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Thirty Years Ago One could scarcely imagine a more appropriate setting for Katherine Hepburn than the aging Spreckels Theatre.... Miss Hepburn and the Spreckels have more in common than their age. Having come into the world -- as they both did -- early in the second decade of this century, they carry with them tastes, techniques and attitudes that belong to a past era. [H]er manner of acting derives from the same stylized art that produced the Spreckels Theatre. The toss of the head, the clipped aristocratic lilt of the voice, the sudden self-delighted smile -- these are done so well. -- "ACTING HERSELF," Jonathan Saville, December 16, 1976

Twenty-Five Years Ago Some years ago at Christmastime, when I was a teller at a bank downtown, I came to know Wayne Boyer, who was then an apprentice bum. I met him in the Jack-in-the-Box on Broadway, where I had stepped inside for a Coke; he was in the next line over, standing on crutches, his right leg in a cast from ankle to hip. I was 22 then and he looked about my age, but different in other ways. He had black hair, pale skin, and narrow, startling blue eyes. His face was like a weasel's -- narrow, I mean -- and active, and he usually put a hand up to cover his missing front tooth when he smiled. -- "POSTCARDS FROM WESTERN CIVILIZATION,"

Joe Applegate, December 10, 1981

Twenty Years Ago Rare it is that adults have the opportunity to bring children's games up through the ranks with them into adulthood. Baseball travels well, and a card game or two, and maybe a couple variations of spin the bottle. One pastime continues to weather maturity's scoffing: toy sailboat racing. -- "A LILLIPUTIAN NAVY," Neal Matthews, December 11, 1986

Fifteen Years Ago The letters Marie wrote, as year followed year, continued to portray her family life in the rosiest light possible. Her letters broke my heart but also left me feeling foolishly humbled. Because I knew Marie and I knew that, from her perspective, what she wrote wasn't untruth or distortion, nor was she trying to hide from her readers the grief she and Bud suffered over their offspring's crimes and bad choices. If I talked with her over coffee, she faced those facts. Yet when she sat down to write her Christmas letter, she wrote what I believe once was the classic Christmas letter: She wrote the life that she had hoped against hope, when she and Bud exchanged vows, their lives would become. -- "ANOTHER YEAR HAS PASSED AND WE ARE SAFE AND SOUND," Judith Moore, December 12, 1991

Ten Years Ago I had gone to see the gentleman I call Mr. Willis. For almost a quarter-century, he worked in local law enforcement. He told me if you wanted to evaluate the charge that San Diego had connections to organized crime -- to the Mafia, or Cosa Nostra -- you first had to understand the Prohibition years. He emphasized that to the degree San Diego's Italian/Sicilian community may have been involved in organized crime at any level, the numbers involved were few. -- "DYNAMITE IS WHAT THEY MOSTLY USED," Judith Moore, December 5, 1996

Five Years Ago Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs is a big Democrat, giving hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to Bill Clinton. He contributed $50,000 to the reelection campaign of Governor Gray Davis. But Jacobs is now said to be hedging his bets. The Washington Post reports that Republican congressional leader Thomas M. Davis III of northern Virginia, proponent of free-trade agreements favored by Qualcomm, has been cultivating high-tech companies for campaign money.... The paper added that Republicans targeted Jacobs, who has been working with local GOP congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham to lobby the trade bill. -- CITY LIGHTS: "BIG MONEY CONVERSION,"Matt Potter, December 6, 2001

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