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Newsmakers

USO Finds Way to Thank Bob Hope for the Memories

May 31, 1985|JENNINGS PARROTT

Comedian Bob Hope, hailed for entertaining U.S. troops overseas for 42 years, dedicated the new headquarters of the United Service Organizations in the nation's capital with a salute to the USO as "a symbol of those who care about those who guard our freedom." As the U.S. Army Band played Hope's theme song, "Thanks for the Memories," Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger relayed President Reagan's thanks to Hope for recognizing that "it's the morale and spirit of our fighting men that helps us keep the peace through strength." During a ceremony outside the new Bob Hope USO Building, Hope, who was 82 Wednesday, said that during his travels for the USO, beginning at March Field, Calif., in March, 1941, and ending with a Christmas show for the U.S. 6th Fleet off the Lebanese coast in 1983, he ate box lunches, endured malaria shots and "learned how to say Kaopectate in seven languages."

--About 100 well-wishers applauded Blinky Bill's appearance at the St. Louis airport as police escorted him from his flight to a Rolls-Royce Phantom V limousine that once belonged to millionaire J. Paul Getty. The St. Louis Zoo has borrowed the 13 1/2-pound, 2-year-old koala for the month of June from the San Diego Zoo, which will fly in weekly rations of California-grown eucalyptus for his meals.

--The season finale of ABC's "Dynasty" on May 15 had the leading characters lying around spattered with blood, leaving viewers wondering who would survive. The cast also is wondering. "We don't know," said Catherine Oxenberg, who plays Amanda on the show. "It's basically economics and plot is secondary." Oxenberg, in Port Antonio, Jamaica, to make a movie, said the actors whose characters will be bumped off the show will be "whoever is difficult in negotiations." Oxenberg definitely will be among the survivors. Her contract already has been signed.

--"If you want to be Huck Finn, you can be. Every fellow, at least once in his life, wants to be Huck Finn," said Ray Foster, 45, of Mercer, Pa., a steelworker who with his brother, Rich, 34, a truck driver, have set out on a 10-ton raft for a 2,600-mile fantasy river trip to New Orleans. The brothers are now tied up at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers for a 36-hour stop for repairs and supplies. They hope to make a detour to Hannibal, Mo., in time for the Mark Twain sesquicentennial celebration July 11 and then it's downstream to Louisiana. The Fosters' dream began many years ago in an old rowboat on West Virginia's Tygart River when Ray and his father floated downstream with a broken oar. "My father said, 'Wouldn't it be nice to keep going?' " Ray remembered. "Dreams of this type are 100% possible," he said with assurance.

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