Thirty Years Ago
Maureen O’Connor now guards her private life with remarkable jealousy. In the course of preparing this story I wasn’t invited to her home, she wouldn’t introduce me to her husband, and she warned me that she would flatly refuse to answer many questions. I learned that she’s built up careful defenses to protect her privacy and that few outsiders invade it.
— “DON’T CALL ME AT HOME,” Jeannette De Wyze, March 8, 1979
Twenty-Five Years Ago
The first summer following my marriage, I got a half-basset, half-beagle dog; two mallard ducks who hatched 17 black-and-yellow ducklings; a black kitten who guarded five goldfish in an oversize brandy snifter; and a blue parakeet. And I planted a small garden, digging neither deeply nor thoroughly enough, nor adding any soil amendments or fertilizers. I sowed radishes, two kinds of lettuce, spinach, beets, carrots, yellow crookneck squash, and, because I liked it fried in cornmeal, okra. By God, I was a married woman, I was pregnant, and I was going to make up for all those years keeping off the grass.
— “GARDENER’S ART,” Judith Moore, March 8, 1984
Twenty Years Ago
Not long ago, sea urchins were considered a nuisance, a weed in the kelp gardens off Point Loma and the Channel Islands. “People used to be amused that anyone would bother with them,” Mac says. Now they are the number-one seafood export from California. Urchins picked by Mac can be in a Tokyo seafood auction 48 hours after they hit the dock in San Diego Bay. The Japanese love raw sea urchin gonads, which pack the highest concentration of protein of any known food.
— “ONE MORE JUMP,” Rick Geist, March 9, 1989
Fifteen Years Ago
My favorite moment of Olympics coverage was when CBS used a sound bite of Nirvana’s “Breed” to accompany video of the biathletes shooting off their rifles: “I don’t mind, I don’t mind, I don’t mind, I don’t mind if you don’t have a mind.”… A few years ago, the song’s author, Kurt Cobain, vilified gun use in “Come As You Are.” More recently, however, he had his own personal armory confiscated by police after a domestic quarrel that got ugly.
— “I TOOK A SCUNNER AT PICABO,” Gina Arnold, March 3, 1994
Ten Years Ago
“What,” I ask him, “do you think of this sculpture?” We are standing in front of the Westin surrounded by luggage and waiting for a cab. Towering over us is a giant plastic monstrosity of dolphins and swordfishes leaping through frozen (polyvinyl chloride?) waves, a fiberglass obelisk rising pointily, if pointlessly, 92 1/2 feet into the air. At night it is lit internally with blue neon. During the day, this urethane non sequitur winks smeared sunlight at the synthetic, water-spewing pelicans and clams surrounding its 40-foot-diameter base.
“I think it’s real San Diego,” Tom from Nashville says approvingly as a cab pulls up.
“I think you’re right.” I nod, thank him, and say good-bye.
— “I WOULDN’T NOTICE IF THEY NAILED BABIES TO THE WALL,” John Brizzolara, March 4, 1999
Five Years Ago
It was bound to happen. I went to two of the worst parties. My friends have the nerve to be envious that I get to attend a variety of parties and then write about them. But when you spend hours at a horrible party, it sure isn’t fun. And it’s not that I’m picky about parties. I went to a Christmas party this year that had only four people in attendance, but I had fun — great conversation and great food.
The first horrible party I went to was for the last episode of Sex and the City. Maybe I went in with high expectations because of a party I cohosted more than ten years ago for the last episode of Cheers.
— CRASHER: “THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT,” Josh Board, March 4, 2004