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Thirty Years Ago But stories about Lifeguard School sounded pretty scary. She heard they made guard candidates jump off the Clam, 35 feet into a shallow surge -- if you timed it right. Thirty-five feet onto rock if not. Still, says Carol, "I'd have done anything they told me to do, I wanted that job so bad."Lifeguard School turned out to be "very informative." Hard? "Yeah" -- she pauses -- "but actually not that bad."

Carol has been guarding scuba divers, a whole new category of rescues for San Diego Lifeguards. She points across the cove to a rock outcrop. "A few days ago, I had a screamer, right over there. A diver -- came up on the rocks and just freaked out."


Twenty-Five Years Ago The owner, just back from a two-week vacation, arrived at his Encinitas service station just off Interstate 5 to find nearly 20 cars parked at the station and on his vacant lot next door. As he wondered in anger who would have the nerve to use his property as a storage lot, a tow truck drove into the vacant lot with another car. "Sol grabbed this guy right in the act," says the owner, who asked not to be identified. "I told him if he wanted to use my property, he'd have to pay half the rent. He told me that the cars were picked up from deported immigrants from Mexico, and I said I didn't care where he got them. Then he said, 'What's the matter? Aren't you patriotic?'"

-- CITY LIGHTS: "NORTH OF THE BORDER," Mark Orwoll, June 5, 1980

Twenty Years Ago The neighborhood feud began in 1983, shortly after Polish immigrants Maksymilian Derezinski and Maria Protic moved into their small house on Elm Street, between 30th and Dale, in Golden Hill. Today, none of their four sets of neighbors on the quiet street are on speaking terms with the newcomers, and the police, who have been called out by Derezinski 27 times, have told the neighbors that the situation is explosive. The neighbors all say that Derezinski's two-year-long home improvement project is an eyesore and a blight on the neighborhood, but Derezinski and his live-in "partner," Maria, look up at the two-room structure and see beauty.

-- CITY LIGHTS: "MR. DEREZINSKI'S NEIGHBORHOOD," Neal Matthews, June 6, 1985

Fifteen Years Ago He pulled out onto Sports Arena Boulevard and turned left. I looked out the window at the Wherehouse video store, so familiar to me. It seemed as if I'd died and come back to Earth. The Wherehouse was not mine anymore. "Please don't hurt me," I said. "I'm a mother. Please don't hurt me."

"Hey, lady, I don't want to hurt you any more than you.... I just got to get out of this mess. You just do what I tell you to do."

-- CITY LIGHTS: "I HAVE A KNIFE," Beth M. Roseberry, June 7, 1990

Ten Years Ago I was accused of plagiarism in an article in the New York Times on March 3, 1995. It was an ignominious moment in my life, to be sure, although the accusation, which was literally true but morally not -- since intention was not involved -- had a dirty provenance, to my mind, not only because it was a nonstory...but because I have had ongoing problems for several years with...a particular person there.... My accuser, a woman from Connecticut named Cynthia Kiss, is, with her husband, a so-called Friend of Yale, a college where I taught literature from 1987 to 1990 and which institution for various real and worthwhile reasons I lampooned in several poems in my book, The Lollipop Trollops, in 1993.

As Mrs. Kiss read my book, The Primary Colors, and found as she turned the pages several sentences, unattributed quotations, from another book she had also been reading at the time, Guy Murchie's Song of the Sky (1954), a book on flight and aviation, she claimed "a chill went down [her] spine."

-- "HATEFUL, HURTFUL AND HELLISH," Alexander Theroux, June 1, 1995

Five Years Ago "If the Padres can get a stadium, why can't we? I've never thought for a minute that we couldn't get something done, honestly. I've always thought we would be able to get one." This statement two months ago from Chargers owner Alex Spanos to a reporter from TodaySports outraged San Diegans.

-- "MORE FUNNY BUSINESS," Matt Potter, June 1, 2000

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