Thirty Years Ago
Joan Baez appears at SDSU’s Amphitheatre tonight, Thursday. Baez has always struck me as an opportunist and dilettante, flaunting her political beliefs, her ethnic origins, and her relationship with Bob Dylan.
— “THIS WEEK’S CONCERTS,” Steve Esmedina, August 9, 1979
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Every month about 5000 Vietnamese people embark on the hazardous escape from their homeland by attempting to cross the Gulf of Thailand. And although last year the number of water-borne refugees dropped to 28,055, from a peak of 202,158 in 1979, the incidence of rape and plunder at the hands of Thai pirates remains high. The most gruesome statistic is the 850 Vietnamese women who were abducted by the pirates and remain missing.
The San Diego–based Boat People S.O.S. Committee thinks it knows where many of those women are, and it has a plan for rescuing them.
— CITY LIGHTS: “THE ABDUCTED,” Neal Matthews, August 9, 1984
Twenty Years Ago
Our mayor is the public face of San Diego, and her personal appearance says as much about our city as it does about her income. What San Diegan didn’t feel a twinge of pride while thumbing through the August National Geographic, seeing Our Maureen in a glamorous, dynamic red blouse with white peter pan collar. It said bold. It said young. It said, “World Class.”
It was not so long ago that Maureen O’Connor was slouching in her chair at city council meetings, peering out between strands of straight, center-parted hair. Above her ubiquitous blue jeans, a T-shirt — emblazoned, perhaps, with a cartoon lion — and underneath that a dark turtleneck shirt. She was young; and it was, after all, the ’70s.
— CITY LIGHTS: “MO’S CLOTHES,” Mary Lang, August 10, 1989
Fifteen Years Ago
I just love this series on Ramona you have been running!
I especially enjoy the nonlinear format employed in [“Ramona Then, Ramona Now”], referred to as “rambling,” “babbling,” and “confused stream of consciousness” (Letters, July 21) by the obviously right-wing, close-minded, Cartesian colonialists still infesting the county.
— LETTERS: “CARTESIAN COLONIALISTS INFEST COUNTY,” Sean M. Baity, Solana Beach, August 4, 1994
Ten Years Ago
The evening began a little after eight in the bar at Sanborn’s on Revolución where eight poets gathered for drinks and chisme (gossip). Around midnight one of them suggested we move on to El Lugar del Nopal, a café near Guerrero Park. When we arrived, the poets waded into the crowded, smoky room where, on a small stage surrounded by candles, a ponytailed folksinger strummed his guitar. At the table beside mine two poets were discussing a famous Tijuana poet who died some years ago of AIDS. The two poets looked at me and smiled.
“It was,” said one of them, “an open secret in Tijuana, but we never mention it out of respect for him and his family. He was a great man. A tremendous talent. He doesn’t deserve to be spoken about in that way.”
— “THE BODY LEARNS TO BURN ABOVE THE SAND,” Abe Opincar, August 5, 1999
Five Years Ago
Thirty years ago, in the late afternoon of Sunday, June 14, 1959, a 33-year-old Convair engineer named Robert Pamperin went skin diving for abalone off La Jolla Cove and was never seen again. He was accompanied during the dive by a friend, Gerald Lehrer, who later would claim to have witnessed Pamperin being swallowed by a shark.
Two days later, the Union reported that fishermen on the boat Cha Cha had sighted a large shark off the Mission Bay channel entrance. Crewmen estimated the shark to be 20 to 40 feet long. State game wardens began hunting the beast by trailing cattle blood in the water, from their patrol boat, between Bird Rock and the Scripps Pier.
— “TAKEN BY A SHARK,” Ed Davies, August 5, 2004