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Thirty Years Ago The Grossmont commencement ceremony was punctuated by water balloons. The seniors were christened with bottled water stolen from the science labs.... "Five years ago the valedictorians would get up and blast the administration. Now they get up and bless everyone with Jesus." Religion is back. The Christians are in so much control now that one Jewish girl wrote an editorial in the school paper complaining that every other consciousness was obscured in a cloud of Christian bliss. (She later had a nervous breakdown.) Dave Peters, as one of "The Catholic Three," genuflected as he crossed the stage to receive his diploma. It might have indeed been a needed prayer. -- "BRAVING THE NEW WORLD," Richard Louv, June 24, 1976

Twenty-Five Years Ago "There are many terrible things about Russia. It is in general a lousy country but schools are better than here," he continued. "When I was half the age of my son, I went to chess school. Also to ping pong school. I had same teacher for many years. She was like mother to me. I admire her always. In America there is always new teacher. I have already discussed with principal of the school. -- "VLADIMIR'S VISIT," Sue Garson, June 25, 1981

Twenty Years Ago Bill Norton, captain of the San Diego City Lifeguard Service, admits his 150 lifeguards are anxious. The warm weather and ocean temperatures arrived earlier than usual this year, Norton says, while the rough winter surf and rip tides that normally depart by April or May are still around.... So far this year, 14 people have met their deaths in the surf off city beaches, while in 1985 the total for the entire year was only 13. -- CITY LIGHTS: "TO THE RESCUE!" Thomas K. Arnold, June 26, 1986

Fifteen Years Ago The obnoxious comic strip Cathy can be as addictive as sugared almonds when author Cathy Guisewite goes really horrorshow. Like that recent storyline where an idiot-hip hairdresser turns Cathy (the character, not Guisewite) into a platinum-blond bubblehead.Which brings us to the Tribune 's frequent and irksome practice of bumping the strip, pleading "space limitations." "Space limitations" come about because instead of setting Cathy among Neil Morgan's new-wave comics-page offerings (Zippy, Robotman, The Far Side), the Tribune gives Cathy a place d'honneur on page 2, "Scene" section. Idea seems to be that "Cathy" will draw the reader's eye to the Society gushings of Jeanne Beach Eigner, who appeals to a similar audience of anxious, Chanel-bag-toting, middle-class females. -- NEWSHOUND: "COMIC CUTS," Margot Sheehan, June 27, 1991

Ten Years Ago WALTER LINBACK: (South Clairemont):... I was down the hill in front of our northernmost outpost. I mean, I was practically in Chinese territory. So if the Chinese attacked, I was supposed to give the warning before I got killed so they could send in artillery. Of course, if the Chinese didn't get me, the artillery or the machine gun and rifle fire would, since I was right where they were all zeroed in. -- "THE FORGOTTEN WAR," David Burge, June 20, 1996

Five Years Ago Ex-Republican congressman Brian Bilbray, defeated by Democrat Susan Davis last November, has finally found a job, reports National Journal's Congress Daily. The one-time surfer mayor of Imperial Beach, who now lives in Alexandria, Virginia, has become a legislative consultant, signing up three California clients, including the county of Los Angeles, Conquer Cancer and Alzheimer's Now, and the San Diego consulting outfit of Benedetto Advocacy and Communications. Craig Benedetto's clients include the controversial Bajagua project, a plan to ship U.S. sewage into Mexico for treatment, a project backed by legislation sponsored by Bilbray when he was in the House. -- CITY LIGHTS: "CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME," Matt Potter, June 21, 2001

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