Thirty Years Ago
It was Saturday, and we had stopped in at the New Seed, the Pacific Beach natural foods emporium, to check up on the junk-food trade-in.... Cake mixes and frostings seemed the most popular choice of the junk-food traders, but we counted four packages of D-Zerta Lo-Cal Gelatin, one crumpled envelope of Sloppy Joe mix, boxes of Jelly Spoon Candy, chocolate Whip ’N Chill, Twin Low Calory Granulated Sugar.
— CITY LIGHTS: “TURN IN YOUR TWINKIES,” March 1, 1979
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Dear Matthew Alice: I’ve been puzzled as to how the telephone company’s time recording delivers the exact time whenever you dial it. And how come the recorded voice is always the same one?
— D.E. Briggs, San Diego
Eighteen million Americans hear Jane Barbe speak each day — a number that must make Ted Leitner or Howard Cosell stammer with envy.
— STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, March 1, 1984
Twenty Years Ago
The ugliest unit eyescape in Horton Plaza is the view straight on with your back to this kid store called Gymboree on the topmost level of the joint. Prob’ly the stupidest view of that stupid stoopid sharp-angled THING most people prob’ly think of when they think of the Plaza — that black/white/brown wedge of metaphorical CHEESE with the farcical ARCHES which make merry architecture REFERENCE but little (if any) nongratuitous architectural SENSE.
— “WHERE THE HIDEOUS MEETS THE INSIDIOUS,” Richard Meltzer, March 2, 1989
Fifteen Years Ago
“I was really torn apart over JFK’s assassination,” says Ken Benedict, 41-year-old drummer for Daytripper, a nascent, North County–based Beatles tribute act formed at the inspiration of 40-year-old Ed Semple. “I was only 11 at the time,” Benedict continues, “but I knew he was a good man and...well, he was the president. What the hell do I know? I was 11. But I think the Beatles were there at the right time. Somebody needed to bring the nation out of this funk.”
— LOCALS: “WELL GROOMED BUT HIP,” John Brizzolara, February 24, 1994
Ten Years Ago
José Castrillón Henao was said to have cut a dashing figure on the streets of downtown San Diego. Partial to expensive Armani suits and accompanied by a flashy girlfriend, the Colombian native made the rounds of shops at the Palladion and galleries in Seaport Village, snapping up diamonds, artwork, and custom-designed furniture.
He frequented one of the best units at One Harbor Drive, the twin towers across the street from the convention center. His people told the staff at the condo complex that they were in the tuna business and were using the computers inside their 26th-floor condominium to track fish movements via satellite.
But federal prosecutors say he was captain of a billion-dollar cocaine-smuggling empire for the Cali cartel.
— “DRUG RUNNERS’ HIDEAWAY,” Matt Potter, February 25, 1999
Five Years Ago
We talked, then, about Ginsberg’s work. “Allen,” said Mr. Kashner, “is a terrible, terrible judge of his own poetry, in a way.”
“And there’s so much of it.”
“That’s part of the problem. So much of it that he let us finish writing it for him.”
“Jack [Kerouac] certainly wanted to be Neal [Cassady] or like Neal.”
“I think he did. And, of course, Allen always was — I mean, whenever he wrote about Cassady, he would write about musculature; he was very taken with him physically.
“Allen had these fabulous crushes on the straight world and men in the straight world. It was very, very important to Allen that Neal’s teacher in San Quentin had been a lover of the early homosexual activist Edward Carpenter [1844–1929], and Carpenter had been a lover of Whitman. So in this way they could trace their lineage.”
— READING: “SAM KASHNER: WHEN I WAS COOL,” Judith Moore, February 26, 2004