Thirty Years Ago
My Ocean Beach/Point Loma friends have taken offense to comments made by Lowell Gannon. He says he was embarrassed to say he lived in O.B., then moved to P.B.! I’d be embarrassed to say I was from macho, disco, phony New York. The majority of these people come out here and take advantage of anything and everybody, and for them to pass judgment on our town of O.B. is a joke. Anybody who has any interest in real life knows it exists in laid-back O.B., especially in the south end, and that P.B. is primarily for upward-mobility social/business types.
— LETTERS: “O.B. P.O.’d” Terry Pfrimmer, Ocean Beach, January 31, 1980
Twenty-Five Years Ago
“If anyone tells you they knew them, they’re lying,” one longtime San Diegan says when asked about the Putnam sisters. The wealthy, reclusive spinsters went to and from their Hillcrest mansion at Fourth Avenue and Walnut Street in a curtain-shrouded limousine. Only an occasional citizen glimpsed them. In 1938 the sisters began to lavish San Diego with Old Masters. They donated an El Greco; a Goya; a Van Dyck; a glorious Murillo; the Zurbarán Agnus Dei. For a time after World War II, helped by Putnam contributions, San Diego’s Fine Arts Gallery (since 1978 the San Diego Museum of Art) became the largest holder of Old Masters this side of the Mississippi.
— “THE MYSTERY OF THE PUTNAM SISTERS,” Judith Moore, January 31, 1985
Twenty Years Ago
When Mr. O’s liquor store closed last month as part of a remodeling job at the William Penn Hotel, its walls started talking. Until the mid-1960s, the space in the northwest corner of the hotel was occupied by the Hub Jewelry and Loan. The Hub became the site of the biggest shootout ever in San Diego, on April 8, 1965, when Robert Page Anderson walked in, asked to see a rifle, and shot the manager dead. For four hours, Anderson held 65 cops at bay, exchanging some 800 rounds of ammunition that ricocheted through the building, the crowded streets, and the legal system.
— CITY LIGHTS: “SHOOTER,” Neal Matthews, February 1, 1990
Fifteen Years Ago
This Sunday, 26 lucky San Diego public officials, including Mayor Susan Golding and assorted city-council members and aides, will be in Miami for the Super Bowl.
Unlike most San Diegans who managed to buy their way into Joe Robbie Stadium, these city officials did not have to endure long lines and lotteries. Nor did they have to fork over $1000 or more per ticket.
Instead, each got to buy a pair of tickets at the face value of $200, courtesy of Chargers owner Alex Spanos and his friend the mayor.
— CITY LIGHTS: “GOLDING AND OTHER FRIENDLY POLS REAP A SUPER THANKS FROM SPANOS,” Thomas K. Arnold, January 26, 1995
Ten Years Ago
On the occasion of your 21st birthday, I’ve considered all kinds of gifts but have decided on this: a list of some of the things I now know at 47 and wish I knew at the age of 21.
It is impossible not to think about my own 21st birthday. I only recall that your mother and I were just back from hitchhiking around Europe. We were broke and briefly sharing an apartment with a friend in Manhattan. I was working as Christmas help at a giant bookstore on Fifth Avenue, had long hair, a beard, and no January rent.
— “FATHER TIME,” John Brizzolara, January 27, 2000
Five Years Ago
Abraham Lim, a senior at Mt. Carmel High School, arrived in San Diego from New York in May 2003.
“I went to school in Brooklyn, and you don’t see me saying these ‘gangsta’ words and trying to act like one. I’m sorry, but there are no ghettos in San Diego.”
— “THROWING MY FRIENDS AWAY,” January 27, 2005