Thirty-Five Years Ago
Several years ago, when asked what he thought about rock music, Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse replied, “It’s impotent violence.” At the time I had no idea what he was talking about and really didn’t care since I considered myself the first and foremost hardcore Stones fan outside of London. Mick Jagger became the perfect embodiment of all my fantasies and I no longer had to excuse my looks or thoughts — Jagger was doing it for me. I never worried about the sexism in his lyrics because I assumed he was singing to Keith.
— “SEE MICK JUMP,” Winifred, July 17, 1975
Thirty Years Ago
Some wag once remarked that you can be sincere and still be stupid. This might very well have been said in reference to Happy (I mean Harry) Chapin and John Denver, both of whom appear here this weekend.... Anyone cursed with the slightest trace of cynicism is advised to steer clear of both shows.
— THIS WEEK’S CONCERTS, Steve Esmedina, July 17, 1980
Twenty-Five Years Ago
While many nervously eye the throngs of street people milling about downtown San Diego and wonder if the area’s new shopping center will manage to attract a like number of spendthrift shoppers, others are wondering if the Gaslamp Quarter’s sole self-proclaimed artists’ colony, Greenwich Village West, is going to survive or if it will go the way of dirigibles, the Shakers, the great auk, and other nice ideas.
— CITY LIGHTS: “SPIRITUAL CLEANSE DOESN’T RUB OFF,” Abe Opincar, July 18, 1985
Twenty Years Ago
After 20 years of legal wars, [Dr. Ben Yellen had] finally succeeded in pushing a lawsuit against Imperial County’s corporate farmers all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. During those 20 years, Yellen had been beaten up and attacked by dogs, had the windows in his home knocked out, was interviewed by 60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace as well as Geraldo Rivera, knifed a schoolteacher...and nearly went broke. Yellen lost the final battle when the Supreme Court ruled that big farmers didn’t have to limit the size of their farms to 160 acres in order to receive federally subsidized water.
— “86-Year-Old Country Doctor Sues the AMA and FDA, for Starters,” Steve Sorensen, July 19, 1990
Fifteen Years Ago
Inmates at East Mesa Detention Facility have their second meal of the day between 11:00 a.m. and noon.
I took the first available table and lucked out. The man next to me said, “No names, please.” I nodded and replied, “You don’t have to tell me your name, but I’m Eleanor Widmer.” He studied me quizzically, “Eleanor Widmer? I read your column every week.” I almost fell out of my seat. “You read my column? How come?” He sliced open his roll, placed his roast beef and salad with dressing inside. He did this with deliberation, not rushing to answer.
“No names, please,” he replied, “but I have a godfather in the restaurant business in North County.” It was my turn to remain silent.
— RESTAURANT REVIEW: “NO KNIVES OR FORKS ALLOWED,” Eleanor Widmer, July 13, 1995
Ten Years Ago
Pregnancy is a humbling experience. Family, friends, total strangers feel compelled to comment on the size and shape of your body. The rounder I become, the bolder people get. At 28 weeks out of a 40-week pregnancy, I have taken on the dimensions of a big, comfy sofa. My arms and legs and ass are round. My belly protrudes like the nose on a 747. Between now and the end of September, when my fifth child is due to arrive, I know I’ll only get bigger.
— KID STUFF: “THREE MORE MONTHS,” Anne Albright, July 13, 2000
Five Years Ago
“I saw an ad and phoned. I told the lawyer, ‘If you ride the motorcycle to my office, I’ll buy it from you.’ He said, ‘Without even riding it?’ I said, ‘I know these Cavalcades, and if you can ride it here, it runs. So bring it over.’ I had the cash sitting on the counter.”
— DRIVEN: “MINIMALIST ON A MOTORCYCLE,” Ken Kuhlken, July 14, 2005