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Thirty Years Ago A psychiatry department whose founder personally recommends valium to come down from LSD and once took a year off to be team psychiatrist for a professional football team is bound to be interesting. David Miller, one of the psychiatry residents [at UCSD], complains that Dr. Banville spends too much time in his lab manufacturing psychedelics. "Dr. Banville's rule of thumb," he says, "is that a person who takes LSD only once every three months is probably sane." -- "SHRUNKEN HEADS," Jim Steck, June 2, 1977

Twenty-Five Years Ago What was curious about the nurse as she moved expertly about the room, preparing my wife for surgery, was that her forearm was in a fresh cast. I noticed that it didn't hinder her in the least; she might have been born with it, for the way she arranged my wife on the bed and handled the trays of equipment and tore open a sponge-packet of Betadine, the curry-yellow antiseptic, with which she scrubbed Jane's abdomen for five full minutes by the clock. So absorbed was she in her duties that I became absorbed in them, and never thought to ask how she'd happened to break her arm. -- "TWO BY TWO," Joe Applegate, June 3, 1982

Twenty Years Ago This is a story about the collision of dreams in the arena of redevelopment politics. One dream was that of Danah Fayman, a wealthy and influential arts patron with powerful political allies. She wanted to convert San Diego's landmark Balboa Theater into an art museum, thereby ensuring employment for her talented friend, Sebastian "Lefty" Adler. The other dream was that of a group of much less influential and sometimes politically naïve preservationists, who wanted to prevent the Balboa from being reduced to a shell into which the museum would be inserted. -- "STAGE FRIGHT," Bob McPhail, June 4, 1987

Fifteen Years Ago Although most of the mini and strip malls torched a month ago remain ghostlike spectres of the melted pot, a few hardy establishments, like those along devastated Washington Boulevard, have reopened, replacing looter-friendly plate glass with customer-unfriendly cinderblock.Self-consciously toning down even its tastefully minimal crime reportage, the Los Angeles Times plays up reports of a truce between the Crips and Bloods and an apparent rapprochement between Korean merchants and masked gang members. A cursory scan through my police radio on recent nights tells a different story. -- "HELL.A.," Adam Parfrey, June 4, 1992

Ten Years Ago I just want to let you know that on your cover story this week about Andrew Cunanan ("La Jolla Gentlemen and the Party Boy," May 22) that Norman Blachford was not at Andrew Cunanan's going-away party at California Cuisine, and I know that for a fact. So maybe you should check out your sources a little better. -- LETTERS: "I KNOW THAT FOR A FACT,"Name Withheld, May 29, 1997

Five Years Ago By the time you read this, it may be sunny as hell. But most of May has been cold, gloomy, gray. It suits my predicament. You may call this mild depression or the blues. There is something almost romantic, Gothic to me about overcast skies. One feels a license to moan like a 19th-century poet, stay in bed, drink gin (which you don't even like), read a novel, or write one.

I haven't demurred from whining confessionally in these pages, and I don't intend to start. I see no point in making more of my life than it is. It's like something Oscar Wilde said when he publicly admitted homosexuality. To paraphrase, "They can't blackmail you if you give them the goods."

I have written this with great self-pity, that I am a drunk and a self-pitying failure. This remains true. -- T.G.I.F.: John Brizzolara, May 30, 2002

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