Thirty Years Ago
THREE CLOSE MALE friends of mine and I were sitting around my living room the other day when someone picked up the Reader and began reading aloud some of the matchmaking ads in the personals. We found some of them humorous, some a little crazy, others meaningless, but a few sounded worth answering. Then someone came up with the idea that maybe we should place an ad of our own requesting to meet four women. Do responsible intelligent people really meet through these ads? One friend of mine said, “Well, you never know until you do it!”
— CLASSIFIEDS, October 4, 1979
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Just picked up and read the Reader after a hiatus of some months, and I notice that you still use Jonathan Saville to review legitimate theater.
That pompous ass can still be useful to me, I suppose: whatever he likes, I stay away from, and vice versa. So keep up the good work.
— LETTERS: “WHAT WALTER LIKES,” Walter Colby, San Diego, October 4, 1984
Twenty Years Ago
In the faint light of a new moon one could see from our mountain- top bunkers in Pleiku across the grassy plains of the Central Highlands almost into Cambodia. I looked over my shoulder to a higher bunker to see my father, a visiting correspondent, who was covering my back with an M-60 machine gun. I was partial to the single-shot M-79 grenade launcher. My father and I had fought each other on and off all my life. How odd to be in these mutually defensive positions in a war that we disputed. Suddenly, on my left front, a trip flare in our wire went off.
Anyway, someday I may finish the Vietnam incident on Monkey Mountain with my father, but for the time being.... Got’cha, Dad!
— “THE STORY I WANTED TO WRITE BUT DIDN’T,” John Steinbeck IV, October 5, 1989
Fifteen Years Ago
An editorial in the San Diego Union-Tribune last week that blasted a proposal to widen the Mission Beach boardwalk because it “would be uncomfortably close to patios and fences” failed to mention one who would be especially hard hit. David Copley, son of U-T publisher Helen Copley, owns a three-story beach house near Ventura Place he’s dubbed “Casa de Bananas.” Widening the boardwalk to include the 12 feet of city-owned land east of the current boundary would put joggers, bicyclists, and rollerskaters within a few feet of Copley’s tinted-glass patio door and designer landscaping.
— CITY LIGHTS: “YEAH, BUT DOES HE ROLLER SKATE?” Thomas K. Arnold, September 29, 1994
Ten Years Ago
“So how did you happen to take up tears, and do you cry yourself?” I asked.
“I was a big weeper. I come from a family of weepers. At times kind of embarrassing. But as I wrote Crying I started weeping considerably less. I think in part because whenever you’re studying something, certainly when you’re crying and you pull out a notebook and a pad, it interferes with the full experience of giving way to the emotion, so you have to stop and start thinking about it immediately.”
“Because crying,” I said, echoing something Lutz has written in Crying, “is not thinking.”
“Yes. Crying, as I say, is absorbing yourself in your own state and not about cognitive activity.”
— READING: “CRYING,” Judith Moore, September 30, 1999
Five Years Ago
February 2, 2003: Charley Barringer was walking his dog Breezy along Windansea Beach when he saw a group of sea birds clustering above a patch of water 200 to 300 yards offshore, straight out from Nautilus Street. As he watched the cavorting birds, he told the Union-Tribune, he saw “something big” leap out of the water and realized it was a great white.
— CITY LIGHTS: “BLOOD ON THE WATER,” Ernie Grimm, September 30, 2004