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Thirty-Five Years Ago
The five most uncomfortable places for a gay person in San Diego, 1975:

  1. To be stationed at MCRD.
  2. Anywhere in town holding hands with a person of the same sex.
  3. In the library, reading Dr. Barbour’s archaic views in the Evening-Tribune.
  4. Speaking before the Exchange Club in La Mesa.
  5. In the closet.

“1975 — Up FOR GRABS,” Jeri Dilno, January 8, 1976

Thirty Years Ago
The fourth dimension is “our nearest neighbor,” says mathematician Thomas Banchoff. To move into the fourth dimension, we three-dimensional beings would have to follow a line that is simultaneously perpendicular to the three perpendiculars that are familiar and known to us. Imagine being in the corner of a room, with two walls and a floor going off in three directions; and try to imagine a fourth plane that is simultaneously perpendicular to each of those three planes. You will not be able to do this, I guarantee you.
“THE FOURTH DIMENSION ON FILM,” Amy Chu, January 8, 1981

Twenty-Five Years Ago
Ray always insisted we sit in the general admission seats in left center field. Out there with the drinking, the pot smoking, the cursing, belching, the shouting, and the fisticuffs. Ray was in his element. It took him hours to customize that jacket, and it took him a long time to clean it after the games...it was part of his life’s work. In the end, though, Ray could not enjoy his victories over the stadium authorities. He’d sit there, sipping from his enema tube, and say, “You know, it isn’t as much fun to get away with this if they don’t know I’m getting away with it.”
“WITH A FRIEND LIKE RAY,” Glenn Wallace, January 9, 1986

Twenty Years Ago
County supervisors scoffed when critics said a new program to replace food stamps with cash would lead to abuse and children going hungry. Supervisor Susan Golding said the new program would save money by reducing the cost of printing and distributing stamps.... Supervisor Leon Williams said welfare recipients would spend the cash on food, as they were supposed to, and not on liquor, cigarettes, and other nonessentials.

But four months after the pilot program began, critics and local food bank operators say thousands of former food stamp recipients — about 75 percent of whom belong to families with children — are running out of food because they are spending the money elsewhere.
CITY LIGHTS: “LET THEM EAT CASH,” Matt Potter, January 10, 1991

Fifteen Years Ago
Where are you from if you’re from the boonies?

“Boondocks” is a World War II–era borrow from the Philippines. Bandok in Pilipino means “mountain.” But not every yokel’s from the boonies. Some are from the tules. They’re bulrushes that grow in swampy areas of the Southwest. And if you’re not from the boonies or the tules, maybe you’re from the sticks. At the turn of the century, “the sticks” was lumbermen’s slang for a forest.
STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, January 4, 1996

Ten Years Ago
A stable, non-dot-com job. Silicon Valley downsizing. I was paid way too much money for what I was doing. I hope to find something I can count on.
OFF THE CUFF: “WHAT DO YOU HOPE FOR IN 2001?” January 4, 2001

Five Years Ago
2005 was the year Dick Murphy died. Murphy the man is still alive, we hope. We think. We’re almost certain. We haven’t been able to talk to him. Not that we haven’t tried. His house, his cell phone. His wife’s phone. His daughter’s house. Nobody wants to say where he is, what he’s doing with his life. Murphy’s not talking. Like ex-mayor Susan Golding before him, he’s become a nonperson.

We know only that Murphy the politician and the public servant is dead. He was buried on April 25, 2005, the morning he announced he was running away from his job at San Diego city hall, the esteemed position to which he had been reelected just six months before.
“2005, A YEAR IN REVIEW,” Matt Potter, January 5, 2006

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