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Thirty Years Ago Contreras's headquarters is the Centro Medico del Mar in Playas de Tijuana. After waiting an hour or so, I was ushered into a small office where Dr. Contreras greeted me. I learned that his huge supply of laetrile is obtained from two factories in Tijuana itself. Raw apricot kernels are imported from West Germany and Monte Carlo and processed into the highest grade of amygdalin before being used at the Centro Medico. -- "CANCER CONNECTION," John D'Agostino, November 4, 1976

Twenty-Five Years Ago [I]t was Willie Morrow's head that drew our attention.... The loose coiled curls resemble a freshly wetted permanent on the head of a Caucasian. East Coast blacks call this hair style the "wet look." Around these parts, it is known as the California Curl, and at least for the moment, it's the crown that has made Willie Lee Morrow king. -- "IT'S CURLY AT THE TOP," Jeannette De Wyze, October 29, 1981

Twenty Years Ago Later, in Memphis, after Priscilla Presley had decamped with her karate instructor, leaving Elvis alone at Graceland, he would send his valet on a 3:00 a.m. run to a round-the-clock market to buy up Eskimo Pies, Dreamsicles, and Nutty Buddys. Elvis would, night after night, eat one pound of King Cotton bacon fried up crisp, a Pike's Peak of mashed potatoes sluiced with thickenin' gravy, sauerkraut, a dish of crowderpeas, and sliced tomatoes. Elvis's weight at the time of his death, Goldman noted, was 255 pounds. -- "THE WHITE TRASH DIET," Judith Moore, October 30, 1986

Fifteen Years Ago France's assimilation of Southern Californian culture can be demonstrated most accurately by examining the degree to which " dudespeak" (the American dialect spoken by blond, tanned, middle- and upper-middle-class males living within the "coastal corridor" that extends from Santa Barbara to several miles south of Rosarito Beach) has penetrated the heart of the French spirit -- the French language. The nation's contemporary lexicon, while remaining relatively impermeable to Arabic and African-language borrow-words, has, since the early '80s, adopted dozens of " dudespeak" terms, specifically those regarding the hobby of surfing (le surf). -- "ESPRIT DU SURF," Abe Opincar, October 31, 1991

Ten Years Ago When it came to conning the suckers of La Jolla, his buddies said, Graham was the master. "He could talk those dumb La Jolla doctors and airline pilots into giving him their life savings," says one of Clifford Graham's compatriots.Another of Graham's friends and business associates was Jack Kemp, ex--San Diego Charger quarterback and Point Loma resident.

Graham gained entrée to Kemp's world of high-flying jocks and their well-heeled fans in corporate and political America, many of whom later invested -- and apparently lost -- millions of dollars in Graham-led business schemes. According to one bankruptcy court document, Graham's wife Kathy worked the crowd at the 1983 wedding of Kemp's quarterback son Jeff, soliciting Texan investors to put money into what turned out to be Graham's last big con. -- "KEMP AND THE FUGITIVE," Matt Potter, October 24, 1996

Five Years Ago What was Bin Laden, now 35, heir to a multibillion-dollar Middle Eastern fortune based on construction and Saudi oil, doing in San Diego? And why would he be involved in a small-time tulip-importing business -- based out of a two-room office in a Sorrento Valley industrial park, which, according to its other owner, lost $100,000 of Bin Laden's money before going under after just a few years?Bin Laden himself isn't talking. Since the events of September 11, he has agreed to be interviewed by only one newspaper, the Boston Globe. In that story he is quoted as expressing remorse for the alleged deeds of his half-brother, now the target of a U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan. -- "DID BIN LADEN'S BROTHER LIVE A SECRET LIFE IN SAN DIEGO?" Matt Potter, October 25, 2001

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