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Thirty-Five Years Ago

The Average White Band has two encores down and none to go. “Those few minutes before they whip on the lights make the night for me,” exclaims bassist Alan Gorrie.

Hunched over his surprising combination of enchiladas and Scotch, Gorrie takes time in between gulps to explain the band’s position as novice superstars.

“God, it always seems that there is no way to fully adjust. I mean, after the point passes where you know that everything you’ve always fantasized about is a fact of your life, then your feet can never touch the ground again.”

“WE’RE NOT LEADERS OF ANY BLOODY MOVEMENT,” Steve Esmedina, August 7, 1975

Thirty Years Ago

In late 1977, developer Ernest Hahn unveiled the third set of plans for Horton Plaza, plans which included preservation of the Bradley Building façade as a part of an amphitheater. The amphitheater was later replaced, in the plans, with a Robinson’s department store, which was to have incorporated the façade as a grand entrance. The cost of saving the Bradley façade was estimated to be between $500,000 and $750,000.

The request by the Centre City Developmeent Corporation to seek bids for the Bradley’s demolition was, in effect, a statement that preservation of the Bradley was not worth the extra expense to the City.

CITY LIGHTS: “THE LUCY SHOW,” Mark Orwoll, August 7, 1980

Twenty-Five Years Ago

“How would Americans feel if someone came along and desecrated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?” asks Tom Arena as he gestures broadly toward the small altar he and his wife, Alicia, have put together on the rocky site of last year’s McDonald’s massacre.

Arena’s wife believes that most of the vandalism and thievery has been committed by curio seekers more specifically, white curio seekers who do not respect the Mexican tradition of revering the site of such tragedies as being holy.

CITY LIGHTS: “DESECRATION,” Abe Opincar, August 8, 1985

Twenty Years Ago

“University Avenue is worse than El Cajon Boulevard. Forty-fourth is all-around pretty bad; 44th and Van Dyke both are big for gangs, for dope, rock cocaine especially. Highland is bad, Menlo. Marlborough, Wightman, and Chamoune, a lot of stuff goes on there. Winona, they come out of the woodwork at night to deal up and down Winona. University and Winona, lot of rock cocaine gets sold out there.”

“THEY’RE ALL BAD,” Judith Moore,

August 9, 1990

Fifteen Years Ago

“I wanna die wasted in a room with Eddie Vedder,” sings Steve Poltz of the Rugburns in the persona of the prototypical stoner rock fan, who (hilariously; the Rugs’ finest song) lives just to hear Zep’s Houses of the Holy on eight-track, the way it should sound.

“PEARL JAM DOG PADDLE,” Paul Williams, August 3, 1995

Ten Years Ago

From a distance, it looked like the home of a prince or minor lord — the castle’s four turrets and dark crenellated walls. But as I got closer, I saw that what seemed to be bricks were in fact roofing shingles, that the white around the windows badly needed repainting, that other wood was rotting, and that on the white-plank door was a sign — No Trespassing, Keep Out.

The place was empty. In fact, no one had ever lived there. The roughly 70- by 30-foot Floating Castle was a party boat.

“HOME ON THE WATER,” Stephen Dobyns, August 3, 2000

Five Years Ago

[T]he Box would like to award its Sportsman of the Year trophy. Regulars will recall that the trophy is a handsome 18-inch-tall bronze statue depicting a solitary professional athlete standing in an Iowa cornfield, weathered cap clutched tight by callused left hand, manly right hand extending outward to receive a check for ten million dollars. The trophy is awarded every August 1 to commemorate the Battle of Jutland.

This year’s recipient is Barry Bonds. In addition to the statue, the Box would like to express regret for the unkind innuendoes that have appeared in this space concerning his use of steroids, head size, and unrelenting pig-like selfishness. They made me do it.

SPORTING BOX: “SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR,” Patrick Daugherty, August 4, 2005

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