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July 20, 1986|PATT MORRISON

Kong Gonged in Beach Burg It's official: The tony town of Montecito near Santa Barbara is not zoned for wooden gorillas. Woodcarver Richard "Blade" Southard--who says he has whittled sculptures of Snow White with dwarfs for actress Goldie Hawn, and Koko the Gorilla for naturalist Jane Goodall--became a scalpel in the side of the property owners there when he apparently violated zoning rules by setting up his whittling business in a grassy field along Montecito's rustic main drag. His life-sized black gorillas and sundry carved figures ranged realistically along the roadside, and "the majority of people just did not appreciate it," said William Seward of the local property owners' group. Because of the fuss, the friend who loaned Southard the use of the field withdrew his permission, and the truck-bed artist has moved along, with his old pine pal, Humpty Dumpty. Summer and Smoking They've stolen Pat Donovan's pro-smoking brochures at a health expo and jeered her "Puff the Magic Dragon"--a fellow dressed in a lizard costume--off San Francisco's streets. But Donovan hasn't given up; she's only changed the name of her campaign from "Smoke and Be Healthy" to "Do What You Love and Be Healthy." The San Francisco woman--who says her 17-year, three-pack-a-day habit has left her with crystal-clear lungs and a flinty attitude--finds it "real scary" that Americans, risk-taking pioneers, "are looking for someone other than themselves to tell them just what they can eat or inhale." She began in March, after "some guy told me the smokers were ready for my idea--were dying for my idea, in fact." For $750--about the price of some stop-smoking programs--her first workshop, scheduled for the Bay Area in August, promises fun, gourmet food and learning to enjoy just about any indulgence, including ol' devil-weed, in good health. Well, it's one way to light up your life. Olympian Chute-zpah The jump jocks of the Perris Valley Skydiving Society have become the first Americans to qualify for the 1988 Seoul Olympics, as part of the closing ceremonies. Tony Brogdon, who wangled the invitation, said that additional jumpers from around the world will audition to be part of a spectacular sky-tumble. Surfers at an Exhibition The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is open for business, to bring back those thrilling dawns of yesteryear, just a few yards from the city's legendary surfing spot, Steamer Lane. The exhibit room of the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse--built by the parents of a bodysurfer who drowned in 1965--is fitted out with the memorabilia of the museum's unofficial steering committee, the Santa Cruz Longboard Union. These surfing "venerables" brought out nine-foot boards, scrapbooks and home movies to show the way it was in the '30s and '40s, when even Duke Kahanamoku surfed Steamer Lane. Hard to believe missionaries tried to outlaw the sport as immoral. "A lot of the mainstays of our city grew up with surfing," says the museum's curator, Charles Prentiss. "Guys who surfed--and still do--are doctors and lawyers and bank vice presidents." And all of them still chairmen of their boards.

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