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Gotch’s Foresight No Match for Nostradamus

While San Diego City Hall was still swaying slightly in the aftermath of one of last week’s minor earthquakes, Councilman Mike Gotch pointed out to his colleagues that the temblor--actually, a much stronger one--had been predicted more than 400 years ago.

“The interpreters of Nostradamus told us that this would happen in June, 1985,” Gotch said of the seismic activity. Nostradamus is the commonly used name of Michel de Notredame, a 16th-Century French physician and astrologer who published a series of rhymed prophecies in his book, “Centuries.”

“You could have told us about it before!” Mayor Roger Hedgecock replied.

Patriotic Blood

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“Give a Pint for Your Country” is the slogan of a blood drive to be held next week in El Cajon to help offset an expected need for about 2,500 pints of blood during the Fourth of July holiday period.

Country music radio station KSON will broadcast from the drive, to be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday at the El Cajon Elks Lodge, 1400 E. Washington Ave. All blood donors will receive free ice cream and chili, compliments of Leatherby’s Family Creamery.

During the drive, longtime KSON disc jockey Dick Warren also will receive a 10-gallon hat in honor of having given more than 10 gallons of blood (80 pints) during the past 22 years. Uncle Dickie, as Warren is known, will be easy to spot. He’ll be the pale-looking guy in the 10-gallon hat.

No Rhymes Barred

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During last week’s swearing-in ceremony for new Superior Court Judge Richard D. Huffman, Melinda Lasater, president of the San Diego Bar Assn., read a poem entitled “Ode to the Retired Gunfighter” that recounted some of the highlights of Huffman’s legal career.

The poem noted that Jimmy (The Weasel) Fratianno, a self-professed Mafia hit man, was “the gunfighter’s first notch”:

Now Jimmy was a hit man, many souls he did damn,

So how come Dick nailed him on a truck-loan scam?

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The former assistant district attorney also successfully prosecuted cult deprogrammer Ted Patrick:

Old Ted would steal rich kids back from the loonies,

But Dick nailed him with the help of the Moonies.

Most of the poem, however, was devoted to Huffman’s prosecution of the felony conspiracy and perjury case against Mayor Roger Hedgecock, which ended in February in a mistrial with the jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction:

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In the fight of his life, our boy Dick, the dragon slayer,

Strapped on his gun and took on Roger, our mayor.

Now Roger was cunning and hired a free-lancer,

A young sure shooter named Michael Pancer.

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They practiced their quick draw armed with witness and subpoena,

They turned and faced each other in the courtroom arena ...

As the smoke cleared and Dick smiled in perfection,

He saw his aim was off in jury selection.

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Yes sir, Dick thought he had shot the lights out,

But he missed by one bullet and that one held out.

Ironically, Huffman was seated in Hedgecock’s chair in the City Council chambers during the ceremony.

And Not a Drop to Drink

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In the July edition of Connoisseur magazine, San Diego’s tap water is ranked among the worst in the nation.

Other locales worthy of what might be called the Smelly Spigot Award, according to the magazine, include Niagara Falls, Long Island, Miami, New Orleans and all of Texas. The cities rated as having the best drinking water are New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and Portland, Ore.

The magazine had this to say about the county’s drinking water: “About half of San Diego’s water comes from the Colorado River, which is so salty it hovers on the threshold of illegality. Restaurants customarily serve it with a slice of lemon to help kill the alkaline taste. Thinking about all the people, cows and irrigated fields that water has passed through during the last few weeks is not advised.”

Maybe that’s how the saying, “Here’s mud in your eye!” got started.

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