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In the Pits, He Turns on Charm

May 19, 1986|JENNINGS PARROTT

--A German expert on snakes is getting a fang-to-fang look at his favorite subject at a zoo just outside the Pensacola, Fla., suburb of Gulf Breeze. Juergen Hergert, 43, who has a snake farm in Schladen, West Germany, stepped into a glass enclosure where he plans to spend 100 days with 24 poisonous reptiles. His companions include Indian cobras, a spitting cobra, black mambas, puff adders and rattlesnakes of three species. Hergert is trying to break his 1983 record of 90 days spent with a similar number of snakes. "When I go to the snakes, I must change myself," he said. "I'm not a man, I'm not Juergen. I'm a snake. By handling snakes, I can feel what the snake is doing. Everything I do, I must do it slowly." And, in case Hergert tires of looking at the snakes, he has a television set and a picture of his fiancee with him in the cage.

--Participants in the second annual Debris-A-Thon combed the beach at Sandy Hook, N.J., and found everything except a kitchen sink. Organizers said there had to be an abandoned sink there somewhere, but they ran out of time. Within two hours, the crew of about 150 people picked up nearly 3,000 pounds of garbage from the stretch of national park beach. The refuse included a hard hat, a snow sled, a snow ski, a ship's railing, a garbage can lid, portable toilet seat and a four-foot-tall stuffed Snoopy doll, said Cindy Zipf, coordinator of the effort, which was sponsored by Clean Ocean Action. Assistant Julie Dvorak said that plastic holders from six-packs are especially harmful at the shore because sea birds' necks can become entangled in them.

--Residents of Versailles, Ky., are displaying the Union Jack and washing windows in preparation for the second visit in 19 months of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II to the heart of the Bluegrass Country. As in her previous stay, the 60-year-old queen's itinerary is a closely guarded secret, but British embassy officials have said that she will visit horse breeders in the region to see stallions and check on foals born from the matches she arranged after her last trip in October, 1984. The queen will be accompanied by Lord and Lady Porchester and a small personal staff during the four-day visit, which begins Thursday. She will again be the guest of William and Sara Farish on their horse farm.

--Entertainer Johnny Cash will be presented an Israeli group's Shalom Peace Award for his efforts to promote peace through music. He will receive the award July 7 at a testimonial dinner in Memphis, Tenn. Guests at the dinner will include friends such as singers Waylon Jennings and Jeannie C. Riley and actor-singer John Schneider, the Jewish National Fund said. The organization is a land development and reclamation agency in Israel.

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