Thirty Years Ago
In April my dad and I flew to La Paz, a fishing resort near the end of the Baja Peninsula, some 750 miles south of San Diego. From there, we traveled by bus and motorboat to the cluster of rocks at the very tip of the cape — the end of California. It was for both of us a journey of the heart — and the mind.
The flight on Mexicana Airlines from Tijuana cost $114.40 round-trip. I know this not because I paid for my ticket, but because the price was written on the ticket voucher that Dad gave me to keep, he said, “as a receipt.”
— “TRAVELS WITH MY FATHER,” Joe Applegate, May 24, 1979
Twenty-Five Years Ago
HE WATCHES HER walk into Quel Fromage and wonders. Would she ever consider meeting him there? She would.
I SAW A WOMAN brushing her teeth in her car. Where had she been? Where was she going?
A HEARTFELT THANKS TO Boy George, without whom I may never have been driven to discover the joys of country music.
— PERSONALS, May 24, 1984
Twenty Years Ago
Perhaps the Tribune will publish its own “exclusive” interview with Sagon Penn next week, making it the fourth San Diego newspaper to print the “first” interview with the acquitted killer of a San Diego policeman. The Union claimed credit for the Penn exclusive last week in a front-page story headlined, “After 4 years of silence, he talks about fatal shooting.” Not quite. In February 1988, the weekly San Diego Monitor ran a story based on its interview with Penn, who was found not guilty of charges that he murdered policeman Thomas Riggs during a 1985 altercation in an Encanto driveway.
Two months later, the Los Angeles Times secured transcripts of a lengthy post-trial interview that Penn gave to state investigators. Headlined “Interview Offers First Glimpse Into Sagon Penn’s Inner World,” the Times story repeated Penn’s comments to investigators that he shot the police officer because “I didn’t get a chance to meditate to God.”
— “THE INSIDE STORY,” Paul Krueger, May 25, 1989
Fifteen Years Ago
I remember the decision that we go to California being made at our kitchen table. Me, my mother, my father — considering. Except it really had all been considered long before I was involved. My mother had a boyfriend, my father’s accountant, Jim Fox, a crewcut guy, early gray, only 12 years older than I.
— “SUNSTRUCK,” Peter Griffin, May 19, 1994
Ten Years Ago
This actually happened. My friend Mary had her first two children 13 months apart. While on a shopping trip, carrying the first and still pregnant with the second, she happened to pass a woman who, upon seeing Mary thus encumbered, said, “Sick.”
Children as sickness. Children as source of dysfunction. Children as blight upon the face of the earth. People exhibiting jaw-dropping rudeness toward total strangers, treating large families as if they were a self-evident evil, poking their noses into other peoples’ most personal decisions. The mind reels and races with objections, but for starters, where are these people’s manners?
— “A DIFFERENT KIND OF MORNING SICKNESS,” Matthew Lickona, May 20, 1999
Five Years Ago
The city is perched near the bankruptcy abyss. But its proposed 2005 budget is up almost 10 percent. This fat budget carves the heart out of critical services that benefit citizens of modest means, while continuing to shovel excess sacks of taxpayer funds to corporate-welfare panhandlers and city employees who already enjoy overly generous pay and benefits.
City employees on average enjoy salaries (not including benefits) of more than $50,000 a year. But the average San Diegan makes less than $40,000 annually and has much fewer benefits.
— CITY LIGHTS: “BASEBALL FOR THE RICH, POTHOLES FOR THE POOR,” Don Bauder, May 20, 2004