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1993--If Only in Her Dreams

D espite the frantic looks on the faces of people I see in the malls these days, December is generally a time to pause, a time to reflect, a time to lose oneself in a winter’s reverie. As I stare out my window, watching the snowflakes swirl gently into drifts, I retrace the months of the year, make a mental note to get more sleep (snowdrifts?) and dream about stories I’d like to have seen in 1993. January

* The heavens above Pasadena opened up New Year’s Day, drenching Rose Parade parade spectators, forcing a postponement of the annual football game and leading demographers to revise their calculations on the number of Easterners who plan to migrate to California this year.

* President Clinton kept his campaign promise and allowed the poor and the persecuted of Haiti to seek asylum in the United States. Grateful Haitians kissed American soil as they debarked from their rickety boats.

February

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* A powerful home-made explosive device was discovered in a van parked in the underground garage of New York’s World Trade Center. It was defused by members of the NYPD bomb squad. No one was hurt.

March

* A somber and repentant Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott, banned from baseball for a year for making racist statements, profusely apologized to the public and said baseball has no room for that kind of idiocy.

* Executives of Macy’s, which owns the landmark Bullocks Wilshire store in Downtown Los Angeles, said they had decided to keep the store open despite declining sales. “We don’t believe in kicking a city when it’s down,” they said.

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April

* The siege in Waco ended safely when cult leader David Koresh emerged from the compound, hands over his head, followed by nearly 100 men, women and children.

May

* State fish and game officials announced that they would be rounding up and killing diseased ducks in the Venice canals. No protests were reported, as all local activists were busy volunteering at homeless shelters.

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* A mail carrier who had been fired from his job in Orange County called a news conference to announce that post office working conditions were deplorable and might lead to violent outbursts by frustrated employees.

June

* Melrose Larry Green, considered a fringe candidate for mayor of Los Angeles, pulled off a stunning upset and won. Green announced that he will be doing business out of City Hall after all. An environmental impact report found that the median strip at the intersection of Melrose and Highland, where he used to wave inanely to drivers during rush hour, is not wide enough to accommodate his desk and a reception area.

* Although Lani Guinier was not confirmed by Congress for the post of assistant attorney general in charge of civil rights, the hearings proved an invaluable forum for the discussion of an issue that is rarely broached in public: race relations in America.

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July

* In a stunning display of self-deprecation, lawyers were heard outside a courtroom exchanging lawyer jokes and laughing at themselves.

* The Pentagon announced that it had more important things to do than worry about the sexual orientation of the nation’s soldiers.

August

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* President Clinton and Congressional leaders from both parties agreed that the plan to bring health insurance to all Americans would have absolutely no effect on taxes.

* The child known as baby Jessica was handed over to her biological parents, who changed their minds and decided that it was in the child’s best interests to grow up with the family who had raised her and had tried to adopt her since birth.

October

* Apologizing for his role in the beating of Rodney King, former LAPD Sgt. Stacey Koon said he overreacted when King was arrested, that he had begun educating himself on the insidious nature of subconscious racism and was grateful for his lenient prison sentence.

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* Houston Oilers executives said they were thrilled at the example tackle David Williams had set for fathers by missing a game to attend the birth of his first child and hoped his teammates would take time off to attend the births of their children as well.

November

* The Southern California brush fires, apparently the result of arson, were contained almost immediately. There was no damage and no one was injured.

December

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* “I know my son did wrong out there at Florence and Normandie,” said Damian Williams’ mother, Georgiana. “And my son knows it, too. He is very, very sorry for what he did.”

* Polly Klaas, abducted from her Petaluma bedroom by a stranger, was returned to her family unharmed.


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