Thirty Years Ago
Moving through the shadows along Fourth Avenue is a man who appears to be another holdover from last night’s revelry. But as he draws nearer, the yellow light from the Cabrillo Theater reveals the face of Raymond McCain, the newspaper seller who’s been hustling papers for 57 of his 63 years.
“I started sellin’ papers June 1, 1920. My mother told me I couldn’t start until I went to school.”
— PRESS PASSES: “READ ALL ABOUT IT,” Neal Matthews, September 7, 1978
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Dear Matthew Alice: I’ve watched the construction of the new First Interstate Bank high-rise downtown between Third and Fourth on B Street. They’ve dug a hole at least ten stories deep, and at the bottom is a crane resting on a flatbed truck that’s bigger than any semitrailer I’ve ever seen. What are they using the crane for and how do they get it out of the hole?
They simply drove it in. Of course, there was no hole when the crane first appeared on the site. It was driven onto the site at street level, a hole was excavated around the crane, and it was gradually moved down ramps to the bottom of the sixty-five-foot-deep pit. It’s now busy putting up the walls for a six-level underground parking facility, largest in downtown San Diego.
— STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, September 8, 1983
Twenty Years Ago
Furtively, I sought the opinion of Gary, my drinking buddy of nearly 20 years. I asked him what he thought of my entering a place called Morningstar, a North County treatment facility for people with schizophrenia. I had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and Gary had a dry view of my disorder. After telling Gary about my elaborate Bigfoot delusions, he offered to take me out to the woods, turn me loose without my medication, and collect me a few months later so I could write down all the things I believed had happened to me.
— “MAN IN A CORNER,” Ralph Richardson, September 8, 1988
Fifteen Years Ago
Your September 2 inside story, “Don’t Load the Nose,” made me sick to my stomach. Doesn’t the Reader ever weary of stories about dope heads, dope dealers, prostitutes, sex perverts, malcontents, prisons, and prisoners?
— LETTERS: “MAKES HER SICK,” Carrie Ambeck, La Mesa, September 9, 1993
Ten Years Ago
At the halfway house near 14th and Market, inmates sit on the balustrade, smoking cigarettes and chewing the fat. When you ask them about Fred Levy, they point toward the office around the door.
Levy, the one-time king of San Diego’s topless entertainment business, including Pure Platinum and Main Attraction, may be at church, as this is a Sunday. Since his troubles began, friends say the Arizona native has undergone a conversion. They report he now attends El Cajon’s Black Mountain Community Church most Sunday mornings.
— CITY LIGHTS: “GOD, TAKE MY TOPLESS CLUBS,” Bill Manson, September 10, 1998
Five Years Ago
On Saturday, September 6, 1958, Marilyn Monroe and the 175-person company of Some Like It Hot arrived at the Hotel del Coronado to begin location shots, after filming in Hollywood the previous four weeks. The movie, cowritten and directed by Billy Wilder, is about two musicians, played by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, who, to elude a gang of bootleggers, dress up in drag and join an all-girl band.
[Her playwright husband Arthur] Miller had flown in…according to one biographer, “to try to help stabilize” her. For the first month of shooting in Hollywood, Monroe had been repeatedly late; she often flubbed her lines, requiring multiple takes and incensing her costars. The probable reason Monroe was having trouble was the baby — she was pregnant, the second time that year.
— “THE WHITE MASK,” Tom Larson, September 4, 2003