000. The following are selections from her website, http://barbylon.diaryland.com.
Well, at least I have a way to describe myself accurately in retrospect, in my memoirs perhaps. I admit it. I find myself endlessly fascinating, which is one of the reasons I journal so much. It makes me feel like I know myself.
— “LOST IN THE MOMENT,” Barbarella, April 29 2004