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Thirty-Five Years Ago

Public nude sunbathing in San Diego has been confined, legally, to the 300 yards of Black’s Beach at the northern end of the San Diego city limit. While it is illegal elsewhere in the county, individual cities have the right to decide whether or not they will tolerate nudity within their boundaries.

[W]hen a ranger at Seaside in Solana Beach was asked if he was writing citations for nude sunbathers these days he said, smiling, “Haven’t seen any.” A topless girl was lying not 30 feet away.

“NAKED CAME THE STRANGERS,” Steve Sorenson, April 29, 1976

Thirty Years Ago

My boyfriend. Sometimes I wish I had never laid eyes on him. He’s a bartender; he’s always been a flirt. He loves me, I know he loves me, but he continuously messes around. He says he’ll never do it again and then three or four months later...always with the same girl. She’s not even cute. He’s real careless — leaves her cigarette butts in the car.

OFF THE CUFF: “HAVE YOU EVER SEEN SOMETHING YOU WISH YOU HADN’T?” April 30, 1981

Twenty-Five Years Ago

I notice that in your new book, you stopped using the word attaché, which is how you referred to lovers and mates in The Liberated Man. How come?

Too many people thought it was too like an attaché case. The other reason is that there’s hardly a word, with the exception of Ms., that’s a nontechnical, social word that has been adopted into the English language.

You were hoping to introduce that word into the English language?

Yes.

“WARREN THE LIBERATED,” Brae Canlen, May 1, 1986

Twenty Years Ago

One hundred thirty-five San Diegans were murdered in 1990. More than 100 of those deaths occurred south of Interstate 8.

But if San Diego has a killing field, it’s that rectangular swath of real estate with its western boundary on downtown’s Tenth Avenue, extending two miles east to 30th Street. Market Street is the northern boundary of this deadly parcel, its southern limit runs along the Commercial Street trolley tracks, just six blocks south of Market.

“POINTS OF DEPARTURE,” Paul Krueger, May 2, 1991

Fifteen Years Ago

Marcy D., eyes bloodshot from lunch-hour huffs on massive spliffs of sinsemilla, pointed at me in front of my entire chemistry class and crowed, “That’s the fattest ass I’ve ever seen in my entire life!”

(In fairness I should add that after high school, Marcy met and married a cantor who worked for a synagogue in Cleveland, Ohio, where she has now lived for many years. While it may be inaccurate to claim God punished Marcy specifically for insulting me, there is no doubt in my mind that God took her hatefulness into account when He decided to send her packing to Cleveland.)

AS SEEN ON TV: “WEED TV,” Abe Opincar, May 2, 1996

Ten Years Ago

I’ve had my finger on the pulse of this burg for years, this nutty, cockeyed, wacky town, this city with the silver gate and the buffed shoulders, this place of hard work, passing wind, and great dental work. This cockamamie (who came up with that word?) city of hard times and corrupt politics. The town that plays hard and works when the surf is flat.

Every town should have some sort of love/hate relationship with itself, but Diego seems void of that — and that’s something I consider an indispensable survival tool.

T.G.I.F., John Brizzolara, April 26, 2001

Five Years Ago

As of 2005, Pinot Noir is now outselling Zinfandel in California. This is nothing short of remarkable, a testament to the tremendous power of cinema. Zinfandel has a long history in this state; its reputation was made here, instead of in Europe. Producers have risen to prominence because of their success with the grape.... Every year, there is an enormous ZAP gather in San Francisco, and after that, a touring version of the festival.

Pinot Noir has only Sideways.

CRUSH: “NOT BAD, JUST NOT THRILLING,” Matthew Lickona, April 27, 2006

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