Thirty Years Ago
Dear Matthew Alice:
While standing in the license-renewal line for an hour and a half the other day at the Department of Motor Vehicles, I realized that this chore is one of our society’s great levelers. Everyone — Paul Bloom, Dr. Thomas Day, Don Coryell — must stand in line at the DMV in order to obtain a license. Am I right?
Sara Kassara, Mission Beach.
Not long ago I met someone in line who looked remarkably like Joan Didion. (She resembled the photograph on Didion’s latest book, The White Album.) I introduced myself and she said, “I had better tell you what I am doing here. What I am doing here is trying to pass a test that corresponds, in some totemic way, to everything in California that I have been taught to believe in. To say that this line is in some way better than the eight-items-or-less line at the Mayfair in Hillcrest is beside the point.”
— STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, October 11, 1979
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Daniel Muñoz is the publisher of San Diego’s Mexican-American newspaper La Prensa. In mid-July of last year, he filed a suit against Rachael Ortiz, executive director of Barrio Youth Center in Logan Heights. Muñoz states that on May 6, 1983, he and his wife attended a social function at the Casa Bonita restaurant on Sweetwater Road in National City. At 8:30 p.m., someone told him that a woman was calling him from across the room. It was Rachael Ortiz. Muñoz’s suit claims that she made obscene gestures at him. She then reached up and slapped him.
[I]t was not surprising when in May of this year Ortiz filed a cross-complaint alleging libel and conspiracy on the part of Daniel Muñoz as well as his attorney Denise Moreno Ducheny and her husband Alvin Ducheny.
— CITY LIGHTS: “SLAPPED SLAPS SUIT ON SLAPPER,” Abe Opincar, October 11, 1984
Twenty Years Ago
My baby loves the Grateful Dead. Loves ’em so much that the quickest cure at our place for an onset of persistent fussiness is rockin’ Ariel in her daddy’s arms to “Touch of Gray,” “China Cat Sunflower,” “Bertha,” or any other GD tune of ancient or recent vintage.
— CITY LIGHTS: “THE DIAPER DEEJAY,” Alan Reder, October 12, 1989
Fifteen Years Ago
I’ve finally seen what I feel to be the very best moment of local television broadcast this year. It was Tuesday last week. Johnatan George, the 36-year-old “career criminal” who two years ago made headlines by bolting from a sheriff’s van in the Gaslamp Quarter and shooting to death Michael Champion, a 28-year-old motorist, testified on his own behalf.
“If [Champion] had not knocked the gun out of my hand, it would not have discharged,” George said.
— AS SEEN ON TV: “REMAIN CALM,” Abe Opincar, October 6, 1994
Ten Years Ago
Unlike a lot of my classmates, I don’t practice law anymore. I stay at home with my kids. On a good day, I’m happy about my decisions. I wouldn’t trade Johnny’s smiles and Rebecca’s first word and Angela and Lucy’s make-believe games for the billable-hour grind most lawyers endure.
— KID STUFF: “A LONG WALK DOWN A NARROW CORRIDOR,” Anne Albright, October 7, 1999
Five Years Ago
Sunday’s startling endorsement by the Union-Tribune of Democrat Mike Aguirre for San Diego city attorney seems to have turned conventional wisdom on its head. But there is a big reason behind the U-T’s seeming madness, according to newspaper insiders: the death of publisher Helen Copley.
Though Republican, David Copley, 52, quietly gave $5000 to left-leaning gubernatorial candidate Arianna Huffington, even as his mother’s paper was endorsing Republican movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
— CITY LIGHTS: “OVER MOM’S DEAD BODY,” Matt Potter, October 7, 2004