Thirty Years Ago
Last Saturday the sun was shining on the 5100 block of Cape May Avenue in Ocean Beach, and Red House at 5113 was in full flower. At the side yard gate, casually dressed visitors (mostly young) were shelling out a buck each to benefit the OB CRABs (an antinuclear group which would Cancel Radioactive Bullshit). Bread and Roses, San Diego’s veteran musical protesters, were performing. “Solar,” one of the dogs that lives at the house, was sniffing at the broccoli quiches, and folks were signing petitions imploring the governments of Russia and Norway to save the whales. Yet, not a few others were wondering if they weren’t witnessing the end of an era.
— CITY LIGHTS: “OB MANIFESTO,” Jeannette DeWyze and Mark Orwoll, November 22, 1979
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Since Hartwell Ragsdale opened Anderson-Ragsdale Mortuary in 1956, he has prepared an average of 300 San Diegans for burial each year — 8400 bodies, almost all of them black. “Some streets I drive down, I see one house after another I’ve been in,” 56-year-old Ragsdale says. “Death,” he says, and lets the word hang, “is sure...common. People are dying as fast as they’re born. “It is a matter-of-fact statement, devoid of sentiment, and Ragsdale’s eyes only reflect wonder as he says it.
— “THE HOME-GOING,” Judith Moore, November 21, 1984
Twenty Years Ago
He was not your average Navy man. He liked to paint. He listened to jazz and samba music. He read A Moveable Feast, lying in his bunk and imagining such a life for himself. The sailor used to play his flute while on guard duty at Miramar, strolling between buildings in the pitch dark. He got in trouble for that, eventually. That and going AWOL, without realizing it, when he first arrived. They gave him bread and water in the brig. But he didn’t drink beer or buy sex magazines or play loud music on a cassette player. He worked in the photo lab. He had a buddy — he had one buddy — who was a painter too.
— “SAILOR’S PARADISE,” Mary Lang, November 22, 1989
Fifteen Years Ago
Helen Copley can’t be much of a happy camper these days. During the first half of the year, Copley’s flagship newspaper, the Union-Tribune, lost 3 percent of its average daily circulation, down to about 372,000; Sunday’s rate dropped by 1 percent, to about 450,000. Even more painful is the knowledge that other papers in the region had a surprisingly successful first half. In North County, where the U-T had hoped for big gains, daily and Sunday circulation at the competitor Blade-Citizen climbed 7 percent.
— CITY LIGHTS: “DOWN, DOWN, DOWN SHE GOES,” Thomas K. Arnold, November 17, 1994
Ten Years Ago
It’s almost Friday evening and I’m sitting in the park across from the Coronado Public Library. The book I’m reading is not riveting my attention in the way one always hopes as a reader. I find my attention being drawn to the flock of squalling birds that arc sucking around me for something. Pigeons.
Now they seem kind of cute, and on the heels of this sentiment I realize, holy shit: I’ve turned into one of those old guys in the park!
— “T.G.I.F.,” John Brizzolara, November 18, 1999
Five Years Ago
Call me strange, but the holidays make me think of germs. Every year, we have our Thanksgiving feast with husband Patrick’s side of the family. The patriarch’s home, where the dinner is usually held, crawls with humanity. Hordes of messy, over-stimulated children on a pumpkin-pie high take over the house. Among them, every year, there are quite a few sick kids. “The big germ fest,” I call it. Husband Patrick affectionately terms it “sharing the love.”
— BEST BUYS: "SANITARY BATHROOM 101," Eve Kelly, November 18, 2004