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Thirty Years Ago
A large library in our town has in its subject catalog one and three-quarters inches of entries under the heading “Men” and sixty-six inches — seven full drawers — under the heading “Women.” This is the exception proving the rule that we live in a (consciously or unconsciously) male-oriented world, one in which headings such as doctor, lawyer, and president usually refer to men. Thus, in the library there is a category of “Women in Medicine” but no “Men in Medicine” — although there is “Men in Nursing.”

A closer look at the titles under “Women” reveals that many of them are relatively recent, born of the consciousness and politicism of the women’s liberation movement of the Sixties and Seventies.
“WOMEN & TECHNOLOGY,” Amy Chu, March 5, 1981

Twenty-Five Years Ago
Snails. White snails. Little white snails with great big appetites. They eat avocados. They eat citrus crops. They eat ornamental shrubs. And they’ve come to San Diego.

White snails are considered a menace by the local and state departments of agriculture, which are trying to destroy the creatures before they begin wiping out orange groves, plant nurseries, and people’s gardens. Their slimy trails have been found, so far, in Hillcrest, Santee, Oceanside, Encanto, and Winter Gardens (south of Lakeside).

The last white snail invasion was in 1911 and was limited to La Jolla.
CITY LIGHTS: “ATTACK OF THE KILLER GASTROPODS,” Brae Canlen, March 6, 1986

Twenty Years Ago
It’s always perplexing to encounter a talented musician who chooses to neglect his skill in favor of a glitzy image. As incongruous as it seems, Roy Clark is this sort of wasted talent.

A virtuoso on guitar and banjo, Clark can almost be galvanizing when he concentrates on displaying his instrument prowess. But his pedestrian tastes and silly image as a grinning yokel make him impossible to endure. There remains a potentially admirable craftsman hidden in him, but it’s smothered by insufferable bushels of corn.
OF NOTE: “ROY CLARK,” Stephen Esmedina, March 7, 1991

Fifteen Years Ago
The most enjoyable sports experience I’ve had in years is discovering high school girls’ basketball. Although your local high school will have a girls’ team, the best place to watch this brand of BB is Julian.

I’ve attended basketball practices in the Julian gym. They begin at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Since JHS is so small, the girls often scrimmage against the boys. I love those scrimmages. A girl will defense a boy, hands up, chest to chest, steady eyes, block his shot, throw a hip into the boy’s butt, fight for rebound, jam up close under the net. The girls show absolutely no fear, give no ground, accept no favors.

Even in high school, boys have watched enough NBA on TV to have attitude. They learn, even in Julian, that game face, that phony swagger, that shell, that remove from the game. And the girls don’t.
SPORTING BOX: “BEST BASKETBALL,” Patrick Daugherty, February 29, 1996

Ten Years Ago
My father-in-law once told me that if your marriage can survive wallpapering, it could survive anything. So imagine the bond that must have existed between my house’s previous owners — nearly every room was wallpapered, sometimes two or three times, layer upon layer testifying to their mutual patience and devotion. It came as no surprise to hear that they were happily married for over 50 years.

I like to think my own marriage could pass the wallpaper test, but I doubt I’ll ever know. We are not wallpaper people.
BEST BUYS, Eve Kelly, February 29, 2001

Five Years Ago
Last Friday was Mexican Flag Day. It was that thought that prompted me to write about Mexico at all, and the column hijacked itself and had me write what it wanted. This is a beloved copout among writers and one that proves itself valid the longer you’re at it. It is spring-like weather that suggests to me I start from there (broad enough), and I have no idea at this moment where that will lead.
T.G.I.F. "I DID NOT WANT TO DANCE. I THOUGHT IT WAY GAY, John Brizzolara, March 2, 2006

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