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Thirty Years Ago
So you think Dylan is a has-been/ And Ronstadt is adolescent cheesecake./ Well, bein’ dumb is no original sin,/ But you still gotta live by the choices you make./You know critics are frustrated writers,/ Just like judges are frustrated lawyers/ Both self-servin’ as their professions’ voyeurs./ You know the spotlight eludes their roarin’ rage,/ And even tickets won’t get ’em up on the stage./ Why doncha try turnin’ your mind inside out,/ And gettin’ rid of that self-servin’ doubt./ Why, doncha try rentin’ the Sports Arena,/ And see how many would come to hear Esmedina.
LETTERS: “LINES FORMED AT THE READ,” Grady Robertson, January 18, 1979

Twenty-Five Years Ago
So the Republicans talk of bringing Susan Golding back from Sacramento to oppose Democrat Lynn Schenk for the Third District supervisorial seat. No matter that Golding doesn’t live in the district, doesn’t own property there, and dumped her four-year city council “commitment” last year when offered a better-paying, more prestigious job with Governor Deukmejian.
THE INSIDE STORY, Paul Krueger, January 19, 1984

Twenty Years Ago
Redlining, by which the haves keep themselves separated from the have-nots, increasingly applies to the pizza delivery business. “Almost nobody delivers pizza in Southeast [San Diego] after nine at night,” declares Dominic DeLuca, who runs a pizza parlor on Thorn Street in North Park. “But we go in there,” he continues. “Every night, people call from the south and say, ‘Guuuy, nobody will deliver to us.’ But most people there are nice. We’re actually taking our lives in our hands going down there, but you have to take risks. You can’t take pizza away from the people.”
CITY LIGHTS: “SLICE OF THE PIE,” Neal Matthews, January 19, 1989

Fifteen Years Ago
The Reverend Joseph Chambers, the fundamentalist minister in question, has a fairly complex critique of the Barney phenomenon, but you would never know that by reading the newspapers. In the dozens of articles printed about Chambers’s booklet, Barney the Purple Messiah, Chambers’s views are summed up with a single quote: Chambers says Barney’s show promotes acceptance of homosexuality.

Disagree with him or not, Chambers’s views on Barney are not lightweight. Unlike the majority of adult Americans, he sat down and paid close attention to the Barney phenomenon and didn’t like what he found.
AS SEEN ON TV: “IMAGINE,” Abe Opincar, January 13, 1994

Ten Years Ago
548 Fifth Avenue in downtown San Diego has been a counterculture incubator since 1993. As the Rita Dean Gallery and Tohubohu bookshop, it was frequented by musicians and artists looking for kinship, inspiration, and weirdness. As the Museum of Death, which is 548 Fifth’s current incarnation, it serves the same purpose.… The Rita Dean Gallery featured yearly erotic art shows and annual serial killer art shows. The serial killer art was a spore for the Museum of Death (complete with electric chair and the only baseball in the world autographed by Charles Manson).
SCENE: “FIFTH AVENUE’S ONLY CANNIBALISTIC ALBINO FROG,” Jimmy Jazz, January 14, 1999

Five Years Ago
A friend of mine in Mensa gave me Richard Lederer’s number and I invited myself to his party.… “I don’t mind you coming to the party, but I’m just afraid you’re going to write that we’re a bunch of eggheads.”

Another guy named Robert looked like Albert Einstein (I don’t know if that was on purpose). He said, “Oh, I read that column you wrote on the party in Pacific Beach. And the parties there are all just like that. I’ve seen them when I walk down there.”

Wow, a Mensa member reading my stuff.
CRASHER: “DENSA TO MENSA,” Josh Board, January 15, 2004

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