Flashback

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50 Years Ago

The Western continues to be one of the best forms of Hollywood entertainment, partly because of the hold this part of American history has upon the movie-going public, and partly because of Hollywood’s ability to develop new streams of stylistic cliches.

“Butch Cassidy [and the Sundance Kid]” is an entertaining example of role-reversal; the bad guys are our good guys, especially if they are good-looking and have disarming grins. This is true of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, who play both ends of the title roles. In addition, William Goldman’s script provides them with a mocking, understanding buddy-buddy style which provides considerable enjoyment.

—Irving R. Cohen, 10/22/69

40 Years Ago

The Hall [family] have not been a target of the crossburnings or vandalism that started last year the way other Novato blacks have⁠—acts that resulted in extended hearings in August before the county Human Rights Commission. Nor are they bound into the grassroots antiracial movement underway by Novatans for Racial Equality. They are, they think, victims of a more personal kind of racist behavior, one felt by each member of the family.

Emeal Hall has filed a grievance with the Fair Employment Practices Commission against his employer, Novato Community Hospital, charging discrimination for criticism of his work made in a series of memos that date back to July. They were placed in his personnel file without his knowledge or a chance to rebut them, Emeal says, and he has been unable to obtain a grievance hearing from the administration.

… “We have white friends,” Amil [Hall] said.

“Who? Name them!” Lottie demanded.

Amil looked at his shoes.

—Joanne Williams, 10/19/79

30 Years Ago

Marin was lucky.

Here, the quake brought breakage and inconvenience instead of death and disaster. Marinites suffered power interruptions, busy phone circuits, cracked windows and broken vases. Groceries tumbled from store shelves and a broken water pipe flooded a Mill Valley card shop. The local Red Cross is soliciting money donations, not for needy Marinites but for disaster relief elsewhere in the Bay Area. And Irwin Memorial Blood Bank desperately needs blood, not because of the quake but because of a pre-quake shortage. In fact, few quake-related injuries were reported in Marin, and except for a collapsed ceiling at the Ignacio Safeway and Greenbrae waterfront house that fell off its pilings, no major structural damage occurred. Even the Marin Center, whose seismic soundness has been questioned in recent years, passed a post-quake structural inspection.

—Joy Zimmerman, 10/20/89

20 Years Ago

Here’s a prediction, based on nothing more than some Doonesbury cartoons: Some time in the next year or so there will be a big change in the Internet business model. Dot.com outfits that feast on shareholder cash as they post ever-growing losses will be asked by their investors, “Where’s the profit? Buying market share with our money was fine for a while. Now we’d like to see some profit.” That simple question will start as a murmur and grow into a roar. Down will crash the obvious con jobs, leaving a whole new Internet landscape. It’s going to be a hoot.

—Steve McNamara, 10/20/99

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