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Stories of the past: Wednesday, March 21, 2001

March 21, 2001

50 years ago — Climaxing more than a year's efforts, ground-breaking ceremonies for the Imperial Valley Memorial Hospital will be held. The structure, to cost about $550,000, will be built at the southwest corner of Ross and Imperial avenues in El Centro.

40 years ago — The "Bottle Man" lives in a secluded shack nestled in the desert east of Holtville. The dwelling and thousands of bottles stacked neatly in wire and wooden containers were discovered Sunday by a group driving in the desert.

30 years ago — More than 1,700 spectators saw Alan Lawrie of San Diego and Eddie Gill of Yuma take top honors in the Carrot Carnival Drag Races at Holtville Airstrip on Sunday. The Imperial Valley Timing Association sponsored the races.

20 years ago — When 18-year-old Greg Ponce Jr. of Calexico reports for duty at the U.S. Military Academy on July 1, he will be the first Calexico resident to be selected for the prestigious Army institution. Ponce, a Calexico High School senior with a 3.9 grade-point average and student body president, was nominated by U.S. senators Alan Cranston and S.I. Hayakawa and U.S. Rep. Clair W. Burgener.

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