Thirty-Five Years Ago
The temple sits on the bluffs at the southern edge of Encinitas, perched beside the ocean and the community like a kind of 25-acre transplant from India, uprooted halfway around the world and dropped here, miraculously, like Aunty Em’s house in The Wizard of Oz. In a way, it’s an uneasy reminder that boundaries, geographical, philosophical, or other-dimensional, aren’t as real as we might imagine.
To the surfers, the Self-Realization Fellowship temple is a landmark. Its glistening white walls and gold, lotus-blossom archway serve as a marker for their playground below.
— “SWAMI’S,” Steve Sorenson, April 22, 1976
Thirty Years Ago
It’s coming up on four years since Father Henry Vetter, a Passionist priest who did extensive missionary work among the poor people of Baja, died in a car crash just outside La Paz. And it’s coming up on one month since the realization of Father Henry’s long-time ambition: the establishment of a thrift store in San Diego, the proceeds from which go to help the needy of Baja.
— CITY LIGHTS: “THE BAJA PIPELINE,” Neal Matthews, April 23, 1981
Twenty-Five Years Ago
The plan was simple yet brilliant. In my wallet was a ten-dollar bill that I would use to buy one lottery ticket in each of the ten locations around the county. Spreading out my random network of buying spots would only better my odds of winning, I thought. I would spend all ten dollars on tickets no matter what, and at some sublime moment before sunset, I would become filthy, stinking rich.
— “AND A DOLLAR SHORT,” Bill Owens, April 24, 1986
Twenty Years Ago
In recent years, several grandiose events have been proposed for Fiesta Island, including a dirt bike Grand Prix and a Beach Boys concert. They’ve all been turned down by city officials who not only feel the annual Over-The-Line tournament is enough of a crowd-control headache but cringe at the notion of fencing off any more public parkland for private use.
Solana Beach sand sculptor Gerry Kirk isn’t fazed by this. He’s optimistic that the city will approve his proposal to take over Fiesta Island for six weeks this summer to build the world’s largest sand castle — six stories tall.
— CITY LIGHTS: “AGAINST THE GRAINS,” Thomas K. Arnold, April 25, 1991
Fifteen Years Ago
I first headed for the cold seafood display. Here I saw a young man wearing a black T-shirt with white letters that spelled “Columbia University.” I asked politely, “Did you go to Columbia University, or did you just buy the T-shirt?” He replied, “A friend of mine gave it to me. Besides,” he added. I went to a better school — Carnegie Mellon.” He wasn’t the least bit rude, but he was in no mood for chitchat; his mind was on his heaped plate.
His plate held about 15 oysters, and another dish was filled with shrimp with their shells on. He threw the oysters into his mouth as if they were tiny marshmallows. No chewing, just gulp, gulp, and on to the next.
— RESTAURANT REVIEW: “GULP, GULP,” Eleanor Widmer, April 25, 1996
Ten Years Ago
Up until last night I only had a bottle of dry vermouth and a jar of mayonnaise. But now I have whipped cream, maraschino cherries, ice cream, and pink lemonade.
— Elissa Ehlin, architect/design assistant, Little Italy
— OFF THE CUFF: “WHAT’S IN YOUR REFRIGERATOR?” April 19, 2001
Five Years Ago
I thought he was kidding — my father can spin an incredible tale. But, more often than not, he’s been a living example of the adage, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”
“Are you serious?” I asked into the phone.
“Yes, daughter dear, I’m serious. You are welcome to join us if you so wish,” he said, his voice coming close to the pitch it reaches when he is impersonating Bette Davis.
“Let me get this straight,” I said, stifling a laugh, “You and Jane are going line dancing at a gay bar? And I can come along?”
— DIARY OF A DIVA: “BROKEBACK DISCO,” Barbarella, April 20, 2006