Flashback

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50 Years Ago

I was over at Don Stanley’s house in Lagunitas the other night and he showed me a sad little souvenir. It was a photo of a stunning blonde he had pinned up on the wall at his last job.

Now the job is dead and so is the blonde. She was Sharon Tate, murdered with four others at the home of her husband, Roman Polanski. The job was with On View, the magazine which went to all BankAmericard holders and which died after two issues.

The third issue was ready to go when the On View people ran out of money. Its cover story was on Roman and Sharon Polanski, written by Don Stanley. Don had made two trips to the Polanskis’ home and kept the photo of Sharon on his office wall to evoke the remarkable girl he was writing about. …On his second visit, Don remembers that the huge beams in the house were being painted white by a young man he thinks was William Garretson, the guy who lived in the guest cottage. “Polanski was very fond of those beams,” said Don, “he thought they were the nicest part of the house.”

Those were the beams which supported the ropes in the ritual hangings of the victims.

—Pete Shattuck, 8/20/69

Novato will try again next Tuesday to get past that classic small town hangup: the switch from angled to parallel parking. The city is trying to speed up the traffic flow on west Grant Ave., and some of the merchants are all a-flutter, just as their confreres were in San Rafael two years ago. The hoary arguments are that some parking spaces will be lost and that women can’t park parallel. Oddly, the merchants most outspoken against the change are from east Grant, which won’t be affected. —Newsgram

40 Years Ago

…And now it’s Chrysler’s turn to take advantage of hard times. The auto industry’s opposition to emission controls is long-standing and Chrysler is playing their woes to the hilt in order to ease those controls. They argue that since their sale volume is so much lower than that of GM and Ford, the cost-per-car of the anti-pollution devices is much more expensive for Chrysler.

…This argument, of course, ignores the fact that Chrysler brought these regulations on themselves with their disdain for environmental standards through the years. Whether or not Congress buys their argument and sets a disturbing anti-environmental precedent remains to be seen. —Hut Landon, 8/17/79

30 Years Ago

Furry demonstrators from Earth First! wearing animal costumes protested at the Mill Valley offices of the Pacific Lumber Co. Since the old-line firm was gobbled up by Maxxam Inc. four years ago, the rate of cutting has jumped dramatically to pay for the buyout. —Steve McNamara, 8/18/89

20 Years Ago

The desperate verbal wriggling of the gun people gets ever more preposterous with each road rage shooting, gang murder, and school and workplace massacre. An English friend, observing that the U.S. buries more bullet-riddled corpses every week than do other nations in a year, remarked in a recent email message, “In Britain we have as many violence-prone misfits, race haters, and street gangs as you do, only ours are obligated to settle things with their fists.”

What they don’t have is a rich, powerful lobby dedicated to making pocket weapons as freely available as yo-yos. —Dana Moses, Tiburon (letter) 8/18/99

Compiled by Alex T. Randolph

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