Thirty Years Ago
WHITE QUEEN: I’m a Queen fan, but what do Queen fans do besides buy records and attend very very very loud concerts? DCB.
SAVOY TRUFFLE, Zoot and Dingo: Will see you at the Ken February 24, first showing. Wear your George buttons. Beatles four-ever! R. Wood.
WILD, WICKED, wanton woman — Still wanna find the lifeguard station at LJ Shores? Bring your scissors. I am Ringwinner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrelrider.
— CLASSIFIEDS, February 22, 1979
Twenty-Five Years Ago
For the past few weekends, ten kids calling themselves the San Diego Breakers has met at Embarcadero Park near Seaport Village. Lucy Sardina, mother of two of the dancers, says that the 12- to 16-year-olds came in the afternoon to dance for an hour or so for fun.... [Seaport Village chief of security] last week issued this memorandum regarding the break dancers: “Because of the concern of all of us on the bad element being attracted by these gangs at the edge of the park, by the Popcorn Wagon, I have been in contact with Chief LeBlanc of the Harbor Police.”
— CITY LIGHTS: “THOSE ARE THE BREAKS,” Abe Opincar, February 23, 1984
Twenty Years Ago
If Daddy Warbucks offered to build a $120 million “sports palace” — “The finest in the world” — smack in the middle of downtown in exchange for moral support from the local citizenry and news media, you wouldn’t ask questions, would you? Not, apparently, if you were San Diego’s three major daily newspapers.
Last week Harry G. Cooper, billed as a “computer baron,” a “hedonist,” and “a multi-millionaire who never went to college,” came forward to announce he and his “nephew-in-law” had purchased the existing Sports Arena and wanted to build a new one. Local news pages greeted them with a noisy reception, running no fewer than five photos of Cooper in as many days, revealing him to have the looks of a middle-aged matinee idol.
— CITY LIGHTS: “HERE’S HARRY,” Matt Potter, February 23, 1989
Fifteen Years Ago
San Diego’s least successful tower aesthetically is Sea World’s 320-foot Skytower. Unlike the 984-foot Eiffel or many other towers throughout the world, ancient and modern, where you ascend through the “bones” of the structure to burst out at the top, Skytower is a giant decorative toothpick with a transparent olive that moves up and down. No mystery. No soul. I have no affection for it except during the holidays, when it becomes the world’s largest used-car-lot-style tree of lights. The apparatus is so straightforward that it looks as if it could be dropped down on its side and carted away in a weekend.
— “TOWER ENVY,” Peter Jensen, February 17, 1994
Ten Years Ago
This is a note for Eleanor Widmer. I’m calling to point out that she is pronouncing wrongly the name of the restaurant Le Fontainebleau. She pronounces it [on KPBS] and spells it in her review (February 11) as though it were Fontainebleu, but it ends in b-l-e-a-u, not b-l-e-u, so in fact it’s pronounced Fon-taine-blow, like eau de cologne, that kind of o.
— LETTERS: “FRIENDLY BLOW,” Dale Hansen, February 11, 1999
Five Years Ago
Speculation about the fate of the San Diego Union-Tribune is raging through the U-T newsroom, Mission Valley watering holes, other haunts of those who’ve worked at the newspaper. The latest round of what has become an age-old guessing game among San Diego media watchers kicked off last month when it was said that U-T scion David Copley had been rushed to an unidentified local hospital for heart surgery and had not returned to the office after weeks of recuperation, prompting suggestions he had taken a turn for the worse and might require a heart transplant.
— CITY LIGHTS: “END OF AN ERA,” Matt Potter, February 19, 2004