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At 90, the Time Is Ripe for an Old Song

July 26, 1985|DAVE LARSEN | Dave Larsen

The strains of such oldies but goodies as "I Wish I Was a Janitor's Child," "Real Estate Papa, You Ain't Gonna Subdivide Me" and "The Bird on Nellie's Hat" will fill the air Saturday in West Los Angeles.

Renditions of the songs will be courtesy of Lois Kibbee of Simi Valley, 90 years old and still giving performances. This one will take place at 7 p.m. in the Nursing Home Care Unit of the Veterans Administration. The show will include other singers from the Community Action Network, an organization that puts on performances at Southland convalescent homes.

"Lois Kibbee has been singing on stages since she was a child," said Kay Brown, another senior citizen, who is the piano accompanist.

The nonagenarian is the widow of the late actor Milton Kibbee. She has told friends she has sung throughout her life, except for two years after he died in 1970--"I couldn't get around that lump in my throat."

But singing is what she is doing again, perhaps not with the tone there once was, but with as much spirit--certainly on this occasion, with an audience that will identify and appreciate.

Almost Mrs. America

The audience earlier this week at the Reno Hilton was decidedly appreciative of Dwan Smith Fortier, 41, of Lake View Terrace, the first black to earn the title of Mrs. California.

Competing against 49 other married women for the Mrs. America crown, Fortier was chosen first runner-up and received a silver tray. She finished second to Donna Russell of Mississippi.

"Dwan Smith Fortier received $1,000 for her finish," said Adrienne Lederer, vice president and executive director of the Mrs. America Pageant.

Fortier--whose husband, Nate, and children Ayanna, 13, and Andre, 2, were on hand--also finished second, this time to the entrant from Iowa--in the costume event.

Disneyland Deferred

Daniel Dagan, German correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, arrived July 16 with his wife and two children for what the Dagans had planned as a family holiday at Disneyland.

Unfortunately, things turned out badly after that. Within hours of the Dagans' arrival, their 4 1/2-year-old son, David, came down with acute gastrointestinal symptoms.

Rushed to St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica and transferred to UCLA Medical Center, David was determined to be suffering from a rare disorder called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which triggers severe kidney problems and other difficulties. At UCLA on Wednesday, the boy went into kidney failure and required surgery and a stint on a dialysis machine.

While his doctors say David probably will recover completely, Daniel Dagan said he and his family will return to Germany with outstanding medical bills of about $50,000--the Dagans' German medical insurance pays only about $100 a day in hospital and other benefits, Dagan said--and without ever seeing Disneyland.

David is taking it well, Daniel Dagan said, but the visit to the Magic Kingdom in Anaheim had been a goal on which the boy's heart had been set. "He goes to school with American friends and he wanted to talk to them about Disneyland when he got back," Daniel Dagan said in a telephone interview from the home of relatives in Palms. The family has taken up temporary residence with the relatives while the parents alternate 24-hour shifts at UCLA watching over the boy.

The Dagans were scheduled to depart for Germany on Aug. 6, but David's situation has thrown the plans into disarray, Daniel Dagan said. Because of the family's precarious financial situation, UCLA is considering transferring David to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a county-owned facility, but the boy's condition so far has made it impossible to move him, his doctor said.

Dagan said he suggested to his other child, 6 1/2-year-old Miriam, that they go on to Disneyland without David. "She told me, 'I'm sad, I don't want to go alone.' I told her maybe we just won't make it."

When Someone Dies

Gregg P. Silverman of Los Angeles feels he has an innovation--death announcement cards.

"The card is entitled 'In Memory Of' and has space for thank you messages, notification of whom the deceased is survived by, donation preferences, biographical information, or even a poem or epitaph," said Silverman, whose Smooth Moves firm at 1379 Lucile Ave. takes care of details for individual and corporate relocaters.

"This is a separate service we call Smooth Moves for the Bereaved and the Deceased," said Silverman, at whose company the cards are available. "When a child is born, parents notify relatives and friends with cards. But when someone dies, the communications network breaks down."

The Auto Turns 100

Mercedes-Benz will sponsor an exhibition, "100 Years of the Automobile," at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History from Jan. 14 to July 6, 1986.

Craig C. Black, museum director, and Walter Bodack, president of Mercedes-Benz of North America, announced jointly that the exhibit will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the invention by founders Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz.

Los Angeles was chosen for the exhibit, Bodack said, "because of the enormous influence the automobile has had on the size and culture of this city."

About 20 historic Daimler, Benz, and Mercedes-Benz vehicles dating back to 1886 will be on display, along with graphic and audiovisual displays.

The Citroen 2CV Circuit

In town this week was Alain Chaix, 33, who left his hometown of Toulouse, France, four years ago to see the world--in a Citroen 2CV. More ponypower than horsepower to circle the globe.

After 25 nations and 75,000 miles, Chaix arrived in the United States on the trip, the California leg of which is being sponsored by Vittel/Bartlett Springs mineral water.

He next heads for Alaska, then into Canada, by now his wallet suffering from gas pains.

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