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SHORT STORIES

June 08, 1986|PATT MORRISON

The Kindest Cut People magazine may not exactly be quaking in its snakeskin boots, but with Noah on its cover, Papercutting World magazine is off and booming, relatively speaking. The snip-out art most of us gave up when we graduated to pointed-tip scissors is in fact an international folk art. The new North Hollywood quarterly hopes to revive interest in it by featuring the religious works of Polish paper cutters, the manicure-scissor masterpieces of Germans and Swiss, the symbolic art of Jewish paper cutters (who often work with knives) and elaborate Mexican and Chinese chisel-cut works. "Maybe we've just reached a point where people want to go back in history a bit," editor Joseph W. Bean believes. Even the paper-cut portraits and silhouettes, from pre-camera days, "capture romance and fantasy, and of course they can be flattering, which the camera is not inclined to be," Bean says. Pushed to near-oblivion by Polaroid and Kodak, scorned by collectors ("You see them framed in stores, priced, 'Frame $5 with or without the picture' "), the art is enjoying a revival that appears to be no cut-and- dried affair. Dog Gone Tail o' the Pup went first. The frankfurter-shaped eatery, a 40-year landmark on La Cienega Boulevard, was recently put into temporary cold storage to make way for a hotel. "A lot of people are bummed out about it," grouses Dennis Blake, son of the Pup's owner. Now, in San Francisco, the final Doggie Diner, home of hot cuisine on a bun, has closed, the last of a litter of 26 born in 1948. And although D. D.'s advertising motif--a 12-foot fiberglass dachshund's head in a chef's hat--has found its way into a pop-art museum, you won't find one in the backyard of D. D. founder Al Ross, who admits that "they'd run me out of Palm Springs." Just call these the dogless days of summer. Glads All Over On Wednesday mornings--trash day--40 years ago, Arthur Ito would pick through garbage cans along Los Feliz Boulevard. He was looking for tin cans he could wrap in bright foil to hold the flower bouquets his family grew. Three weeks ago, Ito was blossom-bedecking the White House for a Nancy Reagan luncheon. From a Depression-era job delivering posies, the 67-year-old Los Angeles native has made a career in the pistil-and-stamen trade and is the first Japanese-American president of FTD, the international florists' delivery group. His floral career interrupted by a stint with Army Air Corps intelligence during World War II, Ito returned to his family--freed from internment camps--and leased acreage along Los Feliz, selling the flowers he grew from a roadside stand. When the acreage was sold in the 1960s, the family opened shop on Western Avenue. Besides the two sons he has in the business, Ito is proud of his "graduates," nearly 150 floral students from Japan who trained here under Ito's eye. "God has given us these beautiful flowers. There's no words I could give, no reason," Ito says, for his love of flowers. "It just comes from my heart." Buzzing Off Culicidae pipiens pipiens , we hardly knew ye. After a dozen years in Fresno, the American Mosquito Control Assn. is moving to likelier hunting grounds--Louisiana--where its new director and a larger portion of its subject matter reside. Office manager Sharon Colvin is taking the AMCA--a national information clearinghouse--lock, stock and bug spray to St. Charles, where excitement is at a fever pitch. "They're demanding that we give an open house," Colvin says.

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