[A] local symbol has almost gone up in flames. The hut at the base of Bonair and Neptune Place was damaged in a fire last week. Refurbished with new palm fronds each year by surfers, the hut...has stood without serious damage for years. Some members of the beach community suspect vandalism. The beach has been a focal point of dissension between residents who want more municipal involvement in regulating the activities of beachgoers and some of the surfers, who prefer less regulation.
— “WINDANSEA HUT IN FLAMES,” Rich Louv, November 4, 1976
Thirty Years Ago
“You almost have to be coming to Imperial Beach on purpose to come here at all,” says Bill Russell, the owner of the Marina Inn. In other words, Imperial Beach isn’t on a path to anywhere. If it were a street, it would be a turnaround. For a businessman it’s bad news. For residents — well, as Russell puts it, “We’re kind of a small town next to a big city.”
If this sounds a little unusual for coastal San Diego County — a strip better known for luxurious playgrounds like La Jolla, Del Mar, La Costa, and points north — it is. But unusual is a good word for Imperial Beach. It has some of the last vacant oceanfront lots in the county, and nobody will buy them.
Sitting at the Improv watching Dennis Blair get laughs as he lampooned the most successful rock musicians of our time, it occurred to me that in some small way this type of schtick represents a form of professional revenge. For years young comics have been the rodeo clowns of the pop-music world; whenever a rock-concert promoter needed a nonmusical opening act or simply wanted to avoid the expense of staging hassles of hiring a second-billed band, he has reached for a stand-up comedian.
— “ROCK ZINGER,” John D’Agostino, November 6, 1986
Twenty Years Ago
I began dumpster diving about a year before I became homeless.
I prefer the term “scavenging” and use the word “scrounging” when I mean to be obscure. I have heard people, evidently meaning to be polite, use the word “foraging” but I prefer to reserve that word for gathering nuts and berries and such, which I do also according to season and opportunity. “Dumpster diving” seems to me to be a little too cute and, in my case, inaccurate because I lack the athletic ability to lower myself into the dumpsters as the true divers do, much to their increased profit.
— “The ART OF DUMPSTER DIVING,” Lars Eighner, November 7, 1991
Fifteen Years Ago
I liked the premise. I would waddle out to a campaign event and talk to politicians about sports. Since politicians are egomaniacs, it would be interesting to push them off the topic of self and then see how they function.
To wit: I have talked to two city councilmen and three aspirants for public office and received absolutely nothing. They all recognized the name “Chargers” and all agreed that the name is good, and that is the beginning and end of it.
— SPORTING BOX: “HEY, BUDDY, HAVE YOU TALKED TO A THERAPIST LATELY?” Patrick Daugherty, November 7, 1996
Ten Years Ago
It had to happen sometime. The Man Who Wasn’t There is the first Coen brothers movie to disappoint me. That’s not to say that it’s not good, certainly not to say that it’s not even as good as their first, Blood Simple, when I had no expectations of them at all and so could not be disappointed. Nor is it to say that someone without my elevated expectations might not be able to enjoy it without qualm or quibble. Or in other words enjoy it — another first — more than I. It’s simply to say that on my personal scorecard it brings to an end, or at least to a drop-off, one of the great streaks, if not the single greatest (and yes, I realize what I am saying), in the history of American cinema.
— “BLOOP,” Duncan Shepherd, November 1, 2001
Five Years Ago
The name Robbers Peak commemorates the notorious outlaws Joaquin Murietta, Three Finger Jack, and others of the late 1800s. Swooping down out of the hills, these bandits terrorized farmers below and preyed upon passengers traveling the Butterfield Stage route. From Robbers Peak the miscreants could easily spot and evade sheriff’s posses by slipping into the rugged ravines leading back toward the Santa Ana Mountains.
Whatever historical charm Robbers Peak has is not reflected in the current condition of its summit.