Thirty-Five Years Ago
Six days a week, with the exception of Tuesdays, the admissions gate is lifted after the seventh race at the Del Mar track, and the crowd that has gathered to play the last two races surges in, free of charge. These are the gypsies of the racing crowd — students in sandals and cut-off jeans, housewives in polyester pantsuits counting their pennies, teenagers who can’t afford the gate price, fanatics who have turned the last races into a mystical system, hangers-on who will chance a few bucks in the twilight of the day but who fear the temptation of all nine races.
— “A DAY AT THE RACES,” E.J. Rackow, August 14, 1975
Thirty Years Ago
Nancy lost her baby in the spring, but that miscarriage early in her pregnancy could have had a dozen causes. Then Kim lost the baby she was carrying. And then so did another woman. It took a while for the separate events to coalesce into a suspicion: the unborn babies of these women, who all worked at the Accurate Products plant above Rose Canyon, were dying because they were slowly, insidiously being poisoned.
— “THE CHEMICAL WEB,” Jeannette De Wyze, August 14, 1980
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Out on Point Loma there are thousands of these little round rust-colored metallic pebbles littered everywhere. One of the old-timers out there told me those pellets are the remnants of an iron-smelting plant the Theosophical Society had out there. Is that so?
The International Theosophical headquarters once graced the ridge on our western perimeter, though only a couple of the original 50 or so buildings remain on the grounds of what is now Point Loma Nazarene College. There never was an iron-smelting plant, but it’s not so preposterous an idea as it first seems, given the Theosophical Society’s near self-sufficiency.
— STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, August 15, 1985
Twenty Years Ago
Tony Bennett is one of the few pop crooners whose style hasn’t been relegated to antiquity or forgotten altogether. Although his philosophy betrays more than a little trepidation, Bennett should be applauded for remaining faithful to the genres he’s most comfortable with: romantic ballads, Tin Pan Alley standards, familiar show tunes, and procedural jazz homages. Innovation and glib trendiness are not among his priorities.
I doubt that we’ll ever hear a Tony Bennett rendition of a 2 Live Crew jam.
— OF NOTE, Stephen Esmedina, August 16, 1990
Fifteen Years Ago
I sometimes wonder what people who read the gibberish I write about the internet understand of it. If you don’t have a computer, or if you’ve never had a chance to see, for example, the World Wide Web, it can all seem esoteric and, dare I say, fuddy-duddy.
Despite what its fanatics may say, the internet does not allow you access to an unlimited universe of exquisitely useful information. The internet does, however, allow you access to a seemingly unlimited universe of internet information.
— AS SEEN ON TV: “POINT-AND-CLICK DEATH,” Abe Opincar, August 10, 1995
Ten Years Ago
In 1668 the Marquis de Montespan was seen approaching Versailles in a coach draped in black silk with a pair of stag’s horns wobbling on top. The Marquis no doubt chose stag’s horns because they were larger and therefore more visible than a goat’s. The courtiers at Versailles nonetheless got the point and King Louis XIV was furious. The horned coach was the unhappy Marquis’s way of telling France that Louis had taken the Marquise de Montespan as his mistress.
— TIP OF MY TONGUE: “GOAT,” Max Nash, August 10, 2000
Five Years Ago
The funny thing is, being thought of as gay is the highest of compliments, at least for anyone in a city cosmopolitan enough to offer espresso with a twist of lemon peel. Like my father, I have lesbian friends, all of them wonderful. However, it is the gay boys and their distinctive behavior that tend to draw me into their orbit. If my father is a Dyke Daddy, then I am a Fruit Fly.
— DIARY OF A DIVA: “FRUIT FLY,” Barbarella, August 4, 2005