Thirty Years Ago
Tuesday, October 31, 1978
In speaking to people who have known John Vietor, I am told that he is “the Jell-O heir,” “the founder of San Diego Magazine,” “a world traveler who dines with royalty,” “a registered Democrat when La Jolla was solidly Republican.”
He has a drink with Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss), and he sees Roger Revelle or Jonas Salk. But he does not mingle with UCSD professors (a party given for Vietor to enable him to meet people from academia “didn’t work out”).
— “MR. JELL-O WILL SEE YOU NOW,” Eleanor Widmer, March 15, 1979
Twenty-Five Years Ago
At age 19, less than a year out of high school in La Jolla, Mike Doyle had established a reputation as one of the most talented surfers in the world — first in California, then in Hawaii. He had started surfing when he was 13, after spending weekends at the Manhattan Beach pier. He had watched the surfers from the beach many times, but it never made sense — were they sliding, falling, being pushed?
— “MAKING WAVES,” Steve Sorensen, March 15, 1984
Twenty Years Ago
“So I went off and started a band in 1966 called the Jesters that played places like the Hi Ho Club out here on Fletcher Parkway. You remember: it used to be the Roaring Twenties nightclub, then it was the Hi Ho Club, now it’s a bunch of theaters. So we played there and at other teen-age clubs and at high school dances, and eventually that band turned into the Dark Ages, and the Dark Ages became the house band at the Hi Ho Club. Lester Bangs used to come and sit in on harmonica.”
— “BIRTH OF THE BEAT FARMERS,” Roger Anderson, March 16, 1989
Fifteen Years Ago
All the Stone Temple Pilots bashing that’s been going on ever since their album Core hit the top ten is starting to get on my nerves. From Saturday Night Live to the L.A. Times, every time their name comes up, the following complaint is repeated, mantralike: STP are not real grunge, are fake grunge, are “prefabricated” grunge.
I agree — they aren’t grunge, because they write catchy tunes (I realize this also disqualifies Nirvana, but that’s another topic).
— “AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO’S NOTICED?” Dan Rudolph, March 10, 1994
Ten Years Ago
What we can be sure that Bompensiero thought about Jack’s repeated attempts to kill Cohen was that Jack tried too many times. Bompensiero might have reflected on the day back in 1948 when he’d driven up to L.A. with Biaggio Bonventre to kill Cohen. In that first foray, not long after Mary Ann and Dutch ran off and got married, Bompensiero himself was shooter. Just when Bompensiero lined his shotgun up on Cohen, Cohen ducked into the rest room. The little bastard was a compulsive hand-washer. Could never get himself clean. Bompensiero ended up killing Cohen’s bodyguard Hooky Rothman.
Maybe this wasn’t how Bompensiero’s mind worked. Maybe it was. I know this: the attempt I make on your behalf and mine to enter into Bompensiero’s mind is not working.
— “A FATEFUL CHECK AT THE U.S. GRANT,” Judith Moore, March 11, 1999
Five Years Ago
The genesis is in 1996. The Republican convention is coming to town. Mayor Susan Golding will be showcased for a U.S. Senate run. Her financial supporters will include Padres moneybags John Moores and Chargers chief Alex Spanos — both of whom are lining up massive corporate-welfare schemes.
City manager Jack McGrory decides to plunder the pension system. But first he must get permission from the pension board — most of whose members either represent city-worker labor unions or are city officials who will receive fat pensions.
— CITY LIGHTS: “CITY OF FOOLS,” Don Bauder, March 11, 2004