Thirty Years Ago
Most Philosophical Opening Sentence: “The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.” V.S. Naipaul has emerged this year as the darling of the literati, and this beginning, from his widely heralded novel, A Bend in the River, helps you to understand why. Obviously this is a no-nonsense writer who abhors sentimentality and gets right down to business. Readers of Erich Segal beware.
— “OPEN TO PAGE ONE,” Fred Moramarco, December 20, 1979
Twenty-Five Years Ago
One Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, Patty M. stopped by the Four Corners Tavern on the northwest corner of 30th and Upas streets in North Park for a few drinks.
Then she recognized one of the officers, Jim Stewart, as a longtime friend whom she hadn’t seen in more than a year. Initial pleasantries soon turned sour, however, “when he asked me what I was doing in a ‘sleazebag’ place like this,” Patty recalls.
— CITY LIGHTS: “COPS KNOCK OFF FOUR CORNERS,” Thomas K. Arnold, December 20, 1984
Twenty Years Ago
The Tribune printed this “clarification” after Mayor Maureen O’Connor complained about the paper’s coverage of a Society Arts Festival performance: “Mayor O’Connor says she was not chewing gum as she entered the U.S. premiere performance of the Tbilisi State Marionette Theater last Wednesday. Paul Downey, the mayor’s press secretary, said she was chewing on a breath mint.
— CITY LIGHTS: “YEAR IN REVIEW,” Paul Krueger, Neal Matthews, and Bill Owens, December 21, 1989
Fifteen Years Ago
Ten, 12 years ago I was talking to some small-press jerk, a publisher of pamphlets and broadsides and occasional 40-page books and such, who didn’t much care for the Beats. His idea of a Real Poet was somebody like James Merrill. Artuad to him was Not a poet, and Wallace Stevens was vastly preferable to Ezra Pound, who in turn was preferable to William Carlos Williams. His bottom line on Beats was they had nothing much to offer beyond the ambiguous (libertine) gushings and spoutings of any other Bohemian lit cult, and his only interest in ’em — historically — was that much of their early work saw its first light of print in venues like his, though his own whimsical notion of publishing destiny was more on the order of being absorbed someday as an imprint of Knopf than spreading/thriving mushroom-like, City Lights–like, on its own enduring compost patch of back-catalogue populism.
— “BEAT LIT WRIT LARGE,” Richard Meltzer, December 15, 1994
Ten Years Ago
Three years ago in a letter to the San Diego City Council and city attorney dated December 24, 1996, Bruce Henderson warned that the council had made a grave mistake in May 1995 when it approved the now-controversial Chargers ticket guarantee for Qualcomm Stadium. “It makes the city responsible for selling 60,000 tickets a game (6 million tickets in over ten seasons),” wrote Henderson. “Yet, it has the Chargers setting the prices. That gives the Chargers a cost-plus contract.
— “ALEX SPANOS AND THE STADIUM SHAM,” Matt Potter, December 16, 1999
Five Years Ago
Look out, Union-Tribune, here comes Neil Morgan, who was fired by the paper this spring, and his old sidekick Bob Witty, who used to help Morgan run the Copley-owned, now-defunct San Diego Tribune. The pair, along with Barbara Bry, an ex-L.A. Times reporter and Harvard business school grad who married and later divorced millionaire Democratic La Jolla developer Pat Kruer, are part of the nonprofit “Voice of San Diego,” a new website that sources say intends to take direct aim at the U-T’s SignOnSanDiego.com internet operation. Bankrolling the venture is said to be a foundation run by La Jolla fatcat venture-capital investor Ralph B. “Buzz” Woolley, owner of Coronado’s Glorietta Bay Inn.
— CITY LIGHTS: “INSIDE OF INSIDE,” Matt Potter, December 16, 2004