4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

1978 in review

Reader writers and others look back

Image by Rick Geary
  • Greatest Injustices
  • George Mitrovich
  • President, City Club

The failure of the port commissioners to come forward with a single proposal to Improve air traffic safety at Lindbergh Field following the tragic crash of PSA Flight 182. Of all the do-nothing official bodies In San Diego, this Is the do-nothlngest. Since the departure of Harvey Furgatch, the commission has ceased to be In any sense a responsible public body.

Another Injustice closely related to the first Is the cry of private aviators that they have as much right to the airways as commercial jetliners. Baloney! By far the largest percentage of airplane crashes Involve small, private planes. They simply do not belong In the same air space as commercial planes.

The deplorable conditions at the county jail continue without any appreciable evidence that they will ever change. The building itself — a monument to bad taste — houses the ugliest of jail conditions. And day by day everyone looks the other way.

The continued failure of minorities, particularly blacks, to find employment In the hotels and restaurants that occupy public lands, from those controlled by the port district to the city-owned Mission Bay to the state-run leases In Old Town. The black community’s silence on this issue Is a great puzzlement.

The ravaging of Mission Valley has escalated to the point that the only green space that will be left Is the golf course at the Stardust. Everyone seems to have caved in on the valley, taking the position that it is already shot to hell, so why protest any further. The city council pats itself on the back for keeping the water slide out, while the rest of the valley is raped beyond recognition.

  • Karl Keating
  • Attorney

Local media (particularly the two Copley dailies and Channel 39) failed to cover or grossly distorted the January 22 March for Life, which drew over 4000 participants, including politicians, entertainment celebrities, and religious leaders. It was the largest demonstration of any kind this year in San Diego, yet was buried — despite widespread advance publicity. A pro-abortion counterdemonstration of fewer than one hundred people received more and preferential coverage. The lesson: We need not fear censorship of the press; we already have censorship by the press.

The counterdemonstrators included representatives of Planned Parenthood and N.O.W. Local public speakers for these groups have consistently engaged in vicious anti-Catholic bigotry in lieu of talk on the abortion issue itself. If a new political party was formed here, one suspects it would be a revival of the 1850 s Know Nothing Party, which was anti-black, anti-Semitic, and anti-Catholic.

Habitual letter-writers have complained about cutbacks at the library. The real scandal has been the antiquated system of fines for overdue books. The fines should be increased from five cents a day to fifty cents, and anyone keeping a book a month too long should lose check-out privileges for a year. This would bring in books and money and would keep out deadbeats. Those who won’t play by the rules should pay through the nose — or not play at all.

In Escondido, the city council tried to bulldoze a Mexican-American enclave and replace it with an Ernest Hahn shopping center. Lorraine Boyce was one of the leaders of the effort. But the voters rejected the plan, and later they rejected her bid for supervisor. Two small victories, but the threat of unjust condemnations is still there.

Despite saying things that would have made Julius Streicher blush, Planned Parenthood was again funded by the board of supervisors — even though three of the five supervisors should have disqualified themselves because of conflict of interest (e.g., having a spouse as a PP director).

And at the UC8D Medical School, applicants for the intern-matching program in Ob-Gyn are sent to the back of the bus if they acknowledge reservations about performing abortions. Only four to five interns are accepted yearly for the UCSD program, and no Intern unwilling to perform abortions may be placed higher than number twenty-six on the list of applicants. This discriminates against people who in conscience will not take what they recognize to be innocent lives.

From the innocent to the guilty: There have been cries of overcrowding at the county jail. There should have been cries for a whole new jail — not to replace the present one or to relieve overcrowding, but to sequester twice as many crooks, muggers, and rapists. The purpose of a jail is to keep such people off the streets, not to reform them, and to keep the city safe for those who frequent all-night laundromats.

The thought of criminals brings to mind Jess Haro, whose backers backed him for reasons racial or cultural, not legal or factual. Had his name been Agnew, no one would have marched in his defense, and rightly so. It is true that Haro received an unfair sentence. Instead of going behind bars for a few weeks, he should have been locked in a pillory in Horton Plaza, thus doing public penance and serving as a good bad example.

There should have been complaints about local health agency programs that assert that poverty can be eliminated among blacks and Hispanics by contraceptlng blacks and Hispanics out of existence. If no poor, then no poverty. It isn’t stated that bluntly, but that’s the logic which these agencies indirectly promote by subtle pressure on welfare families and lots of taxpayer cash.

The Church News is an evangelical paper that makes or breaks candidates by its election-eve endorsements. It has been attacked by losing politicians and papers with less political clout because it holds to predictably conservative and Protestant viewpoints. One of the loudest outcries comes from a publication billing itself as the city’s only progressive news-weekly. While the Church News does print a small range of opinions — from early Calvinist to latter-day Billy Graham — that other paper never published anything in the least un-progressive or divergent from its party line. Which is all right, but freedom of the press works both ways.

  • David Helvarg
  • Managing Editor, Newsline

San Diego has had more than its fair share of ii)ustlces this year, most of them directed against the rich and powerful.

Police officers who accidentally shot blacks like James Graham and the late Tyrone Thomas faced unjust fines and potential suspensions of up to ninety days. (Luckily, a humane police chief prevented these unwarranted punishments from occurring.)

Now, you illegal immigrants who came through San Diego in 1978 (and you know which 350,000 you are), assuming you didn’t get beaten, robbed, or raped by La Migra and the bandits, you probably ended up stealing low-paying jobs in garment sweatshops, as busboys, or in North County avocado fields — Jobs that rightfully ought to have gone to Thomas Metzger and his cohorts in the KKK.

And what about the injustice of ex-City Councilman Jess Haro, who’s already gotten to serve his time and then go free for not paying $50,000 in taxes, while C. Arnholt Smith suffers through years of legal hearings on his alleged $200 million bank robbery and who will probably pass away of natural causes before he has a chance to pay his debt to society, poor dear.

Proposition 13 has allowed the poor to become more self-reliant by cutting back on their bus service. Jobs, methadone, day-care, etc., while corporations like SDG&E get stuck with all these liquid assets they now have to reinvest in Mexico, Arizona, and Switzerland.

Uppity renters and seniors on fixed incomes show no sympathy for the landlords who, in converting their apartments to condominiums, are forced to allow pets and children into their buildings.

John Duffy’s vacation is spoiled, city and county investments in South Africa are challenged, two Navy Tomahawks fail to explode, Terry Knoepp loses an election despite the endorsement of a corpse, gays harass born-again bigots. I could go on, but it’s really all too painful. Oh, for the days of Spreckels and Scripps. Pass the escargot, please.


Leftovers, Throwaways, and Other Indigestible s from the Movie Year Past

  • Duncan Shepherd
  • Reader Contributing Editor

The third annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Citation for the year’s trashiest title is conferred upon A Dream of Passion, which belongs, if anywhere, in the Gothic paperback racks. Runners-up in the unusually heated competition this year are Black and White in Color, for its pedantry, and Goin’ Coconuts, for its utter lack of same. Speclal dishonorable mentions go to Who’ll Stop the Rain, for being the most poorly punctuated title, to Byes of Laura Mars, for having omitted the definite article, and to Alice, Sweet Alice and Alice in the Cities, for lengthening the list of movies that have made “Alice" the most popular titular name in the last decade: Alice's Restaurant, I Love You Alice B. Toklas, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?, Go Ask Alice, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, and the X-rated Alice in Wonderland and Alice Goodbody come readily to mind.

The third annual Willa Cather Citation for the year’s classiest title is presented to The American Friend, for the ironic commentary on the “buddy" genre and the anti-American political implications that occur when Wim Wenders attaches this title to Patricia Highsmith's Faustian suspense story, Ripley's Game. Additional pats on the back for their efforts toward plain, honest, objective, factual, and fastidious titling go to Harlan County, U.S.A., to September 30, 1988, and to Jeanne Dielman, 83 Quai du Commerce—1080 Bruxelles.

A welcome mat and a warm “Hello, how’ve you been, where’ve you been keeping yourself?” are extended to Terence Stamp, whose two-minute part in Superman is his first movie appearance I can recall since Teorema, and to Carrie Snodgress, whose part in The Fury is her first, as far as I am aware, since Diary of a Mad Housewife.

While I’m about it, whatever happened, I’d like to know, to Christopher Jones? James Fox? Ron O’Neal? Scott Wilson? Gary Lockwood? Barry Brown? Richard Castellano? Russ Tamblyn? Michael Greer? Paul Hampton? and John Philip Law? And what about Joy Bang? Elizabeth Hartman? Leigh Taylor-Young? Jane Asher? Pia Degermark? Eleanor Bron? Hayley Mills? Joanna Shimkus? Shirley Eaton? Barbara Ferris? Alexandra Hay? Patty McCormack? Sherry Jackson? Laura Devon? Charlene Holt? Michele Carey? and Jennifer Salt? Would anyone running into any of these people please let them know I would like to see them again sometime?

The most hopeless advertising campaign of the year was the one launched in support of If Ever I See You Again: Columbia Pictures and Pertec Computer Corporation are providing you with a chance to get back in touch with your ‘lost love’ ’’ — i.e., a computer matching service seeking to play Cupid to former lovers who still, secretly, carry around a torch for one another. None of the three people I know of who made the toll-free phone call to the Cupid computer has yet been put in touch with his lost love, and there have been no news reports of a general trend in this country toward rekindled romances.

“Everyman meets his Watergate at last" (to paraphrase Wendell Phillips) was the truth hammered home to David Begelman, who, while president of Columbia Pictures, embezzled $60,000 in forged checks in order to augment his $400,000-a-year salary. On surrendering himself to psychiatric care, he was quoted as saying, “I’ve made a terrible mistake and I'm heartsick. Now I’m trying to find out why I did it." When it came to light, early in 1978, that Columbia executives were satisfied with his contrition and would let him resume his presidential post after a brief suspension, the press exploded with cries of coverup, whitewash, and various other post-Watergate vocabulary words. In the ethics debate that ensued, Hollywood agent Sue Mongers, who is quoted in the press less often now that Joyce Haber no longer writes a daily gossip column, advanced the cause of pre-Watergate morality: “It is ironic that the film industry, which is so often accused of being heartless, should now be crucified for showing compassion for a man’s plight.” Begelman ultimately resigned, and was arrested, tried, and fined for his conduct.

The Pauline Kael Prize for the hyperbole of the year in movie criticism goes, for the second year running, to Andrew Sarris, a former nonconformist who seems now to have fallen into the general tendency among New York critics to treat movie reviewing as a sort of auction process in which the object is to outbid one’s colleagues on any given film. Sarris’s award this year is for putting in the highest bid on An Unmarried Woman: "The best American film in years.” Pauline Kael herself was carried away to the extent of describing John Cassavetes' demise in The Fury as “the greatest finish for any villain ever,” but this was obviously not a sober enough Judgment that it shouldn’t be forgiven in the cold light of the following morning.

The Snow Job of the year in movie journalism was James Stevenson’s New Yorker profile of cinematographer Gordon Willis, in which banalities are heaped upon generalities in a loquacious attempt to construct a case for Willis as an incomparable genius in his field. Sample excerpt: “A cinematographer must have an easy grasp of such things as color-reversal internegatives, aspect ratios, lenses, T-stops, brutes, color temperatures, Steenbecks, mattes, pushing and flashing, film resolution, freeze frames, Arriflexes, match cuts, halation, dye transfers, fish-eyes, three-strip processes, pull-down mechanisms, glass shots, tilts, emulsions, Kenworthy snorkels, film generations, diffusers, tracking, dollies, dailies, and inserts—and also a pretty good knowledge of carpentry, electricity, sound, set design, costumes, makeup, optics, meteorology, and the history of art and architecture, and a complete, up-to-date acquaintance with major movies, foreign and domestic, extending back to the Lumieres and Melles .... He should have a vivid pictorial imagination, and be able to design what is seen in every frame of a movie (which usually has from a hundred and twenty to a hundred and fifty thousand frames, stretching over a mile and a half of film) so that it contributes to the movie’s general pace and feeling, and he must know how to get this done within a fixed budget and a limited time.”

If the preceding sample and the remainder of Stevenson’s piece are thought by anybody to be anything other than hot air, then I would like to commission him to do a similar gloss on the too little appreciated vocation of a movie critic: e.g., a movie critic must first of all have an easy grasp of such things as alliteration, analogies, appositlve phrases, gerundial clauses, compound-modifier hyphenation, syllepsis, syllogism, dysphemism, metonomy, metaphors, dialectics, correlative coi) unctions, passive and active voices, cinematic Jargon, italics, and exclamation points—and also a pretty intimate acquaintance with dictionaries and thesauruses, electric typewriters, Correct-o-type and liquid paper, aesthetic philosophy dating back to Plato and Aristotle, film theory extending from as early as Bela Balasz to as late as Christian Metz, and Ideally should possess no less than a BA. degree with a major in English, Art History. Theater, or Film and a minor in one of the social sciences ... He should of course have excellent digital co-ordination, proper sitting posture, 20/20 vision or corrective lenses, and something more sensitive than a tin ear for English prose, as well as the good sense to spend each of his words as judiciously as if they were bullets at the Alamo (the average movie review in a weekly periodical runs from 800 to 2400 words, or three to ten typed pages), not to mention the ability to turn in his “copy,” as it is called in the trade, sufficiently ahead of his deadline so as not to Irritate the layout artists who will repay the critic for his lateness by burying his article inconspicuously beneath advertisements for waterbeds and haircutting salons.

Local theater news

a. Miraculous conversions: the Guild theater swore off hard-core pornography and took up first-run foreign films; the Roxy metamorphosed into a revival house for a series of old MGM movies and a series of old Warner Brothers movies, then metamorphosed again into a pop-music concert hall; and the immense Grossmont theater, as a stopgap during the December doldrums, exhibited subtitled prints of the French-made A Woman at Her Window and the Russian-made Derzu Uzala (in 70mm, no less).

b. Urban development: the trend toward economy-sized multi-cinemas continued in high gear with the openings of the Sports Arena Sixplex and the Mira Mesa quadruplex theaters— and also with the fission of the Clairemont, the College, and the New Valley Drive In theaters into two or more parts each.

c. Labor pains: the first annual San Diego International Film Festival, the brainchild of Greg Kahn, saw the light in late October at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art. It is my straightest-faced belief that I would still consider this festival to be the single most exciting new outcropping on the San Diego movie scene even if I were not myself seated on the board of directors. Since I am, it also seems to me the most gratifying; and to everyone, friend or foe, who attended so much as a solitary offering of the festival, I would like to extend season’s greetings and best wishes for the new year. Everyone else is herewith crossed off my Christmas card list.


Most offensive ads

  • Steve Casey
  • Columnist, Evening Tribune

When those who commit advertising on television round out 1978 by touting our children on a doll, the most notable feature of which is its ability to simulate diaper rash, you know it’s going to be a tough year in which to select a half dozen or so commercials as the Most Godawful. But here are a few which have noticeably increased the nausea level around my house:

Safeway. Otherwise inoffensive radio and television ads for this no doubt benign grocery chain end with the spine-shriveling shriek, “Safeway San Diego, We’re Number One!!”

Number-one what, pray tell? Those who broadcast such tripe should be ashamed — in particular, KFSD-FM, the classical station which takes such care with its music selection and its sound reproduction, only to shatter the moment with this caterwauling.

Any real estate commercial using children — Tarbell having committed the original sin, followed closely by the prepubescent imps of Century 21. I see one of those pint-sized oafs wallowing in Dad's gold blazer, or hear a couple of wimpettes trying to put money down on a house, and my heart swells with fond remembrance of W.C. Fields' line to Baby LeRoy: “Later, I’ll take you outside and let you ride piggyback on a buzz saw.”

Ivory Soap, the makers of which provide us with a man who is dumbstruck that a woman of forty can have “youthful looking hands.” Which isn’t as bad, really, as the ad for some skin care cream or other which tells women, in essence, “You really gotta take better care of yourself, you poor old bat, now that you’ve reached twenty-five.”

Visa (nee BankAmericard), the charge card which changed its image with the slogan, “We’re keeping up with you.” Need we be assaulted on the air and in print by such a statement, totally devoid of both meaning and sense?

C&R Clothiers, which peddles men’s clothing by use of a female model who is apparently contractually prevented from wearing a bra, and so proceeds to outjiggle any show Fred Silverman ever designed. It took three viewings of this commercial before I realized C&R wasn’t trying to sell me boobs.

Rolalds, which has taught a whole nation the gentle art of misspelling the word “relief.”

Castle Plymouth. A locally produced ad, its central figure is the spokesman, a chap who looks at the camera, bug-eyed as a frog, then moves his head to the left and right while his eyes stay riveted dead ahead.

Lamb Chevrolet, whose muddle-headed hick huckster makes Hee Haw seem refined.

Aim Toothpaste. In the current ad, little Sally can’t be in the class play for some reason distantly related to tooth decay. While Sadly brushes away with a face fiill of spittle. Dad gets down on his knees on the bathroom floor and gives her a kiss. Any parent of mine did that, I’d have left home.

And Merry Christmas, from Madison Avenue.

  • Chick Ganon
  • Media watchdog

Number One: The all-time, absolutely, worst ad ever, and recipient of the I. A. Goodman Award (commonly called the “Goody” in higher ad circles), has to be the snuff-politico fill-pager prepared by some ghouls using murder as a political ploy — from Glenn Asakawa to Terry Knoepp to the Union-Tribune. The copy said, in effect, “Because my wife was killed, I want everybody to vote for Terry Knoepp because he will keep the murderer in jail longer than Larry Kapiloff, thus stretching out the time that this murderer will have before he kills someone else’s wife.”

Since the U-T accepted the cash with the copy, who among us is safe in the next campaign? Will more law-and-order goons decide to bump off somebody and then run an ad on the need to stamp out crime?

Number Two "Goody” Award: (Incidentally, the I.A. Goodman Award takes its name from the TV clothier who conducts the “sale of the year” ... every week.) San Diego Trust and Savings earns a “Goody” for the Gizele MacKenzie TV con about investing in a savings certificate and getting a free TV set. Either the Canadian Mounties should come and take ol’ Gizele back to Toronto, or the DA. should bust Tom Sefton for pulling something even Earl Scheib wouldn’t dream of. The throwaway line, “A set in lieu of interest,” didn’t deter thousands from being inconvenienced and humiliated when they learned their money would be locked in the bank for sixty-nine months with no interest. And the advance Interest ($367) is blown on a “free” $340 TV set which probably goes at Fed-Mart or the Price Club for about $250. Old singers never die, they just lie away.

Number Three “Goody” Award: The Bedroom waterbed stores must be recognized up front generally, nothing specific. Tasteless, graceless, faceless, and awful are the words which describe this stomach-turning, barf-fllled series of bedroom/bathroom TV spots.

Dishonorable Mentions — (Hall of Shame Awards):

— McClellan Buick for running radio spots featuring that brat girl.

— All Padre/Charger advertising, especially the one with Randy Jones, a Harpo Marx look-alike, stopping a game to listen to a catcher selling him a car or something. Geez.

— Most all savings and loan advertising for suggesting that if you leave $50,000 in a fifty-year savings certificate you will be filthy rich by the time you drop dead.

— All Mann Theaters for selling you a $3.50 ticket and then selling you as a captive unit to watch ads (for which Mann has charged an advertiser) because you’re trapped in your seat.

— All two-for-one advertising.

— All car dealer ads that promise a car at “fifty dollars over factory price,” meaning there are two invoices around — one for the real factory-to-dealer sale and one to show the folks who suck in on the TV pitch.

— And finally, Lee Hubbard deserves a special “Goody” for opening up his campaign for supervisor with a last-minute smear. Any suicidal TV spot that (a) insults the public, (b) inspires a last-minute torpedo from Larry Lawrence, and (c) costs a man (Hubbard) all hope for a political future must not go unrewarded.

From the downtown Pan Am ticket office, this is Chick Ganon saying, “If you really want a ninety-nine-dollar ticket to London, call or write Richard Milhouse Nixon, Casa Pacific, California. Everybody knows he stole a ton of Pan Am tickets during his recent trip to London.”


Best deals daring inflation

  • Denise Carabet
  • Financial writer,
  • San Diego Union

Having your boss call you in for a raise this summer, before Jimmy Carter’s wage-and-price guidelines were operative—or taken seriously.

Rolling your basic savings account over into the savings and loan T-accounts. Those accounts are now yielding about 9.6 percent. That’s a good deal for you, but unless are having to pay nearly that T-account rate for their money now—not such a good deal for them.

Buying your ounce of gold very early in the year or right about now, when prices are down again. Buying it in October—a very bad deal.

Buying your silver futures in the first half of the year. If you bought futures in December, 1977 or so (for delivery in January, 1979), you would have paid almost a hundred dollars less than you would now. (This is for 5000 troy ounces.)

Real estate has been very high for the past twenty-eight months, but if you had bought on the coastline early this year, you would have an irreplaceable resource. Also, getting into an apartment for condo conversion early this year would have been a good dead for three reasons: lower interest rates, the county’s new guidelines for apartment conversions, and no rent control.

Getting a home loan in August or September was a good dead because rates dipped below the ten percent range, where they were since May and have been since October (they’re up to eleven percent and more nowadays).

These deregulated air fares across the country or to Europe. The bad deal would have been trying to pick up a sandwich or hall a cab once you’ve arrived in London.

A vacation in Mexico. Our neighbors to the south still give us between twenty and twenty-two pesos to the dollar—whatever the shape of the dollar.

Foreign goods (especially Japanese or West German) before March.

Bad deal: Buying a mixed portfolio of common stocks, thinking the market was poised for recovery.

  • Irene Weber and Jeannette DeWyxe
  • Reader contributors

Drinking became a bargain in 1978. First, state laws relaxed to permit Californians to import a quart of liquor from Mexico per month. Then the state’s long-standing fair-trade laws, which had prohibited retailers from setting competitive prices, went out the window this summer, and many liquor prices tumbled. Examples: a 1.7-liter bottle of Jim Beam cost $10.99 a year ago, compared to $9.79 (at at least one outlet) today. A twenty-three-ounce bottle of Blue Nun Liebfraumilch went from $4.49 to $3.29. Inflation boosted the price of beer-making, but retailers say their beer prices now would be much higher than last year’s (instead of holding steady), were it not for the abolition of price-setting.

Would-be home-buyers got the bad news this year, and as the months passed it grew increasingly worse. By November, the average price of a resold home had climbed to $79,414, reportedly the third highest in the nation. People who already own their own homes got the good news, with property values increasing more than eighteen percent, on average.

Certain high technology items continued to buck the inflationary trend. If you bided your time before buying one of those video games, for example, you were right. A typical price for “TV Scoreboard” (hockey, tennis, skeet shooting) at one store was sixty dollars a year ago; today the same game sells for twenty-two dollars. The more sophisticated calculators also continued to get cheaper. Mass production of integrated circuits was the main reason, and the drop in their retail price this year boggles the mind. One Radio Shack manager mentions a microprocessor, for example, which cost well over a hundred dollars last year; now it costs ten.

Smoke detectors are hardly high technology goods, but their price also plummeted in the last twelve months. As we all grew fire conscious, prices went from at least thirty dollars per unit down to ten to fifteen dollars per unit.

The price of a fancy haircut hit twenty-five dollars this year, but budget-watchers can still get head-to-toe attention for under thirty-five dollars at a beauty college. True, all work is done by students (try to get an advanced sort) under supervision of an instructor, but the prices can’t be beat: shampoo and set, $3; permanent starting at $8.95; facial mask, $4; sculptured nails, $12.50; pedicure, $5. (De Loux Schools of Cosmetology, nine locations throughout the county.)

Used records in excellent condition are quite a bargain considering the current prices for new discs. Arcade Music Company, 650 F Street, downtown (239-8856) bumped its prices by fifty cents this year (to $2.49 per disc), but the store still has got the biggest selection and it’s still worth it.

It was worth waiting until ’78 to get in trouble with the law. In the wake of the abolition of the prohibition on attorney advertising, legal fees took on a whole new look. Just a year and a half ago, $600 for a simple divorce wasn’t uncommon, compared to $150 to $200 today. Drunk driving assistance used to commonly cost $350 to $400, while now you can get it for under $200.

You can still shuffle up to the two-dollar window at Del Mar (in season), put your money where your mouth is, and take your chances. Where else can you get so much excitement for two dollars with the chance of getting a good return on your money?

Ma Bell dangled one bargain before us all this year when she opened the first of now fourteen “phone stores” throughout the county. Now customers who already have phone Jacks in their home can pick up their phones in person and plug them in without assistance, at a savings of two dollars per unit. (They also get a five dollar credit when they move and return the phones to the phone store.) Of course, if one is adding an extension, competing (private) phone equipment suppliers offer some good deals. The Phone Shop on Morena Boulevard, for example, sells a standard desk , phone in any color for $29.88 (new) or $22.88 for a reconditioned model.

Believe it or not, the cost of some parking tickets went down this year. If you get caught feeding the meter, it will now run you two dollars instead of the previous four. If they get you for parking in a loading zone, at a hydrant, or without curbing your wheels on a grade, the ticket now costs five bucks instead of ten. With space at some choice downtown parking lots now costing three dollars a day, camping out at the meters is shaping up as a more and more attractive gamble.


The Sporting Life

  • John D’Agostino
  • Reader contributor

While soccer, hockey, tennis, backgammon, and other sports may be vital to an area’s athletic wellroundedness, the Big Three are still baseball, football, and basketball. For that reason, I have limited these end-of-year comments to those attractions. Herewith are a few awards of distinction (dubious and otherwise):

BASEBALL

The Double Jeopardy Award to:

Ray Kroc . .. After promising Padre fans that he would delve into petty cash to buy whichever free agents could most help the team compete with the likes of Cincinnati and Los Angeles, the Duke of Double Beef huddled with his crack office staff for last-minute advice. Informed that the Padres desperately needed a good-hitting third baseman, a hot-handed second baseman, and/or a power-hitting catcher—that, in fact, the Padres’ only strength was their corps of able-bodied outfielders—Kroc did the logical thing: he bought another outfielder.

Oscar Gamble’s acquisition not only crowded the outfield pastures (cen-terfielder George Hendrick, the Padres’ Most Valuable Player in 1977, was so disenchanted by the move that he was eventually exiled to St. Louis), but cost the Padres $2.8 million. Although the team drew a San Diego record attendance of almost 1.7 million fans. Gamble’s allowance caused it to lose more than $100,000 for the year. , After a mediocre year at the plate. Gamble was in turn sent packing to the Texas Rangers, whom Kroc paid nearly half a million dollars to assume Gamble’s salary. Gamble was paid an additional $75,000 to go along with the deal.

The Good News/Bad News Award to:

Gaylord Perry ... At age forty. Perry did the nearly impossible — he won the National League’s Cy Young Award for the season’s outstanding pitcher, becoming the only chucker in baseball history to win the honor in both leagues. When notified of the award while fixing a pickup truck on his Carolina farm, Perry spewed forth with the good vibes about San Diego Padres, their management, fans, and their chances of improv on the team’s first-ever winning record.

However, after being denied his subsequent request for some sort of remunerative bonus for his efforts, Perry—ever the example for young players—demanded to be traded. Y see, truck parts can get expensive, a on Perry’s current paltry salary $200,000.

The Remember-My-Name Award to:

Mike Ivie ... He was spoiled. He sulked when they asked him to catch. He cursed when they asked him to play third. He hit like a ton when he played first. But the Padres didn’t want him to play first. So they pulled rank on him and made him do their bidding or else. Ivie, a potential superstar who was a constant irritant to the Padres front office because he wouldn’t say “uncle,” was eventually traded to the San Francisco Giants at the beginnlng of the 1978 campaign.

Naturally, the big baby played first for the Giants (he was also used extensively as a pinch hitter). Naturally he hit like a ton and terrorized Padre hurlers whenever the two teams met. Naturally, he was one of the reasons the Giants almost ran away with the pennant. Naturally, the Padres’ first venture into trade waters at season’s end was in search of a first baseman who could hit.

The Inconspicuous by His Presence Award to:

Randy Jones ... In 1976 Jones secured for himself a position among the all-time San Diego sports heroes by winning the Cy Young Award for his second consecutive season with twenty or more wins. Unfortunately, Jones pitched in one too many innings that year, injuring his throwing arm in his last appearance and undergoing surgery to repair nerve damage in his forearm. 1977 was understandably a recuperative year, one which Jones bailed out of after several lackluster performances. But 1978 was supposed to see the return of the Deadly Sinker, only no one told Jones.

Comeback or no. Padre executives and fans expected better than a 13-14 season from Jones this year, but the devastating sinker was not to be found except on rare occasions when the former ace of the staff briefly flashed his old form. Surrendering the spotlight to several teammates who had exceptional years, Jones, who like Barry Manilowis tryin’to get that feeling again, will be one of the Padres’ biggest question marks in 1979.

The Gosh-I’d-Do-It-For-Free Award to:

Ozzle Smith ... In the midst of the controversy surrounding overpaid players and the Insane signing wars that find intermediate performers earning more than the president of the United States, Ozzie Smith’s emergence this year was a breath of fresh air. Possibly the most gifted in-fielder in baseball today, Smith made the transition from college ball to the pros with amazing grace. His combination of good nature, great talent, and Little Leaguer’s enthusiasm was one of only a couple of positive legacies left by the quickly departed manager Alvin Dark, who, before being asked to leave during spring training, made the unheard-of suggestion that this raw rookie was ready to play first-string shortstop. Barring serious injury or the onslaught of Pete Rose Syndrome, Smith should be lighting up the lives of Padres observers for another fifteen years.

FOOTBALL

The What-Were-Tou-Doing-When-Kennedy-Was-Killed Award to:

Don Coryell ... San Diego Charger fans had waited lo these many years to hear that Don Coryell would take the reins of their beloved but bedraggled team. But when the news finally, miraculously, came, it was met with tepid hosannas and relegated to the section of the daily papers usually reserved for lingerie ads. You see, Coryell’s assumption of the head coach’s duties was announced on Monday morning, September 26—the same day that PSA Flight 182 met its destiny.

Now, I won’t argue that 150 human lives are not infinitely more significant than the trials of a football coach. But I have to feel sympathy for a man who waits his entire lifetime for an opportunity such as was presented Coryell in September, only to have the joyous event dwarfed by the worst aviation disaster in the nation’s history. As if to acknowledge the tragic pall hanging over the city, the Chargers lost three of the first four games they played under Coryell’s tutelage. Reminds me of the story of the bum who won the state lottery the day before the stock market crashed.

The Smiling Sisyphus Award to:

Eugene Klein ... The owner of the Chargers has endured more than one man’s share of tribulations and outright plagues during his reign as check-signer for the local pro team. But the 1978 season dawned brightly for the Chargers. A new light of hope filled the air. Old men danced, children sang, and Klein pondered the catering for his private party at the next Super Bowl. The Chargers had survived their decade of excruciating growing pains. They were ready. This would be “their year."

Unfortunately, the Chargers’ year was highjacked somewhere along the way—by myopic referees, by untimely penalties, by acute listlessness and offensive anemia. Only by finishing like thoroughbreds did the Chargers avoid having one of their worst years ever. And Klein’s curly hair turned a lot grayer.

Fortunately for Klein, Charger fans have outgrown their long-standing desire to string him up from the highest goal post. The team’s previous problems had been attributed directly, and quite deservedly, to the owner’s admitted errors in judgment. But the signs of their greatness and the real promise shown by the team this season should also point to Klein. If the Chargers proved one thing in 1978, it was that Klein’s patience and willingness to part with the big bucks is going to pay big dividends. In 1979.

The Hold-On-I’m-Comin’ Award to:

John Jefferson . . . Just when Charger fans needed someone to lift them from their lethargy and give them a focal point for their rabid but dormant hopes and dreams, along comes the young man they call “J.J.’’ For those of us who remember the excitement of an anybody-to-Lance-Alworth pass play (circa 1966), Jefferson represents a throwback to the kind of explosive offense that made the Charger lightning bolt more than a decoration In the days of “Bambl.” After an extraordinary rookie season, Jefferson can only get better. And better. And better. And like Alworth, he will probably end up In the Pro Football Hall of Fame In about twenty years.

BASKETBALL

  1. The Truth in Packaging Award to:

Irv Levin and Gene Shue .. . These co-recipients never promised us a rose garden. Just an opportunity to watch pro basketball in our town. If the Clippers are inconsistent, they are fun to watch. And, as the glamorous film reviewer on Channel 5 keeps reminding us, isn’t that what it’s all about? Actually, the Clippers are very close to being an outstanding team, which means that we may not have to wait as long as we’d expected to see basketball become a permanent fixture in San Diego. Credit Levin and Shue.


Blows dealt our environment

  • Hervey L. Sweetwood
  • Mayor, Del Mar

Growth Management: A developer in environmentalist clothing.

Los Angeles—here we come. The San Diego City Council’s “revised’’ growth management plan is nothing more than a blueprint for suburban sprawl. North City West is the symbol of this failure to prevent white flight and center city decay. Bowing to developer interests today will create the social, economic, and environmental problems of tomorrow.

Worst air pollution day in ton years.

On September 23rd, a second stage smog alert paralyzed residents from Oceanside to La Jolla. Public health officials asked all residents to remain indoors during this alert.

The Feds put the Marine Sanctuary on a back burner.

In an incredible display of special-interest power, the oil industry pulled its strings and delayed San Diego’s marine sanctuary proposal until 1979.

Penasquitos East plan destroys canyon open space.

The San Diego City Council approves housing tracts in Pertasquitos Canyon open space area despite voter approval of Proposition C (open space bond).

The Navy’s insistence on building a hospital in Florida Canyon.

If the Navy’s tunnel vision persists, they will succeed in torpedoing the spectacular natural beauty of Florida Canyon that is within walking distance of thousands of downtown residents.


  • Biggest Unreported Stories
  • Bill Ritter
  • Free-lance writer

The lack of any major announcement on the suicide of KGB radio newsman Jim Morris. Morris, who had been in and out of trouble with the law this year, took his own life near Salinas in late summer.

Despite dozens of rumors, no reporters really got to the heart of the November pre-election “kidnapping" of Phil Winter, campaign manager for unsuccessful supervisorial candidate Lee Hubbard. According to the most persistent speculation, Winter’s abduction was carried out by an angry friend. It was the third time it had happened to Winter, and he declined to take a police lie-detector test to check out his story.

When It was revealed by the “Sain Diego Newsline” that the Navy was stockpiling armed nuclear warheads on Its San Diego-based destroyers and submarines, the story was never picked up by any other press.

The elghteen-month-old Southeast Comprehensive Health Center reportedly ran out of money three months before the end of fiscal year 1977-78. Poor accounting was the reason given to the board of supervisors, who voted emergency appropriations for the center. They story went unreported In San Diego.

The lack of any ln-depth coverage of the reported shaky financial situations and political Infighting of the San Diego Symphony, and the San Diego and California ballet companies.

San Diego sports writers all but ignored former Padre baseball player Oscar Gamble’s claim that he was prepared to sign with the team In 1978 for $1.2 million. He was happily surprised to accept owner Ray Kroc’s first offer of $2.8 million. Gamble, after a horrendous season, was recently shipped off to Texas. To make the move easier to stomach, the Padres gave him a golng-away present of $75,000.

The joint City-County Reinvestment Task Force, formed in 1977 to examine the lending patterns of the ten largest local mortgage lending institutions and to analyze their impact on the Inner city, went largely unnoticed by the city’s press. Despite strong objections from the community members of the task force — and the publlc-relatlons-minded 8an Diego Federal Savings and Loan — the other lender members of the group refused to publicly release disclosure statements of Inner-city loans on a bank-by-bank basis.

  • Jim Sills
  • Conservative activist

Last year’s controversy over Black’s Beach was back In the courts In 1978. The twist was that rival pro-nudlsm factions were Involved In the litigation. The split began when one group gained notoriety at the beach by engaging In “artistic” body-painting. This exasperated other advocates of legal nudity, then engaged In the Black's Beach election campaign. One thing led to another until a leader of the body-painters filed suit In superior court, claiming his arm was broken during a beating directed by the rival faction. His antagonists promptly filed a countersuit claiming libel and slander. One suit seeks $280,000 In damages, the other asks $1 million.

There are more San Diego police officers specifically assigned to traffic enforcement them to investigation of (1) auto thefts, (2) vice, (3) fencing, (4) narcotics, (5) forgery, and (6) criminal intelligence, combined. 143 cops write tickets and accident reports, 102 handle the other “minor” stuff. (From the 1978 city budget.)

The Union-Tribune’s editorial swing to the left continued In 1978. In recent years, one or both of the papers endorsed Jack Walsh, Maureen O’Connor, Jess Haro, Lucille Moore, Roger Hedgecock, Leon Williams, and Larry Kapiloff. This year Jim Mills, March Fong Eu, Jess Unruh, Jim Bates, and Lorraine Boyce won endorsements from one or both of the Copley papers. Both papers opposed the Jarvis and Briggs initiatives. Despite the obvious trend, routine references to San Diego’s “very conservative” newspapers are repeatedly heard.

The almost certain construction of North City West Is the latest step In what veteran observers are calling the “Hubbardizatlon” of city hall. In his 1978 mayoral campaign Lee Hubbard called for (1) building North City West, (2) keeping the airport at Lindbergh Field, (3) creating a city housing commission, (4) banning nudity at Black’s Beach, (8) abolishing the job of legislative analyst, (6) hiring more police, and (7) cutting the city budget. Mayor Wilson opposed all these ideas. In whole or In part, during his re-election campaign. All seven proposals have since come to pass or are Imminent (the housing body, budget cut, and North City West Joined the list In 1978). In several cases the mayor himself aided the shift In policy, spurred by the election of four new councilmen. This reminds conservatives of a 1966 joke. “They told me If I voted for Goldwater, we’d be at war In two years. So I voted for Goldwater and sure enough, we’re at war."

The city council failed to redlstrlct in 1978. Several districts are far out of balance, but nothing was done about It. All eyes are on Bill Mitchell’s huge northern district, making It a prime target for political carving. Ocean Beach is another potential hot potato being tossed from one district to another. The failure to redlstrlct may have a crucial Impact on next year’s council elections.

The suspension of First Amendment rights for the Church News was Ignored In 1978. The little tabloid has been harassed In court and threatened with a state Investigation and an advertising boycott. The quarterly publication outraged local liberals last year by reporting several city council candidates were supported by the Nude Beaches Committee and the gay-oriented San Diego Democratlc Club. No one denied the Church News stories were accurate; the groups In question had already published their endorsements. Liberals, who vowed revenge, complained the Church News articles were “unfair.” In fact, the Church News articles were no more unfair than election stories in the left-wing Newsline or liberal San Diego Magazine. Definition of a liberal: “Someone who will defend to the death your right to agree with him."

The rising power of San Diego Union media critic Al JaCoby deserved more attention.

Last March, Union reporter Roger Showley was shifted away from his county government newsbeat after writing that a supervisor’s “integrity was questioned yesterday by his fellow supervisors ....” The supervisor In question Insisted his Integrity was never questioned.

Enter Al JaCoby, “ombudsman” for the Union. After looking into the matter, JaCoby wrote that “a survey of County records” showed the supervisor’s Integrity was not questioned.

How to settle the dispute? Easy — listen to the tape recording of the supervisorial meeting and hear what was said. The problem was the tape machines broke down that day and no tape was available. JaCoby either didn’t know that or failed to mention it. Written minutes of the meeting, meanwhile, were brief and sketchy.

Although he was at the meeting, Showley found his accuracy questioned by a higher critic who wasn’t there and couldn’t hear the tape. JaCoby is becoming very unpopular with some local media for this Monday-morning quarterbacking.

  • Melvin Shapiro
  • Community activist

San Diego Issues 300-page environmental impact statement on downtown redevelopment, then applies for federal funds swearing that there Is no impact on the environment.

A look at four San Diego judges who are In business with prominent San Diego attorneys.

How the chairman of the city planning commission does his job while being In partnership with two land developers.

Why the City of San Diego enforces the building codes In downtown hotels, but does not do so In city-owned buildings.

Why San Diego hires a housing economist to respond to the problem of conversion of apartments to condominiums, and six months later tells him to drop the subject.

The statement by Price Waterhouse, the accounting firm that audits downtown redevelopment, that because of Proposition 13, the Horton Plaza and Marina bonds could go Into default sometime In the future.

Why the city never used $ 12 million of federal funds allotted to it for 1978, 1976, 1977. The city was criticized for this In a federal audit.

Most overblown stories

  • Harold Keen
  • KFMB-TV

The Emmy for best performance of the year in duping the media belongs to David Duke, Imperial Grand Wizard ( or is it Dragon Lizard? ) of the Ku Klux Klan, who on a winter night lured panting print and broadcast newspersons to a godforsaken rendezvous near the Mexican border for a nonevent—the launching of his phantom hunt for Illegals by a bewildered band of would-be toughs outnumbered by the journalists.

Runner-up in the “Overblown Stories” marathon:

Clever use of news outlets for near-collision horror accounts by the Air Controllers Union to win friends and Influence enemies against all other elements Involved In the North Park midair collision killing 144.

The breathless day-by-day reports of Pete Rose’s march through Georgia, Missouri, and Pennsylvania In his unabashedly relentless hunt for the Holy Grail of athletes—money eagerly showered by pro team tycoons.

The threat of Black’s Beach to public morals.

All stories about lawsuits threatened for real or fancied wrongs, thus using the press as a propaganda sounding board for something that might never occur.

  • Paul Krueger
  • Columnist, San Diego Union

When does “coverage” end and public relations begin? No better example than when Atlanta Hawks owner Ted Turner offered the KGB Chicken a reported $100,000 to leave San Diego. Numerous TV spots and newspaper stories, ranging from pun-filled humor pieces to solemn editorials (“the crisis has passed .. read one) were delivered to an unsuspecting and, one hopes, uncaring public during the Intense Turner-Chicken negotiations In September. The publicity was a boon for both the frenetic bird’s ego and his sponsoring station, whose ratings rise In proportion to the column Inches and film footage given the Chicken.

This year also witnessed some unexplainable attraction to things of the sea. Every time Pat Satterlee called a press conference to announce he was shoving off for Australia In a rowboat, the media waded forth obediently. Satterlee made seven false starts between March and July before the owner of the rowboat called an end to the nonsense. The local press never did wise up.

More ludicrous were the adventures of La Jollan Howard Singer (affectionately known as “Howie the Dolphin”), who drove his German Amphicar from Long Beach to Santa Catalina Island last August. The only noteworthy event attached to that saga was the fact that Singer was fired from his job as manager of an auto parts store because he spent so much time selling reporters on the virtues of his voyage.

The award for Best Made-to-Order News Conference of 1978 goes to Mayor Pete Wilson's staff for spicing up a routine announcement (“We’re cleaning up downtown") by having the mayor walk through several peep show arcades last May. Flashlight In hand, Wilson weaved through the curtained stalls as television cameramen followed behind whispering, "Great footage, huh?" to one another.

Property owners should all be as lucky as Tom Kelly, who got dally coverage of his attempts to sell the historic Klauber House near Balboa Park. These constant reminders of the house's value and impending demise seem not only to have found a buyer, but painted Kelly as a man with motives other than getting as much money as he could from the deal.


What Is the Sound of One Year Leaving?

  • Steve Esmedlna
  • Reader Contributing Editor

Though I risk provoking gasps of disbelief, I’m pleased to say that I actually enjoyed a number of concerts in 1978. In fact, I believe this to be one of the more respectable years here for jazz and rock. In the interests of brevity and tradition, I've narrowed my list of favorites to ten. (For tradition’s sake, don’t you know?) These are the shows I most relished this year, In decreasing order of Interest:

  • The Kinks, SDSU’s Open-air Amphitheatre
  • Blnu, featuring Bobby Bradford and John Carter, UCSD’s Revelle Cafeteria
  • Randy Newman and Bonnie Raitt, SDSU's Open-air Amphitheatre
  • Talking Heads, SDSU's Open-air Amphitheatre
  • Mark Dresser’s Famous Invisible Ensemble, Calliope’s, North Park
  • George Lewis and Bert Turetsky, Stratford Court Theatre, Del Mar
  • Elvis Costello, Civic Theatre Kwanzaa and Storm, India Street Jazz Festival
  • The Zippers, Glorietta Bay Park, Coronado
  • Robert Palmer, California Theatre
  • Sonny Rollins' solo spot at the Civic Theatre

The last item leads me to a subcategory. There were concerts I had high expectations for, and which if not exactly bad, were disappointing. The Milestone Jazz extravaganza at the Civic, featuring Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Ron Carter, and drummer Al Foster, like the VSOP show a year before, was more a display of individual “brilliance” than it was a group of attuned musicians working for a total effect. Rollins shined; the rest just showed off.

The other concerts I foolishly touted in advance were Jack DeJohnette’s condescending Directions at Straita Head Sound, the drunken Warren Zevon at SDSU’s Open-air Amphitheatre, and the impoverished “Jazz-Salsa-Reggae” festival at Balboa Park’s Starlight Bowl.

There were an equal number of truly lame concerts this year, too many to try and recall with passion, but I Insist that Bob Dylan’s purported resurrection at the Sports Arena was the worst. It’s no longer possible to make excuses for an artist (no matter how great he was in the past) who has lost all notion of how to behave on stage other than to simply be there.

From a chauvinistic standpoint, it’s encouraging that a few residents aren’t idly sitting on their hands waiting for some mythical entrepreneur to descend upon San Diego. However successful their efforts, these people deserve plaudits: from the jazz side, bassist Mark Dresser, our foremost champion of avant-garde jazz, who introduced to San Diego musicians such as Bobby Bradford, John Carter, Ray Anderson, George Lewis, and Evan Parker; and Louise Robinson, an equally staunch defender of mainstream jazz, who made it possible to see a variety of excellent local jazz players in desirable situations. On the rockin’ side: Tom Brannon, Tom Griswold, and Mikel Toombs, who at least tried to offset San Diego’s disco decadence with the “spirit” of the new wave.

As there has been relatively little chance to rave or revile records in these pages this year, I will limit to a list my choice of albums for 1978. If anyone rushes out and buys on my advice, how can they help but go right?

  • Air Time, Open Air Suite, Montretux Suisse Air (buy all three). Air
  • This Year’s Model, Elvis Costello
  • Misfits, The Kinks
  • Dance of Life Is, Oliver Lake
  • The Grip, Arthus Blythe
  • The Bride Stripped Bare, Bryan Ferry
  • Some Girls, The Rolling Stones
  • The Revolutionary Ensemble
  • Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo
  • Double Trouble, Frankie Miller
  • Don’t Stop the Carnival, Sonny Rollins
  • Lucumi Macumba Voodoo, Eddie Palmieri
  • A Funky Situation, Wilson Pickett
  • So Much in Love, The O’Jays
  • Double Fun, Robert Palmer

Party favorites

  • Janed Guymon Casady
  • Native San Diegan

Of course, when I think of the most memorable parties of 1978, the Republican one and the Democratic one come first to mind: shortly after hosting a fundraiser for Larry Kaplloff, finding myself entertaining on the piano for Terry Knoepp’s announcement party at the Bahia . , . on ground-hog day watching George Mitrovltch and the ambassador from India, Nani Falk Hivlia, sharing cream cheese and chutney at a City Club reception . . . Don and Gay Nay’s three-hour-long, sit-down Chinese dinner ... watching romance bloom between Shay Sayre and Tony Weinress at a C.O.O.L. fundraiser (I gave a wedding reception for that pair, AND their six kids, four months later) ... hastily providing Jules Feiffer with a safety pin for his gaping Jacket before an evening reception where he was the featured speaker ... Jim Mills signing autographs for his book, The Gospel According to Pontius Pilate, at the Earth Song in Del Mar . ,. wearing a Tahitian grass skirt to the Children’s School Fun Night IV aboard the Berkeley, the rainiest night in San Diego history, and hearing the auctioneer, Chet Whelan, wonder whether or not the entire party would float off to Tahiti that night... the strawberry cake at Robert Hostick’s birthday party ... wondering why only twenty people showed up at ACLU fundraiser with Burt Lancaster ... fixing a midnight milkshake (with nutty ice cream, to my horror) for Marlene Feldman’s sick tummy after her new catering company, Catering Unlimited, had prepared a gorgeous feast for Mervyn Dymally . . . University Hospital Auxiliary’s night at the Padre game (the Padres are always memorable!) .. . the half-hour time lapse (breathe deeply and regroup) between the Women’s Association for the Salk Institute’s membership tea and a musical evening for Janet Kintor (the flowers were perfect for both) ... petting a llama and riding a carousel at George Stream's ranch ... all of the parties at Election Central, winners and losers, all of them memorable ... the contrast of a Dixieland Jazz group from Baltimore, Pier 5, and Rosie and the Screamers, at John Prentiss’s first annual golng-away party at the Del Dios store ... Arlene Garsten (director of the Institute for Burn Medicine) and Marla Velasques (Channel 39) doing an Impromptu Mexican hat dance at Fiesta de San Diego ... a champagne reception opening night of a three-day, one-man art show by Christopher Gerlach, ending with the exhausted artist playing pool until three a.m. ... Jerry Brown’s appearance at my last party at 2055 Sunset Boulevard (Mission Hills) before I moved — a fundraiser for the candidate of my choice, of course .. . Betty Sommers' (of Rancho Santa Fe) rogue-of-the-month party at her new men’s boutique In La Jolla ... watching all of the women swoon In the presence of Julian Bond at Buss Featherman’s fundraiser for the Newsline .. . racing about In search of a pair of fancy size-seven shoes for Robert Vaughn’s wife at Simon Casady’s birthday party (she had left hers on the plane) ... Carl Ludlow’s birthday party — hearing Don Glaser’s relaxed jazz piano after everyone else had left. .. wondering how to tell the hosts for the Santa Fe Hunt dinner party that fifteen Dixieland jazz musicians CAN’T play softly . . . Bob Miller’s announcement party for Art Letter ( successful Is the candidate that the rain falls on?) ... and more to come....


I Wish I’d Been There When...

  • Evonne Schulze
  • Community services specialist,
  • San Diego City Schools

I wish I'd been there when Leon Williams drove up to his city hall parking space to find a Volkswagen occupying it. To demonstrate his displeasure, Leon jammed his truck up so close against the offending vehicle that there was no way It could move. After a two-hour search, Its owner, Supervisor Roger Hedgecock, found the fourth district city councilman. Both vehicles were moved, and city and county government continued.

I wish I had been In the office of SDG&E’s president, armed with a tape recorder, when he learned that the Sundesert nuclear power plant had been rejected by the Public Utilities Commission.

I wish I’d been there when the Church News editorial staff discussed the decision to ask homosexual rights defender Rev. David Farrell of the Metropolitan Community Church to write an article for the archconservative paper supporting a No vote on November’s Proposition 6.

I wish I had been there to see Pete Wilson’s face at the climax of Christmas ceremonies In Balboa Park when the mayor pushed a button to light the tree, and nothing happened.

In a recent city council dismission of the emergency telephone number 911, Councilman Bill Mitchell expressed concern that some citizens of San Diego wouldn’t be able to find the eleven on their dial. I wish I’d been there when Mitchell was told that eleven is dialed 1-1.

  • Lee Hubbard, Jr.
  • Former city councilman

When Pete Wilson advised the local newspapers to support Democrat Jim Bates over his Republican opponent In the November supervisoral election.

When Del Mar’s Dick Rypinskl, Roger Hedgecock, and Pete Wilson, et al, decided the future airport should go to Otay Instead of the engineers’ first choice, the Carmel Valley site.

When a mental relapse caused our local leaders to agree to condemn the Tia Juana Valley to a floodplain Instead of a dynamic Mission Bay-type recreation and economic generator for the South Bay Area.

When a major hotel developer wanted to tear down the old Santa Fe Depot for a super new hotel and Pete Wilson said, "Can you design It to resemble the old depot a little?"

  • Maryann Bonnes
  • Ocean Beach Planning Board

For many years the San Diego Union and Tribune have enjoyed a monopoly on the daily newspaper market In San Diego. The conversation between Helen Copley and her staff must have been frantic, to say the least, when news came out that the Los Angeles Times was coming out with a San Diego edition and locating their new offices in the San Diego Union’s old headquarters downtown.

As the extremely successful coach of the 8an Diego State Aztecs, Don Coryell made It no secret that he would love to coach the San Diego Chargers. After over fifteen years at State and In the pros, Coryell’s ambition was finally realized. I wish I could have been there when the initial offer came from Gene Klein.

Much interest has always been shown regarding potential wives for our bachelor governor. Most recently, Jerry Brown has been steadily dating singer Linda Ronstadt, giving rise to endless speculation. I would have enjoyed being there to hear the conversation between Linda and Jerry after father "Pat" Brown publicly announced he wouldn’t mind having Linda as a daughter-in-law.

Hopes are rising again for Republican party members since the recent election and resulting Republican gains In the legislatures not only in California, but across the nation. The conversation between ambitious Republicans Roger Hedgecock and Bill Lowrey must have been enlightening when they discussed future Republican nominees — and which one of the two should run first.

Over the past several years the KGB Chicken has gained In notoriety and has become a Sam Diego institution. However, word leaked out that this San Diego symbol was being courted by out-of-state interests to change his residence for large sums of money. It would have been nice to be there for the conversation between the Chicken, KGB’s manager Rick Liebert, and Padre owner Ray Kroc when the latter two convinced the Chicken that the quality of life In San Diego was worth more than $100,000.

Government bureaucracy has the reputation for accomplishing nothing after expending tremendous amounts of effort on a matter. One of the best examples to substantiate this notion came this year from the San Diego City Council when, for over six months, dog owners battled proponents of stricter dog regulations in the beach area. The San Diego City Council and Its committees sat through numerous meetings and read endless reports and testimony dealing with dogs and their excrement. It would have been instructive, if boring, to have been there throughout the battles and watch the council finally vote to do nothing about the controversy.


Sexist claptrap

  • Sue C. Punjack
  • National Organization for Women

Examples of sexism In San Diego throughout the year of 1978 are seen in the reporting copy and advertisements of the print and broadcast media, billboards, poor taste Judgments by local organizations, and employment biases. Some of this year's more blatant examples Include the following:

The Sunset Pools ad run on local television stations early this year featured a camera slowing panning up a female body, while the voice-over announcer described by Innuendo a swimming pool. “Her” measurements were given, and the ad ended with the words: “And she’s all yours for $4995." When questioned as to why the ad was still running after complaints from outraged women, manager Rick Esposito reportedly replied, “It’s been raining, so we haven’t been able to make a new commercial.” The TV stations removed the ad after numerous objections by a number of feminist organizations.

The currently running ad on local television stations for the “Discount World of Beds" by the Bedroom Waterbed Company depicts a young woman as being too dumb to remember her short line for the commercial. When she finally says it right, her clothes are pulled off as she rises.

Two ads boldly proclaimed the “Year of the Ass" by showing only that portion of the female anatomy: The Pepe Lopez Tequila billboard near the Intersection of Linda Vista Road and Morena Boulevard had the name of the tequila written across the back of a white bikini; and the Mmm! What a tan! billboard at Grand and Ingraham streets In Pacific Beach showed two hands gripping the waist of a bikini.

McDonald’s, who “does It all for you,” this year also informed you and your children about the movie Snuff. A poster for the movie was displayed in McDonald’s theatrical-theme restaurant In downtown San Diego. The movie reportedly showed the murder and systematic dismemberment of a real woman. The poster graphically portrayed the blood and gore. This and similar posters were finally removed when the San Diego Chapter of Women Against Violence Against Women convinced the management that these were inconsistent with the corporation’s Image as a family restaurant.

The Halloween Haunted House by the Museum of Man (which refuses to acknowledge In its name our Inheritance from our female ancestors) displayed torture chambers, including a girl being stretched “from four feet, ten inches to five feet, six inches,” as quoted by the local media. These and similar displays promoted thoughts of violence among impressionable youngsters who were both participants and spectators of this chamber of horrors.

The government-sanctioned visit of the Penthouse Pet of the Year to the San Diego Veterans Administration Hospital represented the perpetuation of the women-as-recreation philosophy, as objected to in a letter to Director Robert W. Brawley, M.D., signed by sixty-four employees.

Both broadcast and print media (except for the Daily Transcript) failed to report to their readers and listeners that some 1700 local women were eligible for settlements of up to $2000 each as a result of a major sex discrimination suit against General Dynamics, originated by LaNelle Smith of 8an Diego. The story was not covered despite personal notification by San Diego County NOW to the major newspapers and radio and TV stations, who have often complained that there is no news about women.

Sexism of a reverse nature was evidenced this summer in the Male Beauty Pageant sponsored by the San Diego County Chapter of the National Organization for Women in Balboa Park. Classic specimens of the male body, representing various organizations in San Diego from local police officers and fire fighters to the Horny Toads Jogging Group, and including local media representatives such as Captain Acuweather of KGTV 10 and the KGB Chicken, paraded on stage to the catcalls and whistles of excited women onlookers and Judges. The boys showed off their charms by displaying their bodies in bathing suits, performing their talents to music, and answering questions about make-up, cooking, and the state of the world.


Seventy-eight Reasons Why San Diego Isn’t All That Bad

  • Greg Kahn
  • Reader contributing editor
  1. XETV Channel 6 2. Three major ballet companies 3. A major opera company 4. A major symphony orchestra 8. A major international film festival 6. Our own lucid communicative style, consisting of such epithets as “laid back,” “mellow,” “kick back ” 7. John the window washer 8. A tendency to panic when the temperature dips below sixty degrees Fahrenheit, and a ceasing of normal functions when it rains 9. We’re more than 1000 miles from Detroit 10. Parking on Mt. Soledad lookout at three a.m. 11. One of the first women’s studies departments in the country (SDSU) 12. The tableaux of human behavior and interaction at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour in Fashion Valley 13. Enough “contemporary” hair-cutting shops to accommodate the styling needs of emigrants from LA. 14. The Unicorn Cinema fifty percent of the time 15. The Guild Theatre thirty-five percent of the time 16. The Ken Cinema twenty-five percent of the time 17. Buffalo Breath in Pacific Beach 18. A pepperonl pizza from Tony’s Pizza in Pacific Beach 19. The Mithras Bookstore on a rainy day 20. John Cole’s Book Shop on a windy day 21. Skateboarding in the Community Concourse parking lot 22. The La Valencia Hotel 23. North County flower fields in the spring 24. Standing at the edge of the Ocean Beach pier during storm-induced swells 25. The absence of large crowds and availability of tickets for such “coup” local appearances as Phillip Glass at Sherwood Hall, John Cage at UCSD, and Grand Union at SDSU 26. The footbridges of Hillcrest and south Mission Hills. 27. Anti-growth sentiment amongst the city’s populace 28. The view from the twenty-second floor of the downtown Central Federal building 29. Skin and scuba diving 30. The elevation of the San Diego Sports Arena to second place — passing S.F.’s Cow Palace (an appropriate name)—on the list of multi-event indoor arenas which grossly inconvenience and humiliate their patrons through poor management 31. La Jolla 32. The biggies in visual arts and performance at UCSD 33. Our easy accessibility to various topographical regions (beaches, mountains, desert) 34. Exciting major sports team franchises (Chargers, Friars, Sockers, Padres, Hawks, Breakers) 35. Palomar Observatory 36.The most new-age consciousness, mystical, neo-Reichian, est, cult, spiritual, scientological, and “religious” groups per capita of any city 37.Our small but international airport 38. Clean beaches 39. Balboa Park 40. A resident community of several good poets 41. La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art 42. Hearing 60,000 fans laud Louie Kelcher for a quarterback sack 43. Card rooms 44. A laughable regional coiffure architecture of Southern California wood, airbrush, and plants, which is utilized in hip, middle-brow restaurants, con-tempo clothing stores, and financial institutions 45. KSDS-FM 46. Climate 47. The return of Don Coryell 48. The exodus of Mark Hammil 49. The longed-for return of Bill Walton (please come home. Bill!) 50. Casat Gallery 51. A relatively clean and safe downtown area 52. “Colemanisms” 53. The high quality of domestic and imported marijuana 54. Thirty-three Baskin-Robblns ice cream stores (conveniently located) 55. An abundance of talent in the fields of micro-tonal and “new music” 56. The evening performance pieces at the old F Street Studio downtown 57. National City Mile of Cars 58. Vivian Vance was discovered here for “I Love Lucy" 59. The Crossroads jazz club 60. The Salk Institute 61. El Indio Shop 62. The Barbary Coast 63. A delightful obsession with West Coast fads such as soft frozen yogurt, mirrored sunglasses, and vans 64. The old downtown theater palaces 65. The availability of participation in minor sports such as racquetball, over-the-line, sailing, and many others 66. Scripps Institution of Oceanography 67. Short distance to Mexico 68. The continuing legacy of Harry Partch 69. Some of the best sunsets in the world 70. Some of the most agreeable surfing spots in the world 71. UCSD Archive for New Poetry 78. Clay’s Texas Pit Bar-B-Q 73. Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater 74. Tugboat magazine 75. Seldom-patrolled hotel swimming pools and jacuzzis 76. Santa Fe train depot 77. Horseback riding on the beaches of North County 78. Filching avocados in Fallbrook.

From Cover to Cover

Fred Moramarco

Reader contributor

A few weeks ago the New York Times reported that one-quarter of the population of the United States read ten books or more during the past six months. More recently, in the City Lights section of this paper, it was reported that San Diego ranked fourth (behind LA., N.Y.,and Chicago) for the total volume of paperback books sold, and sixth nationwide for overall book sales (paperback and hardcover). While both the Times statistic and those cited in the Reader are truly difficult to believe, there can be no question that 1978 was a very good year for books. Here are a few titles I’ve added to my shelves this year that I think are worth your attention: Barbara W. Tuchman. A Distant Mirror. In this calamitous year of Guyana, PSA 182, the Moscone-Milk killings, the deaths of two Popes, and other assorted horrors and catastrophes, it seems appropriate that a book subtitled “The Calamitous 14th Century" is riding high on the nonfiction bestseller list. Ms. Tuchman began her book wanting to explore the “effects on society of the most lethal disaster of recorded history .. . the Black Death of 1348-50, which killed an estimated one-third of the population living between India and Iceland." Reading this book helps put our contemporary sense of apocalypse in perspective. Tuchman is that rare phenomenon—a historian who can write accurate history in an engaging, compelling manner. She ushers us into the shattered world of the Fourteenth Century with this prefatory comment: “If our last decade or two of collapsing assumptions has been a period of unusual discomfort, it is reassuring to know that the human species has lived through worse before.”

The Stories of John Cheever. Though I have not read much fiction this year, the publication of all of John Cheever’s stories (except “the most embarrassingly immature pieces”) in a single hefty, well-designed volume seems to me to be the literary event of the year. Cheever is a writer I have come to admire more and more with each passing year, and though I have only begun to dip into the new collection, it is a treasure trove of small fictional gems. Stories you might skim over in a bookstore to find out if you have the potential for Cheever addiction Include “The Enormous Radio,” “The Swimmer," “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin,” and “The World of Apples,” among many other possible choices. And Cheever’s wonderful novel of 1977, Falconer, was published in paperback this year.

Linda Bird Francke, The Ambivalence of Abortion The abortion question is so charged with emotional investment that it often turns otherwise reasonable people into frenzied hysterics. Not so Linda Bird Francke, who writes about the issue with the authority of one who has been there and with a sensitivity to both life and women’s right to choose that will confound partisans on both sides. This is an important book that ought to be read by anyone who needs to think through his or her own position on the issue.

Edward O. Wilson, On Human Nature. About a year ago, a professor at San Diego State University taught a course in “Sociobiology,” which was picketed by a group of people urging students to boycott the course because it allegedly offered an intellectual justification for racism. Edward O. Wilson is the author of Sociobiology, The New Synthesis, a massive and seminal scientific work which is still sending shock waves through the scientific community. His new book, On Human Nature, is certain to extend the controversy, because its central principle contends that more of our behavior is genetically determined than we have realized. To view Wilson’s work as racist or sexist (as many have) is an extremely superficial response to a humane and optimistic interpretation of the biological basis of human activity. Wilson understands the roots of the resistance to his work: “If human behavior can be reduced and determined to any considerable degree by the laws of biology, then mankind might appear to be less unique and to that extent dehumanized.” Further, he states that “Sociobiologists consider man as though seen through the front end of a telescope, at a greater than usual distance and temporarily diminished in size, in order to view him simultaneously with an array of other social experiments. They attempt to place humankind in its proper place in a catalog of the social species on Earth.” Since most humans I know like to think of themselves as having more enduring significance than a baboon at the local zoo or a goldfish swimming in art aquarium, Wilson’s theories are not likely to be greeted with hosannas, but I found this book the most intellectually stimulating reading I have done this year. Along with a number of other recent books—Marvin Harris's Cannibals and Kings, Carl Sagan’s Dragons of Eden, and Peter Farb’s Humankind – On Human Nature is another step down the road toward defining a collective contemporary identity.

Lee Seldes, The Legacy of Mark Rothko. One of my favorite New Yorker cartoons shows two men, one presumably an art deader, the other a potential buyer, looking at an abstract painting by Paul Klee. The caption Is the dealer’s comment: “Klee has everything we look for In modern art: low-risk Initial Investment, quick turnover possibility, long-term growth potential.” I thought of this cartoon while reading Lee Seldes' account of the sordid details of the parasitic money-grubbing that followed in the wake of Mark Rothko's tragic suicide in February of 1970. Rothko’s huge, haunting, color-drenched rectangular canvases are Immediately recognizable to anyone with even a cursory Interest In twentieth-century American art. But the insatiable greed and crass manipulation of his estate by his purported friends Is less familiar (except to those plugged Into the gossip of the New York art world). This Is a book to make you wonder anew about the uneasy relationship between art and the , marketplace and about the exploitation of the most gifted, creative people among us by the bevy of sycophants that usually surrounds them.

The World According to Garp by John Irving. Everybody seems to be saying that this Is one of the year's most original novels. I’ve not yet gotten to It, but It has been called “dazzllngly comic” and you’ll notice there are very few laughs on the shelf.

The Flounder by Gunther Grass. Not since Moby Dick has there been a major novel about a sea creature, and now Germany’s leading writer takes an Ironic whack at Melville. A reviewer has described this massive tome as “encyclopedic and audacious” and says It Includes “the history of women, cooking, and culture.” Grass has never been known as a man of modest ambition and this seems to be his most ambitious effort yet. It sounds hard to resist.

Finally, one book of 1978 I have sworn not to read: R.N., the Memoirs of Richard Nixon Pardon me for not reviewing this In more detail, but the excerpts which ran In the newspapers made It perfectly clear that this long memo of self-justiflcatton Is nothing more than an elaboration on the basic “I am not a crook” motif Introduced at the height of the Watergate period. The prose Is pure Nlxonese, a dialect of standard English that may be best remembered for Introducing the phrase “inoperative statement” as a substitute for the overused Anglo-Saxon word “lie," as well as for giving us such colorful expressions as “stonewalling,” “expletive deleted,” and “going the hang out route.” To succinctly state my opinion of this book. I’ll need to borrow one of Duncan Shepherd’s black spots.


Snippets

  • Joe Applegate
  • Free-lance writer

The following conversations were overheard by me In the course of this year. I keep a journal and have recorded these remarks word for word All of them took place In San Diego in 1978.

January 1. A guy and a girl are getting to know each other at a New Year’s Eve party.

“Do you think I’m unfair when I criticize my dad like that?" he said.

“No," she said. (And took a sip of wine.)

“I don’t know. I think I criticize him for the same faults I have."

“So what?" she said. “I blame my mother for everything. So It all balances out."

January 14. At the Mission Bay Marathon, a lady with a bulging red neck and white face has just finished running thirteen miles In two hours, seven minutes, and forty-eight seconds. When she catches her breath she says, “Today I feel good about myself and the things I am doing.”

January 20. A friend of mine with a good job just sold his van and bought something else. “In a car as fine as a BMW, you notice Imperfections that much more quickly."

January 29. A reporter at the Times (San Diego edition) tells me about a friend of hers, a reporter In Washington D.C. “One night a week he teaches, and two nights a week he sees a psychiatrist. He told me that he’s come to realize his most fundamental problem. He said, ‘I can’t accept the fact that I’m nice.’ ”

February 4. At the Grossmont Hospital Auxiliary Benefit Buffet and Fashion Show, one old lady leans across the table and caws to another: “I’m just glad I’m his mother and not his wife!"

March 21. A twenty-five-year-old woman I know has just parallel parked her sports car — on the first try. “Sometimes I just amaze myself!”

July 28. With two friends at a drlve-ln, watching The Buddy Holly Story. One says, “What a mistake I made In college. My first time on acid, and I took a whole tab.”

“You should never do that,” the other says. “But everyone does, I guess. I never knew anyone who started on teeny bits of acid until I met me.”

September 12. Two ladles, one married, the other single.

Married: Hey — it’s time.

Single: Think so?

Married: You two should have gotten married years ago.

Single: Maybe you’re right. But our accountant Is totally against It.

Married: What does he know?

Single: Yeah. And he’s getting married himself In November.

Married: See?

Single: But he’s only doing it because he wants to have children.

September 23. Two guys having a quiet, social lunch.

— Do you think an ordinary man can learn to be sensitive?

— I think sensitivity can be acquired, but not learned. It takes a lifetime.

— Are you a sensitive man?

— Yeah. I think I am. Are you?

— No way. I must admit, though, some women think I am. But that’s because I know how to imitate them. And every woman is sensitive compared to guys.

— You crazy? I know plenty of women who come on like they’re all feelings and understanding, but underneath, their heart is brick.

— Incredible.

November 17. At the Bob Dylan concert In the Sports Arena. One guy says to another: “Have you noticed how people never pass joints around at concerts anymore?”

“Yeah. Times have changed. Want a beer?”


Landmarks, Benchmarks, Black-and-Blue Marks

  • Carlos Bey
  • Reader contributor

I Meant Wizard of Oz: Mayor Pete Wilson’s campaign for governor outside of San Diego was laced with television commercials and newspaper ads calling him the Wizard of Mission Bay. When the master plan for Mission Bay was approved (1958), Wilson was a Marine Corps Infantry officer. When the majority of the dredging of the bay was completed (1961), Wilson was a law student at the University of California.

Cat Got Your Head?: Caterpillar Equipment (CAT) can probably take credit for the presence this year of baseball/golf caps on the heads of thousands of San Diego men (though the Padre front office would growl if they weren’t also acknowledged). Canvas front, nylon mesh adjustable rear, this cranial emblem of masculinity is the first piece of headgear to take hold locally In more than a generation.

That Money We Knew You'd Think We’d Save Was Never Ours Until After We Thought You’d Get It: So few were the rebates or rent reductions from San Diego County landlords In the wake of Proposition 13 that both the Union and Evening Tribune covered the handful of Instances as news events.

Next Week—John, Paul, George, and Ringo: Nostalgia worked Its magic the night of September 8 when the Roxy Theatre In Pacific Beach presented that sun-bleached duo, Jan and Dean. Many of those who enjoyed such gems as “Little Old Lady From Pasadena” and “Dead Man’s Curve" didn’t learn until later than “Dean” wasn’t really Dean Torrance, of the original group. Instead, a musician named Dean Ruff stood In for Torrance, who backed out at the last minute.

And What Would Edward R. Murrow Think: Television news achieved a milestone with the pairing of Bob Dale and Carol Channing, eleven p.m., February 6th on Channel 39. What was supposed to have been a weather segment turned Into a free plug for Channlng’s Hello Dolly at the Fox Theatre and an embarrassing public display of foolishness.

Meatless Merger of the Year: Jay’s Vegetarian Cafe In Pacific Beach— not to be confused with L’Chalm Vegetarian In El Cajon, which used to be Jay’s Vegetarian—was sold by Jay Gordon to Jorango’s Natural Foods of Mission Hills.

Lavender Blues: San Diego gays who might get sanguine about the November defeat of Proposition 6 should keep In mind that both local gay papers folded this year (the Pacific Coast Times in April, the San Diego Son three months ago) and that the Ball Express nlghtclub/dlsco on Pacific Highway (patrons were seventy percent gay, thirty percent straight) went belly-up after storm damage to the roof and very slow weeknights.

It’s Not a Job; It’s an Adventure: Swabbies aboard the fleet tug Cree got a taste of the real thing on January 18th when their ship was bombed by aircraft belonging to the United States Navy. The Cree, damaged beyond salvation, was dismantled for scrap this summer.

Concerto for Loot and Purse Strings: The Slnfonia of San Diego, under the baton of John Garvey, went broke this year. Garvey left the city for greener pastures; the organization left a kettledrumful of unpaid bills.

The Wheels of Justice Roll Ever Onward: After hearing four months of legal arguments, Superior Court Judge William L. Todd ruled that Helen Copley, publisher of the San Diego Union and Evening Tribune and head of Copley Press, Inc., had shortchanged by $10 million a trust fund left to her late husband’s children, Janice and Michael Copley. Todd ordered the children’s share of the corporation stocks upped from twenty percent to nearly thirty-five percent. He also removed Helen as sole trustee of the siblings’ fund.

Superstar Village: Who will tell Winfield it’s a dumb idea?

Poor Man’s Plights of Fancy: Western Airlines, capitalizing on its Jarvis-Gann savings, initiated on September 6 “Proposition 13 economy fare.” For nine dollars (just twenty cents more than Amtrak) one can fly one-way from San Diego to Los Angeles by purchasing a ticket at least seven days in advance. Reservations for the limited seating are recommended two to three weeks ahead.

Little Things Beneath the Chairman: When Housing Advisory Board chairman Michael Witte ordered seventy-nine-year-old G.L. Robbins to unplug his tape recorder at a public meeting of the board last February, Robbins protested but complied. Informed of the incident, four city councilmen, led by Fred Schnaubelt, sent a memo to the city attorney questioning the legality of Witte’s audio injunction, which prompted Witte to reply, "It just perpetuates the theory that little minds dwell on little things.”

Four Jack Tacos, Two Bonus Jacks, and, le French toast: Not to be outdone by archenemy McDonald’s, San Diego’s own Jack-in-the-Box expanded breakfast offerings at its sixty-four county outlets to Include pancakes, French toast, and eggs (sorry, scrambled only).

We Can’t Go On Like This: Many thought 1978 would finally be the year, but it wasn’t. Another calendar has expired and Tom Blair still hasn’t gotten credit (or received blame) for writing Evening Tribune columns under the byline Neil Morgan.

Room Service, Send Me Up a Choir: The El Cortez Hotel, a downtown landmark since 1927, hosted its last secular guest Monday, October 2.

Political Sensitivity: San Diego politicians, never ones to champion weak causes, got their mugs and their wumps stuck on the wrong side of the Proposition 13 fence. Even Pete Wilson and Lee Hubbard, alleged conservatives, were in the minority on the vote that carried San Diego County 59.8 percent to 40.1 percent.

Political Sensitivity, Part II: As if the Prop 13 vote hadn’t spoken clearly enough about government spending to the San Diego City Council, the council voted four-to-one to create the new City Housing Commission, which would help increase the number of publicly funded housing units in San Diego from 350 to 1500.

Most Popular Tourist Attraction of the Year: Dwight and Nile streets, North Park.

Don’t Bogart That Joint, Mi Amigo: North County marijuana growers got an unexpected boost this year when the popularity of Mexican weed plummeted (the locally cultivated "red hair” variety sold for more them one hundred dollars an ounce). Newspapers made much of the fact that some pot from south of the border may have been contaminated with the herbicide paraquat, and a cottage industry blossomed in this fertile climate of dope-smoker hysteria: “paraquat testers” were soon seen in head shops everywhere.

How Soon They Forget: Amalia Barreda, Jackie Brockington, Virginia Bigler, Jonathan Dunn-Rankin, Jan Harrison, Tom Lawrence, Barney Morris, Pete Pepper, Bill Selby.

New Age Page: Though San Diego is not yet Sausalito, the local enclaves of Silva Mind Control, est, TA, TM, SRF, Eckankar, the Kemery Institute, and Arica were joined this year by alumni of the Actualism Holistic Health Center, the Center for Self Change, The Church of Hakeem, Morningland, and the Polarity Institute.

America's Finest Mexican Suburb: Local public relations flaks may have to keep repeating to themselves, “Ninth largest city, ninth largest city,” so they won’t feel inferior now that Tijuana, with nearly 800,000 in population, is passing San Diego in numbers.

Just Seeing If You Were Awake: In an article on July 27th describing the reluctance of the U.S. Senate to drop trade sanctions imposed on Rhodesia, the Los Angeles Times ran the headline, accurate enough, "Senate Keeps Trade Curbs On Rhodesia.” The San Diego Union, for the identical story, inexplicably decided to say, “Senate Votes To Lift Rhodesia Trade Sanctions."

Most Overused Word of 1978: Clone.

The Lonely Crowd: In the growing search for kinship, San Diegans are finding bonds as gay Lutherans, tall singles, Jewish vegetarians, matchbook collectors, and Datsun owners. An anonymous caller says she might start a club for bald sopranos.

You're in Good Hands with Jay J.: La Jolla PR man Bill Arens was only doing his job when in February he sent to news organizations a press release announcing the arrival of famed private detective Jay J. Armes. Wrote Arens: “One could say that the citizens of San Diego are taking the law into their own hands.” Hook-handed Armes left no doubt that his $25,000 fee (a bargain at a quarter his usual rate) would be money well spent. After all, he told reporters, “I have the best secret agent in the world working for me— Jesus Christ."

Don't Mess With Mother Nature: Businessmen and shopping center developers were reminded that water follows the path of least resistance when last January Mission Valley was once again inundated. Two drowned when their car was swept into the raging torrent.

Bus Stop: Blaming Proposition 13, San Diego Transit cut out late-night, weekend, and holiday service on thirty-one of its forty routes. Automobile-less janitors, night-school students, and night nurses were left with not-so-inexpensive taxi service to fill the transportation gap.

Thousands of Comedians Out of Work, and We Get Pete: Foreigner, the rock group whose hits “Hot Blooded” and “Feels Like the First Time” sold millions, came to town October 27 for a concert benefiting COMBO and the Aero-Space Museum. At a press conference in his office to acknowledge the group’s generosity, Mayor Wilson handed a plaque to Foreigner’s Mick Jones with these words: “This feels like the first time, and though I won’t be able to attend the show tonight, I hope it’ll be hot-blooded."

New This Year: Women’s high-heeled shoes.

Gone This Year: Platform shoes—men and women.

Gone Next Year (We Hope): Hairy-chested men with gold neck chains and polyester shirts open to the abdomen.

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  • Greatest Injustices
  • George Mitrovich
  • President, City Club

The failure of the port commissioners to come forward with a single proposal to Improve air traffic safety at Lindbergh Field following the tragic crash of PSA Flight 182. Of all the do-nothing official bodies In San Diego, this Is the do-nothlngest. Since the departure of Harvey Furgatch, the commission has ceased to be In any sense a responsible public body.

Another Injustice closely related to the first Is the cry of private aviators that they have as much right to the airways as commercial jetliners. Baloney! By far the largest percentage of airplane crashes Involve small, private planes. They simply do not belong In the same air space as commercial planes.

The deplorable conditions at the county jail continue without any appreciable evidence that they will ever change. The building itself — a monument to bad taste — houses the ugliest of jail conditions. And day by day everyone looks the other way.

The continued failure of minorities, particularly blacks, to find employment In the hotels and restaurants that occupy public lands, from those controlled by the port district to the city-owned Mission Bay to the state-run leases In Old Town. The black community’s silence on this issue Is a great puzzlement.

The ravaging of Mission Valley has escalated to the point that the only green space that will be left Is the golf course at the Stardust. Everyone seems to have caved in on the valley, taking the position that it is already shot to hell, so why protest any further. The city council pats itself on the back for keeping the water slide out, while the rest of the valley is raped beyond recognition.

  • Karl Keating
  • Attorney

Local media (particularly the two Copley dailies and Channel 39) failed to cover or grossly distorted the January 22 March for Life, which drew over 4000 participants, including politicians, entertainment celebrities, and religious leaders. It was the largest demonstration of any kind this year in San Diego, yet was buried — despite widespread advance publicity. A pro-abortion counterdemonstration of fewer than one hundred people received more and preferential coverage. The lesson: We need not fear censorship of the press; we already have censorship by the press.

The counterdemonstrators included representatives of Planned Parenthood and N.O.W. Local public speakers for these groups have consistently engaged in vicious anti-Catholic bigotry in lieu of talk on the abortion issue itself. If a new political party was formed here, one suspects it would be a revival of the 1850 s Know Nothing Party, which was anti-black, anti-Semitic, and anti-Catholic.

Habitual letter-writers have complained about cutbacks at the library. The real scandal has been the antiquated system of fines for overdue books. The fines should be increased from five cents a day to fifty cents, and anyone keeping a book a month too long should lose check-out privileges for a year. This would bring in books and money and would keep out deadbeats. Those who won’t play by the rules should pay through the nose — or not play at all.

In Escondido, the city council tried to bulldoze a Mexican-American enclave and replace it with an Ernest Hahn shopping center. Lorraine Boyce was one of the leaders of the effort. But the voters rejected the plan, and later they rejected her bid for supervisor. Two small victories, but the threat of unjust condemnations is still there.

Despite saying things that would have made Julius Streicher blush, Planned Parenthood was again funded by the board of supervisors — even though three of the five supervisors should have disqualified themselves because of conflict of interest (e.g., having a spouse as a PP director).

And at the UC8D Medical School, applicants for the intern-matching program in Ob-Gyn are sent to the back of the bus if they acknowledge reservations about performing abortions. Only four to five interns are accepted yearly for the UCSD program, and no Intern unwilling to perform abortions may be placed higher than number twenty-six on the list of applicants. This discriminates against people who in conscience will not take what they recognize to be innocent lives.

From the innocent to the guilty: There have been cries of overcrowding at the county jail. There should have been cries for a whole new jail — not to replace the present one or to relieve overcrowding, but to sequester twice as many crooks, muggers, and rapists. The purpose of a jail is to keep such people off the streets, not to reform them, and to keep the city safe for those who frequent all-night laundromats.

The thought of criminals brings to mind Jess Haro, whose backers backed him for reasons racial or cultural, not legal or factual. Had his name been Agnew, no one would have marched in his defense, and rightly so. It is true that Haro received an unfair sentence. Instead of going behind bars for a few weeks, he should have been locked in a pillory in Horton Plaza, thus doing public penance and serving as a good bad example.

There should have been complaints about local health agency programs that assert that poverty can be eliminated among blacks and Hispanics by contraceptlng blacks and Hispanics out of existence. If no poor, then no poverty. It isn’t stated that bluntly, but that’s the logic which these agencies indirectly promote by subtle pressure on welfare families and lots of taxpayer cash.

The Church News is an evangelical paper that makes or breaks candidates by its election-eve endorsements. It has been attacked by losing politicians and papers with less political clout because it holds to predictably conservative and Protestant viewpoints. One of the loudest outcries comes from a publication billing itself as the city’s only progressive news-weekly. While the Church News does print a small range of opinions — from early Calvinist to latter-day Billy Graham — that other paper never published anything in the least un-progressive or divergent from its party line. Which is all right, but freedom of the press works both ways.

  • David Helvarg
  • Managing Editor, Newsline

San Diego has had more than its fair share of ii)ustlces this year, most of them directed against the rich and powerful.

Police officers who accidentally shot blacks like James Graham and the late Tyrone Thomas faced unjust fines and potential suspensions of up to ninety days. (Luckily, a humane police chief prevented these unwarranted punishments from occurring.)

Now, you illegal immigrants who came through San Diego in 1978 (and you know which 350,000 you are), assuming you didn’t get beaten, robbed, or raped by La Migra and the bandits, you probably ended up stealing low-paying jobs in garment sweatshops, as busboys, or in North County avocado fields — Jobs that rightfully ought to have gone to Thomas Metzger and his cohorts in the KKK.

And what about the injustice of ex-City Councilman Jess Haro, who’s already gotten to serve his time and then go free for not paying $50,000 in taxes, while C. Arnholt Smith suffers through years of legal hearings on his alleged $200 million bank robbery and who will probably pass away of natural causes before he has a chance to pay his debt to society, poor dear.

Proposition 13 has allowed the poor to become more self-reliant by cutting back on their bus service. Jobs, methadone, day-care, etc., while corporations like SDG&E get stuck with all these liquid assets they now have to reinvest in Mexico, Arizona, and Switzerland.

Uppity renters and seniors on fixed incomes show no sympathy for the landlords who, in converting their apartments to condominiums, are forced to allow pets and children into their buildings.

John Duffy’s vacation is spoiled, city and county investments in South Africa are challenged, two Navy Tomahawks fail to explode, Terry Knoepp loses an election despite the endorsement of a corpse, gays harass born-again bigots. I could go on, but it’s really all too painful. Oh, for the days of Spreckels and Scripps. Pass the escargot, please.


Leftovers, Throwaways, and Other Indigestible s from the Movie Year Past

  • Duncan Shepherd
  • Reader Contributing Editor

The third annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Citation for the year’s trashiest title is conferred upon A Dream of Passion, which belongs, if anywhere, in the Gothic paperback racks. Runners-up in the unusually heated competition this year are Black and White in Color, for its pedantry, and Goin’ Coconuts, for its utter lack of same. Speclal dishonorable mentions go to Who’ll Stop the Rain, for being the most poorly punctuated title, to Byes of Laura Mars, for having omitted the definite article, and to Alice, Sweet Alice and Alice in the Cities, for lengthening the list of movies that have made “Alice" the most popular titular name in the last decade: Alice's Restaurant, I Love You Alice B. Toklas, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?, Go Ask Alice, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, and the X-rated Alice in Wonderland and Alice Goodbody come readily to mind.

The third annual Willa Cather Citation for the year’s classiest title is presented to The American Friend, for the ironic commentary on the “buddy" genre and the anti-American political implications that occur when Wim Wenders attaches this title to Patricia Highsmith's Faustian suspense story, Ripley's Game. Additional pats on the back for their efforts toward plain, honest, objective, factual, and fastidious titling go to Harlan County, U.S.A., to September 30, 1988, and to Jeanne Dielman, 83 Quai du Commerce—1080 Bruxelles.

A welcome mat and a warm “Hello, how’ve you been, where’ve you been keeping yourself?” are extended to Terence Stamp, whose two-minute part in Superman is his first movie appearance I can recall since Teorema, and to Carrie Snodgress, whose part in The Fury is her first, as far as I am aware, since Diary of a Mad Housewife.

While I’m about it, whatever happened, I’d like to know, to Christopher Jones? James Fox? Ron O’Neal? Scott Wilson? Gary Lockwood? Barry Brown? Richard Castellano? Russ Tamblyn? Michael Greer? Paul Hampton? and John Philip Law? And what about Joy Bang? Elizabeth Hartman? Leigh Taylor-Young? Jane Asher? Pia Degermark? Eleanor Bron? Hayley Mills? Joanna Shimkus? Shirley Eaton? Barbara Ferris? Alexandra Hay? Patty McCormack? Sherry Jackson? Laura Devon? Charlene Holt? Michele Carey? and Jennifer Salt? Would anyone running into any of these people please let them know I would like to see them again sometime?

The most hopeless advertising campaign of the year was the one launched in support of If Ever I See You Again: Columbia Pictures and Pertec Computer Corporation are providing you with a chance to get back in touch with your ‘lost love’ ’’ — i.e., a computer matching service seeking to play Cupid to former lovers who still, secretly, carry around a torch for one another. None of the three people I know of who made the toll-free phone call to the Cupid computer has yet been put in touch with his lost love, and there have been no news reports of a general trend in this country toward rekindled romances.

“Everyman meets his Watergate at last" (to paraphrase Wendell Phillips) was the truth hammered home to David Begelman, who, while president of Columbia Pictures, embezzled $60,000 in forged checks in order to augment his $400,000-a-year salary. On surrendering himself to psychiatric care, he was quoted as saying, “I’ve made a terrible mistake and I'm heartsick. Now I’m trying to find out why I did it." When it came to light, early in 1978, that Columbia executives were satisfied with his contrition and would let him resume his presidential post after a brief suspension, the press exploded with cries of coverup, whitewash, and various other post-Watergate vocabulary words. In the ethics debate that ensued, Hollywood agent Sue Mongers, who is quoted in the press less often now that Joyce Haber no longer writes a daily gossip column, advanced the cause of pre-Watergate morality: “It is ironic that the film industry, which is so often accused of being heartless, should now be crucified for showing compassion for a man’s plight.” Begelman ultimately resigned, and was arrested, tried, and fined for his conduct.

The Pauline Kael Prize for the hyperbole of the year in movie criticism goes, for the second year running, to Andrew Sarris, a former nonconformist who seems now to have fallen into the general tendency among New York critics to treat movie reviewing as a sort of auction process in which the object is to outbid one’s colleagues on any given film. Sarris’s award this year is for putting in the highest bid on An Unmarried Woman: "The best American film in years.” Pauline Kael herself was carried away to the extent of describing John Cassavetes' demise in The Fury as “the greatest finish for any villain ever,” but this was obviously not a sober enough Judgment that it shouldn’t be forgiven in the cold light of the following morning.

The Snow Job of the year in movie journalism was James Stevenson’s New Yorker profile of cinematographer Gordon Willis, in which banalities are heaped upon generalities in a loquacious attempt to construct a case for Willis as an incomparable genius in his field. Sample excerpt: “A cinematographer must have an easy grasp of such things as color-reversal internegatives, aspect ratios, lenses, T-stops, brutes, color temperatures, Steenbecks, mattes, pushing and flashing, film resolution, freeze frames, Arriflexes, match cuts, halation, dye transfers, fish-eyes, three-strip processes, pull-down mechanisms, glass shots, tilts, emulsions, Kenworthy snorkels, film generations, diffusers, tracking, dollies, dailies, and inserts—and also a pretty good knowledge of carpentry, electricity, sound, set design, costumes, makeup, optics, meteorology, and the history of art and architecture, and a complete, up-to-date acquaintance with major movies, foreign and domestic, extending back to the Lumieres and Melles .... He should have a vivid pictorial imagination, and be able to design what is seen in every frame of a movie (which usually has from a hundred and twenty to a hundred and fifty thousand frames, stretching over a mile and a half of film) so that it contributes to the movie’s general pace and feeling, and he must know how to get this done within a fixed budget and a limited time.”

If the preceding sample and the remainder of Stevenson’s piece are thought by anybody to be anything other than hot air, then I would like to commission him to do a similar gloss on the too little appreciated vocation of a movie critic: e.g., a movie critic must first of all have an easy grasp of such things as alliteration, analogies, appositlve phrases, gerundial clauses, compound-modifier hyphenation, syllepsis, syllogism, dysphemism, metonomy, metaphors, dialectics, correlative coi) unctions, passive and active voices, cinematic Jargon, italics, and exclamation points—and also a pretty intimate acquaintance with dictionaries and thesauruses, electric typewriters, Correct-o-type and liquid paper, aesthetic philosophy dating back to Plato and Aristotle, film theory extending from as early as Bela Balasz to as late as Christian Metz, and Ideally should possess no less than a BA. degree with a major in English, Art History. Theater, or Film and a minor in one of the social sciences ... He should of course have excellent digital co-ordination, proper sitting posture, 20/20 vision or corrective lenses, and something more sensitive than a tin ear for English prose, as well as the good sense to spend each of his words as judiciously as if they were bullets at the Alamo (the average movie review in a weekly periodical runs from 800 to 2400 words, or three to ten typed pages), not to mention the ability to turn in his “copy,” as it is called in the trade, sufficiently ahead of his deadline so as not to Irritate the layout artists who will repay the critic for his lateness by burying his article inconspicuously beneath advertisements for waterbeds and haircutting salons.

Local theater news

a. Miraculous conversions: the Guild theater swore off hard-core pornography and took up first-run foreign films; the Roxy metamorphosed into a revival house for a series of old MGM movies and a series of old Warner Brothers movies, then metamorphosed again into a pop-music concert hall; and the immense Grossmont theater, as a stopgap during the December doldrums, exhibited subtitled prints of the French-made A Woman at Her Window and the Russian-made Derzu Uzala (in 70mm, no less).

b. Urban development: the trend toward economy-sized multi-cinemas continued in high gear with the openings of the Sports Arena Sixplex and the Mira Mesa quadruplex theaters— and also with the fission of the Clairemont, the College, and the New Valley Drive In theaters into two or more parts each.

c. Labor pains: the first annual San Diego International Film Festival, the brainchild of Greg Kahn, saw the light in late October at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art. It is my straightest-faced belief that I would still consider this festival to be the single most exciting new outcropping on the San Diego movie scene even if I were not myself seated on the board of directors. Since I am, it also seems to me the most gratifying; and to everyone, friend or foe, who attended so much as a solitary offering of the festival, I would like to extend season’s greetings and best wishes for the new year. Everyone else is herewith crossed off my Christmas card list.


Most offensive ads

  • Steve Casey
  • Columnist, Evening Tribune

When those who commit advertising on television round out 1978 by touting our children on a doll, the most notable feature of which is its ability to simulate diaper rash, you know it’s going to be a tough year in which to select a half dozen or so commercials as the Most Godawful. But here are a few which have noticeably increased the nausea level around my house:

Safeway. Otherwise inoffensive radio and television ads for this no doubt benign grocery chain end with the spine-shriveling shriek, “Safeway San Diego, We’re Number One!!”

Number-one what, pray tell? Those who broadcast such tripe should be ashamed — in particular, KFSD-FM, the classical station which takes such care with its music selection and its sound reproduction, only to shatter the moment with this caterwauling.

Any real estate commercial using children — Tarbell having committed the original sin, followed closely by the prepubescent imps of Century 21. I see one of those pint-sized oafs wallowing in Dad's gold blazer, or hear a couple of wimpettes trying to put money down on a house, and my heart swells with fond remembrance of W.C. Fields' line to Baby LeRoy: “Later, I’ll take you outside and let you ride piggyback on a buzz saw.”

Ivory Soap, the makers of which provide us with a man who is dumbstruck that a woman of forty can have “youthful looking hands.” Which isn’t as bad, really, as the ad for some skin care cream or other which tells women, in essence, “You really gotta take better care of yourself, you poor old bat, now that you’ve reached twenty-five.”

Visa (nee BankAmericard), the charge card which changed its image with the slogan, “We’re keeping up with you.” Need we be assaulted on the air and in print by such a statement, totally devoid of both meaning and sense?

C&R Clothiers, which peddles men’s clothing by use of a female model who is apparently contractually prevented from wearing a bra, and so proceeds to outjiggle any show Fred Silverman ever designed. It took three viewings of this commercial before I realized C&R wasn’t trying to sell me boobs.

Rolalds, which has taught a whole nation the gentle art of misspelling the word “relief.”

Castle Plymouth. A locally produced ad, its central figure is the spokesman, a chap who looks at the camera, bug-eyed as a frog, then moves his head to the left and right while his eyes stay riveted dead ahead.

Lamb Chevrolet, whose muddle-headed hick huckster makes Hee Haw seem refined.

Aim Toothpaste. In the current ad, little Sally can’t be in the class play for some reason distantly related to tooth decay. While Sadly brushes away with a face fiill of spittle. Dad gets down on his knees on the bathroom floor and gives her a kiss. Any parent of mine did that, I’d have left home.

And Merry Christmas, from Madison Avenue.

  • Chick Ganon
  • Media watchdog

Number One: The all-time, absolutely, worst ad ever, and recipient of the I. A. Goodman Award (commonly called the “Goody” in higher ad circles), has to be the snuff-politico fill-pager prepared by some ghouls using murder as a political ploy — from Glenn Asakawa to Terry Knoepp to the Union-Tribune. The copy said, in effect, “Because my wife was killed, I want everybody to vote for Terry Knoepp because he will keep the murderer in jail longer than Larry Kapiloff, thus stretching out the time that this murderer will have before he kills someone else’s wife.”

Since the U-T accepted the cash with the copy, who among us is safe in the next campaign? Will more law-and-order goons decide to bump off somebody and then run an ad on the need to stamp out crime?

Number Two "Goody” Award: (Incidentally, the I.A. Goodman Award takes its name from the TV clothier who conducts the “sale of the year” ... every week.) San Diego Trust and Savings earns a “Goody” for the Gizele MacKenzie TV con about investing in a savings certificate and getting a free TV set. Either the Canadian Mounties should come and take ol’ Gizele back to Toronto, or the DA. should bust Tom Sefton for pulling something even Earl Scheib wouldn’t dream of. The throwaway line, “A set in lieu of interest,” didn’t deter thousands from being inconvenienced and humiliated when they learned their money would be locked in the bank for sixty-nine months with no interest. And the advance Interest ($367) is blown on a “free” $340 TV set which probably goes at Fed-Mart or the Price Club for about $250. Old singers never die, they just lie away.

Number Three “Goody” Award: The Bedroom waterbed stores must be recognized up front generally, nothing specific. Tasteless, graceless, faceless, and awful are the words which describe this stomach-turning, barf-fllled series of bedroom/bathroom TV spots.

Dishonorable Mentions — (Hall of Shame Awards):

— McClellan Buick for running radio spots featuring that brat girl.

— All Padre/Charger advertising, especially the one with Randy Jones, a Harpo Marx look-alike, stopping a game to listen to a catcher selling him a car or something. Geez.

— Most all savings and loan advertising for suggesting that if you leave $50,000 in a fifty-year savings certificate you will be filthy rich by the time you drop dead.

— All Mann Theaters for selling you a $3.50 ticket and then selling you as a captive unit to watch ads (for which Mann has charged an advertiser) because you’re trapped in your seat.

— All two-for-one advertising.

— All car dealer ads that promise a car at “fifty dollars over factory price,” meaning there are two invoices around — one for the real factory-to-dealer sale and one to show the folks who suck in on the TV pitch.

— And finally, Lee Hubbard deserves a special “Goody” for opening up his campaign for supervisor with a last-minute smear. Any suicidal TV spot that (a) insults the public, (b) inspires a last-minute torpedo from Larry Lawrence, and (c) costs a man (Hubbard) all hope for a political future must not go unrewarded.

From the downtown Pan Am ticket office, this is Chick Ganon saying, “If you really want a ninety-nine-dollar ticket to London, call or write Richard Milhouse Nixon, Casa Pacific, California. Everybody knows he stole a ton of Pan Am tickets during his recent trip to London.”


Best deals daring inflation

  • Denise Carabet
  • Financial writer,
  • San Diego Union

Having your boss call you in for a raise this summer, before Jimmy Carter’s wage-and-price guidelines were operative—or taken seriously.

Rolling your basic savings account over into the savings and loan T-accounts. Those accounts are now yielding about 9.6 percent. That’s a good deal for you, but unless are having to pay nearly that T-account rate for their money now—not such a good deal for them.

Buying your ounce of gold very early in the year or right about now, when prices are down again. Buying it in October—a very bad deal.

Buying your silver futures in the first half of the year. If you bought futures in December, 1977 or so (for delivery in January, 1979), you would have paid almost a hundred dollars less than you would now. (This is for 5000 troy ounces.)

Real estate has been very high for the past twenty-eight months, but if you had bought on the coastline early this year, you would have an irreplaceable resource. Also, getting into an apartment for condo conversion early this year would have been a good dead for three reasons: lower interest rates, the county’s new guidelines for apartment conversions, and no rent control.

Getting a home loan in August or September was a good dead because rates dipped below the ten percent range, where they were since May and have been since October (they’re up to eleven percent and more nowadays).

These deregulated air fares across the country or to Europe. The bad deal would have been trying to pick up a sandwich or hall a cab once you’ve arrived in London.

A vacation in Mexico. Our neighbors to the south still give us between twenty and twenty-two pesos to the dollar—whatever the shape of the dollar.

Foreign goods (especially Japanese or West German) before March.

Bad deal: Buying a mixed portfolio of common stocks, thinking the market was poised for recovery.

  • Irene Weber and Jeannette DeWyxe
  • Reader contributors

Drinking became a bargain in 1978. First, state laws relaxed to permit Californians to import a quart of liquor from Mexico per month. Then the state’s long-standing fair-trade laws, which had prohibited retailers from setting competitive prices, went out the window this summer, and many liquor prices tumbled. Examples: a 1.7-liter bottle of Jim Beam cost $10.99 a year ago, compared to $9.79 (at at least one outlet) today. A twenty-three-ounce bottle of Blue Nun Liebfraumilch went from $4.49 to $3.29. Inflation boosted the price of beer-making, but retailers say their beer prices now would be much higher than last year’s (instead of holding steady), were it not for the abolition of price-setting.

Would-be home-buyers got the bad news this year, and as the months passed it grew increasingly worse. By November, the average price of a resold home had climbed to $79,414, reportedly the third highest in the nation. People who already own their own homes got the good news, with property values increasing more than eighteen percent, on average.

Certain high technology items continued to buck the inflationary trend. If you bided your time before buying one of those video games, for example, you were right. A typical price for “TV Scoreboard” (hockey, tennis, skeet shooting) at one store was sixty dollars a year ago; today the same game sells for twenty-two dollars. The more sophisticated calculators also continued to get cheaper. Mass production of integrated circuits was the main reason, and the drop in their retail price this year boggles the mind. One Radio Shack manager mentions a microprocessor, for example, which cost well over a hundred dollars last year; now it costs ten.

Smoke detectors are hardly high technology goods, but their price also plummeted in the last twelve months. As we all grew fire conscious, prices went from at least thirty dollars per unit down to ten to fifteen dollars per unit.

The price of a fancy haircut hit twenty-five dollars this year, but budget-watchers can still get head-to-toe attention for under thirty-five dollars at a beauty college. True, all work is done by students (try to get an advanced sort) under supervision of an instructor, but the prices can’t be beat: shampoo and set, $3; permanent starting at $8.95; facial mask, $4; sculptured nails, $12.50; pedicure, $5. (De Loux Schools of Cosmetology, nine locations throughout the county.)

Used records in excellent condition are quite a bargain considering the current prices for new discs. Arcade Music Company, 650 F Street, downtown (239-8856) bumped its prices by fifty cents this year (to $2.49 per disc), but the store still has got the biggest selection and it’s still worth it.

It was worth waiting until ’78 to get in trouble with the law. In the wake of the abolition of the prohibition on attorney advertising, legal fees took on a whole new look. Just a year and a half ago, $600 for a simple divorce wasn’t uncommon, compared to $150 to $200 today. Drunk driving assistance used to commonly cost $350 to $400, while now you can get it for under $200.

You can still shuffle up to the two-dollar window at Del Mar (in season), put your money where your mouth is, and take your chances. Where else can you get so much excitement for two dollars with the chance of getting a good return on your money?

Ma Bell dangled one bargain before us all this year when she opened the first of now fourteen “phone stores” throughout the county. Now customers who already have phone Jacks in their home can pick up their phones in person and plug them in without assistance, at a savings of two dollars per unit. (They also get a five dollar credit when they move and return the phones to the phone store.) Of course, if one is adding an extension, competing (private) phone equipment suppliers offer some good deals. The Phone Shop on Morena Boulevard, for example, sells a standard desk , phone in any color for $29.88 (new) or $22.88 for a reconditioned model.

Believe it or not, the cost of some parking tickets went down this year. If you get caught feeding the meter, it will now run you two dollars instead of the previous four. If they get you for parking in a loading zone, at a hydrant, or without curbing your wheels on a grade, the ticket now costs five bucks instead of ten. With space at some choice downtown parking lots now costing three dollars a day, camping out at the meters is shaping up as a more and more attractive gamble.


The Sporting Life

  • John D’Agostino
  • Reader contributor

While soccer, hockey, tennis, backgammon, and other sports may be vital to an area’s athletic wellroundedness, the Big Three are still baseball, football, and basketball. For that reason, I have limited these end-of-year comments to those attractions. Herewith are a few awards of distinction (dubious and otherwise):

BASEBALL

The Double Jeopardy Award to:

Ray Kroc . .. After promising Padre fans that he would delve into petty cash to buy whichever free agents could most help the team compete with the likes of Cincinnati and Los Angeles, the Duke of Double Beef huddled with his crack office staff for last-minute advice. Informed that the Padres desperately needed a good-hitting third baseman, a hot-handed second baseman, and/or a power-hitting catcher—that, in fact, the Padres’ only strength was their corps of able-bodied outfielders—Kroc did the logical thing: he bought another outfielder.

Oscar Gamble’s acquisition not only crowded the outfield pastures (cen-terfielder George Hendrick, the Padres’ Most Valuable Player in 1977, was so disenchanted by the move that he was eventually exiled to St. Louis), but cost the Padres $2.8 million. Although the team drew a San Diego record attendance of almost 1.7 million fans. Gamble’s allowance caused it to lose more than $100,000 for the year. , After a mediocre year at the plate. Gamble was in turn sent packing to the Texas Rangers, whom Kroc paid nearly half a million dollars to assume Gamble’s salary. Gamble was paid an additional $75,000 to go along with the deal.

The Good News/Bad News Award to:

Gaylord Perry ... At age forty. Perry did the nearly impossible — he won the National League’s Cy Young Award for the season’s outstanding pitcher, becoming the only chucker in baseball history to win the honor in both leagues. When notified of the award while fixing a pickup truck on his Carolina farm, Perry spewed forth with the good vibes about San Diego Padres, their management, fans, and their chances of improv on the team’s first-ever winning record.

However, after being denied his subsequent request for some sort of remunerative bonus for his efforts, Perry—ever the example for young players—demanded to be traded. Y see, truck parts can get expensive, a on Perry’s current paltry salary $200,000.

The Remember-My-Name Award to:

Mike Ivie ... He was spoiled. He sulked when they asked him to catch. He cursed when they asked him to play third. He hit like a ton when he played first. But the Padres didn’t want him to play first. So they pulled rank on him and made him do their bidding or else. Ivie, a potential superstar who was a constant irritant to the Padres front office because he wouldn’t say “uncle,” was eventually traded to the San Francisco Giants at the beginnlng of the 1978 campaign.

Naturally, the big baby played first for the Giants (he was also used extensively as a pinch hitter). Naturally he hit like a ton and terrorized Padre hurlers whenever the two teams met. Naturally, he was one of the reasons the Giants almost ran away with the pennant. Naturally, the Padres’ first venture into trade waters at season’s end was in search of a first baseman who could hit.

The Inconspicuous by His Presence Award to:

Randy Jones ... In 1976 Jones secured for himself a position among the all-time San Diego sports heroes by winning the Cy Young Award for his second consecutive season with twenty or more wins. Unfortunately, Jones pitched in one too many innings that year, injuring his throwing arm in his last appearance and undergoing surgery to repair nerve damage in his forearm. 1977 was understandably a recuperative year, one which Jones bailed out of after several lackluster performances. But 1978 was supposed to see the return of the Deadly Sinker, only no one told Jones.

Comeback or no. Padre executives and fans expected better than a 13-14 season from Jones this year, but the devastating sinker was not to be found except on rare occasions when the former ace of the staff briefly flashed his old form. Surrendering the spotlight to several teammates who had exceptional years, Jones, who like Barry Manilowis tryin’to get that feeling again, will be one of the Padres’ biggest question marks in 1979.

The Gosh-I’d-Do-It-For-Free Award to:

Ozzle Smith ... In the midst of the controversy surrounding overpaid players and the Insane signing wars that find intermediate performers earning more than the president of the United States, Ozzie Smith’s emergence this year was a breath of fresh air. Possibly the most gifted in-fielder in baseball today, Smith made the transition from college ball to the pros with amazing grace. His combination of good nature, great talent, and Little Leaguer’s enthusiasm was one of only a couple of positive legacies left by the quickly departed manager Alvin Dark, who, before being asked to leave during spring training, made the unheard-of suggestion that this raw rookie was ready to play first-string shortstop. Barring serious injury or the onslaught of Pete Rose Syndrome, Smith should be lighting up the lives of Padres observers for another fifteen years.

FOOTBALL

The What-Were-Tou-Doing-When-Kennedy-Was-Killed Award to:

Don Coryell ... San Diego Charger fans had waited lo these many years to hear that Don Coryell would take the reins of their beloved but bedraggled team. But when the news finally, miraculously, came, it was met with tepid hosannas and relegated to the section of the daily papers usually reserved for lingerie ads. You see, Coryell’s assumption of the head coach’s duties was announced on Monday morning, September 26—the same day that PSA Flight 182 met its destiny.

Now, I won’t argue that 150 human lives are not infinitely more significant than the trials of a football coach. But I have to feel sympathy for a man who waits his entire lifetime for an opportunity such as was presented Coryell in September, only to have the joyous event dwarfed by the worst aviation disaster in the nation’s history. As if to acknowledge the tragic pall hanging over the city, the Chargers lost three of the first four games they played under Coryell’s tutelage. Reminds me of the story of the bum who won the state lottery the day before the stock market crashed.

The Smiling Sisyphus Award to:

Eugene Klein ... The owner of the Chargers has endured more than one man’s share of tribulations and outright plagues during his reign as check-signer for the local pro team. But the 1978 season dawned brightly for the Chargers. A new light of hope filled the air. Old men danced, children sang, and Klein pondered the catering for his private party at the next Super Bowl. The Chargers had survived their decade of excruciating growing pains. They were ready. This would be “their year."

Unfortunately, the Chargers’ year was highjacked somewhere along the way—by myopic referees, by untimely penalties, by acute listlessness and offensive anemia. Only by finishing like thoroughbreds did the Chargers avoid having one of their worst years ever. And Klein’s curly hair turned a lot grayer.

Fortunately for Klein, Charger fans have outgrown their long-standing desire to string him up from the highest goal post. The team’s previous problems had been attributed directly, and quite deservedly, to the owner’s admitted errors in judgment. But the signs of their greatness and the real promise shown by the team this season should also point to Klein. If the Chargers proved one thing in 1978, it was that Klein’s patience and willingness to part with the big bucks is going to pay big dividends. In 1979.

The Hold-On-I’m-Comin’ Award to:

John Jefferson . . . Just when Charger fans needed someone to lift them from their lethargy and give them a focal point for their rabid but dormant hopes and dreams, along comes the young man they call “J.J.’’ For those of us who remember the excitement of an anybody-to-Lance-Alworth pass play (circa 1966), Jefferson represents a throwback to the kind of explosive offense that made the Charger lightning bolt more than a decoration In the days of “Bambl.” After an extraordinary rookie season, Jefferson can only get better. And better. And better. And like Alworth, he will probably end up In the Pro Football Hall of Fame In about twenty years.

BASKETBALL

  1. The Truth in Packaging Award to:

Irv Levin and Gene Shue .. . These co-recipients never promised us a rose garden. Just an opportunity to watch pro basketball in our town. If the Clippers are inconsistent, they are fun to watch. And, as the glamorous film reviewer on Channel 5 keeps reminding us, isn’t that what it’s all about? Actually, the Clippers are very close to being an outstanding team, which means that we may not have to wait as long as we’d expected to see basketball become a permanent fixture in San Diego. Credit Levin and Shue.


Blows dealt our environment

  • Hervey L. Sweetwood
  • Mayor, Del Mar

Growth Management: A developer in environmentalist clothing.

Los Angeles—here we come. The San Diego City Council’s “revised’’ growth management plan is nothing more than a blueprint for suburban sprawl. North City West is the symbol of this failure to prevent white flight and center city decay. Bowing to developer interests today will create the social, economic, and environmental problems of tomorrow.

Worst air pollution day in ton years.

On September 23rd, a second stage smog alert paralyzed residents from Oceanside to La Jolla. Public health officials asked all residents to remain indoors during this alert.

The Feds put the Marine Sanctuary on a back burner.

In an incredible display of special-interest power, the oil industry pulled its strings and delayed San Diego’s marine sanctuary proposal until 1979.

Penasquitos East plan destroys canyon open space.

The San Diego City Council approves housing tracts in Pertasquitos Canyon open space area despite voter approval of Proposition C (open space bond).

The Navy’s insistence on building a hospital in Florida Canyon.

If the Navy’s tunnel vision persists, they will succeed in torpedoing the spectacular natural beauty of Florida Canyon that is within walking distance of thousands of downtown residents.


  • Biggest Unreported Stories
  • Bill Ritter
  • Free-lance writer

The lack of any major announcement on the suicide of KGB radio newsman Jim Morris. Morris, who had been in and out of trouble with the law this year, took his own life near Salinas in late summer.

Despite dozens of rumors, no reporters really got to the heart of the November pre-election “kidnapping" of Phil Winter, campaign manager for unsuccessful supervisorial candidate Lee Hubbard. According to the most persistent speculation, Winter’s abduction was carried out by an angry friend. It was the third time it had happened to Winter, and he declined to take a police lie-detector test to check out his story.

When It was revealed by the “Sain Diego Newsline” that the Navy was stockpiling armed nuclear warheads on Its San Diego-based destroyers and submarines, the story was never picked up by any other press.

The elghteen-month-old Southeast Comprehensive Health Center reportedly ran out of money three months before the end of fiscal year 1977-78. Poor accounting was the reason given to the board of supervisors, who voted emergency appropriations for the center. They story went unreported In San Diego.

The lack of any ln-depth coverage of the reported shaky financial situations and political Infighting of the San Diego Symphony, and the San Diego and California ballet companies.

San Diego sports writers all but ignored former Padre baseball player Oscar Gamble’s claim that he was prepared to sign with the team In 1978 for $1.2 million. He was happily surprised to accept owner Ray Kroc’s first offer of $2.8 million. Gamble, after a horrendous season, was recently shipped off to Texas. To make the move easier to stomach, the Padres gave him a golng-away present of $75,000.

The joint City-County Reinvestment Task Force, formed in 1977 to examine the lending patterns of the ten largest local mortgage lending institutions and to analyze their impact on the Inner city, went largely unnoticed by the city’s press. Despite strong objections from the community members of the task force — and the publlc-relatlons-minded 8an Diego Federal Savings and Loan — the other lender members of the group refused to publicly release disclosure statements of Inner-city loans on a bank-by-bank basis.

  • Jim Sills
  • Conservative activist

Last year’s controversy over Black’s Beach was back In the courts In 1978. The twist was that rival pro-nudlsm factions were Involved In the litigation. The split began when one group gained notoriety at the beach by engaging In “artistic” body-painting. This exasperated other advocates of legal nudity, then engaged In the Black's Beach election campaign. One thing led to another until a leader of the body-painters filed suit In superior court, claiming his arm was broken during a beating directed by the rival faction. His antagonists promptly filed a countersuit claiming libel and slander. One suit seeks $280,000 In damages, the other asks $1 million.

There are more San Diego police officers specifically assigned to traffic enforcement them to investigation of (1) auto thefts, (2) vice, (3) fencing, (4) narcotics, (5) forgery, and (6) criminal intelligence, combined. 143 cops write tickets and accident reports, 102 handle the other “minor” stuff. (From the 1978 city budget.)

The Union-Tribune’s editorial swing to the left continued In 1978. In recent years, one or both of the papers endorsed Jack Walsh, Maureen O’Connor, Jess Haro, Lucille Moore, Roger Hedgecock, Leon Williams, and Larry Kapiloff. This year Jim Mills, March Fong Eu, Jess Unruh, Jim Bates, and Lorraine Boyce won endorsements from one or both of the Copley papers. Both papers opposed the Jarvis and Briggs initiatives. Despite the obvious trend, routine references to San Diego’s “very conservative” newspapers are repeatedly heard.

The almost certain construction of North City West Is the latest step In what veteran observers are calling the “Hubbardizatlon” of city hall. In his 1978 mayoral campaign Lee Hubbard called for (1) building North City West, (2) keeping the airport at Lindbergh Field, (3) creating a city housing commission, (4) banning nudity at Black’s Beach, (8) abolishing the job of legislative analyst, (6) hiring more police, and (7) cutting the city budget. Mayor Wilson opposed all these ideas. In whole or In part, during his re-election campaign. All seven proposals have since come to pass or are Imminent (the housing body, budget cut, and North City West Joined the list In 1978). In several cases the mayor himself aided the shift In policy, spurred by the election of four new councilmen. This reminds conservatives of a 1966 joke. “They told me If I voted for Goldwater, we’d be at war In two years. So I voted for Goldwater and sure enough, we’re at war."

The city council failed to redlstrlct in 1978. Several districts are far out of balance, but nothing was done about It. All eyes are on Bill Mitchell’s huge northern district, making It a prime target for political carving. Ocean Beach is another potential hot potato being tossed from one district to another. The failure to redlstrlct may have a crucial Impact on next year’s council elections.

The suspension of First Amendment rights for the Church News was Ignored In 1978. The little tabloid has been harassed In court and threatened with a state Investigation and an advertising boycott. The quarterly publication outraged local liberals last year by reporting several city council candidates were supported by the Nude Beaches Committee and the gay-oriented San Diego Democratlc Club. No one denied the Church News stories were accurate; the groups In question had already published their endorsements. Liberals, who vowed revenge, complained the Church News articles were “unfair.” In fact, the Church News articles were no more unfair than election stories in the left-wing Newsline or liberal San Diego Magazine. Definition of a liberal: “Someone who will defend to the death your right to agree with him."

The rising power of San Diego Union media critic Al JaCoby deserved more attention.

Last March, Union reporter Roger Showley was shifted away from his county government newsbeat after writing that a supervisor’s “integrity was questioned yesterday by his fellow supervisors ....” The supervisor In question Insisted his Integrity was never questioned.

Enter Al JaCoby, “ombudsman” for the Union. After looking into the matter, JaCoby wrote that “a survey of County records” showed the supervisor’s Integrity was not questioned.

How to settle the dispute? Easy — listen to the tape recording of the supervisorial meeting and hear what was said. The problem was the tape machines broke down that day and no tape was available. JaCoby either didn’t know that or failed to mention it. Written minutes of the meeting, meanwhile, were brief and sketchy.

Although he was at the meeting, Showley found his accuracy questioned by a higher critic who wasn’t there and couldn’t hear the tape. JaCoby is becoming very unpopular with some local media for this Monday-morning quarterbacking.

  • Melvin Shapiro
  • Community activist

San Diego Issues 300-page environmental impact statement on downtown redevelopment, then applies for federal funds swearing that there Is no impact on the environment.

A look at four San Diego judges who are In business with prominent San Diego attorneys.

How the chairman of the city planning commission does his job while being In partnership with two land developers.

Why the City of San Diego enforces the building codes In downtown hotels, but does not do so In city-owned buildings.

Why San Diego hires a housing economist to respond to the problem of conversion of apartments to condominiums, and six months later tells him to drop the subject.

The statement by Price Waterhouse, the accounting firm that audits downtown redevelopment, that because of Proposition 13, the Horton Plaza and Marina bonds could go Into default sometime In the future.

Why the city never used $ 12 million of federal funds allotted to it for 1978, 1976, 1977. The city was criticized for this In a federal audit.

Most overblown stories

  • Harold Keen
  • KFMB-TV

The Emmy for best performance of the year in duping the media belongs to David Duke, Imperial Grand Wizard ( or is it Dragon Lizard? ) of the Ku Klux Klan, who on a winter night lured panting print and broadcast newspersons to a godforsaken rendezvous near the Mexican border for a nonevent—the launching of his phantom hunt for Illegals by a bewildered band of would-be toughs outnumbered by the journalists.

Runner-up in the “Overblown Stories” marathon:

Clever use of news outlets for near-collision horror accounts by the Air Controllers Union to win friends and Influence enemies against all other elements Involved In the North Park midair collision killing 144.

The breathless day-by-day reports of Pete Rose’s march through Georgia, Missouri, and Pennsylvania In his unabashedly relentless hunt for the Holy Grail of athletes—money eagerly showered by pro team tycoons.

The threat of Black’s Beach to public morals.

All stories about lawsuits threatened for real or fancied wrongs, thus using the press as a propaganda sounding board for something that might never occur.

  • Paul Krueger
  • Columnist, San Diego Union

When does “coverage” end and public relations begin? No better example than when Atlanta Hawks owner Ted Turner offered the KGB Chicken a reported $100,000 to leave San Diego. Numerous TV spots and newspaper stories, ranging from pun-filled humor pieces to solemn editorials (“the crisis has passed .. read one) were delivered to an unsuspecting and, one hopes, uncaring public during the Intense Turner-Chicken negotiations In September. The publicity was a boon for both the frenetic bird’s ego and his sponsoring station, whose ratings rise In proportion to the column Inches and film footage given the Chicken.

This year also witnessed some unexplainable attraction to things of the sea. Every time Pat Satterlee called a press conference to announce he was shoving off for Australia In a rowboat, the media waded forth obediently. Satterlee made seven false starts between March and July before the owner of the rowboat called an end to the nonsense. The local press never did wise up.

More ludicrous were the adventures of La Jollan Howard Singer (affectionately known as “Howie the Dolphin”), who drove his German Amphicar from Long Beach to Santa Catalina Island last August. The only noteworthy event attached to that saga was the fact that Singer was fired from his job as manager of an auto parts store because he spent so much time selling reporters on the virtues of his voyage.

The award for Best Made-to-Order News Conference of 1978 goes to Mayor Pete Wilson's staff for spicing up a routine announcement (“We’re cleaning up downtown") by having the mayor walk through several peep show arcades last May. Flashlight In hand, Wilson weaved through the curtained stalls as television cameramen followed behind whispering, "Great footage, huh?" to one another.

Property owners should all be as lucky as Tom Kelly, who got dally coverage of his attempts to sell the historic Klauber House near Balboa Park. These constant reminders of the house's value and impending demise seem not only to have found a buyer, but painted Kelly as a man with motives other than getting as much money as he could from the deal.


What Is the Sound of One Year Leaving?

  • Steve Esmedlna
  • Reader Contributing Editor

Though I risk provoking gasps of disbelief, I’m pleased to say that I actually enjoyed a number of concerts in 1978. In fact, I believe this to be one of the more respectable years here for jazz and rock. In the interests of brevity and tradition, I've narrowed my list of favorites to ten. (For tradition’s sake, don’t you know?) These are the shows I most relished this year, In decreasing order of Interest:

  • The Kinks, SDSU’s Open-air Amphitheatre
  • Blnu, featuring Bobby Bradford and John Carter, UCSD’s Revelle Cafeteria
  • Randy Newman and Bonnie Raitt, SDSU's Open-air Amphitheatre
  • Talking Heads, SDSU's Open-air Amphitheatre
  • Mark Dresser’s Famous Invisible Ensemble, Calliope’s, North Park
  • George Lewis and Bert Turetsky, Stratford Court Theatre, Del Mar
  • Elvis Costello, Civic Theatre Kwanzaa and Storm, India Street Jazz Festival
  • The Zippers, Glorietta Bay Park, Coronado
  • Robert Palmer, California Theatre
  • Sonny Rollins' solo spot at the Civic Theatre

The last item leads me to a subcategory. There were concerts I had high expectations for, and which if not exactly bad, were disappointing. The Milestone Jazz extravaganza at the Civic, featuring Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Ron Carter, and drummer Al Foster, like the VSOP show a year before, was more a display of individual “brilliance” than it was a group of attuned musicians working for a total effect. Rollins shined; the rest just showed off.

The other concerts I foolishly touted in advance were Jack DeJohnette’s condescending Directions at Straita Head Sound, the drunken Warren Zevon at SDSU’s Open-air Amphitheatre, and the impoverished “Jazz-Salsa-Reggae” festival at Balboa Park’s Starlight Bowl.

There were an equal number of truly lame concerts this year, too many to try and recall with passion, but I Insist that Bob Dylan’s purported resurrection at the Sports Arena was the worst. It’s no longer possible to make excuses for an artist (no matter how great he was in the past) who has lost all notion of how to behave on stage other than to simply be there.

From a chauvinistic standpoint, it’s encouraging that a few residents aren’t idly sitting on their hands waiting for some mythical entrepreneur to descend upon San Diego. However successful their efforts, these people deserve plaudits: from the jazz side, bassist Mark Dresser, our foremost champion of avant-garde jazz, who introduced to San Diego musicians such as Bobby Bradford, John Carter, Ray Anderson, George Lewis, and Evan Parker; and Louise Robinson, an equally staunch defender of mainstream jazz, who made it possible to see a variety of excellent local jazz players in desirable situations. On the rockin’ side: Tom Brannon, Tom Griswold, and Mikel Toombs, who at least tried to offset San Diego’s disco decadence with the “spirit” of the new wave.

As there has been relatively little chance to rave or revile records in these pages this year, I will limit to a list my choice of albums for 1978. If anyone rushes out and buys on my advice, how can they help but go right?

  • Air Time, Open Air Suite, Montretux Suisse Air (buy all three). Air
  • This Year’s Model, Elvis Costello
  • Misfits, The Kinks
  • Dance of Life Is, Oliver Lake
  • The Grip, Arthus Blythe
  • The Bride Stripped Bare, Bryan Ferry
  • Some Girls, The Rolling Stones
  • The Revolutionary Ensemble
  • Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo
  • Double Trouble, Frankie Miller
  • Don’t Stop the Carnival, Sonny Rollins
  • Lucumi Macumba Voodoo, Eddie Palmieri
  • A Funky Situation, Wilson Pickett
  • So Much in Love, The O’Jays
  • Double Fun, Robert Palmer

Party favorites

  • Janed Guymon Casady
  • Native San Diegan

Of course, when I think of the most memorable parties of 1978, the Republican one and the Democratic one come first to mind: shortly after hosting a fundraiser for Larry Kaplloff, finding myself entertaining on the piano for Terry Knoepp’s announcement party at the Bahia . , . on ground-hog day watching George Mitrovltch and the ambassador from India, Nani Falk Hivlia, sharing cream cheese and chutney at a City Club reception . . . Don and Gay Nay’s three-hour-long, sit-down Chinese dinner ... watching romance bloom between Shay Sayre and Tony Weinress at a C.O.O.L. fundraiser (I gave a wedding reception for that pair, AND their six kids, four months later) ... hastily providing Jules Feiffer with a safety pin for his gaping Jacket before an evening reception where he was the featured speaker ... Jim Mills signing autographs for his book, The Gospel According to Pontius Pilate, at the Earth Song in Del Mar . ,. wearing a Tahitian grass skirt to the Children’s School Fun Night IV aboard the Berkeley, the rainiest night in San Diego history, and hearing the auctioneer, Chet Whelan, wonder whether or not the entire party would float off to Tahiti that night... the strawberry cake at Robert Hostick’s birthday party ... wondering why only twenty people showed up at ACLU fundraiser with Burt Lancaster ... fixing a midnight milkshake (with nutty ice cream, to my horror) for Marlene Feldman’s sick tummy after her new catering company, Catering Unlimited, had prepared a gorgeous feast for Mervyn Dymally . . . University Hospital Auxiliary’s night at the Padre game (the Padres are always memorable!) .. . the half-hour time lapse (breathe deeply and regroup) between the Women’s Association for the Salk Institute’s membership tea and a musical evening for Janet Kintor (the flowers were perfect for both) ... petting a llama and riding a carousel at George Stream's ranch ... all of the parties at Election Central, winners and losers, all of them memorable ... the contrast of a Dixieland Jazz group from Baltimore, Pier 5, and Rosie and the Screamers, at John Prentiss’s first annual golng-away party at the Del Dios store ... Arlene Garsten (director of the Institute for Burn Medicine) and Marla Velasques (Channel 39) doing an Impromptu Mexican hat dance at Fiesta de San Diego ... a champagne reception opening night of a three-day, one-man art show by Christopher Gerlach, ending with the exhausted artist playing pool until three a.m. ... Jerry Brown’s appearance at my last party at 2055 Sunset Boulevard (Mission Hills) before I moved — a fundraiser for the candidate of my choice, of course .. . Betty Sommers' (of Rancho Santa Fe) rogue-of-the-month party at her new men’s boutique In La Jolla ... watching all of the women swoon In the presence of Julian Bond at Buss Featherman’s fundraiser for the Newsline .. . racing about In search of a pair of fancy size-seven shoes for Robert Vaughn’s wife at Simon Casady’s birthday party (she had left hers on the plane) ... Carl Ludlow’s birthday party — hearing Don Glaser’s relaxed jazz piano after everyone else had left. .. wondering how to tell the hosts for the Santa Fe Hunt dinner party that fifteen Dixieland jazz musicians CAN’T play softly . . . Bob Miller’s announcement party for Art Letter ( successful Is the candidate that the rain falls on?) ... and more to come....


I Wish I’d Been There When...

  • Evonne Schulze
  • Community services specialist,
  • San Diego City Schools

I wish I'd been there when Leon Williams drove up to his city hall parking space to find a Volkswagen occupying it. To demonstrate his displeasure, Leon jammed his truck up so close against the offending vehicle that there was no way It could move. After a two-hour search, Its owner, Supervisor Roger Hedgecock, found the fourth district city councilman. Both vehicles were moved, and city and county government continued.

I wish I had been In the office of SDG&E’s president, armed with a tape recorder, when he learned that the Sundesert nuclear power plant had been rejected by the Public Utilities Commission.

I wish I’d been there when the Church News editorial staff discussed the decision to ask homosexual rights defender Rev. David Farrell of the Metropolitan Community Church to write an article for the archconservative paper supporting a No vote on November’s Proposition 6.

I wish I had been there to see Pete Wilson’s face at the climax of Christmas ceremonies In Balboa Park when the mayor pushed a button to light the tree, and nothing happened.

In a recent city council dismission of the emergency telephone number 911, Councilman Bill Mitchell expressed concern that some citizens of San Diego wouldn’t be able to find the eleven on their dial. I wish I’d been there when Mitchell was told that eleven is dialed 1-1.

  • Lee Hubbard, Jr.
  • Former city councilman

When Pete Wilson advised the local newspapers to support Democrat Jim Bates over his Republican opponent In the November supervisoral election.

When Del Mar’s Dick Rypinskl, Roger Hedgecock, and Pete Wilson, et al, decided the future airport should go to Otay Instead of the engineers’ first choice, the Carmel Valley site.

When a mental relapse caused our local leaders to agree to condemn the Tia Juana Valley to a floodplain Instead of a dynamic Mission Bay-type recreation and economic generator for the South Bay Area.

When a major hotel developer wanted to tear down the old Santa Fe Depot for a super new hotel and Pete Wilson said, "Can you design It to resemble the old depot a little?"

  • Maryann Bonnes
  • Ocean Beach Planning Board

For many years the San Diego Union and Tribune have enjoyed a monopoly on the daily newspaper market In San Diego. The conversation between Helen Copley and her staff must have been frantic, to say the least, when news came out that the Los Angeles Times was coming out with a San Diego edition and locating their new offices in the San Diego Union’s old headquarters downtown.

As the extremely successful coach of the 8an Diego State Aztecs, Don Coryell made It no secret that he would love to coach the San Diego Chargers. After over fifteen years at State and In the pros, Coryell’s ambition was finally realized. I wish I could have been there when the initial offer came from Gene Klein.

Much interest has always been shown regarding potential wives for our bachelor governor. Most recently, Jerry Brown has been steadily dating singer Linda Ronstadt, giving rise to endless speculation. I would have enjoyed being there to hear the conversation between Linda and Jerry after father "Pat" Brown publicly announced he wouldn’t mind having Linda as a daughter-in-law.

Hopes are rising again for Republican party members since the recent election and resulting Republican gains In the legislatures not only in California, but across the nation. The conversation between ambitious Republicans Roger Hedgecock and Bill Lowrey must have been enlightening when they discussed future Republican nominees — and which one of the two should run first.

Over the past several years the KGB Chicken has gained In notoriety and has become a Sam Diego institution. However, word leaked out that this San Diego symbol was being courted by out-of-state interests to change his residence for large sums of money. It would have been nice to be there for the conversation between the Chicken, KGB’s manager Rick Liebert, and Padre owner Ray Kroc when the latter two convinced the Chicken that the quality of life In San Diego was worth more than $100,000.

Government bureaucracy has the reputation for accomplishing nothing after expending tremendous amounts of effort on a matter. One of the best examples to substantiate this notion came this year from the San Diego City Council when, for over six months, dog owners battled proponents of stricter dog regulations in the beach area. The San Diego City Council and Its committees sat through numerous meetings and read endless reports and testimony dealing with dogs and their excrement. It would have been instructive, if boring, to have been there throughout the battles and watch the council finally vote to do nothing about the controversy.


Sexist claptrap

  • Sue C. Punjack
  • National Organization for Women

Examples of sexism In San Diego throughout the year of 1978 are seen in the reporting copy and advertisements of the print and broadcast media, billboards, poor taste Judgments by local organizations, and employment biases. Some of this year's more blatant examples Include the following:

The Sunset Pools ad run on local television stations early this year featured a camera slowing panning up a female body, while the voice-over announcer described by Innuendo a swimming pool. “Her” measurements were given, and the ad ended with the words: “And she’s all yours for $4995." When questioned as to why the ad was still running after complaints from outraged women, manager Rick Esposito reportedly replied, “It’s been raining, so we haven’t been able to make a new commercial.” The TV stations removed the ad after numerous objections by a number of feminist organizations.

The currently running ad on local television stations for the “Discount World of Beds" by the Bedroom Waterbed Company depicts a young woman as being too dumb to remember her short line for the commercial. When she finally says it right, her clothes are pulled off as she rises.

Two ads boldly proclaimed the “Year of the Ass" by showing only that portion of the female anatomy: The Pepe Lopez Tequila billboard near the Intersection of Linda Vista Road and Morena Boulevard had the name of the tequila written across the back of a white bikini; and the Mmm! What a tan! billboard at Grand and Ingraham streets In Pacific Beach showed two hands gripping the waist of a bikini.

McDonald’s, who “does It all for you,” this year also informed you and your children about the movie Snuff. A poster for the movie was displayed in McDonald’s theatrical-theme restaurant In downtown San Diego. The movie reportedly showed the murder and systematic dismemberment of a real woman. The poster graphically portrayed the blood and gore. This and similar posters were finally removed when the San Diego Chapter of Women Against Violence Against Women convinced the management that these were inconsistent with the corporation’s Image as a family restaurant.

The Halloween Haunted House by the Museum of Man (which refuses to acknowledge In its name our Inheritance from our female ancestors) displayed torture chambers, including a girl being stretched “from four feet, ten inches to five feet, six inches,” as quoted by the local media. These and similar displays promoted thoughts of violence among impressionable youngsters who were both participants and spectators of this chamber of horrors.

The government-sanctioned visit of the Penthouse Pet of the Year to the San Diego Veterans Administration Hospital represented the perpetuation of the women-as-recreation philosophy, as objected to in a letter to Director Robert W. Brawley, M.D., signed by sixty-four employees.

Both broadcast and print media (except for the Daily Transcript) failed to report to their readers and listeners that some 1700 local women were eligible for settlements of up to $2000 each as a result of a major sex discrimination suit against General Dynamics, originated by LaNelle Smith of 8an Diego. The story was not covered despite personal notification by San Diego County NOW to the major newspapers and radio and TV stations, who have often complained that there is no news about women.

Sexism of a reverse nature was evidenced this summer in the Male Beauty Pageant sponsored by the San Diego County Chapter of the National Organization for Women in Balboa Park. Classic specimens of the male body, representing various organizations in San Diego from local police officers and fire fighters to the Horny Toads Jogging Group, and including local media representatives such as Captain Acuweather of KGTV 10 and the KGB Chicken, paraded on stage to the catcalls and whistles of excited women onlookers and Judges. The boys showed off their charms by displaying their bodies in bathing suits, performing their talents to music, and answering questions about make-up, cooking, and the state of the world.


Seventy-eight Reasons Why San Diego Isn’t All That Bad

  • Greg Kahn
  • Reader contributing editor
  1. XETV Channel 6 2. Three major ballet companies 3. A major opera company 4. A major symphony orchestra 8. A major international film festival 6. Our own lucid communicative style, consisting of such epithets as “laid back,” “mellow,” “kick back ” 7. John the window washer 8. A tendency to panic when the temperature dips below sixty degrees Fahrenheit, and a ceasing of normal functions when it rains 9. We’re more than 1000 miles from Detroit 10. Parking on Mt. Soledad lookout at three a.m. 11. One of the first women’s studies departments in the country (SDSU) 12. The tableaux of human behavior and interaction at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour in Fashion Valley 13. Enough “contemporary” hair-cutting shops to accommodate the styling needs of emigrants from LA. 14. The Unicorn Cinema fifty percent of the time 15. The Guild Theatre thirty-five percent of the time 16. The Ken Cinema twenty-five percent of the time 17. Buffalo Breath in Pacific Beach 18. A pepperonl pizza from Tony’s Pizza in Pacific Beach 19. The Mithras Bookstore on a rainy day 20. John Cole’s Book Shop on a windy day 21. Skateboarding in the Community Concourse parking lot 22. The La Valencia Hotel 23. North County flower fields in the spring 24. Standing at the edge of the Ocean Beach pier during storm-induced swells 25. The absence of large crowds and availability of tickets for such “coup” local appearances as Phillip Glass at Sherwood Hall, John Cage at UCSD, and Grand Union at SDSU 26. The footbridges of Hillcrest and south Mission Hills. 27. Anti-growth sentiment amongst the city’s populace 28. The view from the twenty-second floor of the downtown Central Federal building 29. Skin and scuba diving 30. The elevation of the San Diego Sports Arena to second place — passing S.F.’s Cow Palace (an appropriate name)—on the list of multi-event indoor arenas which grossly inconvenience and humiliate their patrons through poor management 31. La Jolla 32. The biggies in visual arts and performance at UCSD 33. Our easy accessibility to various topographical regions (beaches, mountains, desert) 34. Exciting major sports team franchises (Chargers, Friars, Sockers, Padres, Hawks, Breakers) 35. Palomar Observatory 36.The most new-age consciousness, mystical, neo-Reichian, est, cult, spiritual, scientological, and “religious” groups per capita of any city 37.Our small but international airport 38. Clean beaches 39. Balboa Park 40. A resident community of several good poets 41. La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art 42. Hearing 60,000 fans laud Louie Kelcher for a quarterback sack 43. Card rooms 44. A laughable regional coiffure architecture of Southern California wood, airbrush, and plants, which is utilized in hip, middle-brow restaurants, con-tempo clothing stores, and financial institutions 45. KSDS-FM 46. Climate 47. The return of Don Coryell 48. The exodus of Mark Hammil 49. The longed-for return of Bill Walton (please come home. Bill!) 50. Casat Gallery 51. A relatively clean and safe downtown area 52. “Colemanisms” 53. The high quality of domestic and imported marijuana 54. Thirty-three Baskin-Robblns ice cream stores (conveniently located) 55. An abundance of talent in the fields of micro-tonal and “new music” 56. The evening performance pieces at the old F Street Studio downtown 57. National City Mile of Cars 58. Vivian Vance was discovered here for “I Love Lucy" 59. The Crossroads jazz club 60. The Salk Institute 61. El Indio Shop 62. The Barbary Coast 63. A delightful obsession with West Coast fads such as soft frozen yogurt, mirrored sunglasses, and vans 64. The old downtown theater palaces 65. The availability of participation in minor sports such as racquetball, over-the-line, sailing, and many others 66. Scripps Institution of Oceanography 67. Short distance to Mexico 68. The continuing legacy of Harry Partch 69. Some of the best sunsets in the world 70. Some of the most agreeable surfing spots in the world 71. UCSD Archive for New Poetry 78. Clay’s Texas Pit Bar-B-Q 73. Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater 74. Tugboat magazine 75. Seldom-patrolled hotel swimming pools and jacuzzis 76. Santa Fe train depot 77. Horseback riding on the beaches of North County 78. Filching avocados in Fallbrook.

From Cover to Cover

Fred Moramarco

Reader contributor

A few weeks ago the New York Times reported that one-quarter of the population of the United States read ten books or more during the past six months. More recently, in the City Lights section of this paper, it was reported that San Diego ranked fourth (behind LA., N.Y.,and Chicago) for the total volume of paperback books sold, and sixth nationwide for overall book sales (paperback and hardcover). While both the Times statistic and those cited in the Reader are truly difficult to believe, there can be no question that 1978 was a very good year for books. Here are a few titles I’ve added to my shelves this year that I think are worth your attention: Barbara W. Tuchman. A Distant Mirror. In this calamitous year of Guyana, PSA 182, the Moscone-Milk killings, the deaths of two Popes, and other assorted horrors and catastrophes, it seems appropriate that a book subtitled “The Calamitous 14th Century" is riding high on the nonfiction bestseller list. Ms. Tuchman began her book wanting to explore the “effects on society of the most lethal disaster of recorded history .. . the Black Death of 1348-50, which killed an estimated one-third of the population living between India and Iceland." Reading this book helps put our contemporary sense of apocalypse in perspective. Tuchman is that rare phenomenon—a historian who can write accurate history in an engaging, compelling manner. She ushers us into the shattered world of the Fourteenth Century with this prefatory comment: “If our last decade or two of collapsing assumptions has been a period of unusual discomfort, it is reassuring to know that the human species has lived through worse before.”

The Stories of John Cheever. Though I have not read much fiction this year, the publication of all of John Cheever’s stories (except “the most embarrassingly immature pieces”) in a single hefty, well-designed volume seems to me to be the literary event of the year. Cheever is a writer I have come to admire more and more with each passing year, and though I have only begun to dip into the new collection, it is a treasure trove of small fictional gems. Stories you might skim over in a bookstore to find out if you have the potential for Cheever addiction Include “The Enormous Radio,” “The Swimmer," “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin,” and “The World of Apples,” among many other possible choices. And Cheever’s wonderful novel of 1977, Falconer, was published in paperback this year.

Linda Bird Francke, The Ambivalence of Abortion The abortion question is so charged with emotional investment that it often turns otherwise reasonable people into frenzied hysterics. Not so Linda Bird Francke, who writes about the issue with the authority of one who has been there and with a sensitivity to both life and women’s right to choose that will confound partisans on both sides. This is an important book that ought to be read by anyone who needs to think through his or her own position on the issue.

Edward O. Wilson, On Human Nature. About a year ago, a professor at San Diego State University taught a course in “Sociobiology,” which was picketed by a group of people urging students to boycott the course because it allegedly offered an intellectual justification for racism. Edward O. Wilson is the author of Sociobiology, The New Synthesis, a massive and seminal scientific work which is still sending shock waves through the scientific community. His new book, On Human Nature, is certain to extend the controversy, because its central principle contends that more of our behavior is genetically determined than we have realized. To view Wilson’s work as racist or sexist (as many have) is an extremely superficial response to a humane and optimistic interpretation of the biological basis of human activity. Wilson understands the roots of the resistance to his work: “If human behavior can be reduced and determined to any considerable degree by the laws of biology, then mankind might appear to be less unique and to that extent dehumanized.” Further, he states that “Sociobiologists consider man as though seen through the front end of a telescope, at a greater than usual distance and temporarily diminished in size, in order to view him simultaneously with an array of other social experiments. They attempt to place humankind in its proper place in a catalog of the social species on Earth.” Since most humans I know like to think of themselves as having more enduring significance than a baboon at the local zoo or a goldfish swimming in art aquarium, Wilson’s theories are not likely to be greeted with hosannas, but I found this book the most intellectually stimulating reading I have done this year. Along with a number of other recent books—Marvin Harris's Cannibals and Kings, Carl Sagan’s Dragons of Eden, and Peter Farb’s Humankind – On Human Nature is another step down the road toward defining a collective contemporary identity.

Lee Seldes, The Legacy of Mark Rothko. One of my favorite New Yorker cartoons shows two men, one presumably an art deader, the other a potential buyer, looking at an abstract painting by Paul Klee. The caption Is the dealer’s comment: “Klee has everything we look for In modern art: low-risk Initial Investment, quick turnover possibility, long-term growth potential.” I thought of this cartoon while reading Lee Seldes' account of the sordid details of the parasitic money-grubbing that followed in the wake of Mark Rothko's tragic suicide in February of 1970. Rothko’s huge, haunting, color-drenched rectangular canvases are Immediately recognizable to anyone with even a cursory Interest In twentieth-century American art. But the insatiable greed and crass manipulation of his estate by his purported friends Is less familiar (except to those plugged Into the gossip of the New York art world). This Is a book to make you wonder anew about the uneasy relationship between art and the , marketplace and about the exploitation of the most gifted, creative people among us by the bevy of sycophants that usually surrounds them.

The World According to Garp by John Irving. Everybody seems to be saying that this Is one of the year's most original novels. I’ve not yet gotten to It, but It has been called “dazzllngly comic” and you’ll notice there are very few laughs on the shelf.

The Flounder by Gunther Grass. Not since Moby Dick has there been a major novel about a sea creature, and now Germany’s leading writer takes an Ironic whack at Melville. A reviewer has described this massive tome as “encyclopedic and audacious” and says It Includes “the history of women, cooking, and culture.” Grass has never been known as a man of modest ambition and this seems to be his most ambitious effort yet. It sounds hard to resist.

Finally, one book of 1978 I have sworn not to read: R.N., the Memoirs of Richard Nixon Pardon me for not reviewing this In more detail, but the excerpts which ran In the newspapers made It perfectly clear that this long memo of self-justiflcatton Is nothing more than an elaboration on the basic “I am not a crook” motif Introduced at the height of the Watergate period. The prose Is pure Nlxonese, a dialect of standard English that may be best remembered for Introducing the phrase “inoperative statement” as a substitute for the overused Anglo-Saxon word “lie," as well as for giving us such colorful expressions as “stonewalling,” “expletive deleted,” and “going the hang out route.” To succinctly state my opinion of this book. I’ll need to borrow one of Duncan Shepherd’s black spots.


Snippets

  • Joe Applegate
  • Free-lance writer

The following conversations were overheard by me In the course of this year. I keep a journal and have recorded these remarks word for word All of them took place In San Diego in 1978.

January 1. A guy and a girl are getting to know each other at a New Year’s Eve party.

“Do you think I’m unfair when I criticize my dad like that?" he said.

“No," she said. (And took a sip of wine.)

“I don’t know. I think I criticize him for the same faults I have."

“So what?" she said. “I blame my mother for everything. So It all balances out."

January 14. At the Mission Bay Marathon, a lady with a bulging red neck and white face has just finished running thirteen miles In two hours, seven minutes, and forty-eight seconds. When she catches her breath she says, “Today I feel good about myself and the things I am doing.”

January 20. A friend of mine with a good job just sold his van and bought something else. “In a car as fine as a BMW, you notice Imperfections that much more quickly."

January 29. A reporter at the Times (San Diego edition) tells me about a friend of hers, a reporter In Washington D.C. “One night a week he teaches, and two nights a week he sees a psychiatrist. He told me that he’s come to realize his most fundamental problem. He said, ‘I can’t accept the fact that I’m nice.’ ”

February 4. At the Grossmont Hospital Auxiliary Benefit Buffet and Fashion Show, one old lady leans across the table and caws to another: “I’m just glad I’m his mother and not his wife!"

March 21. A twenty-five-year-old woman I know has just parallel parked her sports car — on the first try. “Sometimes I just amaze myself!”

July 28. With two friends at a drlve-ln, watching The Buddy Holly Story. One says, “What a mistake I made In college. My first time on acid, and I took a whole tab.”

“You should never do that,” the other says. “But everyone does, I guess. I never knew anyone who started on teeny bits of acid until I met me.”

September 12. Two ladles, one married, the other single.

Married: Hey — it’s time.

Single: Think so?

Married: You two should have gotten married years ago.

Single: Maybe you’re right. But our accountant Is totally against It.

Married: What does he know?

Single: Yeah. And he’s getting married himself In November.

Married: See?

Single: But he’s only doing it because he wants to have children.

September 23. Two guys having a quiet, social lunch.

— Do you think an ordinary man can learn to be sensitive?

— I think sensitivity can be acquired, but not learned. It takes a lifetime.

— Are you a sensitive man?

— Yeah. I think I am. Are you?

— No way. I must admit, though, some women think I am. But that’s because I know how to imitate them. And every woman is sensitive compared to guys.

— You crazy? I know plenty of women who come on like they’re all feelings and understanding, but underneath, their heart is brick.

— Incredible.

November 17. At the Bob Dylan concert In the Sports Arena. One guy says to another: “Have you noticed how people never pass joints around at concerts anymore?”

“Yeah. Times have changed. Want a beer?”


Landmarks, Benchmarks, Black-and-Blue Marks

  • Carlos Bey
  • Reader contributor

I Meant Wizard of Oz: Mayor Pete Wilson’s campaign for governor outside of San Diego was laced with television commercials and newspaper ads calling him the Wizard of Mission Bay. When the master plan for Mission Bay was approved (1958), Wilson was a Marine Corps Infantry officer. When the majority of the dredging of the bay was completed (1961), Wilson was a law student at the University of California.

Cat Got Your Head?: Caterpillar Equipment (CAT) can probably take credit for the presence this year of baseball/golf caps on the heads of thousands of San Diego men (though the Padre front office would growl if they weren’t also acknowledged). Canvas front, nylon mesh adjustable rear, this cranial emblem of masculinity is the first piece of headgear to take hold locally In more than a generation.

That Money We Knew You'd Think We’d Save Was Never Ours Until After We Thought You’d Get It: So few were the rebates or rent reductions from San Diego County landlords In the wake of Proposition 13 that both the Union and Evening Tribune covered the handful of Instances as news events.

Next Week—John, Paul, George, and Ringo: Nostalgia worked Its magic the night of September 8 when the Roxy Theatre In Pacific Beach presented that sun-bleached duo, Jan and Dean. Many of those who enjoyed such gems as “Little Old Lady From Pasadena” and “Dead Man’s Curve" didn’t learn until later than “Dean” wasn’t really Dean Torrance, of the original group. Instead, a musician named Dean Ruff stood In for Torrance, who backed out at the last minute.

And What Would Edward R. Murrow Think: Television news achieved a milestone with the pairing of Bob Dale and Carol Channing, eleven p.m., February 6th on Channel 39. What was supposed to have been a weather segment turned Into a free plug for Channlng’s Hello Dolly at the Fox Theatre and an embarrassing public display of foolishness.

Meatless Merger of the Year: Jay’s Vegetarian Cafe In Pacific Beach— not to be confused with L’Chalm Vegetarian In El Cajon, which used to be Jay’s Vegetarian—was sold by Jay Gordon to Jorango’s Natural Foods of Mission Hills.

Lavender Blues: San Diego gays who might get sanguine about the November defeat of Proposition 6 should keep In mind that both local gay papers folded this year (the Pacific Coast Times in April, the San Diego Son three months ago) and that the Ball Express nlghtclub/dlsco on Pacific Highway (patrons were seventy percent gay, thirty percent straight) went belly-up after storm damage to the roof and very slow weeknights.

It’s Not a Job; It’s an Adventure: Swabbies aboard the fleet tug Cree got a taste of the real thing on January 18th when their ship was bombed by aircraft belonging to the United States Navy. The Cree, damaged beyond salvation, was dismantled for scrap this summer.

Concerto for Loot and Purse Strings: The Slnfonia of San Diego, under the baton of John Garvey, went broke this year. Garvey left the city for greener pastures; the organization left a kettledrumful of unpaid bills.

The Wheels of Justice Roll Ever Onward: After hearing four months of legal arguments, Superior Court Judge William L. Todd ruled that Helen Copley, publisher of the San Diego Union and Evening Tribune and head of Copley Press, Inc., had shortchanged by $10 million a trust fund left to her late husband’s children, Janice and Michael Copley. Todd ordered the children’s share of the corporation stocks upped from twenty percent to nearly thirty-five percent. He also removed Helen as sole trustee of the siblings’ fund.

Superstar Village: Who will tell Winfield it’s a dumb idea?

Poor Man’s Plights of Fancy: Western Airlines, capitalizing on its Jarvis-Gann savings, initiated on September 6 “Proposition 13 economy fare.” For nine dollars (just twenty cents more than Amtrak) one can fly one-way from San Diego to Los Angeles by purchasing a ticket at least seven days in advance. Reservations for the limited seating are recommended two to three weeks ahead.

Little Things Beneath the Chairman: When Housing Advisory Board chairman Michael Witte ordered seventy-nine-year-old G.L. Robbins to unplug his tape recorder at a public meeting of the board last February, Robbins protested but complied. Informed of the incident, four city councilmen, led by Fred Schnaubelt, sent a memo to the city attorney questioning the legality of Witte’s audio injunction, which prompted Witte to reply, "It just perpetuates the theory that little minds dwell on little things.”

Four Jack Tacos, Two Bonus Jacks, and, le French toast: Not to be outdone by archenemy McDonald’s, San Diego’s own Jack-in-the-Box expanded breakfast offerings at its sixty-four county outlets to Include pancakes, French toast, and eggs (sorry, scrambled only).

We Can’t Go On Like This: Many thought 1978 would finally be the year, but it wasn’t. Another calendar has expired and Tom Blair still hasn’t gotten credit (or received blame) for writing Evening Tribune columns under the byline Neil Morgan.

Room Service, Send Me Up a Choir: The El Cortez Hotel, a downtown landmark since 1927, hosted its last secular guest Monday, October 2.

Political Sensitivity: San Diego politicians, never ones to champion weak causes, got their mugs and their wumps stuck on the wrong side of the Proposition 13 fence. Even Pete Wilson and Lee Hubbard, alleged conservatives, were in the minority on the vote that carried San Diego County 59.8 percent to 40.1 percent.

Political Sensitivity, Part II: As if the Prop 13 vote hadn’t spoken clearly enough about government spending to the San Diego City Council, the council voted four-to-one to create the new City Housing Commission, which would help increase the number of publicly funded housing units in San Diego from 350 to 1500.

Most Popular Tourist Attraction of the Year: Dwight and Nile streets, North Park.

Don’t Bogart That Joint, Mi Amigo: North County marijuana growers got an unexpected boost this year when the popularity of Mexican weed plummeted (the locally cultivated "red hair” variety sold for more them one hundred dollars an ounce). Newspapers made much of the fact that some pot from south of the border may have been contaminated with the herbicide paraquat, and a cottage industry blossomed in this fertile climate of dope-smoker hysteria: “paraquat testers” were soon seen in head shops everywhere.

How Soon They Forget: Amalia Barreda, Jackie Brockington, Virginia Bigler, Jonathan Dunn-Rankin, Jan Harrison, Tom Lawrence, Barney Morris, Pete Pepper, Bill Selby.

New Age Page: Though San Diego is not yet Sausalito, the local enclaves of Silva Mind Control, est, TA, TM, SRF, Eckankar, the Kemery Institute, and Arica were joined this year by alumni of the Actualism Holistic Health Center, the Center for Self Change, The Church of Hakeem, Morningland, and the Polarity Institute.

America's Finest Mexican Suburb: Local public relations flaks may have to keep repeating to themselves, “Ninth largest city, ninth largest city,” so they won’t feel inferior now that Tijuana, with nearly 800,000 in population, is passing San Diego in numbers.

Just Seeing If You Were Awake: In an article on July 27th describing the reluctance of the U.S. Senate to drop trade sanctions imposed on Rhodesia, the Los Angeles Times ran the headline, accurate enough, "Senate Keeps Trade Curbs On Rhodesia.” The San Diego Union, for the identical story, inexplicably decided to say, “Senate Votes To Lift Rhodesia Trade Sanctions."

Most Overused Word of 1978: Clone.

The Lonely Crowd: In the growing search for kinship, San Diegans are finding bonds as gay Lutherans, tall singles, Jewish vegetarians, matchbook collectors, and Datsun owners. An anonymous caller says she might start a club for bald sopranos.

You're in Good Hands with Jay J.: La Jolla PR man Bill Arens was only doing his job when in February he sent to news organizations a press release announcing the arrival of famed private detective Jay J. Armes. Wrote Arens: “One could say that the citizens of San Diego are taking the law into their own hands.” Hook-handed Armes left no doubt that his $25,000 fee (a bargain at a quarter his usual rate) would be money well spent. After all, he told reporters, “I have the best secret agent in the world working for me— Jesus Christ."

Don't Mess With Mother Nature: Businessmen and shopping center developers were reminded that water follows the path of least resistance when last January Mission Valley was once again inundated. Two drowned when their car was swept into the raging torrent.

Bus Stop: Blaming Proposition 13, San Diego Transit cut out late-night, weekend, and holiday service on thirty-one of its forty routes. Automobile-less janitors, night-school students, and night nurses were left with not-so-inexpensive taxi service to fill the transportation gap.

Thousands of Comedians Out of Work, and We Get Pete: Foreigner, the rock group whose hits “Hot Blooded” and “Feels Like the First Time” sold millions, came to town October 27 for a concert benefiting COMBO and the Aero-Space Museum. At a press conference in his office to acknowledge the group’s generosity, Mayor Wilson handed a plaque to Foreigner’s Mick Jones with these words: “This feels like the first time, and though I won’t be able to attend the show tonight, I hope it’ll be hot-blooded."

New This Year: Women’s high-heeled shoes.

Gone This Year: Platform shoes—men and women.

Gone Next Year (We Hope): Hairy-chested men with gold neck chains and polyester shirts open to the abdomen.

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