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Thirty-Five Years Ago

Greg voluntarily entered detox on Saturday at 7:20 p.m. He had worked all day and was taking advantage of his Memorial Day holiday to dry out. The first procedure was a brief, generalized medical exam. Blood pressure, pulse, and respiration were checked and recorded. The orderly leaned over and smelled his breath for booze. They had told him it was all right to drink before coming in. He would have plenty of time to be sick later.

“DEATH OF A VETERAN,” Robert M. Cook, Jr., July 31, 1975

Thirty Years Ago

As a ten-year-old exploring the dark corners of my family’s garage, I once found a huge knife sheathed in a worn leather case.... When I asked my father about it, he told me it was from his days as a bomber pilot in the Pacific during World War II. He pulled a silk map of the western Pacific from a drawer in his desk and showed it to me; it was made of cloth, he explained, so that in case he was shot down and had to ditch over the ocean, the map wouldn’t get waterlogged and fall apart. The knife was for protection in similar circumstances. “Weren’t you afraid of dying?” I asked.

“There’s no better way to die than fighting for something you believe in,” he replied.

“FLIGHT LOG: A PILOT’S DIARY,” Gordon Smith, July 31, 1980

Twenty-Five Years Ago

In the aftermath of last August’s sign-lighting street fair in Hillcrest, the sponsoring Hillcrest Association was so pleased by the results that it was immediately decided to make the gala one-day event an annual affair. But exactly a year later, the merchant group’s decision to take no part in this year’s planned street fair has placed in doubt the entire future of the event — and has embroiled the community in what local gay activists say is an “escalating war” between previously harmonic gay and straight interests.

— CITY LIGHTS: “FAIR ENOUGH?” Thomas K. Arnold, August 1, 1985

Twenty Years Ago

[Dr. David F. Thomas] is collecting patient invoices for a survey of local hospital stays. But this price survey is just a drape for Thomas’s true aim: he intends to uncover a medical billing practice that has irked him for most of his career. According to Thomas, patients who pay hospital bills out of their own pockets are getting gouged. “The person who doesn’t belong to one of the ‘favored groups’ comes into the hospital as a sucker,” he states.

— CITY LIGHTS: “SOME GET STUCK AFTER SURGERY,” Brae Canlen, August 2, 1990

Fifteen Years Ago

Had a dream about being lost, wandering somewhere out around Borrego at night under a full moon. Sitting up in bed at 3 a.m., I thought of two things: the book I had been reading the night before and the music I had been listening to. The book was Jim Harrison’s Just Before Dark and the CD was called Blurring the Edges by Peter, Tripp, and Hall Sprague and Fred Benedetti. Even half asleep I could make the connection between the music, the text, and the dream.

— LOCALS: “ForGIVEN,” John Brizzolara, July 27, 1995

Ten Years Ago

“Our newest song is ‘Rancho Ghost Town,’ named after Rancho San Diego, which is right near where I live. It’s about widespread implanting of strip malls throughout our eastern rural areas, making them like any other nameless, flavorless settlement....

I think our music speaks of where we’re from, where we grew up. It has that country feel. We call it desert rock.”

BLURT: "RANCHO GHOST TOWN," Ken Leighton, July 27, 2000

Five Years Ago

A small Illinois biotech company cuts a deal with UCSD. The university agrees to test a substitute for human blood on comatose patients — victims of gunshots and car crashes — without the patients’ consent. Within the city of San Diego, the experiment is targeted at several neighborhoods south of I-8, where many poor and minority residents are unlikely to have heard of the study and unlikelier still to have the resources to sue if something goes awry.

“BAD BLOOD?” Matt Potter, July 28, 2005

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