Thirty-Five Years Ago
SAN DIEGO’S “TOM HAYDEN for U.S. Senate” committee is holding an auction! Your generous donations are desperately needed. Art, plants, services, etc.
CALCULATOR FREAKS to form club and build together mini-machines and exchange information on technology, market.
— CLASSIFIEDs, September 25, 1975
Thirty Years Ago
I have a friend with the improbable name of S. Marcher Symington. Equally improbable is the fact that he refers to himself as S. Marcher, always with a sibilant “s.” “S. Marcher here,” he will announce on the phone, and at once I know that my household will be in a state of siege.
It is alleged that when he was still suckling at his mother’s breast, he looked up at her and said, “Please don’t eat onions. It flavors the milk.” Of course, this was reported by his Chinese nanny and something may have been lost in the translation.
— “THE WISDOM OF SALMON,” Eleanor Widmer, September 25, 1980
Twenty-Five Years Ago
The season of the gray whale migration is approaching, just as archaeologist Ron May and his volunteers complete their summer excavations on the old Ballast Point whaling station. The group discovered the station during past excavations of Fort Guijarros, the 18th-century Spanish garrison, but didn’t begin work on it until this year. May says the site, located on the northern edge of Ballast Point, was occupied by whalers between 1850 and 1873, and his crew has recovered whale bones, butchered animal bones, seashells, ceramic shards, clay pipes, black glass ale bottles, sarsaparilla and aromatic schnapps bottles, and rusted iron. Through excavation and archival research, May has illuminated the previously sketchy history of whaling in San Diego.
— CITY LIGHTS: “THE BLUBBER DIGS,” Neal Matthews, September 26, 1985
Twenty Years Ago
Contemporary music desperately needs a parlor crank like [Dan] Hicks to put fringe on its harder edges, but none emerges. The cruel irony is that even Hicks himself can no longer find a hospitable nook in a rock world made impregnable by rigid radio, playlists, and entire generations of new listeners who know no better. The absence of new Hicks opuses is sorely missed in this quarter, especially because the MTV era and its attendant goofiness would seem to offer so fertile a field for his sardonic seeds.
— OF NOTE, John D’Agostino, September 20, 1990
Fifteen Years Ago
I’m holding on to the coffee. I’m holding on to the plate. I’m holding on to my stomach. I’m holding on.
The good ship Fisherman III is wallowing out here, a league off La Jolla, on the edge of the kelp fields. Everybody else aboard has eaten and is outside with their fishing poles.
Me, I just came for the breakfast.
— TIN FORK: “NOW I HAVE FIVE FREE THROW-UPS,” Ed Bedford, September 21, 1995
Ten Years Ago
I asked Dennis Wills, proprietor of D.G. Wills Books in La Jolla, how he came to be a bookseller. “That’s a very long story,” he said.
One of Dennis’s colleagues, Chuck Valverde of Wahrenbrock’s Book House, at 726 Broadway, San Diego’s oldest bookstore, recently underscored the feeling many independent booksellers have today. He likened book dealers to dirigible pilots or carriage makers. Some dirigible pilots learned to fly airplanes, and some buggy makers started manufacturing automobile chassis; others went out of business. Dennis shows no sign of adapting to the new technological realities of bookselling, but his bookstore remains a gathering place for the literati and a must destination for serious book-lovers.
— “THE BOOKSELLER WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD,” Fred Moramarco, September 21, 2000
Five Years Ago
I’m sure you’ll join me in welcoming the Los Angeles Saints to Southern California. When an ancient North American city is abruptly plopped to the bottom of a bathtub and left to soak, only to be pulled out and handed 200 billion no-bid, no-oversight, cost-plus dollars, well, that will create a new lineup of winners and losers. Tom Benson, the owner of the New Orleans Saints, is going to be one of the winners.
— “SPORTING BOX: “MONEYBALL,” Patrick Daugherty, September 22, 2005